Andaman Nicobar Islands Tourism
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the seven union territories of India and Port Blair is its capital. The place is divided into 2 places: the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands.
The Andaman Islands is a popular tourist attraction and is also very famous for honeymoons. On the other side, the Nicobar Islands is not open for tourism for various reasons. Andaman is a place perfect for exploring marine life with lots of beaches and also suitable for adventuring with activities like trekking, snorkeling, swimming, and even scuba diving.
Best time to visit Andaman
The climate here is a tropical one making it suitable for one to travel the place at any time during the year because it’s never too hot and never too cold. It depends upon what kind of traveler you are and what you like.
If you are more into bird watching and diving, then winter is the best time to visit. If you are a nature lover, then May to December is the best time because the forests are rich and flourished and waterfalls splashing at their peak.
How to reach Andaman
Yes!! If you love adventure, you would love to know that you can reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands through the sea routes.
There are 3 sea routes:
- From Chennai: Distance – 1300-1400kms
Time – Approximately 60 hours (2.5 day)
Frequency – 3-4 times in a month (once every week).
- From Kolkata: Distance – Approx. 1300kms
Time – Around 70 hours ( 3 days)
Frequency – 3-4 times in a month(once every week).
- From Vishakapatnam: Distance – Between 1200-1300kms
Time – 56 hours
Frequency – Once in a month
If you choose to travel by sea, then you will have to book your tickets in advance as the tickets are not easily available.
The airport is located in Port Blair. There are both direct and connecting flights from Bangalore to Port Blair. It will take around 2 hours 40 mins to reach the place covering a distance of 1650 kms.
Places to visit in Andaman
- Cellular Jail
- Distance: 1.5kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand.
- Tickets: Rs.30 per head, Rs.200 for the camera and Rs.1000 for video
- Timings: 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm.
Cellular Jail also is known as Kala Pani is one of the most popular places to visit here. The jail was constructed by British and took 10 years to complete from 1896 to 1906.
Many famous Indian activists/ freedom fighters fighting for independence were arrested and kept in this jail.
- Corbin’s Cove Beach
- Distance: 6kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand.
- Activities that can be done: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Sun-basking, swimming, Parasailing
Whenever someone takes the word beach, the picture that comes in the mind is of the beach with coconut palms in the background and this beach is exactly like that.
But a major part of it was washed away in the Tsunami in 2004. Not to worry, there are bunker and pillboxes at the beach. Facilities like hotels, restaurants, and changing room are also available here.
3. Ross Island
- Distance: 3kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand.
- Timings: 8:30 am to 3 pm all days. Wednesday holiday.
- Tickets: Rs.75 for adults and Rs.25 for children and Rs.100 per head for a boat ride
Ross Island is a small Island with thick woods which was under the possession of British for many years and was considered to be the capital of Andaman Islands. An earthquake in 1941 caused the destruction of buildings after which the British moved their capital another place.
The place is now popular for its scenic beauty. There are ruins of the buildings like Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Bakery, Church, Press, Hospital, Swimming Pool and other buildings. There is also a small museum here which maintains old records. There is a small store on the Island where people can buy snacks.
4.North Bay Island
- Distance: 29kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand
- Activities: Underwater sea-walk, Snorkelling, Speedboat ride, Jet ski, Trekking
- Tickets: Rs.150 for the ferry
Rs. 300 for Snorkeling
Rs. 1700 onwards for Scuba Diving
Rs. 3100 onwards for Sea walk
Almost all types of water sports activities can be done here which is the reason it attracts so many tourists. This place is also famous because its picture appears in the old 20 rupees note. You will find a variety of sea-life and even lobsters in the Island.
To reach this place, one will have to take a ferry ride from Port Blair which takes about 30-40minutes. The boat leaves in the morning. However, the timings are subject to change depending on various factors.
5. Radhanagar Beach
- Distance: Approximately 70kms from Port Blair.
- Tickets: Rs. 500 onwards
There are different cruises available depending on which prices may vary. The frequency of the boats is high too.
Radhanagar beach is ranked No.7 under the best beaches in Asia. It is also one of the best beaches in the world. The beach has white sand and turquoise blue water with greenery at the side. The view of sunset and sunrise here is simply breathtaking. However, there are no water sports activities here.
To reach Radhanagar beach, you will have to take a cruise from Port Blair to Havelock Island.
- Distance: 70kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand.
