When you think about Andaman and Nicobar Islands, clean beaches, clear blue skies and scuba diving are some of the things that may come to your mind.
But did you also know that Andaman had an essential role to play in India’s freedom struggle against the British, has some of the oldest tribes in the world and holds India’s only active volcano?
Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg as Andaman offers so much more than what you read online.
These are the experiences I want to take you through in this article apart from the obvious ones as I talk about the 18 exciting places to visit in Andaman (+things to do) based on my week-long experience there. After reading this article, you’ll find it easier to plan an engaging and wholesome trip to the Andaman.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map
- 18 exciting places to visit in Andaman (+things to do)
- Port Blair
- 1. Ross Island: Paris of the East
- 2. North Bay Island: The Hub of Water Sports
- 3. Relive the freedom struggle at Cellular Jail
- 4. Visit the Samudrika Marine Museum to know Andaman’s marine life
- 5. Visit the Zonal Anthropological Museum to understand the Andaman tribes
- 6. Witness a breathtaking sunset at Chidiya Tapu Beach
- 7. Trek to Munda Pahad Beach and the View Point
- 8. Do an epic one-day road trip to Limestone Cave, Baratang Island
- 9. Corbyn’s Cove Beach: Port Blair’s local beach
- Havelock Island
- Neil Island
- Port Blair
- How to reach Andaman?
- How to travel within Andaman?
- How to travel between islands in Andaman?
- Best time to visit Andaman
- Best hotels in Andaman
- Best restaurants in Andaman
- Best travel tips for Andaman
- Frequently Asked Questions
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a group of 572 islands located in the Bay of Bengal within 1,200 km from Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
Fun fact: Andaman is closer to Myanmar and Indonesia than it is to India.
The Andaman group has 325 islands, whereas the Nicobar group has 247 islands. In total, only 38 islands are inhabited permanently.
The Andaman is further divided into three regions: North Andaman, Middle Andaman and South Andaman. South Andaman is the most commercial part of Andaman that attracts visitors throughout the year.
While you can also visit the North and Middle Andaman as I did, they require more time and money; hence people end up exploring South Andaman.
Note: To visit the Nicobar Islands, you need to book a helicopter or a ship from Port Blair with the help of government agencies.
18 exciting places to visit in Andaman (+things to do)
You’ll be visiting three different regions in the Andaman primarily: Port Blair (the capital of Andaman), Havelock Island and Neil Island.
While planning your itinerary, ensure that you’re giving enough time for each region so that you’re able to cover all the places in one before moving on to the next. To make it easier for you, I have given you the itinerary of the 18 best places to visit in Andaman in chronological order so that you have an efficient trip.
While exploring Andaman, I also want you to enjoy the journey apart from visiting the destinations because some of these travels will linger in your memories for a long time.
1. Ross Island: Paris of the East
We started our trip with Ross Island.
Also known as Subhash Dweep Island, Ross Island was the administrative headquarter of Andaman Island, under British rule.
Known as the ‘Paris of the East’, the Britishers built a church, bakery, swimming pool, tennis court, ballrooms, residences, etc. and lived a lavish life on this island.
The island was also briefly occupied by the Japanese during World War 2 from 1942-1945, which is why you’ll see a Japanese bunker here.
Today, the Indian Navy manages this island, and you can observe how nature has taken over the ruins of all that Britishers built half a century ago.
Ross Island is off the north-eastern coast of Port Blair, and it takes 10-15 minutes to reach here from the Aberdeen Jetty. To visit this island, you need to purchase a ticket (INR 400-500) from one of the boat operators in the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex.
You can visit this island alone or club it with the North Bay island (next section), in which case you’ll get a better discount from the boat operators.
The only con with Ross Island is that you’ll be given a couple of hours by the boat operators to explore this island which in my experience was less. You can try talking to your boat operator about this beforehand.
Once you reach Ross Island, you can also opt for the battery-operated rickshaws (INR 80) that will take you around the island and tell you about the various places.
However, I preferred walking around the island and taking my own time, but this is up to you.
The last ferry to this island is at 2 pm, so plan your trip accordingly.
2. North Bay Island: The Hub of Water Sports
After getting a glimpse of history via Ross Islands, we set off to the North Bay Island with the same boat.
