Sinchita Mitra

Away from the mainland of India, the heavenly islands of Andamans are quite a fascinating travel destination. Located in the Bay Of Bengal, these islands have some of the most beautiful locales, serene beaches and relaxing getaways that will fulfill all your vacation dreams. The Andaman is nestled in the heart of nature and will make you drool over it for days.

Andaman is primarily made of two groups of islands- Andamans and Nicobar. While Nicobar is completely off-limits, Andaman has become quite a tourist hotspot. Filled with alluring beaches, best diving locations, shady palm trees, and an overwhelming amount of flora and fauna- Andaman is the place to be. If we have haven’t convinced you yet to make Andaman your next travel destination, then read our guide to know all about these enchanting islands!

Port Blair

This will be the first place you will encounter when you reach Andaman. It is the capital city of Andaman and is bubbling with life and activities. Port Blair is quite an interesting place to be at since it shows you the commercial side of Andaman. There are late-night cafes, few shopping malls and it is a base town for exploring other places.

ross island port blair andaman
Ross Island | source: World Travel Magazine

Cellular Jail: A must visit in Port Blair. The CellularJail is a British era prison, which once held political prisoners. The prison holds several tales of bravery and anecdotes about the prisoners. These stories are quite thrilling and will make you go back to those days. You should also catch the light and sound show at the Cellular jail to visualize all of the historical events in a unique way.

Corbyn’s Cove: This beach is a great place to relax and unwind after a day full of sightseeing. Just lay on the warm sun and let the atmosphere do the rest. You can also engage in water sports at this beach.

Chidiya Tapu: Known to be a haven for bird watching, you can easily head off to this place from Port Blair. Located merely 30 km away from Port Blair, Chidiya Tapu is one of the day trips that you can embark upon from Port Blair.

Ross Island: This beautiful island can be best described as a paradisiacal place. Green-blue water, deer that run amok, shady palm trees, and a scintillating ferry ride- everything about this place is rejuvenating and relaxing. This is a definite day trip from Port Blair, and so don’t give this one a miss.

Other day trips from Port Blair include- Wandoor Beach and Jolly Buoy Island, and the North Bay Island. Both of these places are known for their crystal azure clear water and colorful coral reefs.

Havelock Island

One of the most popular islands of Andaman, Havelock is truly living up to its craze. This shimmering island is heavenly, blessed with stunning views, a blue sky, and bluer waters. Havelock Beach is also the most developed, and you have the time of your life here.

Havelock also has some of the best resorts, complete with private beaches that will give you all the feels. The beaches here are mesmerizing, and the vibe even more thrilling.

Havelock Island
source: www.shangrilashavelock.com

Here are a few things to do at Havelock

Radhanagar beach: The first thing that you must do is visit one of Asia’s best beaches- the Radhanagar beach. Come here during the sunset and prop yourself on a boulder. The sunset here is phenomenal, as the entire sky turns into a golden, red and orange hue, and as the clouds play hide and seek. The sea looks sensational as it reflects the colors of the sky, and before you know it the sun goes into the horizon! Even the photographs don’t do enough justice to the beauty that unfolds here.

To witness an equally beautiful sunrise, you can head off to the Kalapathar beach. This beach has some of the clearest waters, and you will be able to see the underwater creature and corals! It is that transparent. Other beaches include Vijaynagar beach and Govindnagar Beach.

Be a Scuba Driver: Andaman has some great courses on Scuba Diving, and you learn it properly. You will also get a government certificate, that says that you completed the course. Havelock has some of the most amazing diving sites, so make the most of this opportunity and let yourself go.

The Elephant Beach: Located about 20 min from Havelock island, this place is home to snorkeling, glass-bottom boat rides, and some more amazing water sports. The Elephant beach is truly beautiful when it comes to the coral reefs. It is a white sand beach, making it look all the more pristine and stunning. To witness the blossoming coral life, try your hand at snorkeling. If snorkeling isn’t your cup of tea, then ride a glass-bottom boat and watch the underwater life unfolding in front of you.