- Activities: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Swimming, Sunbathing.
Havelock Island is one of the largest Islands in the Andamans and is a major tourist attraction. Havelock Island has a number of Islands and beaches. It is popular for its white sand beaches and picturesque views of sunrise and sunsets from various beaches.
Lots of water sports activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming can all be done here. One can also observe and study various kinds of coral reefs present here and take long walks along the beach.
- Kalapathar Beach
Kalapathar beach is a deserted beach located in the corner of Andaman Island. The beach is named after the village Kalapathar and also because there are fascinating black rocks present here. The beach offers an amazing view of the Bay of Bengal.
The sunset view here is also simply picturesque. The beach is suitable for families and couples to spend some quality time. There are some umbrellas and wooden benches under the shade of trees. However, there is no much availability of snacks, etc. Only fresh coconuts are sold by the locals.
- Neil Island
- Distance: Approx. 18kms from Havelock.
- Activities: Biking, Scuba diving
Neil Island is a small island which is popular for its marine life and coral reefs. This is also called as the Vegetable Bowl of Andaman. Neil Island has lots of beaches and is suitable for water sports activities. Accommodations are also available at affordable prices.
9. Bharatpur Beach
- Distance: Less than a km from Neil Island Jetty.
- Activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling, jet ski
Bharatpur beach is one of the most popular beaches in Neil Island. The white sand beach is popular for coral reef and is suitable for water sports activities. To observe the corals, one can take the glass bottom boat that is available at the beach.
The water here is not so deep, so even people who don’t know swimming can play in the water without getting worried. There are changing rooms available at the beach too.
10. Laxmanpur Beach
- Distance: 2.3kms from Neil Island Jetty.
- Activities: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Swimming, Sunbathing
Laxmanpur beach is bigger than the Bharatpur beach. It is also one of the best beaches in Neil Island. The water here is deep and suitable for activities like scuba diving and snorkeling.
The beach is famous for the beautiful view of the sunset that is offered. The white sand beach with a view of the blue water with coral reefs and seashells in the front is the perfect place for relaxing and forgetting all the worries for a while.
11. Sitapur Beach
- Distance: 5.2kms from Neil Island Jetty.
- Activities: Swimming
Sitapur beach is another white sand beach in the Neil Islands. It has 2 bays and blue water. The view of the sunrise from this beach is stunning. The beach is not very crowded which makes it a perfect place to have a peaceful evening under the shade of the trees. Though the tides are high, the beach is still considered safe for swimming.
- Ramnagar Beach
Ramnagar beach is an isolated beach which is not much visited by people, so it is good for people who seek some privacy. Surrounded with calm water with yellowish sand, the feeling is a delightful one. However, the beach is not suitable for swimming due to the rocks.
13. Chidiya Tapu
- Distance: Approx. 20kms from Port Blair Central Bus Stand.
- Activities: Trekking, Bird watching
Chdiya Tapu, also known as the Bird Island is a home to many birds and hence the name. Surrounded by rich greenery and forests, the Island is small but has lots of things to offer. The sunset view from this beach is simply fascinating and is a major tourist attraction.
Swimming in the water here can be done but is also at the same time risky, as there are crocodiles in the water. The Chidiya Tapu Biological Park and Munda Pahad are other tourist attractions here. One can spot a wide variety of birds and animals here.
- Elephant Beach
- Distance: 5kms from Havelock Island.
- Activities: Snorkelling, Speedboat rides, Sea walk, Jet ski, Boating, Trekking
Elephant beach in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is another tourist attraction with turquoise blue water, lush greenery, and hills in the background. If you are into adventuring, then you can reach the place through trekking but the place is really dense so one needs to be careful and never trek alone.
At the beach, one can take the glass bottom boats and observe the coral reefs under water. The under-sea walk here is also a really amazing experience.
15. Baratang Island
- Distance: 69.4kms from Port Blair.
- Activities: Sightseeing
Baratang Island is one of the most attractive Islands located between the South and Middle Andaman. The island is believed to belong to the Jarawa Tribe. The Island shows more of the tropical side of the Andaman Islands thereby making it a must visit if you are traveling to Andaman.
There are buses available from Port Blair to Baratang Island. Other attractions here are Limestone Caves, Mud Volcanoes and the Parrot Island.
16. Limestone Caves
- Distance: 16kms.