North Bay Island has some of the best coral reefs in the Andaman and hence, it is a famous destination for water sports activities.
Some of the most popular water sports here are scuba diving, snorkelling, glass bottom boat ride, semi-submarine ride, parasailing, etc.
Note: You can sign up for one of these water sports at North Bay Island.
I have heard that scuba diving in North Bay is great although I didn’t try it as we had already signed up for one diving session in the Havelock Islands.
However, we did go for the semi-submarine ride and I suggest you go for the same, especially if you want to experience the marine life without snorkelling or scuba diving in Andaman.
In this ride, you sit inside a boat in the lower glass bottom deck section, submerged under the sea. With the help of the large windows, you’ll be able to see the amazing marine life in the deep sections of the sea.
Apart from water sports, you can visit the lighthouse here. If you’re lucky, you can also climb up the lighthouse to get an aerial view of the surroundings.
Fun fact: You can see this lighthouse on the backside of an INR 20 note.
There are plenty of food stalls here serving various kinds of food, so after finishing your activities, you can have lunch from one of these stalls. Coconut water is also available.
3. Relive the freedom struggle at Cellular Jail
If you found Ross Island fascinating, wait till you experience Cellular Jail. It is among the best historical places to visit in Andaman.
It’ll take you through the sacrifices, abuses and tortures the Indian freedom fighters suffered at the hands of the Britishers during the freedom struggle.
Known as Kala Pani, the Cellular Jail was built between 1896 and 1906 for the sole purpose of confining, isolating and punishing any Indian who spoke against the British regime.
Visit the museum at the entrance to learn more about the history and significance of this place. They showcase dresses worn by prisoners, their daily work, their background, etc.
It’s recommended to hire a guide who’ll take you around the jail and give you some context. Don’t forget to visit the rooftop from where you can get an aerial perspective of the jail and the surroundings.
You can also attend the Sound and Light Show in the evening that tells you about Andaman’s history and the Cellular Jail. It costs INR 300 (the rate may vary), and you can book your tickets online here.
4. Visit the Samudrika Marine Museum to know Andaman’s marine life
While Andaman is famous for its coral reefs and marine life, few people realise their importance and uniqueness to these islands. For this very reason, I recommend you to visit the Samudrika Marine Museum.
It is one of the most underrated things to do in Andaman.
Run by the Indian Navy, the museum has five different sections showcasing the history of the Andaman Islands, geographical information, people of Andaman, archaeology, and marine life.
The purpose of this museum is to spread awareness regarding the oceanic environment in the Andaman.
You’ll find detailed descriptions and information regarding sea shells, fishes, and corals. Apart from marine life, they also cover the origin and culture of Andaman, including the tribal population.
Fun fact: It was at this museum that I came to know that the dugong is the state animal of Andaman.
The timings are from 9:00 to 17:00, and it takes around an hour to explore the museum.
You can buy ornaments and gift items made from sea shells at the shop here.
5. Visit the Zonal Anthropological Museum to understand the Andaman tribes
Another museum that I urge you to visit is the Zonal Anthropological Museum. This museum walks you through the history, culture and lifestyle of all the tribes that live in Andaman.
You’ll find artefacts of the huts, canoes, baskets, knives, spears, jewellery and various household items used by the tribes on display.
Through this museum, I learned that Andaman is host to five major native tribes: Onge, Jarawas, Shompen, Sentinelese and Great Andamanese, apart from Nicobarese.
You’ll find it fascinating how people of our kind live with nature without any human contact or technology in their tribe.
There are two floors in the museum, and it can take up to an hour to cover them.
Clicking photos inside the museum is not allowed.
6. Witness a breathtaking sunset at Chidiya Tapu Beach
The Chidiya Tapu Beach is one of the best beaches in Port Blair to watch a sunset.
It is a calm beach with still waters and a variety of corals. The beach is part of a reserve forest, and you’ll also spot different species of birds here.
You can walk along the beach or sit on one of the benches to catch the sunset. It is an excellent place for a relaxed or a romantic evening.
Note: Swimming is not allowed due to the presence of crocodiles.
If you’re a shutterbug, don’t forget to carry your camera because you’ll get a spectacular sunset.
The beach is 25 km away from Port Blair, and it can take up to an hour to reach, but the good news is that you can get private/public buses to Chidiya Tapu Beach apart from cabs.