Neil Island

neil island andaman
source: Experience Andamans

The beautiful Island of Neil is often called a backpacker’s paradise. This little island has some of the most mesmerizing avenues, golden beaches, and blue waters, that will make you gasp. It is quite easy to explore this island, as it is quite small. You can just rent a scooter and zoom past all the major attractions, and pass through some truly lush forests. It is a great place to unwind and recharge your batteries while engulfing all that nature has to offer.

Some of the famous beaches here are Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, and the natural Beach.

Baratang Island

Nestled in between the South and Middle Island, Baratang is blessed with sensational beaches, mud volcanoes, limestone caves, and mangroves. This island is often missed by the tourists, who choose to head off to the other mainstream islands, however, Baratang Island is quite a hidden gem. It is like exploring the unexplored, and you can expect to find nature at its purest. However, the roads are not the best, so be careful before venturing out to Baratang Island.

Diglipur

Another offbeat location, Diglipur can be reached by road. It takes about 12 hours from Port Blair, but it’s worth the effort. This island is an absolute marvel in Andaman. It is quite surprising that tourists haven’t yet discovered it, thus, keeping it away from the maddening crowd.

Here too, you will find Limestone caves that you can traverse. Just let yourself go, and get lose at Diglipur to unleash its full potential. It is a great place to detox and rejuvenate. Do visit the Kalipur beach while you are here. This beach is home to the green turtles!

The Ferries

ferries in andaman
source: Experience Andamans

Once you are at Port Blair, you will be pretty much dependent upon Ferries to reach the other islands. If you are going through a travel agent, then all your ferry tickets should usually be booked by them. Double-check the names and the timings.

The tickets of the government ferries are released about three days before travel so book accordingly. Tickets are not sold online, and you have to come to the jetty at Port Blair to get all the information. It is located at the Phoenix Bay Jetty.

Few buses mainly ply from Port Blair to Diglipur, however, it is quite time-consuming.

There are some private ferries as well, which link Port Blair, Havelock, and Neil Island. These ferries are quite clean and are in good condition. You can book tickets for these ferries online, and the bookings for these private ferries open about a month ago.

Visiting the islands responsibly

scuba diving in andaman
source: Thomas Cook India Travel Blog

The ecosystem of the Andamans is at serious risk. Due to its isolated location, and lack of sustainable development, the ecology of the Andamans is getting eroded and destroyed.

Thus, it is all the more important, that as tourists, we do not harm the environment further.

  • Make sure you don’t litter here and there.
  • Avoid plastic as much as possible.
  • Go to hotels and restaurants that follow a sustainable ideology.
  • Do not touch the coral reefs while diving- this could lead to serious damages to the coral life.

Do not cross over to restricted areas. Many places in the Andamans are closed for tourists, due to the indigenous population that lives there. It is important that you respect their culture and privacy and not head off to those areas.

You can also volunteer with a few NGOs, while you are there. You can clean up the beach one day, or work on the coral life.

When To Visit The Andaman Islands

The best time to visit these beautiful islands is from December to March. It is not too hot, not too cold, allowing you to bask in that perfect weather. The weather is nice and sunny, and you might also find some turtles if you go in March. These months are also peak tourist season so make sure you plan and book in advance.

Try and avoid the rainy season completely, since you won’t be able to go around much or see the beauty of the beaches.

The months of April, May, October, and November, are quite erratic, and you can experience anything from rains to heat. So it is best to avoid these months. However, since it is the offseason, the prices drop and the crowds are less as well. This makes it an ideal time to visit if you are looking for an isolated peaceful getaway.

The Andamans are often called the hidden gems of India, owing to its lack of mainstream awareness. Yet, it is one of the most serene places you will ever visit. Whether you are just lying on the sand or diving deep under, the Andamans will never let you have a dull moment. It will capture your attention and make you fall in love with its tranquillity and beauty, making you want to visit it again and again.

January 13, 2020
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