Elegant beaches, extremely clear water, and the significance in Indian history make the Andamans the perfect pick for a laid-back, engaging vacation, coupled with trekking, lazing around in the beaches and, indulging in some adventurous water activities. From the capital city of Port Blair to the serene white-sandy beaches of Neil and Havelock Islands and the limestone caves of Baratang islands, the Andamans has a lot to offer for tourists. As far as the true nature lovers are considered, beaches, forests, caves, mangroves, etc. make it as a place of retreat. You can simply spend some time with nature coupled with a little bit of adventure, history, and forests. Thus, it is a place suitable for all age groups. There is something that entertains people belonging to each age group. This is the major reason behind the Andaman being the favorite choice for families wishing to go on a tour.
What to do in Andaman?
The Andaman Islands are rich in vibrant aquatic life and there is no better way than snorkeling in the clear turquoise blue waters to enjoy its beauty. The colorful schools of fish and amazing corals in various shapes and sizes are something you should never miss on your trip to Andamans. Scuba diving is also a great way to get up close to the amazing aquatic flora and fauna of the Andaman coral reefs.
2. Cellular Jail Memorial
The tortures faced by the Indian freedom fighters haunt the walls of the Cellular Jail even today. The journey to the prison for their exile sentenced by the British was not only traumatizing but crossing the Kala Pani (dark water) also meant their (cast) varna is lost. Cellular jail is situated in Port Blair and it is the place where the British used to exile many freedom fighters and political prisoners. It’s open to tourists from Tuesday to Sunday. It is such a heart-touching moment for any Indian who is proud of his country. The light and sound show further depicts the tough life the freedom strugglers had to go through in the hands of the British. They were treated inhumanely and was made to do tough works that cannot be carried out by humans. It is must-see place in the itinerary as you will know the price they had to pay for the freedom we enjoy today.
Madhuban is one of the best trekking routes in the country and the trek between Mount Harriet and Madhuban results in a huge tourist turnout. The trekking enthusiasts simply love the lush green forests and the exotic fauna in the region. A ferry ride from Chatham Harbor, Port Blair is the first step you need to take in order to reach here. Chatham, Bamboo Flat, Junglighat, Dundas Point, Viper Island, Hope Town, and Mithakari are connected to Port Blair by three major ferry routes. Ferries make around 45 trips a day from these towns. A ferry will take only a few minutes to take you to any of the trek points nearby.
4. Watch Bioluminescence
How about spotting the entire galaxies right below your feet! If you can be on a moonless night in Havelock, chances are high the phytoplankton in the sea waters will illuminate the oceans and beaches by lightening up.
5. Swim in the Lagoon
A well-known swimming area situated in the butler way is the Kalapathar lagoon. You enjoy your time swimming or simply strolling or going on a picnic in the sandy patches. If you want some more fun and get a better view of the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding, you can scramble through the cave in the cliff face.
6. Rubber plantation walk
A walk through the rubber plantations in Wandoor will feed your curiosity on the origination of erasers or other rubber goods. However, you will also get a chance to explore the spice plantations teeming with pepper, betel, clove and cinnamon trees.
7. Climb up a Lighthouse
The Little Andaman Lighthouse which is 41 meter high has around 200 steps and once you climb it you can behold the magnificent views of the forests and coastline in Andamans. It is situated 14 kilometers east of Hut Bay. Carrying a camera will allow you to capture some breathtakingly beautiful photographs or if you are an artist you can take a sketchbook with you.
8. Bird Watching at Chidiya Tapu
A trip to Chidiya Tapu must feature in your travel plan if you are an avid bird watcher. 25 kilometers from Port Blair is a tiny village, Chidiya Tapu that houses a variety of exotic birds including emerald doves, parakeets, and sea eagles.
9. Have a look at the historical ruins of the Ross Island
Ross Island was the ruling capital of the British when they occupied the Andamans. There exist the ruins of buildings built during those times and you can have a look at them.
10. Turtle watching at Kalipur
Beach: Kalipur Beach on Diglipur Island witness turtles coming every year to lay eggs. There are basically 4 types of turtles such as Olive Ridley turtles, Green Turtles, Hawk Bill turtles and Leather Back turtles. If you are coming in between October to march you will definitely find them scuttling about the beach.
