7 Best Day Trips from Port Blair (2020 Edition)
Planning a trip to Andaman soon? You will definitely visit Port Blair since it is the only entry point to Andaman. We know you are traveling to Andaman to visit Havelock and Neil Island and Port Blair is just a transit place which you need to cross to get to these islands. However, we insist you stay in Port Blair for a couple of nights since it has beautiful places around and the good part is that each of these places can be visited in a day! In this article we have mentioned few of our picks which we think are a must visit when in Port Blair.
7 Best Day Trips from Port Blair –
#1 Ross Island
Once known as the “Paris of the East”, Ross Island was the seat of British power for nearly a century and its mesmerizing ruins paint the image of just how much this place bustled with life during its time. The island was modernized and was something of the future with the arrival of machinery and the printing press and was also a cultural bonanza with dance and music decorating the evenings.
However, World War 2 ended the British rule on the island and now the structures lie in ruins. That doesn’t stop it from being an interesting place to visit. The many constructions (now in ruins) on Ross Island tell tales of the history of Andaman and are surely a treat to the eyes. There is even a British Machine gun nest with bullet holes that can be seen.
Ross Island is now maintained by the navy. Along with the ruins, a museum can also be visited. There are plenty of peacocks and deer on the island that brings the place to life and to top it all there is a sound and light show every evening (except Wednesday) that depicts the past of the island in the words of Gulzar. You can book a day trip to Ross Island here. You can also book a combined trip to Ross Island and North Bay island here.
How to get there: Take a cab to the Aberdeen Jetty, from which you can book tickets and hop on board a boat/ferry which will take you to Ross Island.
#2 Chidiya Tapu
Chidiya Tapu is as close to nature as it gets. With a meandering mangrove, the scene is completed with stunning sunsets. Only 40 minutes away from Port Blair, the area has the Munda Pahar beach also called Sunset Point because of the majestic views during late evenings. Chidiya Tapu can be reached via a long drive through the tropical forests. You can take part in the Sunset Tour organized at Port Blair. The seabed however is very rocky and not recommended for swimming. The beach has been remodeled and redesigned, much to the favor of the travelers that love this area. A defining point of Chidiya Tapu is that you can trek to the southernmost tip of Andaman. A 1.5 km trek through the dense jungle is rewarded with an unparalleled view of the ocean with nothing but limitless acres of the ocean to the horizon. The trek even has benches en route for you to refresh yourself so you can make a picnic out of the day. Hop on a day tour to Chidiya Tapu and Jolly Buoy if you’re up to it!
How to get there: Take a cab or rent a bike and go on a long drive through the forest to reach Chidiya Tapu or Munda Pahar Beach.
#3 North Bay Island
Towering over all islands is the Lighthouse on North Bay Island that is featured on the old Indian Rs 20 note. This lighthouse has an almost iconic status and rewards anyone brave enough to climb it with a spectacular view of the expanse of sparkling water to the horizon. Shallow waters make coral viewing a sensation here which lights up the place with color. A variety of water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea walks are offered here and a trip to North Bay can consume your day so we advise you to carry a few beverages and snacks. You can also book a combined trip to Ross Island and North Bay island here.
How to get there: To get to North Bay Island, simply travel by cab to the Aberdeen Jetty, from which you can buy tickets and get on board a boat/ferry which will take you to the island.
#4 Jolly Buoy
Of the 15 islands in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, this is one of the two that is open to tourists. The landscape is saturated with color here, with brightly hued corals dotting the serene waters. Regarded as one of the best places for spotting coral, a trip to this island will never disappoint you. Glide peacefully on a glass boat with the beautiful corals and marine life right beneath you. Or bring out your adventurous side? Indulge in snorkeling as you revel among the corals and the abundant marine life. For those of you that don’t like getting wet, the sand on the beach proves soothing and seems perfect to make sandcastles. The island is a no-plastic zone which means that unlike other beaches, you will find Jolly buoy litter-free.
The island is preserved in its pristine form with just a limited number of tourists allowed on it which means that you will be introduced to a private beach-like atmosphere. So splash, swim, or just sit quietly on the sand as the gentle waves tickle your toes, soaking in the ubiquitous beauty and serenity.
How to get there: To get to Jolly Buoy, simply take a cab to Wandoor Jetty, after which you can book tickets and get on board a boat/ferry which will take you there! You may have to obtain a permit from the tourism department in Port Blair. Enquire while planning your trip.
#5 Mount Harriet
One of the most scenic locations in Andaman is atop Mount Harriet. Climbing there is a bit of a challenge but the effort is rewarded by the mesmerizing landscape you are treated to. The remains of a British Colonial summer house can be seen here, which adds to the aesthetic of the place.
Mount Harriet National Park at Port Blair is home to some of the largest butterflies in the world and offers the richest butterfly diversity you’ll ever see. The fantasy-like colors on the butterflies here are something that cannot be described by words and you’ll have to experience it yourself. Along with this, several animals and birds can also be spotted here. You can book a Trip to Mount Harriet if you want the full adventure!
How to get there: Drive to Chatham Jetty and get on a vehicle ferry; these allow you to travel in your vehicle. Drive off the ferry at Bamboo Flat Jetty and keep driving until you reach Mount Harriet.
#6 Red Skin Island
The corals are a blessing to Andaman, and a blessing to the eyes as well. Corals dot the seabed and are visible in shallow and clear water. Red skin Island is one place where coral spotting is at its best. The plastic-free island will have you immersed in bliss in no time. You can enjoy a swim in the pristine water and explore the area of the corals which are at a mere depth of 3-4 meters. Red Skin Island isn’t open throughout the year to protect the live corals but doesn’t worry- when Red Skin is closed, Jolly Buoy is usually open for visitors! Note that plastic is a strict no, and there are no food shacks so be sure to carry your snacks. Book a trip to Red Skin island here.
How to get there: Take a cab on a long drive to Wandoor Jetty, and hop on a ferry which will take you to Red Skin Island.
#7 Bird Photography Tours
For all the birdwatchers and photographers out there, there are also several bird photography tours around Port Blair that take you to the places where a lot of migratory and endemic birds set up camp. These colorful feathers birds are a great view to witness. The trip begins at 5 AM and goes on for hours, as an expert guides the group through birdwatching hot spots. Be prepared to walk good distances however, and a DSLR with a good zoom lens is preferred. Find out more about the Birds Tour here.