Table of Content

Introduction to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman is not just one breathtaking island destination, but a group of 572 gorgeous islands in the Bay of Bengal. With around 37 inhabited islands, each island has something unique to offer. What these islands do have in common though are miles and miles of stunning beaches, endless greenery, amazing hidden treasures and plenty of mouth-watering seafood.

Simply put, Andamans is a tropical paradise that’s straight out of a postcard. Relaxing beach strolls, the best scuba-diving spots in all of India, lovely historical sites and exotic marine life are all yours to enjoy (responsibly, of course)! 

Our handy guide here is going to help you understand the Andaman islands in-depth before you travel here and take-in the Andaman beauty first-hand. 

What Are The Top Attractions In Andamans & How To Reach These Spots?

There are numerous places in the Andamans waiting to be explored by you. Here are some of the many stunning places you can’t miss out on!

Port Blair

Being the capital of Andaman, Port Blair is connected to all the other islands via a ferry network. This means you can take a ferry from Port Blair and visit other islands like Havelock, Neil Island, Long Island and Little Andaman. Besides being your first destination on Andaman Island, Port Blair also has some really fascinating things-to-do like Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Cellular Jail, Ross Island and Samudrika Marine Museum. 

The best way to reach Port Blair is either by flight (daily flights are available from all major cities) or by ship (passenger ships can be taken from Kolkata or  Chennai).

Havelock Island

Havelock is by far the most sought-after island on the Andaman Islands. Wrapped in corals, blue waters, and white powdery sand, Havelock is famous for its unending greenery, stunning beaches, cute cafes and water activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, and the likes of these. 

Private and government ferries operate daily between Port Blair and Havelock as well as Neil and Havelock. The air-conditioned private ferries take about 1.5 hours from Port Blair and an hour from Neil Island.

Neil Island

Often known as the sister island to Havelock, Neil island is home to coconut palms, turquoise waters, tropical forests, beautiful corals and exquisite beaches. This little paradise is perfect for those who want to take it easy and unwind all the way. It has a dreamy island-village vibe to it and is great to explore on a bicycle. 

The easiest way to reach Neil Island is by hopping on a government or a private ferry. It is about 1.5 hours from Port Blair and about 1 hour from Havelock.

Ross Island 

It is a tiny island that is full of history, old ruins, amazing wildlife and mesmerizing visuals. This island is a popular tourist spot that is not only rich in natural beauty but it also holds a lot of intriguing stories from the colonial era. It has a stunning light and sound show (with a voice-over by Amitabh Bachhan) that will take you through the British Colonial era and its impact on the Andaman Islands.

Ross Island is 2km away from Port Blair and can be easily reached by a short boat ride from Aberdeen Jetty which takes around 15 minutes. In fact, you can see Ross Island from Port Blair.

North Andaman 

North Andaman is known for its untouched beauty, lush forests, pristine beaches and turtle nesting sites. Top places to visit in North Andaman include Rangat, Baratang, Diglipur and Mayabunder.

Ferries sail to these spots and the most updated information can be gotten from the government ferry ticketing office. The most common travel option is road. Private and government buses, as well as rental car services, are available for the same.

Note: Only government ferries ply in North Andaman.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Andamans?

October to May 

This is considered the high season and is the best time to visit the islands. You can expect clear, sunny and pleasant weather to explore the islands, indulge in water sports and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Normally during this time, the temperature ranges from 24 – 37 degrees celsius. 

If you’re someone who’s looking for alone time in the islands then this might not be the best time, as most popular spots are pretty crowded during this time period.

June to September

The weather becomes cooler during this time and monsoon begins. This is also known as the low season, which means you will find the Andamans less crowded during this time. The temperature ranges from 22 – 35 degrees celsius. 

Although, it is raining during this time, the Andamans take on a different character during Monsoon and it’s a great way to experience a more serene time. 

How To Reach The Andamans?

By Flight

The quickest way to get to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is to take a flight from any major Indian city. There are direct flights from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Vizag. The travel time can be around 2.5 to 6 hours.

 

By Ship

Another way to get to Andaman is to sail from the ports of Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam. The ships are operated by the Indian Government and the voyage takes around 2 to 3 days. Haddo Wharf is the main seaport at Port Blair.

Top Things You Must Do In Andaman

Try Mangrove Kayaking

Paddle along and enjoy the stunning view of the tropical forests and revel in the beauty of the mangroves on a relaxing kayaking tour.

 

Island Hopping 

With lots of islands to explore in the Andamans, one more stunning than the next, island-hopping is the best way to make the most of your Andaman vacation time. This way, you explore the Andamans in depth and won’t miss out on any of the gorgeous attractions.

