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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

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Night kayaking in the Mangroves

A mangrove safari is de rigueur in the Andamans. At the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, we take this adventure to the next level by opening up a scintillating new dimension to the mangroves by moonlight. Post-sunset, guests are driven to the jetty, where experienced local kayakers guide you into lifejackets and row in pairs towards the unique aquatic ecosystem of tangled roots half submerged in the water. While providing a barrier against storms and large waves, the mangroves are a breeding ground for many species, including brightly-coloured fiddler crabs, shy mud skippers, blue-eyed Andaman bulbuls, parakeets, kingfishers, white bellied sea eagles, night jars and blood clams. The most fascinating aspect of night kayaking is the phenomenon of bioluminescence. As you plunge your paddle into the water or run your hand through it, hundreds of tiny, glowing, star-like phytoplankton - aquatic organisms that provide food for whales – light up the calm, dark water. With our expert guides leading you into the narrow channels and hidden nooks in the mangroves, this delightful experience tops any itinerary on the island.

Game Fishing- Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Game Fishing

The Andamans is a virgin, world-class destination for game fishing and angling with an environmental-friendly catch-and-release policy. We give our guests a head start with laidback to adrenaline-pumping itineraries for everyone from passionate anglers to rookies. Getting into well-equipped boats at the Havelock Island jetty, the crew begins setting up fishing rods, helping you get comfortable with them and begin trolling within 10 minutes of leaving the shore. Moving between Peel Island and Nicholson Island, you can start jigging and popping for huge Red Snappers, a variety of Groupers, Coral Trout, Swordfish, Spanish Mackerel, Trevally, Sailfish, Wahoo, Marlin, Dogtooth Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Bonito. The fishing season runs from October through May, but you can snare GT’s and doggies all year round. Longer trips – especially to Barren Island, the only active volcano in South Asia, 98 kms from Havelock – can be organized on request.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

The crystal clear turquoise waters of the Andaman’s are home to one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world, where over 135 marine species thrive, thanks to an unusually low diving impact. The best diving sites on the archipelago are concentrated on Havelock Island, from Minerva Ledge with a massive, thick-lipped Napoleon Wrasse in residence, to the gently sloping Neil’s Cove and the famous Johnny’s Gorge where massive Manta Rays, coral-chomping Humpback Parrotfish, flamboyant Lionfish, Stingrays and Blue Stripped Snappers abound, divers are always assured of left mesmerizing underwater vistas. For wreck diving fans, the MV Mars site near Havelock is a relaxed 15 meter dive through the remains of a 2006 boat wreck. The resort facilitates itineraries for beginners to professionals – including Bubblemaker sessions for young children - to experience the most magical moments that the island has to offer.

Turtle Nesting at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Turtle Nesting

The Andaman and Nicobar coast plays host to two the largest nesting populations of two of the four sea turtle species that nest in India - Giant Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles - between December and February each year. While Diglipur and Mayabunder are the nesting hotspots in the state, it’s commonplace to find these massive endangered amniotes, often weighing up to 2000 pounds right in our backyard. To help guests understand the nesting process, our resident naturalist guide leads small groups at night onto the beach to observe the female turtles laying eggs, lost in a trance-like state. The hatchlings scramble towards the sea - 1 in 1000 make it to adulthood – in a fight for survival, that makes for an enchanting experiential for guests of all ages.

Birding at Chidiyatapu- Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Birding at Chidiyatapu

Lodged at the southernmost tip of the Andamans, Chidiyatapu (Bird’s Island) serves up a treat for birders and photographers, with sightings of Purple Moorhen, Lesser Whistling Teal, White bellied Sea Eagle, White-breasted Kingfisher, Andaman Treepie, Racket-tailed Drango, Scarlet Minivet, Green Imperial Pigeon, Glossy Staling, and Andaman Cuckoos and Bulbuls. The resort drafts an overnight itinerary for guests to enjoy a breathtaking sunset on the tip of the island, as Edible-Nest Swiftlets swoop past you into a sharp cliff drop below. A 30 minute private ferry ride away from Port Blair – where you can make relaxed pit stops to visit Asia’s largest sawmill, Chatham and the infamous Cellular Jail – the island is also a haven for snorkelling and crocodile-spotting.

Richest Varieties of Flora & Fauna at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Flora and Fauna Discovery

Andaman and Nicobar is home to some of the richest varieties of flora and fauna, sheltered within a canopy of tropical rain forests, nine national parks and nearly a hundred marine and wildlife sanctuaries. Over 1300 of the 2000 plus species of plants here – including mangroves and the majestic Andaman Padauk - are endemic and not found in mainland India. Of the approximately 7000 animal species, 907 are natives, like the Masked Palm Civet and Andaman Boar, joined by 106 endemic species, including the Andaman Barn Owl, Fulvous Breasted Woodpecker, Andaman Cuckooshrike and Green Imperial Pigeon. Apart from the natives,Havelock hosts exotic visitors like the Giant Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles during the year. Simply walking around the resort, the beach, the island and diving underwater throws up delightful surprises every day. Our resident naturalist is always at hand, delighted to assist you in identifying different species and charting personalized trails for both adults and children keen on exploring the island’s rich life forms.