The Andaman group of islands is an archipelago of 572 islands located in the Bay of Bengal, off the east coast of mainland India. Situated in a tropical paradise, the islands are part of a unique ecosystem that makes them some of the most sought after travel destinations in the whole world. Especially when it comes to scuba diving and exploring underwater marine life, Andaman islands have some of the most fabled dive spots for adventurers to explore. With a variety of coral reefs, exotic fish species and other marine creatures including sea turtles, black and white finned sharks, mantas, stingrays, sea cucumbers, jellyfish and anemones, the underwater depths around the Andaman islands are a sheer pleasure to explore.
Andaman is also blessed with numerous pristine white sandy beaches lined with palm groves. When you are not enjoying Andaman underwater, you just need to relax in a cozy hammock on a secluded beach, or explore some of the dense forests, or witness the historical wonders that this group of islands has to offer. All in all, Andaman is the destination for a perfect tropical vacation.
Although Andaman is blessed with mostly steady climatic conditions which makes it good for a visit any time of the year, certain periods are better than others due to factors like the weather and the seasonal nature of the tourism industry. Whether you’re planning the perfect honeymoon or are simply keen on exploring the best of Andaman, here are some factors to help you decide the best time to visit Andaman.
Lying in the tropical belt between the Equator and Tropic of Cancer, Andaman islands generally enjoy nonfluctuating climatic conditions throughout the year. The climate is usually sunny with average temperature throughout the year – between 20 and 32 degrees Celsius. On average, the islands receive 6.37 hours of sunlight daily throughout the year. Days are longest in the month of March and shortest in June. Not surprisingly, the islands are extremely humid with average humidity lying between 70 to 90%. The islands witness two main seasons throughout the year – summer and monsoon, with winter being negligible in this part of the world. The monsoons can further be divided into the northeast and the southwest monsoons.
Summer in Andamans lasts for three months, from March to May. Mercury rises up to around 32 degree Celsius, and the air gets humid. The weather is generally calm during the summers, which is why it overlaps with much of the tourist season. The waters are perfect for a swim and the most conducive for activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving due to calmer seas, longer days and higher underwater visibility. As a result, tourists flock to the islands during the summertime which makes the lodging and boarding rates skyrocket. It might be a good idea therefore to plan your trip towards either periphery of the tourist window and not bang in the middle of it, otherwise you will be greeted by overcrowded beaches and steep prices.
The southwest monsoon hits the Andaman islands first before making its way to the Indian subcontinent in June. In Andaman, the southwest monsoon lasts from May to September. These are the major rainy months on the islands, and mobility within and between islands can be greatly hampered during this time. It is also not an ideal time for underwater activities due to unpredictable weather conditions. As a result, the influx of tourists slows down during these months. The tropical winds and chances of stormy weather can make life still difficult for the inhabitants of the islands. While that is true, many tourists swear by Andamans in the monsoon because you get to see a side of the islands like never before.
Due to its unique geographical location, the Andaman archipelago witnesses two monsoon seasons. The second monsoon is the result of rain clouds being carried by the northeasterly winds climbing up towards the South East Asian countries. The second monsoon in Andaman lasts from mid November to January and the conditions are pretty much similar to the southwest monsoon.
October – Golden Window of Opportunity
The month of October which lies between the two monsoons presents a golden window of opportunity for travellers looking to for a peaceful holiday in Andaman. October is generally dry and is considered to be a great month for underwater activity including scuba diving. The lack of a major tourist influx also means that you have much more of the islands to yourselves and the room and board rates are not so steep. Therefore it can be a perfect time to plan a trip to this magical group of islands.
For the curious traveller, Andaman provides a different flavour every season – whether it is basking in the sunlight or slipping and sliding in the rain.
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