Have you ever visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands? If you haven’t, then plan hopping the islands Andaman and Nicobar right away and enjoy a sun-toasted beach vacation here. Apart from its white surgery sands, this Indian Union Territory boasts turquoise water, primeval jungle, thrilling diving spots, and turtle nesting sites.
This breathtaking archipelago in the Bay of Bengal is an exotic beach destination in the country. From white sands to clear blue waters, luxury resorts, coral reefs, rich marine life, and adventure sports for adrenaline junkies, this group of islands is blessed with all.
There are 572 islands in the territory, out of which, only 37 are inhabited. The Andaman and Nicobar are separated by Ten Degree Channel and both offer miles and miles of stunning beaches, endless greenery, hidden natural treasures, and plenty of adventure. No doubt, this tropical paradise is straight out of a postcard.
However, before visiting this seaside paradise, check out some important facts about the island.
Best Time to Be There
The islands of Andaman & Nicobar feature a tropical climate. The Andaman Nicobar weather remains mild throughout the year. It is not hot in summers and not cold in winters, which make it a year-round destination. However, October to April are considered the best months to plan a trip to the islands.
How to Be There
There are two ways to visit the islands of Andaman & Nicobar- by air or by the sea route. While traveling by flight is the fastest mode of transport, a cruise trip is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.
By Air: Veer Savarkar Airport is the only major airport that serves the island. You can easily get scheduled flights from Delhi, Kolkata,Bengaluru, and Chennai to Port Blair. You may find some connecting flights from other Indian cities as well.
By Sea: A trip to Andaman by sea is an extravagant affair and may cost you a fortune. However, a cruise trip is something you should consider to experience life in the middle of nowhere. The duration of the journey is between 3 to 4 days. However, there are limited ships available from Kolkata and Chennai, which sail only 3 or 4 times a month and only one from Visakhapatnam.
Pro Tip: A cheap flight trip from Kolkata or Chennai is the best mode of transport. It is less-time consuming. If you take a cruise, you may suffer from possible sea-sickness, and you will spend 50 to 60 hours surrounded by waters only.
Where to Stay
There are umpteen numbers of best resorts in Andaman, where you will be spoiled for choice. These hotels and resorts are built in close proximity to the gorgeous beaches. From luxury to budget hotels, it serves every kind of traveler just right. Here are some good hotels, which offer private entry to the beaches, swimming pool, dining on the beach, and spa and wellness facilities.
Being a top tourist destination, each island within the tourist’s reach offers all sorts of resorts and hotels. Book them in advance before these accommodations sell out.
Popular Tourist Attractions
The postcard perfect islands Andaman Nicobar are home to pristine beaches, lush forests, rich flora and fauna, exotic underwater life, and the only active volcano in South Asia. There are plenty of places to explore in its islands, and hence, plan for a long vacation here.
Call it Havelock Island or Swaraj Dweep, a trip to this largest island of Richi’s archipelago is a must. This group of 17 islands to the east of Great Andaman is known for sublime silken-blonde beaches, coral reefs, dive sites, and impressive luxury resorts. The rumbling waves of the Bay of Bengal, swaying palm trees, and thick forests lures the tourists to visit this beach destination on their Andaman vacation.
In addition, it also has some of the best diving sites in south Asia, and hence receives a large footfall of divers from all around the world. Visit the Radhanagar Beach, one of the best beaches in India to enjoy sunbathing and scuba diving. Or kayak through the mangrove forests and spot the native wildlife at night. Elephant Beach is another gem of the island, where you can snorkel or walk under the sea to admire the marine life.
Port Blair is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar and is home to numerous attractions. Being the capital and home to the only airport, Port Blair is the gateway to the rich expanse of sandy shorelines, rich underwater life, flora and fauna, museums, etc. However, it also has a history to share. Walk past the Japanese Bunkers, which will take you to the days of World War II.
Take a trip to the Cellular Jail or Kala Pani, which has a gory past. It was here, where India’s freedom fighters were jailed and tortured. Enjoy a sunny day at Corbyn’s Cove to enjoy jet skiing and other water activities. The Samudrika Marine Museum is another great place to learn about the island’s history. There is a massive skeleton of a blue whale and an aquarium, where you will find all kinds of fish of different shapes and sizes.
This island in the North and Middle Andaman Administrative district is situated 100 km from Port Blair. Tourists come to Baratang to sail through its mangrove forests, and to explore the only active volcano, and the limestone caves. Unlike other popular beaches, Baratang is often overlooked by tourists. However, it is a natural sightseeing hub and offers a great opportunity to meander through the lush rainforest.
If you visit Baratang, make sure to explore the mud volcano, which erupted last in 2005, most probably due to the 2004 tsunami. Explore the limestone caves, which were formed millions of years ago due to slow deposition of lime on the earth’s surface. However, Baratang Island is less traveled, and hence stick to the crowded and popular areas. If you want to spend the night here, you have to obtain a special permit from the UT administration.
Mount Harriet National Park
For many, it is an Andaman beach vacation, but only a few know that this group of islands has nine national parks. Among them Mount Harriet National Park is the most popular. The national park is located in Mount Harriet, which is the third highest peak of Andaman. This 365 m tall peak offers stunning views of the sea surrounding the island.
The park encompasses an area of 4,662 hectares and is more likely to extend its border to include the adjoining mountain ranges and marine ecosystem. The park has a mixed deciduous forest and is home to 134 plant and tree species. Its avifauna includes seven endangered species, which include Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo-dove, woodpecker, drongo, etc. Asian elephants, Chital, ferals, and reptiles, including lizards are common sights.
North Bay Island
Do you know that the image of the picturesque bay lined with lush greenery on a 20 Rupee Indian note is of North Bay Island’s? That’s enough to inspire you to come to this beautiful place and see it for real. It is the most preferred island, where tourists can dive under the water to admire the coral reef and unleash their adventure spirit. Activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, sea walking, glass boat rides are what attracts thousands of visitors here.
Andaman is home to picturesque beaches, crystal clear waters, rich wildlife, and history. This UT, just a few kilometers from Mainland India is the country’s honeymoon destination and backpacker’s paradise. If there is one place where you should enjoy sun, sea, sand, and seafood, then it should be Andaman.