 

Discover Vibrant Marine Life

Get a close glimpse of the colorful, thriving underwater world on a snorkeling or scuba diving trip. This is one of the most authentic ways to experience the best of the Andamans.

 

Visit Radhanagar Beach 

Regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia, visiting Radhanagar Beach is an absolute must, if you’re in Andaman. It has divinely-blue waters, white sand and tall lush trees with breathtaking sunsets.

 

Witness Bioluminescence at Port Blair

Night Kayaking in Andamans gives you the rare chance to experience bioluminescence, which is when you can see the entire sea glowing (quite literally) as you kayak across the water.

 

Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary/Nature Park 

Andaman Islands are known for their diverse flora and fauna and with so many nature parks and wildlife sanctuaries to visit, you will be spoilt for choice. Best activity for all nature/wildlife enthusiasts.

 

Check out the Limestone Caves at Baratang 

Exploring the limestone caves is a visual treat. Found deep within the mangroves and lush rainforests, reaching the caves after a lovely trek is every nature-lover’s dream come true.

 

A Trip to Barren Island 

Barren Island is home to the only active volcano in South Asia. Having no inhabitants on the island, it is a secluded retreat with lovely crystal-clear waters which are great for a snorkel. A day trip to Barren Island is recommended.  

 

Gorge on Fresh Seafood

If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in for a real treat. There are several restaurants that do fresh seafood on the Andamans! Read the full guide here.

 

Go On Adventure Treks

The Andaman islands offer great trails to bring out the adventurer in you. Whether you’re looking for short trails, long trails, easy or difficult ones, you’ll find them all here along with the most stunning views.

 

Grab a Hammock and Relax

The most relaxing thing to do on the Andamans would is to do nothing. We mean it. Swinging back and forth in a hammock and taking in the view – that’s what island vacations are all about.

How To Get Around The Andamans?

Traveling in the Andamans can be done via local buses, auto-rickshaws, cabs and two-wheelers which are available in most places. The most popular modes of transport within the islands are two-wheelers and cabs.

To travel between the islands, you can take either a government ferry that costs less or a private ferry that costs more but is also way more service-oriented, practical and clean. 

Book Your Ferries Here

Where To Stay In Andamans?

For Luxury Accommodation:

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

Taj’s  5-star resort in Havelock Island is a tropical haven. It offers the most mesmerizing sea views, classically-designed modern villas and a huge spread of gourmet food.

Barefoot at Havelock

An institution on the islands, this beach resort is on Radhanagar Beach and is known for their elegantly designed rooms, authentic jungle feel and outdoor nature activities.

Sea Shell Resort & Spa, Havelock

A beachside luxury resort that is dotted with charming villas and cottages offering a rustic feel with a touch of modern design. A perfect island getaway to relax and unwind in.

Jalakara

It is a boutique, private villa hotel in the heart of Havelock with spectacular views of the tropical rainforest. It has seven cottages with a unique experience being afforded at each of these.

CGH’s Tilar Siro

All CGH properties are known for their luxurious, rich experiences inspired by their local environments. Tilar Siro is no exception. Surrounded by a rich tropical rainforest, with every room facing the sea, it provides a brilliant menu and an unforgettable list of island activities.

For Best Affordable Accommodation: 

Symphony Palm Beach Resort

A beachfront property in Havelock that has an incredibly-fun bar scene.

Dolphin Resort

A popular budget resort in Havelock, situated on the Vijaynagar beach, is a mix of comfort and adventure that has nicely designed spacious rooms and a wide variety of recreational activities for all types of travelers.

Silversand Hotels

A group of hotels & resorts spread out across various islands, with most of them having beach-access, a multi-cuisine restaurant and a pool. 

For Backpackers : 

Kevin’s Bed & Breakfast

A pocket friendly homestay for group travellers that offers well furnished and clean accommodation with all basic amenities and is famous for their yummy breakfast.

North Harriet View Bed & Breakfast

A lovely homestay for travellers in Port Blair, that has great affordable accommodation in the midst of nature. With the perfect view of the Saddle Peak and being close to Mount Harriet National Park, this homestay is a good budget stay in Port Blair.

Classic Hostel

The only hostel in Havelock that’s perfect for backpackers and travel enthusiasts. The hostel provides an organic island experience with spacious rooms, a bunch of fun activities and close access to the beach, all on a budget.

Emerald Gecko

A budget eco- friendly resort in Havelock and Neil Island that is all about great hospitality, amazing food and tastefully decorated rooms using sustainable organic materials. 

