The Andaman Islands & Chidiyatapu
Located 1750 km off the east coast of India, surrounded by the waters of the Bay of Bengal, are 575 islands and islets that make up the Andamans. The Andaman Islands, an archipelago, the chains of these islands are in fact the camel backs of the submerged mountain ranges projecting above the sea level running north to south between the Burmese Arakan Yoma range in the North and of the Indonesian Archipelago in the South and the Nicobars.
These are volcanic islands – the Andamans is home to the only active volcano in the country – with rich, fertile soil. They are home to tropical rainforests, towering Mahua trees on beaches and dense mangroves where forest meets water. The water itself is sparkling emerald and clear, with temperatures of about 28°C, lending themselves perfectly to its coral reefs and sea grass beds. In short, what you have is a tropical island paradise, made to trek, birdwatch, dive and have endless beach days in.
In short, what you have is a tropical island paradise, made to trek, birdwatch, dive and have endless beach days in. Chidiyatapu, our little corner of this paradise, is at the southernmost tip of the South Andaman Island. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, this little peninsula is close to but completely separated from the hustle and bustle of Port Blair by a towering reserve forest. What we love most about Chidiyatapu is its sleepy, forgotten fishing village vibes.
There are less than 50 households here – most of which are made up of fishing and farming families. It was one of the last villages in the Andamans to be connected by phone, cable or electric lines, and is as yet undiscovered by most tourist trails.
When you dive in Chidiyatapu, you can rest assured you won’t see a single other dive boat at sea, when you go for a walk through the forest to a secret beach, you won’t find any other sunbather on the sands.
To keep yourself mobile in our little village, for small trips to the beach or the dive center, we would recommend hiring a scooter. These are not available to hire in Chidiyatapu, however we would be happy to organize one for you with a bit of notice. If you wish to do a day trip to Port Blair to visit the famous Cellular Jail, Ross Island or one of the many museums, we would recommend hiring a taxi for the day – again we can have one for you at the resort with about an hour’s notice.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Andaman Islands is between the start of October and the end of May – this is especially the case if you wish to Scuba Dive and enjoy outdoor activities. While there can be spells of stormy weather even during the seasonal months (particularly in November and February), these are usually well predicted by weather apps.
June to September is when the Andaman Islands, like the rest of India, has its monsoon. The experience of a monsoon on the islands is something spectacular. The thick clouds and heavy rains give you the perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing but read a book, watch the Earth bloom in the most brilliant greens and drink endless cups of masala chai with plates of hot pakoras.
The Andaman Islands are fairly well connected to the mainland of India, with direct or connecting flights from most major Indian cities. The Veer Savarkar Airport is in Port Blair – the capital of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. At present, there are no international flights landing in Port Blair. Non-Indians need to fly in from an Indian city and also require a Restricted Area Permit to enter the Andamans, however the permit is a simple form that is to be filled out upon arrival.
The Big Tree Cottages is in Chidiyatapu, a mere 40 minute drive from the airport. This also makes us the perfect location for travelers transiting between their flights and ferries to various other islands such as Neil and Havelock.