What to eat in Andamans?
Seafood: Being a coastal area, seafood is undoubtedly a highlight of Andaman and Port Blair is especially famous for it. New Lighthouse Restaurant serves the whole lobster which is a lip-smacking meal. Red snapper is another restaurant famous for serving the seafood platter. It is also common in the Andamans to get fresh fish fried from the morning’s catch in most of the islands.
Other options: Havelock is quite famous for delicious samosas. If you are looking for good foods at agreeable prices, there are a lot of small local restaurants in the Andamans that serve Indian thalis. However, Andamans is not limited to seafood and Indian thalis but also Italian, Thai and Continental cuisine. So don’t hesitate to pick Andamans as your destination even in case you are allergic or hates seafood.
When to go?
October – May: Chilly winters are never a part of the Andamans climate. The climate in Andamans stays pleasant for the most part of the year. This time is the best for capturing the best sights of landscapes with foliage that are luscious and the sea so pristine, you will surely fall in love with the destination immediately. However, in winters the heat will be comparatively less and this makes it the best time to enjoy water sports and other water activities. Therefore, this is the time in which Andaman tourism packages are most in demand.
January: January is the time to visit if you want to visit the culture and tradition of Andamans as a lot of trades and fairs happen in the city during this month. The best thing about visiting Andamans in January is that there is a 14 day-long festival that shows the various traditions followed by the tribal of the region. In addition, on the birthday of Subhash Chandra Bose, Subash Mela is conducted in the Andamans every year. Also, the diversity in culture and rural life of locals in Andamans is captured by the block mela.
May – October: This is the time of monsoon in the Andamans but still it retains a distinct beauty of its own during this season. Thus, you should never consider a reason for not visiting the Andamans.
How to get there?
By flight: Kolkata or Chennai is the most popular airports to take flights to Andamans. Go Air and Spice jet are the most famous flight operators in this region.
By ship: Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, and Chennai are the main ports from where ship service operates to Andaman. The voyage takes around 50 to 60 hours and the ship will be docked at the port for 2 to 3 days
How to get around?
Reaching Havelock: Reaching Havelock: Just 38 km away from Port Blair, Havelock has an elite camping facility near Radha Nagar beach. Between Port Blair and Havelock 2 to 3 ferries operate. A visit to Havelock island should definitely be in your travel plan as it comprises of some amazing beaches like Radha Nagar beach, Elephanta beach etc.
Jeeps and Minivans: Airport pick up by car costs around Rs 500-800 and Rs.1500 is the cost for 1-day sightseeing, covering famous points. However, to reach Diglipur from Port Blair, the cost is around 10000. The fun stopovers on the way actually make the high cost worthy. You can in fact easily hire Scooters and motorbikes for covering short distances in and around Port Blair at about 400 per day. But in the tribal regions, there are certain prohibitions for the tourists to drive a vehicle. That is the case basically in Middle and North Andaman.
Bus: Diglipur, Baratang, Mayabunder and Rangat in the North, and Wandoor in the South are connected by buses from the Port Blair.
What to Pack?
· Soft cotton clothes are suitable in summers as the islands are tropical and you are prone to sweating. Light cardigans and jackets are suitable in winters to keep you safe from cool crisp winds in the evenings.
· Dark sunglasses, umbrella, raincoat, and trekking shoes, sunscreen are irreplaceable when coming to the Andamans.
· To prevent dehydration you should bring Basic medicines, anti-allergic medications, glucose supplements. Also always carry a bottle of water with you and also drinks like ORS with you to keep you hydrated from the inside.
· Beach wears are a must when coming to the Andamans but modest. Immodest beachwear may earn unwanted stares from people around. If you have a plan for doing Scuba diving and snorkeling, kits are available at the beach for hire.
Your dream trip to the Andamans will be done efficiently by the tour operator. Andaman tour travel is one such famous tour operator who is efficient in coining tempting travel itineraries to Andamans. They have a well-known customer support team who will guide you until the last day of your holiday. In fact, getting a tour operator to do your holiday arrangements is especially useful in Andamans. This is because not even 2g internet has been launched in the Andamans and it would be difficult to do everything alone without having someone to guide you around in Andamans.