Top Restaurants/ Cafes in Andamans

While food options are limited on the Andamans and you won’t find exotic cuisines,  you’ll still find a delicious mix of seafood, international, Indian and Indo-chinese options. 

Amaya in Port Blair

This is a rooftop restaurant that’s all about great music, delicious food and good vibes.

Lighthouse residency in Port Blair 

This open air restaurant is an all-time favorite in Port Blair with the best seafood in town. Try their Tandoor.

Red Snapper in Havelock 

Part of the Wild Orchid Resort, this is a famous seafood fine-dining restaurant in Havelock known for its rustic charm and lovely ambience. 

Anju Coco in Havelock 

This is a great beach shack that is known for its large menu. It has a varied spread of cuisines and stands out for its barbecue and breakfast dishes. 

Full Moon Cafe in Havelock

It is a lovely by-the-beach cafe In Havelock, famous for its warm unkempt setup, its international menu and yummy food.

View Garden Restaurant in Neil Island 

A charming restaurant near Sitapur Beach that has some really delicious and affordable dishes and a variety of fresh fruit juices.

Mahima Restaurant in Baratang 

A go-to restaurant in Baratang that serves a variety of Indian dishes and is super-affordable. 

Aroma Restaurant in Rangat 

 A budget-friendly restaurant in Rangat that is known for their fast service and lunch thalis.

Kadai Restaurant in Mayabunder 

This is an in-house restaurant at Sea “N” Sand hotel in Mayabunder. It serves home-made Indian dishes as well as other cuisines like Indo-Chinese. 

Turtle Nest in Diglipur

A hill-top restaurant at the Turtle Nest Resort in Diglipur, with great food and stunning sea views.

Language And Demography Of Andamans

Most people on the Andaman speak Hindi or Bengali, but Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam are also common. English is also understood and spoken by the vast majority.

Roughly 24 of the 300 Andaman Islands support human settlements, while only 12 of the Nicobar Islands are populated.

More than two-thirds of the people of the Andaman Islands are Hindu; Christians make up about one-fifth of the population and Muslims less than one-tenth.

What’s The History of the Andamans?

A major chunk of the known history dates back to the post-colonial period beginning with the Danish settlers of the Danish East India Company, followed by the British using the islands as a penal colony in the 19th century.

With the end of British rule, the islands broke free from their shackles and are now among the union territories of India.

Some Useful Information for Tourists Before Traveling

  • For Indian Tourists, traveling to the Andamans is very similar to traveling to any other state in the country. There is no requirement for a passport, visa, or any other permission. You can stay in permitted areas as long as you wish.
  • For Foreign Tourists, a passport is required along with the Indian visa. The Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is not required anymore for most foreign nationals. For citizens of Afghanistan, Myanmar, China, and Pakistan the RAP is still required.
  • You will find a few ATMs in Port Blair and very less in Havelock, Neil Island and Diglipur so it is essential to also carry cash with you to be well prepared.
  • Andamans is also home to the aboriginal tribes of the islands, who do not want intrusion in their land and life. So, it is advised not to mingle with them in order to respect their space and unintentionally, transmit any kind of disease to them that they’re not immune to.
  • Corals are a huge part of the islands, and for their upkeep & growth, it is highly essential to not damage or unknowingly hurt them while snorkeling and diving. There might also be a lot of poisonous fish and corals in the water so avoid touching them.  
  • Be an early riser and make the most of the morning glow. Andamans has some of the nicest sunrises!

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s about Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • Can I visit any island of my choice in Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

    Tourists are permitted only on certain islands.

  • How do I get to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

    Two ways – either take a flight to Port Blair from Kolkata, Chennai or Delhi or take a ship to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata or Vizag.

  • Where are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

    Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a group of 572 islands located in the Bay of Bengal. It is around 1000 miles away from the Indian subcontinent down South-East.

  • What is the best time to holiday in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands?

    We believe holidaying in the Andamans can be done throughout the year – in summers/monsoon (no winter season there). However, tourist inflow is maximum during October to May. More info on best time to visit andaman.

  • What is the electricity supply in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands?

    All of India has standard 220 Volts with sockets mixed between 3 round pins. While some sockets also take the two round pin plugs, to avoid confusion or disappointment, we suggest guests bring at least one travel adapter.

  • What time zone do the Andaman & Nicobar Islands lie in?

    The whole of India falls under the same time zone so the local time is GMT + 5½ hours throughout the country, all year round. The Andamans are much closer to Thailand than India which means life in the Andamans happens a little bit earlier in the day, to make use of the day light hours.

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