I suggest you reach there by 4 pm, so you have enough time to watch the sunset. The beach closes between 5:30-6 pm.
7. Trek to Munda Pahad Beach and the View Point
Once you reach Chidiya Tapu Beach, I suggest you trek for another 1.5 km to reach Munda Pahad Beach. The trek is easy to find, and you do not need a trekking guide.
The Munda Pahad beach surrounds itself with mountains on all sides, with the beach in the middle. This beach overlooks Rutland Island and is neighbouring a jungle.
Once you reach the beach, you can spend some time here and then head to the Munda Pahad View Point. Do not miss this View Point because you’ll get an aerial view from the southernmost tip of mainland South Andaman!
The trek is open from 10 am to 3 pm, and you need to trek for around 2 km (half an hour approximately) to reach Munda Pahad Beach from Chidiya Tapu Beach. You’ll enjoy the walk along the lush green forests surrounding the roads.
You can also take your vehicle, but the roads beyond Chidiya Tapu are not that great, especially for two-wheelers.
To plan efficiently, you can have lunch from Port Blair, reach Chidiya Tapu Beach by 3 pm and then start trekking towards Munda Pahad Beach (and the viewpoint) and then trek back to Chidiya Tapu for the amazing sunset.
8. Do an epic one-day road trip to Limestone Cave, Baratang Island
Keep aside an entire day for the trip to Baratang Island because it is on the southern tip of Middle Andaman. And trust me, this one-day trip will be one of the best road trips you’ll have in Andaman.
To visit Baratang Island, you need to hire a cab. You cannot take your vehicle due to restrictions because you’ll be driving through tribal settlements.
On the day of the journey, wake up by 3 am and start from Port Blair by 4 am. You’ll drive through the dark as you make your way to Baratang Island.
You’ll be crossing different settlements throughout the drive. For example, you’ll be passing areas inhabited by Telugus, then another area inhabited by Tamils, another by Malayalis and so on.
Our driver was knowledgeable in this regard and gave us context about everything during the trip.
Your first stop will be the Jirkatang Check Post which you’ll reach in an hour.
At the check post, you need to submit your ID proof and fill out a form describing the reason for your visit. Your driver will take care of these things so you won’t have to worry about it.
In the meantime, you can have a lip-smacking breakfast from one of the many food stalls found before this check post. All the stalls serve South Indian dishes like idli, dosa, vada, etc., apart from tea/coffee.
The check post opens at 6 am only (the other times being 9 am, 12 pm and 3 pm), so you’ll have to wait till then.
You can only travel in a convoy led and trailed by the Andaman police/forest guards. It is to ensure the protection of the Jarawa tribes that reside in the forests.
You cannot stop your vehicle until you reach the Middle Strait Jetty (just before Baratang Island). You’re also not allowed to take photos, videos or offer anything to the tribes.
Fun fact: While waiting at the check post, we met one of the tribal kids who was walking past all the vehicles parked on the road waiting for the check post to open. Our driver along with other drivers tried to communicate with the kid although I’m not sure what they spoke about.
Once the check post opens, you’ll drive through the Jarawa Reserve Forest. If you’re lucky, you may spot some tribes walking along the sides of the road as we did.
As mentioned before, keep your cameras down because if you try to shoot the tribes, you may be fined, imprisoned or both. However, keep an eye out on the surroundings because you’ll be mesmerised by the lush green forests you’ll be driving through.
We reached the Middle Strait Jetty in two hours. The South Andaman district ends here, and you must cross to Middle Andaman by a vessel/ship.
P.S. You can also visit the Mud Volcano (India’s only active volcano) after visiting Limestone Caves. It is 7.4 km by road from the Baratang Jetty in Middle Andaman. In this case, your driver has to transport the cab to Middle Andaman via the vessel/ship to take you there. We didn’t go as we were told it was not worth the ride.
Your driver will park your vehicle in the Middle Strait Jetty and purchase the tickets for the vessel/ship that carries both passengers and vehicles. There will be some waiting time for the vessel, but there’s a shed where you can wait.
Once you cross over, you have to purchase tickets from the counter near Baratang Jetty. Again, your driver will be helping you with this.
After that, you’re taken to Baratang Island through a speed boat (with a capacity of 8-10 people). This is when the actual journey to the limestone cave starts.
