Exploring Jolly Buoy Island Andaman: An Oasis of Colourful Corals

 In Andaman, Holidays, India, Travel

Imagine a small secluded island with no human trace, surrounded by sparkling blue ocean, and soft white sand, such is the beauty of the Jolly Buoy Island. The beauty of this little slice of paradise is further enhanced by the most colorful coral reef that surrounds the island, making it a must-visit destination in your Andaman Tour Package.

Out of the 15 small islands that make up the Mahatma Gandhi National Park‘s Marine Sanctuary, the Jolly Bouy Island, and the adjacent Red Skin Islands are the only two islands that are open to tourists. 

The beauty of this island is maintained as it falls under a preserved area that is protected by the Andaman administration.

As the name suggests, the Jolly Buoy Island Andaman is truly a place that is jolly, perfect, unpolluted and clean as it follows a very strict No Plastic Policy which keeps the island litter-free, unlike the other beaches of Andaman. Also, at one time, a limited number of tourists are allowed on this island, thus the experience of the Jolly Buoy Island is much quieter, more serene and more peaceful.

Along with the colorful corals, the surroundings of Jolly Buoy Island are also biodiversity hotspots with rich marine life, mangrove swamps, and lush green tropical rainforests, which add to the appealing landscape of the island. The wildflowers along the beach make the landscape even more colorful.

From sunbathing at the beach to hiking through the forest, the island is perfect for both. You can enjoy the best of nature in perfect seclusion at Jolly Buoy Island Andaman. Whether you are a nature lover, an offbeat explorer, or an adventure enthusiast, then a visit to this island would be on your list while planning your trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

How To Reach Jolly Buoy Island?

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The Jolly Buoy Island is located approximately 30 Km south of Wandoor Beach and falls under the Mahatma Gandhi National Park in Andaman. Reaching this island is an adventure in itself as you will be cruising through the pristine blue ocean water.

To reach Jolly Buoy Island, you have to plan effectively as this island is only accessible by boat. Here’s how you can reach the island.

By Airways: The nearest airport to Jolly Buoy Island is Veer Sawarkar International Airport, which is approximately 30 km away from this island. This airport in Port Blair has connectivity to many major Indian Cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Upon reaching the airport, you will have to take a taxi or bus to the Wandoor Jetty, from where you can board your boat to the Jolly Buoy Island.

By Road: Once you reach Port Blair, you’ll first need to get to Wandoor Beach, which is approximately 30 kilometers (a 45-minute drive) from central Port Blair. Your transportation options include rented taxis, 2-wheelers, or auto-rickshaws, with taxis being the most convenient choice. While buses do operate to and fro, their timings can be unpredictable. Buses are available at an interval of 1 hour from any bus stand going through Bathubasti. You need to start early around 7 AM to be able to take the boat to Jolly Buoy from Wandoor.

By Waterways: Once you arrive at Wandoor Beach, you’ll board a shared boat for the 35-minute journey to Jolly Buoy Island. You can book these boats at the cluster of boat offices at Wandoor Beach. Some operators do provide complimentary 10 mins of snorkeling sessions around the island, which requires you to show a govt. ID card. So, don’t forget to carry your ID card and ask for the complimentary service. (Thank me later, for this Andaman Travel Tip).

The same boat will bring you back, so it’s essential to book a return ticket in advance. Don’t worry about the boat wait; it’ll be ready and waiting for your return journey.

It’s important to note that a permit is required to visit Jolly Buoy Island, with different permit fees for Indian and foreign visitors. These permits are usually available a day before your trip, or if you’ve booked a tour package, your tour operator will provide them.

Jolly Buoy Island Ferry Timings: 09:00 am

Jolly Buoy Island Ferry Cost: INR 850 including permit charges

Jolly Buoy Island Entry Ticket: The permit fee cost to visit Jolly Buoy Island is INR 50 for Indians and INR 500 for foreigners.

So, pack your sunscreen, snorkeling gear, and camera, and embark on this exciting journey to Jolly Buoy Island to experience its stunning natural beauty and vibrant marine life.

Also Read: 18 Best Restaurants In Andaman To Relish In Coastal Food 2024

Things To Do At Jolly Buoy Island

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Jolly Buoy Island is home to one of the largest and most diverse coral populations in Andaman, which sustains one of the richest biological diversity in the islands. The abundance of coral species on the island is a result of the government’s efforts to protect and conserve marine life.

Coral reefs on this island are home to some of the world’s most colorful and beautiful fish, making it an ideal destination for adventure-seekers. Here are some of the best things to do at Jolly Buoy Island which allows you to fully immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and vibrant marine life.

