Baratang

Information

Baratang is a beautiful island connecting South and Middle Andaman with the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) and government ferries.  A large part of Baratang is pristine rainforest dotted with small settlements and farms.

 

Limestone caves within a mangrove forest draw the most visitors to the area.  Millions of years old, these caves offer visitors a glimpse into the past geological history of the islands.  Nearby are active mud volcanoes, triggered by seismic activity underground, belching gases and wet organic materials.  Both the caves and volcanoes are easy to enjoy for all ages with many local guides offering tours by boat and jeep.

 

Visited mainly for the scenic limestone caves and mud volcanoes, Baratang is also a birdwatcher’s delight.  Nearby uninhabited Parrot Island is famous for the nightly spectacle of thousands of colorful parrots returning to the mangrove forest.

Visiting

Most visitors arrange tours in advance to come to Baratang, leaving Port Blair between 3 and 6 am.  Day trip convoys of hired cars and tour buses pass through Jarawa reserve forests under government supervision to Middle Strait jetty. Boat transportation and guided tours to the limestone caves and mud volcanoes are accessed with permits and tickets (~450 INR) at the Baratang jetty.

 

A short speedboat ride through the mangroves leads to the dock and a guided 20-minute trek to the cave entrance. Allow at least 90 minutes to trek through the forest and experience the stalagmites and other cave sights. Bring along water and snacks, and wear suitable walking shoes for the natural trail and wet cave floor.  The mud volcanoes are another 3 km distance and require a guide for jeep transportation and safety at the site. All tourist locations are open only during daylight hours.

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