The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, beckon those in search of a natural wonderland. This Indian Union Territory, consisting of 500 islands, with only 38 inhabited, is a haven for tropical evergreen forests, pristine white sandy beaches and vibrant marine life. To make the most of your 5 to 7-day journey, explore the captivating trio of Port Blair, Havelock and Neil Islands. While Andaman is a year-round destination, its advisable to avoid the monsoon season, making mid-October to mid-May the ideal time to visit.
How to Reach Andaman Islands?
The gateway to Andaman is Port Blair, which boasts an airport connecting direct flights to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. To navigate between islands, you can choose from government ferries, private cruises or speed boats. While locals often prefer ferries and speedboats, tourists can also use these options. Phoenix Bay Jetty, located just 5kms from the airport, serves as the primary hub for inter-island travel. In Andaman, both ferries and private cruises are available. Travelling by ferry not only saves costs but also allows you to interact with the local community. Two popular private cruises in Andaman are the Green Ocean One and Makruzz, with the former permitting passengers on deck. For communication, Airtel and BSNL networks function, offering 3G internet access. Here’s a detailed travel plan for 5 nights Andaman Tour.
Port Blair: Gateway to Andaman
Port Blair, the gateway to Andaman Islands, is a charming small city, facilitates an easy travel by two-wheelers, private cabs or taxis. Staying near Marina Park is recommended due to its proximity to most attractions. Begin your journey at the Cellular Jail, a poignant symbol of India’s freedom struggle. Now a National Memorial, this historic site bears witness to inhuman atrocities faced by Indian freedom fighters under British rule. Its Open to visitors from 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 5 PM (closed on Mondays and on national Holidays). The tour takes around 2-3 hours, with ticket prices at approximately 30 rupees for Indians and 100 rupees for foreigners, along with an additional 200 rupees charge for cameras. The Light and Sound show, a nightly must-see, vividly reenacts the Jail’s history.
Close to the Cellular Jail is Marina Park, a small park overlooking the seashore, offering scenic views of the waves hitting the shore. Corbin’s Cove Beach, a beautiful spot for water sports or relaxation, is nearby.
Ross Island and North Bay Islands:
Ross Island and North Bay Islands are Port Blair’s must-visit destinations. To explore both islands, you can book a ferry at Marina Park. Tickets, priced at around 700 rupees per person, provide access to both destinations. Ross Island, a historical gem, showcases Japanese and British influence. The island is easily traversed on foot and boasts for friendly flocks of Deer and lush green walking trails. After exploring Ross Island, the same cruise will take you to North Bay Island. Here you can partake in water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, sea walking, kayaking and a glass-bottomed boat ride to glimpse underwater marvels.
Havelock Island, also known as Swaraj Dweep, is accessible from Port Blair via a scenic two-hour cruise. The journey itself is a treat, with mesmerizing views. Havelock offers opportunities for water sport adventures like scuba dive, before embarking on a scuba diving adventure, a 15–20-minute training session imparts the necessary underwater communication signals.
Don’t miss Elephant Beach, accessible via a two-way speedboat from Havelock Jetty. It offers pristine white beaches and crystal-clear waters, along with a wide range of water sports activities. Radhanagar Beach, celebrated as one of Asia’s most beautiful beaches and the 7th most beautiful in the world, beckons with its breathtaking sunsets.
Neil Island, a 90-minute cruise from Havelock Island, boasts equally stunning views. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by an island surrounded by strikingly beautiful blue waters displaying three distinct shades.
Start your exploration at Bharatpur Beach, renowned for its cleanliness and unique charm, offering a serene atmosphere for relaxation. Then, head to Laxmanpur Beach One for breathtaking sunset experience. On the following day, visit Laxmanpur Beach Two, aptly called the Howrah Bridge of Andaman. It earned its name due to a bridge formation entirely composed of living corals. During low tide, you can marvel at the abundance of marine life and colorful corals visible along the shore. To enhance your marine exploration, consider booking a guide who can help identify unique and vibrant marine creatures for an additional fee of around 500 rupees.
Baratang Island is famous for limestone caves and mud volcanoes, while Chidiya Tapu offers birdwatching and scenic sunsets. Cinque Island is renowned for coral reefs, and Saddle Peak offers panoramic views. Red Skin Island is a snorkeling paradise in the Andaman Islands, making it a diverse and captivating destination.
Seafood takes center stage in Andaman cuisine, as the bountiful ocean provides a daily harvest of fish, prawns, crabs and lobsters. These treasures of the sea are transformed into delectable curries, fries and grills. While indulging in the local cuisine, don’t forget to savor the refreshing taste of coconut water.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, culture and history. Whether you are a beach enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, a history buff or simply seeking tranquility, these islands offer something for everyone. They stand as a testament to splendor of nature, human resilience and the enduring spirit of exploration. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to this unspoiled paradise.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- What are Andaman Islands known for?
The Andaman Islands are known for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life and rich indigenous culture. They are also famous for water sports like snorkelling, scuba diving and sea walking.
- What is the best time to visit the Andaman Islands?
While Andaman is a year-round destination, it’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season, making mid-October to mid-May the ideal time to visit. This is the best time to enjoy water activities.
- Do I need a permit to visit the Andaman Islands?
Indian nationals do not require a permit to visit Port Blair or Havelock Islands. However, certain areas Islands are restricted. Foreign nationals need to obtain a permit which is typically facilitated through registered tour operators or the local administration.
- How is the connectivity and internet access in the Andaman Islands?
While major towns and tourist areas have decent connectivity and internet access, it is advisable to carry Airtel and BSNL SIM cards as they work best for communication offering 3G internet access.
- What are some must-visit places in the Andaman Islands?
Some must-visit places include Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island, Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Neil Island, Ross Island and the various snorkeling and diving spots around the island.
- What should I pack for my Andaman Trip?
Light and comfortable clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, insect repellent, necessary medications and proper footwear for beach activities and trekking are essential.
- What activities can I enjoy in the Andaman Islands?
The Andaman Islands offer a range of activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, sea-walking. Trekking, glass-bottom boat rides, jet skiing and exploring the vibrant marine life and coral reefs.