The blissful Andaman Islands have a tropical climate which makes it quite pleasing and an ideal tourist destination all year round. Yes, Andaman is a place you would want to visit anytime and every time to see the different hues that this island reflects in the two seasons it experiences summer and monsoon. Andaman experiences a very long monsoon that lasts for 180 days. This season starts from the end of May and continues till August. An image is created that torrential rain and cyclonic winds make you want to avoid visiting the place but it is relatively milder and exciting to visit in this season.
A normal monsoon day in the Andaman is the sky covered with white and grey clouds, rain pouring down, damping the beaches, and delicious seafood. The only change that you would notice in the monsoons is the clouds hiding the sun and that’s it. The island still retains its romantic setting, beautiful palm-fringed beaches, and exciting places perfect for making your trip memorable.
There are advantages as well as disadvantages of visiting Andaman in monsoons. Let’s get started with the advantages first to see the brighter side
- The only time to witness the phenomenal Monsoon festival:
The monsoon festival especially entertains the tourists who choose to visit the islands during this season. It is usually held at the ITF ground but the location can vary. This festival is combined with the music festival and an amazing vibe is created by the DJ sets, concerts, and dance programs.
This also acts as an avenue for interaction with the art and culture of the locals of the island like handicrafts, cooking shows, etc. It also presents you with a huge variety of finger-licking seafood that is a specialty of Andaman. Even the Indian Navy, Air force, Army, and Coastal Guard arrange shows representing the might of the country.
2. The majestic beauty of the islands enhanced:
The islands look too beautiful to be a place on Earth with all of its lush green vegetation covered with droplets of water from the rain, the dense forests enchant and bewitch you into exploring the jungles without a second thought. It is kind of therapeutic too and completely rejuvenates your soul. The worst thing in your life would be visiting Andaman and not going on a ride on the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) and explore the bountiful forests covering both sides of the road.
3. Trekking :
Though most of the movement through the sea is restricted, like the route to Elephant Beach in Havelock Island and a few other destinations, you can always reach the Elephant beach by trekking through the terrains and forests and it would be worth the effort. However, for the safer side, you should always hire a guide to help you in adverse circumstances. Trekking is also a nice option for the tourists because of the silence in the forest you pass through – making way and plunging deep into the serenity with lots of birds chirping around hiding in their shelters and the rain dripping through the leaves – all of this provides you a great and adventurous but at the same time an exhilarating journey to your destination.
You might be wondering how you can go sightseeing amid the torrential rains and the strong winds. Though Andaman gains quite a reputation for its monsoons, it does not rain 24*7 and you get many chances to visit your pre-planned destinations.
Now, the next question that would have come to your mind might be that what places you are going to visit when the government restricts movements through waters. The government does close some of the tourist destinations but the most amazing ones that the Andaman has are open to tourists like the Mount Harriett National Park, Bharatpur Beach, Radhanagar Beach, the Limestone Caves, Alfred Caves, Port Blair, Diglipur, and many more.
Though if you plan for the Jolly Buoy Island, Ross and Smith Islands, North Bay Island, Viper Island, Red Skin Island, etc you would have to revise your plans so that when you reach Andaman, you do not feel agitated because of the constant rain and canceling of your plans just because you cannot find ferries to take you there. But, if you are an adventure freak, you might miss out on opportunities to visit extraordinary places like Baratang Island since the ferry rides and other modes of access are subjected to the weather condition.
If you want to plan a safer holiday that cannot get interrupted by the rain, you can opt for all the indoor attractions in Port Blair like the Chattam Saw Mill, Anthropological Museum, and Cellular Jail, etc. Also, since many places are shut down keeping in mind the safety of the tourists, many different places like the Lighthouse on the Little Andaman Island are opened which are also worth your time.
5. Amazing off-season discounts:
Since it’s off-season and there are very few tourists that visit the Andaman, the hotels put out the best discounts and offer even in the hotels with luxury facilities. You can also enjoy the special attention of the hotel staff which will be a feel-good experience.
6. Snorkeling and scuba-diving:
Even though the rest of the water sports activities remain closed, snorkeling and scuba diving are the two things that you can enjoy in the rainy season. In fact, according to the best scuba diving center in Andaman, the months of July and August are the best time to try out the diving courses. The glass-bottom rides are also operational during monsoon and you can always go for boat cruises since swimming is not advisable. It is to be noted that these activities might get canceled in event of cyclonic weather.
Now let’s take a look at the cons of traveling in the monsoons:
- Lack of surety:
The government imposes restrictions on the movement of ferries in case of strong winds and conditions that are dangerous to set sail in. The annoying part is that the notices come on the day of the trip and it would not be possible to get any prior notice of the same, thus leading to cancelling or rescheduling of the tours.
In some cases, some websites issues warning about the weather about the thunderstorms or such happenings, but the weather seems to be just fine. In these cases, the ferries remain operational and your trips do not get cancelled.
However, island hopping is a bad idea in the rainy season as already mentioned and some of the remote parts of the Andaman are also closed to tourist access.
2. Continuous rain:
The constant rain will also be the reason you would be trapped inside your hotel room when you were supposed to be out enjoying every bit of this beauteous location. Due to poor connectivity in some parts of Andaman, you will experience complete solitude while waiting for the downpour to stop even for going and having your lunch.
Even if you are out and the weather is clear, you will always need to carry raincoats because you never know when it would rain. Raincoats are advised over umbrellas because it would be of no help keeping in mind the strong winds that blow. Also, seasickness might kick in so you are advised to keep pills with you every time.
3. Suddenly changing weather conditions:
It could happen that when you started your journey to different islands, the weather was all clear but now that you are about to return the weather worsens and all the private cruises get canceled. This might sound like a frightening situation and you might be thinking that it’s quite unsafe to visit Andaman from this perspective, but the government ferries come to your rescue.
The government ferries remain operational particularly at this point to help the tourists who are stuck on different islands reach their lodgings safely. These government ferries are the strongest and the oldest ones that operate in the Andaman; these are your saviour in bad weather.
4. Uncertainity on timings:
Since, now you know that your plans can get canceled, rescheduled at any moment, you will have to be a little patient and flexible with your timings and so you are going to miss out on some of your plans if not all. You need to plan your trip to Andaman wisely and you cannot just reach there and then decide what to do. Your plans being canceled does not mean that your money would go wasted, all of your bookings will be refunded to you but only in event of cancellation and not rescheduled.
Even after analysing your trip to Andaman in monsoon, it’s not a losing bet completely; you just have to keep extra time reserved for adverse conditions. And also, it is safe to visit Andaman in the monsoon. The government ensures that the comfort and the safety of the tourists are not compromised.