Barren Island

Barren Island
Author : Admin
Date : 20 Apr 2023

Barren Island

If we were to create a list of some of the best places to visit in India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands would come out on the top. After all, what can you not find in the archipelago? Bright and sunny days, an enchanting and never-ending blue sea, and powdery white beaches, isn’t this the recipe for a perfect vacation? You’ll find everything from one of the best beaches in South Asia (Radhanagar Beach) to a dense mangrove forest. If you want adventure, dive into the water to explore the stunning beauty of the corals and numerous colourful and vibrant fish. If just doing that doesn’t satisfy you, take a trip to a volcanic island. Yes, you read right. 

Barren Island is a huge volcanic island in the Andamans that has been attracting a lot of interest among tourists in recent years. Most tourists visit the island to enjoy a host of activities like fishing, snorkelling, and even scuba diving. Not just that, if you want to add some luxury to your vacation in the Andamans, you must take a charter fishing trip to Barren Island. It will be one of the best memories of your life. 

Barren Island Volcano: why is it famous 

The reason Barren Island is such an attractive place is that it is the only volcano in India. But the island is more than that: it is the only active volcano in the whole of South Asia. The first time the volcano erupted was in the 1700s. Since then, it had mostly been dormant before exploding again in the 90s and then again in the 2000s. It erupted in 2017 and has been active ever since. As such, Barren Island is a magnet for many adventure tourists, especially, geo tourists who want to explore the fascinating wonder of an active volcano. 

Note that you cannot step onto the island as it is an active volcano. The caldera itself is 2 km long on an island that is just about 3 km. It is not surprising then that the island is uninhabited except for a few goats, rodents, and birds; although, there are signs of vegetation in some parts of the island. The beaches around the island are unique as they are all ash-coloured due to the impact of the volcano, unlike the other beaches around the Andamans.

What are the top things you can do on Barren Island:

You must still be wondering if you’d like to go all the way to Barren Island just to see a volcano and return. Well, you should go to Barren Island because you can do some of the best water activities in the Andamans close to the island. The volcanic impact has altered the underwater terrain close to the island completely which makes it a hotspot for a wide variety of marine life and unique coral formations. Here’s a list of things you can do on Barren Island: 

Fishing: Game fishing is one of the top activities around the Barren Island volcano. Fishing in Barren Island is very popular among tourists, especially, those that come from outside of India. Game fishing is a popular sport around the world, where people go deep into the sea to catch massive and the best fish on the high seas. Barren Island sits in a remote location and the area around boasts a rich biodiversity attracting many giant game fish. Most anglers flock to Barren Island to fish for marlins (both the black and blue varieties) and tuna (Dogtooth and Yellowfin). You can catch some varieties of Dorado and sailfish as well. And don’t worry about having to spend the day waiting for a fish. The density of fish around Barren Island is high and you’ll be able to catch quite a few game fish. 

Snorkelling: What even is the point of going to Barren Island if you cannot get into the water, right? Snorkelling in Barren Island is one of the island's most popular water activities. That’s because it is a fun water activity where you don’t have to know how to swim or even have experience in diving. And the view of the underwater world promises to be stunning. You’ll see many reef sharks and manta rays gliding effortlessly under the water. Since there are underwater cleaning stations close to Barren Island, there’s be many giant fish and beautiful sea turtles everywhere waiting for their turn to be cleaned. 

Scuba diving: Most people flock to the Andamans to scuba dive. Barren Island attracts divers from across the world who visit the island to test their scuba diving skills. Since the terrain is a bit complex and the dive is deep, only experienced divers who have advanced level certification in scuba diving can explore the diving spots in Barren Island. Purple Haze, Manta Point, and Barren Island are some of the most explored diving spots on Barren Island. 

Charter boats to Barren Island: how to reach the island 

Barren Island is a little far from the primarily inhabited islands of the Andamans. As such, you won’t get any regular passenger ferries to visit the island. You’d have to charter a boat to the island. Havelock Island and Port Blair are the only two places from where you can get a boat charter to Barren Island. If you want to explore fishing in Barren Island, keep the entire day aside for your trip as it takes more than a couple of hours to just reach the island. Port Blair is 140 km away from Barren Island, which may take 3-4 hours to complete. The journey is shorter from Havelock Island from where it would take you 2-3 hours to reach Barren Island.

Cost of visiting Barren Island

Going on a boat charter trip to Barren Island may cost you around INR 130,000 to INR 150,000. The cost usually covers all your meals and beverages inside the boat. Your fishing gear will be included in the package as well. You’ll also get a guide who will help you identify the best fishing spots and even help you snorkel and scuba dive. A boat accommodates up to 8 people, so you can travel in a large group to save some cost as well. 

You’d also have to pay for a tourist permit to fish or do other water activities around Barren Island. If you are an Indian national, you’d have to pay INR 1000 for the permit. Foreign nationals have to pay INR 3500 for the permit. 


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