The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a stunning archipelago located in the Bay of Bengal, consisting of 572 islands, out of which only 37 are inhabited. These islands are known for their crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, lush green forests, and diverse marine life. If you’re planning a trip to Andaman, here’s a complete travel guide that will help you plan your trip.
Best Time to Visit Andaman
From November to May is the best time to visit Andaman. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the sea is calm, making it ideal for water sports activities. However, if you want to experience the monsoon season, you can plan your visit between June and September. During this time, the islands receive heavy rainfall, making the greenery lush and vibrant.
How to Reach Andaman
By Air: The Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair is the main gateway to the Andaman Islands. It is well-connected to major Indian cities such as Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore.
By Sea: You can also reach Andaman by sea through regular ferry services available from Kolkata, Chennai, and Vizag.
Getting Around Andaman
To explore the Andaman Islands, you can hire a taxi or rent a two-wheeler or four-wheeler. You can also opt for guided tours that cover popular tourist attractions.
Places to Visit in Andaman
- Radhanagar Beach: Known as the most beautiful beach in Asia, Radhanagar Beach is a must-visit attraction in Andaman. The beach is famous for its white sand and turquoise blue water.
- Cellular Jail: Also known as Kala Pani, Cellular Jail is a historic site that served as a prison for freedom fighters during the British era. The jail is now a national memorial and a museum.
- Ross Island: Located near Port Blair, Ross Island is a popular tourist destination known for its ruins of British architecture, including a church, hospital, and bungalow.
- Neil Island: A perfect destination for those seeking peace and solitude, Neil Island is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and natural beauty.
- Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Located in Wandoor, the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a protected area known for its diverse marine life, including coral reefs, sea turtles, and a variety of fish species.
- Baratang Island: Known for its limestone caves and mud volcanoes, Baratang Island is a unique destination that offers a glimpse into the geological wonders of the Andaman Islands.
- Havelock Island: The largest island in the Andaman archipelago, Havelock Island is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and thrilling water sports activities.
Things to Do in Andaman
- Scuba Diving: Andaman is a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts, with its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and stunning coral reefs. Some popular spots for scuba diving include Neil Island, Havelock Island, and Cinque Island.
- Snorkeling: If you’re not a scuba diving enthusiast, you can still explore the underwater world of Andaman by snorkeling. Some popular snorkeling spots include Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach, and Jolly Buoy Island.
- Water Sports: Andaman offers a range of water sports activities such as jet skiing, banana boat rides, parasailing, and kayaking.
- Trekking: The Andaman Islands are known for their lush green forests and beautiful trails, making it a perfect destination for trekking enthusiasts. Some popular trekking trails include Mount Harriet, Chidiya Tapu, and Ross Island.
- Camping: You can also enjoy camping in the Andaman Islands, with several camping sites available on some of the less populated islands. You can enjoy stargazing, bonfires, and nature walks while camping.
- Island Hopping: With several islands in the Andaman archipelago, island hopping is a popular activity that allows you to explore different islands and their unique attractions. You can hire a boat or join a guided tour to explore the islands.
- Visit Local Markets: The Andaman Islands have a rich culture and history, and you can experience it by visiting local markets and interacting with the locals. You can shop for handicrafts, spices, and other local products at these markets.
Where to Stay in Andaman
The Andaman Islands offer a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, you can choose from a variety of options. Some popular places to stay in Andaman include Port Blair, Havelock Island, and Neil Island.
Food in Andaman
Andaman is known for its seafood, and you can enjoy a range of local delicacies such as fish curry, crab masala, and prawn fry. You can also find a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, including Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisines.
Safety Tips for Andaman
- Carry mosquito repellents and sunscreen to protect yourself from mosquito bites and sunburn.
- Stay hydrated and carry bottled water with you at all times.
- Follow safety instructions while indulging in water sports activities.
- Avoid venturing into the sea during high tide or rough weather conditions.
- Respect the local culture and customs.
- Do not litter or damage the environment.
- Keep your valuables safe and secure.
Andaman is a paradise for travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and rich culture and history, Andaman has something to offer for everyone. By following this travel guide, you can plan your trip to Andaman and make the most of your time in this beautiful archipelago.