The entire ride lasts 20-30 minutes, and you’ll pass through mangrove forests towards the last section of the boat ride.
Deboard at the boat jetty and walk towards the limestone caves. You’ll be walking in a group through a forest followed by paddy fields with one of the boat operators leading you. From the boat jetty, it takes another 2 km to reach the caves.
In the mid-way, you’ll find some stalls serving lemonade and fruit juices. You can stop here to energise yourself and then continue your journey.
Once you reach the cave, you’ll be mesmerised by the weird natural rock formations. It is a thousand-year-old cave with a mix of stalactite and stalagmite formations. Your guide will be giving you some information about the caves.
The only problem I found with this trip was that we couldn’t take our time to explore the cave. The guide lead us and wanted us to keep following and be in a group throughout the hike. You may also experience the same.
After visiting the cave, we walked back to the boat jetty and made our way to the Baratang Jetty in Middle Andaman where our driver was waiting for us. Thereafter, you have to wait for the next vessel to take you back to the Middle Strait Jetty in South Andaman.
Once you’re in Middle Strait, you’ll have to wait for the check post to open as you’re supposed to travel in a convoy to the Jirkatang Check Post, and there are fixed timings when the check post to Jirkatang opens (your driver will know this).
You’ll be reaching Port Blair by evening.
9. Corbyn’s Cove Beach: Port Blair’s local beach
If you love to spend time on a beach that becomes lively in the evening, you can visit Corbyn’s Cove Beach.
It’s a local beach in Port Blair, 4 km away, that attracts many tourists, especially in the evening. This palm-fringed beach has many bars and restaurants lining the beach, apart from water sports activities including parasailing, jet skiing and glass boat.
You’ll also find some Japanese Bunkers here.
The beach is overall clean and well-maintained.
I suggest you visit this beach on your last day in Port Blair.
10. Elephant Beach: Havelock’s water sports beach
The Elephant Beach is known as the water sports hub for Havelock Island as it is the only beach on this island open to water sports.
Located inside a reserve forest, you can enjoy various water sports like snorkelling, parasailing, banana riding, jet skiing, scuba diving, etc. You’ll also find locker rooms, changing rooms and food stalls here.
The sea bed is crystal clear, there’s a wide variety of fishes and coral reefs, and hence, it’s an ideal place for water sports, although it may get crowded, especially during peak season.
You can reach this beach either by taking a boat from the Havelock boat jetty (less than 20 minutes) or by trekking for 2 km through the forest from the main road (read the signboard on the main road – Way to Elephant Beach).
If you take a boat to reach here, you’re given three hours on the beach, after which you travel back to the Havelock Boat Jetty.
If you choose to trek, you can avail yourself of a guide (available at the forest’s entry) who’ll take you through the reserve forest, give you a good understanding of the beach and arrange things for you.
Plan your visit as this beach is open between 10 am and 3 pm.
There is no mobile network on this island, so you’ll need to carry cash for all your expenses.
11. Radhanagar Beach: Visit the 7th best beach in the world
Awarded the ‘7th Best Beach in the World’ by the Times Magazine, Radhanagar Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have come across in India and one of my favourite places to visit in Andaman.
The waters are turquoise blue with white sands and clear blue skies neighboured by lush green forests. However, if you want to experience the beach in all its glory, visit it in the evening before sunset.
The orange hues of the sun that play in the skies while the sun sets into the ocean will mesmerise you.
You can spend up to two hours on the beach playing in the water as the sea bed is shallow, or you can roam around on the 2 km stretch of the beach.
Either way, don’t forget to carry your camera because you’ll get some Insta-worthy shots during the sunset.
You can also gorge on the seafood and snacks available at various food stalls and shop for souvenir items at the beach’s entrance.
12. Kala Pathar Beach: Havelock’s best sunrise beach
If Radhanagar Beach was the best beach on Havelock to catch a sunset, Kala Pathar Beach is the same for sunrise.
It is a long stretch of white sandy beach with black rocks beside the blue sea, hence its name. The surrounding forests add to the ambience.
As it’s in a secluded location, you’ll find a lesser crowd. Hence, it’s perfect for honeymoon couples and nature lovers.
You’ll particularly enjoy the morning due and the ride through the coconut trees to reach this beach.