  1. Snorkeling: Snorkelling is one of the best water sports in Andaman if you have a fear of diving into deep waters. Float on the crystal-clear waters and get a chance to marvel at the amazing coral reefs unique to Jolly Buoy Island. The vibrant coral life and diverse marine species make this a must-try activity. The cost for snorkeling at Jolly Buoy Island is approximately INR 500, which includes the snorkeling gear and the guidance of an experienced expert.
  2. Trekking: Despite its small size, the island has a dense tropical forest that covers 70% of its area. You can embark on a trekking adventure with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the lush greenery and the island’s unique terrain during your trekking experience. It’s a chance to connect with nature and savor the serenity of the island. The trekking experience can range from INR 800 to INR 1,200, depending on the duration and guide services.
  3. Scuba Diving: Discover the underwater wonders of Jolly Buoy Island with scuba diving in Andaman. Witness the rich marine biodiversity and the vibrant coral gardens that make this destination truly exceptional. The cost of scuba diving at Jolly Buoy Island typically starts at around INR 3,000, covering the essential equipment, expert guidance, and the thrill of exploring the deep sea.
  4. Glass Bottom Boat Ride: If you prefer to stay dry while still getting a glimpse of the underwater world, the glass bottom boat ride offers a unique perspective. You can witness the marine life through the clear bottom of the boat. The cost for a glass bottom boat ride is approximately INR 1,000 per person. It’s a fascinating way to explore the ocean’s mysteries without getting wet.
  5. Sunbathing: Relax and unwind on the pristine beaches of Jolly Buoy Island. Soak in the sun, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Sunbathing is a free activity, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty of the island at no extra cost. Take your time, bring a good book, and relish the calmness of this idyllic spot.

Jolly Buoy Island is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts, and the conservation efforts have made it a haven for marine life. While each activity comes with its own cost, the memories and experiences you gather here are truly priceless. Whether you’re an avid snorkeler, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, Jolly Buoy Island has something exceptional to offer.

Best Time To Visit Jolly Buoy Island

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The best time to visit Jolly Buoy Island is from June to September as the island opens for tourists only in these months for conservation purposes. In the rest of the months, Red Skin Island is open for tourists as an alternative. It is necessary to check the availability and obtain permits to visit the island, especially if you plan to visit during the peak tourist season.

The boat to Jolly Buoy Island from Wandoor Beach usually leaves between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM. So make sure you get to Wandoor Beach before 8:00 AM. All the boats leave and return at the same time.

Also Read: 5 Cruises To Andaman From India Loved By Travellers

Things To Know Before Visiting the Jolly Buoy Island

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Before embarking on your journey to Jolly Buoy Island, it’s essential to be well-prepared. Here are some key things to know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit:

  • Jolly Buoy Island remains closed on Mondays. No ferries operate to the island on Mondays. So plan accordingly.
  • The only way to get to Jolly Buoy from Wandoor is by boat. Due to the high demand, it is always recommended to book the ferries in advance.
  • The boats to Jolly Buoy Island depart from Wandoor between 8 AM to 9 AM and the return journey starts between 2 PM to 2:30 PM, after which the island is closed to civilians.
  • You will need permission from the forest department to Snorkel near the island if you are planning to do it by yourself.
  • Remember that Jolly Buoy Island is a plastic-free zone. You are not allowed to carry any plastic items to the island. You will be asked to list every plastic item you are taking to the island by the forest department. Make sure you bring back all the plastic and dispose of it at the correct place.
  • There are small eco-huts on the island, where you can take shelter in the monsoon. But it is advised to carry an umbrella, as these eco-huts may not be sufficient for everyone.
  • There are absolutely no facilities on the island. So, it is essential to carry a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, medicine, power banks, extra clothes, and insect repellent as there is no accessibility to all these things on the island.
  • Most of the tourists take a day trip to Jolly Buoy Island, as there is no accommodation on the island.
  • There are no food stalls on the island, thus it is advised to carry some snacks. 
  • Sometimes, the water level may drop and corals may come back to the surface. During this time, it is recommended to avoid going into the water as it may harm the coral and injure you. 
  • Make sure you don’t carry any shells, corals, or other underwater things, before obtaining prior permission from the government.
  • Mobile networks such as Airtel/Vodafone work best on the island of Jolly Buoy, so ensure you have a SIM card for one or the other of these networks.
  • There is no proper place for changing on the island, especially for the ladies. So make sure you carry your own arrangements, if you are planning to indulge in snorkeling and scuba diving, where you will get wet and require to change.
  • Don’t forget to take care of your stuff while you’re out on the water. Have someone with you to look after your stuff.

Frequently Asked Questions For Jolly Buoy Island Andaman

How far is Jolly Buoy Island from Port Blair?

Jolly Buoy Island is approximately 30 kilometers away from Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

How do you get to Jolly Buoy Island from Havelock?

Jolly Buoy Island is not directly accessible from Havelock Island. To visit Jolly Buoy from Havelock, you’ll need to return to Port Blair first and then follow the route to Wandoor Beach to reach Jolly Buoy Island.

What is Jolly Buoy Island in Andaman known for?

Jolly Buoy Island is renowned for its stunning coral reefs, vibrant marine life, lush tropical forests, and crystal-clear waters. It’s a popular destination for activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking, and glass-bottom boat rides.

Is there a specific time when Jolly Buoy Island is open for visitors?

Yes, Jolly Buoy Island has specific opening months due to conservation efforts. It is typically open for tourists from June to September. Visitors should check the specific timings for each year before planning their trip to ensure the island is open for their visit.

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