Jolly Buoy Island- Travel Guide, Andaman

Located at 30 KM from the Wandoor Beach, Jolly Buoy Island is a very small islet in South Andaman that comes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Park's Marine Sanctuary along with Red Skin Island, which is a preserved area, protected by the Andaman Administration.

Jolly Buoy Island, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Although there are no palm or coconut trees here, the Jolly buoy features a small yet dense tropical forest that covers 70% of the island and can be easily trekked through with the help of a guide.

Jolly Buoy Island

The beach is only present at one side of the island while other sides open up to a cliff that ends in water, which is why it is not advised to stand near the edge of the jungle.

As it is a protected area, the complete island is a no plastic zone and visitors are required to submit the list of all plastic items they are taking with them. It is not allowed to leave any plastic or other belongings in the island because it might affect the biodiversity.

Aerial view of Jolly Buoy Island surrounded with shallow water and visible corals
Jolly Buoy and visible corals in shallow waters

Due to all these efforts, it has the densest and unique coral population in Andaman that supports one of the most richest biodiversity in the isles. Wide variety of coral species houses some of the most vibrant and beautiful fishes that are waiting to be explored by adventure lovers.

Jolly Buoy Island, Andaman Islands

The waters near the Jolly Buoy beach is extremely shallow and clear, which allows for a clear view of the sea bottom and all the dwellers. Sometimes during low tide, the water becomes so shallow that the corals are almost out of the water, and Snorkeling is restricted at that time.

But no need to worry about that, there are plenty of rental boats available at the island who will take you deeper into the sea for a great experience.

Things you need to know before visiting:

  • Jolly Buoy can only be reached by taking a boat from Wandoor.
  • The usual time to reach there is 1.5 hours from the airport including a 30-minute drive to Wandoor and then a boat to Jolly Buoy.
  • It is always advised to prebook the ferries because the demand can be really high at times.
  • Jolly Buoy is only open for 6 months from June to September after that Red Skin island is opened for visitors.
  • The opening and closing time of the island is 8 A.M to 2 P.Mm after this the island is closed to civilians.
  • You will need permission from the forest department to Snorkel near the island if you are planning to do it independently.
  • There are no changing booths or places on the island, so make sure you don't wet your clothes.
  • There are no shelters where you can hide from rain so make sure you take an umbrella during your trip if you visit during the rainy season.
  • Jolly Buoy is a plastic free zone which means you can't throw away even a small amount of plastic or polythene there.
  • You will be asked to list every item you are taking with you to the island by the forest department, so make sure you pack light.
  • There are no food stalls or drinking water available at the beach, keeping a bottle of water and light snacks will go a long way.
  • Sometimes, the water levels may go down and the corals may surface, during this, it is advised not to go in the water because it may damage the corals.

Water Sports at Jolly Buoy:

If you are planning for some water sports at Jolly Buoy, you'll need to book a trip from the Wandoor Beach by visiting the booth near the Jetty. Usually, 10-15 min snorkeling is provided free and can be easily extended by contacting the provider.

Here are the available activities on the island:

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Glass Bottom Boat Ride
  1. Snorkeling:

    What do you need for a best Snorkeling experience? A great location with shallow and crystal clear waters.

    Jolly Buoy has one of the most clear and shallow waters in Andaman which is filled with a wide variety of live corals that houses hoards of colorful fishes, waiting to be explored. This makes the island a perfect destination for snorkeling.

  2. Glass Bottom Boat Ride:

    Glass Bottom Boat Ride is more popular in Jolly Buoy than any other activity, mainly because it doesn't require you to go into the water and get wet and therefore is more convenient, especially because there are no places to change your clothes at Jolly Buoy.

    As the name suggests, the glass bottom boats have a bottom made of transparent and extremely thick, tough glass that lets you indulge yourself in the magnificent underwater world from the comfort of your cabin.