- Activities: Sightseeing
Limestone Caves are natural sedimentary rocks formed by natural compression. To reach the place, one will have to take a boat from Baratang Island to these caves. You might even have to walk some distance after traveling in the boat to reach the Limestone Caves.
The journey to the place through water amidst the greenery and forests is truly an amazing experience; as the saying goes, sometimes it’s more about the journey than about the destination.
17. Mud Volcano
Baratang Island is home to the only known Mud volcano in India. Various gases are emitted ere. The decayed matter under the ground builds up various gases and pressurizes and pushes up the mud hence causing the mud volcano. The last major volcano eruption was reported in 2003.
- Parrot Island
Parrot Island can be reached by taking a boat from the Baratang Jetty. You will have to travel through the mangroves, which in itself is a pleasant experience. Parrot Island is a small Island and got its name from a number of parrots visiting the Island.
The view of the sunset here along with hundreds of parrots is alluring. It is a must visit place for nature lovers.
- Wandoor Beach
- Distance: 36kms from Port Blair.
- Activities: Swimming
Wandoor Beach, a part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a beautiful beach with clear water and a relaxing atmosphere.
The beach is a part of the park because of the rare species found here.
The corals found here are really appealing. The beach has glass bottom boats available and changing rooms are also available. Accommodations are also available around/near the beach.
20. Vijaynagar Beach
- Distance: 9.2kms from Havelock Island.
- Activities: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Fishing, Kayaking, Swimming
Outlined with coconut trees, the Vijaynagar beach is a white sand with blue water. The beach is not very crowded, which makes it a peaceful place for those who want to relax and also for people who seek some privacy.
Many water sports activities can be done here like swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There are also many hotels around the beach which makes it a convenient place if you are planning to stay over.
Top Best beaches to visit in Andaman
- Corbin’s Cove Beach
- Wandoor Beach
- Radhanagar Beach
- Kalapathar Beach
- Bharatpur Beach
- Sitapur Beach
- Laxmanpur Beach
- Ramnagar Beach
- Elephant Beach
- Vijaynagar Beach
Water sports activities in Andaman
Since Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a place full of beaches and Island, one common and obvious activity here is swimming. However, in some places, the area might be rocky, while in some places there can be harmful animals like crocodiles, and in some places, there can be high tides, so one needs to be careful and have proper information about which beach to use and which one to avoid, before getting into the water for a swim.
- Scuba diving
Another fun activity here is Scuba diving. There are a lot of Islands and beaches having instructors who will help you with Scuba diving. It is a fun experience where you go under the water with a breathing apparatus fixed to you. The approximate price for Scuba diving ranges from 3500- 9000.
There are also complete courses with a certificate of 2-4 days which are quite expensive ranging from 18000 to 30000 depending upon the number of days and number of dives.
Snorkeling is a water sports activity where you are equipped with a mask and a breathing tube (snorkel). There are people on the Islands and beaches renting out these equipment, and also aiding the tourists in performing these activities. It will cost around 300-500 per person.
The experience of Kayaking through the Mangroves is another delightful and fun activity. The Havelock Island in the Andaman offers Kayaking. The best thing about this is that you don’t even need previous experience to do it. Just a few paddles and your kayak will keep moving.
The price for Kayaking ranges from 2000-3000. If the weather is bad, there are high chances that kayak won’t be available due to security reasons.
- Jet Ski
This is the most fun activity and a favorite of people who love adventure. The pricing for jet ski starts from 350 and can go up to a maximum of 1000.
Other activities in Andaman
Parasailing is an activity where you are tied at the back of the boat to the parachute and the boat keeps moving, so you are flying in the air. The Corbin Cove’s Beach at the Capital City of Port Blair offers Parasailing.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a place highly suitable for trekking. One can trek to the Islands and Beaches through the thick forests and greenery. However, some places can be a danger to travel alone as the place itself is a tropical one.
Another best thing about Andaman is that there are bikes available for rental, so you can rent one and explore the city on your own. However, there are no petrol pumps here and petrol is sold in cans in shops. So, you will have to make sure you always have sufficient petrol to return back to the place before leaving.
Andaman and Nicobar Island is a perfect holiday destination for beach lovers. Most of the attractions here are natural ones. The place is filled with beaches, Islands, water, greenery, coconut trees, marine life, and the list goes on. The tropical touch of the place is what makes it different from other places.
The place gives a relaxing experience away from the daily hustle of life and is the kind of place that would be loved by people who love nature, adventure and exploring.