Jolly Buoy Island is one of the best locations near Port Blair to access the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, a short boat ride off Wandoor Beach. There are unique offshore ecosystems, coral reefs, bird and turtle nesting and other important marine environments at Jolly Buoy Island. Open to only 150 visitors per day during November to May, Jolly Buoy is one of two islands in the park where guided tourism and water activities are permitted.
No plastic or other litter is allowed on the island, so visitors must bring a metal water bottle and snacks in reusable containers, carried in a fabric bag or backpack. There are changing rooms, showers, and restrooms available, as well as a floating dock for non-swimmers. Glass bottom boats are available to view the coral reefs, as well as access to swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
The island is only open from 8 am until 2:30 pm, so visitors must be at the Wandoor docks by 7 am to catch their boat. Boats leave on a regular basis Tuesday through Sunday, and carry-on bags will be searched for plastics before leaving the dock. A Forest Department entry permit is required for all visitors to visit Jolly Buoy Island and is available at the local offices, Wandoor gate, through hotel or tour guide.
The admission fees to visit Jolly Buoy Island are as follows:
The boat ride charges to and from, equipment rental, glass-bottom boat rides, camera use and other fees are an additional expense. Hotels and travel agencies in Port Blair offer packages that include transportation to/from Port Blair, admission fee, boat fee, and activities. Arrangements must be made at least 1-2 days in advance due to high demand.