    Dolphin Glass Bottom Boat

    The boat takes you through the well known dense coral belts that have always been populated with a wide variety of marine life and lets you gaze at some of the most vibrant and beautiful collection of reefs and their inhabitants.

    The whole ride takes around 15-30 minutes to complete depending on the type of pricing selected. You can also extend the time of your trip by making a request with the vendor.

Price of water sports and services at Jolly Buoy:

You can easily take a cab and book every activity separately or book book complete trip to save more. The pricing is usually reduced upto 30% for larger groups.

Here is the list of all the vendors and their prices:

Service Destination Pricing/Rates
Bus Airport to Wandoor 25/- Per Person
Cabs Airport to Wandoor 800/- Per 8 Persons
Speed Boat Wandoor Beach to Jolly Buoy 300/- Per Person
Snorkeling At Jolly Buoy 500/- Per Person
Complete Trip- Snorkeling Hotel to Jolly Buoy with activity 900/- Per Person
Glass Bottom Boat At Jolly Buoy 600/- Per Person
Complete Trip- Glass Bottom Hotel to Jolly Buoy with activity 1100/- Per Person

How to reach Jolly Buoy Island?

Reaching Jolly can get really complex if one doesn't know where to start, the island is not connected by any roads and can be reached only by taking a boat.

Route Map from Port Blair to Jolly Buoy Island
Route Map from Port Blair to Jolly Buoy

To reach Jolly Buoy from Port Blair, first you'll have to take a bus or cab to the Wandoor Beach. Buses are available at an interval of 1 hour from any bus stand going through Bathubasti. Cabs are also available to take you there, you can easily book one by contacting the right vendor. The beach itself is located 30 Kms from the airport and it takes around 1 hour to reach there.

Once you are at Wandoor Beach you can inquire about speed boats by taking a right from the cluster of shops till you see the board for boat offices. If you need to do snorkeling by yourself you can get the permit by visiting the forest office and presenting you identity proof and passport.

Once there you'll embark on a 30 minute trip to the Jolly Buoy Island and enjoy your day. Make sure to book a return ticket as there are no vendors there.

Planning a trip:

Jolly Buoy Island Entrance
Jolly Buoy Entrance

You can easily plan a trip to Jolly Buoy by gathering three important permissions and tickets:

First you'll have to gather the required permissions from the local authorities and forest department.

Then you can go for booking the boat tickets by visiting the Wandoor Beach.

You can then go ahead and plan the return ticket as well, from the island for a seamless travel experience.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Jolly Buoy from November to April.

You can only visit during the opening months to be precise and the Island opens in alternate intervals with Red Skin Island. This is because the island is only open for 6 months, which is totally done by the permission of the Andaman Administration. Hence no exact time can be specified.

Places to stay:

Jolly Buoy is a really small island, and is protected by forest department, hence there are not places to stay there at night. You'll have to leave the island in the evening.

Where to eat:

There are currently no places to eat in Jolly Buoy but you can easily find snack bars and small cafeteria's near the Wandoor Beach.

Entry Tickets:

A trip to Jolly Buoy costs Rs. 950/-, which includes Boat Tickets and Permits. You'll need this permit to reach and explore Jolly Buoy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I get from Port Blair to Jolly Buoy?

You can reach there by taking a cab from Port Blair to Wandoor Beach. Get the permits and boat tickets and depart for Jolly Buoy.

Can I snorkel by myself in Jolly Buoy?

No, Snorkeling is not allowed if you don't have the required permit. This is done to save the coral population near the island.

Where can I get the permits for Jolly Buoy?

You can get the permits by visiting the IP&T office near Goalghar in Port Blair. Eternal Andaman can also get the permits and tickets for you.

Which activities are available at Jolly Buoy?

Snorkeling and Glass Bottom Boats are available at Jolly Buoy Island.

How can I reach Jolly Buoy from Havelock Island?

You can reach Jolly Buoy from Havelock by arriving at Port Blair first. Once you are here, you can read the "How to Reach" section above to learn more.