Don’t forget to try the sweet and tender coconut water available at the food stalls outside.
The sunrise happens at around 5:30 am, but you may want to check the timings and reach here at least half an hour before.
13. Have a life-changing scuba diving session at Dive India
One of the best things to do in Andaman is to go scuba diving in the emerald blue waters of Havelock Island.
For scuba diving in Andaman, Havelock Island is the perfect place as you’ll find many scuba diving operators here, as compared to other islands.
I dived with Dive India because they’re the oldest dive centre in the Andaman, have great reviews, and they’ve reasonable prices for the experience you get.
They’re a PADI-certified institute run by a highly professional and friendly group of youngsters.
I signed up for their Discover Scuba Diving (Boat Dive) package, and if you’re a beginner who wants to experience the underwater, I suggest you do the same.
Note: You don’t need to know swimming for this dive experience.
Let me walk you through the entire process.
You need to contact them via email from their website before you land in the Andaman and decide the date and time for the dive. I suggest you do this because you may not find availability at the last moment.
P.S. Dive India is also available at Neil Island. You can consider scuba diving there as it is less commercial compared to Havelock Island.
They’re super responsive via email, and they’ll also help you with any other queries that you may have regarding your travel to Havelock Island/Neil Island.
Note: You can also stay at their resort, i.e. the Lemongrass Beach Resort (or the Dive India Resort) if you want to stay by the beach. They also have an in-house cafe called Full Moon Cafe (more on this cafe later).
You must arrive at their dive centre a day before your diving date to do some paperwork. On the day of your dive, report to their dive centre on time. You’re instructed on what you can expect, change to the dive suits given by them and then taken to a nearby beach shore by their vehicle.
Note: You’re clubbed in a group of 4-5 people. All 4-5 people will be diving together from the same boat.
You’re given instructions on how to breathe underwater at the beach shore. After that, you’re taken to the middle of the ocean by their boat. You’ll then dive into the ocean, along with a dive operator who’ll be attached to you at the back at all times (think paragliding).
Your dive operator will guide you underwater while you explore the marine life for 45 minutes. It’ll be the most surreal 45 minutes of your life as you’ll be hypnotised by the colourful world.
Note: One of Dive India’s scuba divers will also be taking your photos/videos so that you have memories to take back.
After 45 minutes are over, you’ll be taken back to the same boat and then driven to the dive centre. This ride back to the dive centre was quiet as I visualised the magic I witnessed below the sea.
I’m sure it’ll be the same for you. You’ll be stuck with images of underwater life for some time.
But if you enjoyed the dive and want to take it to the next level and become a certified diver, you can also opt for their Open Water Diver Course, a popular beginner’s course here.
They also have many advanced and specialised courses, apart from the Open Water Diver Course, available on their website.
The Dive India diving centre is next to the Lemongrass Beach Resort and Full Moon Cafe (both part of the same property) by the Govind Nagar Beach in Havelock Island.
P.S. If you’re interested in exploring other water sports activities in India, apart from Dive India, I recommend Quest Adventure Sports Academy (QASA) in Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) which teaches kayaking, kitesurfing, windsurfing and sailing to name a few.
14. Read a book or chill at Vijay Nagar Beach/Govind Nagar Beach
Unlike other beaches on Havelock Island, various resorts along the same coastline share Vijay Nagar Beach and Govind Nagar Beach. If you stay at one of these resorts, you can experience these beaches.
These quiet and calm beaches are a long stretch of white sand on the island’s east coast, occasionally frequented by rocky sections.
The beaches are lined with coconut palm trees and Mahua trees whose trunks grow on the ground for many inches before they begin to climb vertically. They give a distinct personality to these beaches while also providing shade for tourists.
In terms of activities, you can walk along these beaches, read a book under one of the branches or float in the shallow water.
15. Laxmanpur Beach No. 1: The best sunset in Andaman
Laxmanpur Beach No. 1 is Neil Island’s signature beach. This beach is famous for its white sands, blue waters and most importantly, the sunset.
According to me, the sunsets at Radhanagar Beach (Havelock Island) and Laxmanpur Beach No. 1 were the best sunsets I experienced in Andaman and India as well.
To give you some perspective, a group of people sitting patiently beside me on Laxmanpur Beach No. 1, watched the sunset and clapped towards the end to show their appreciation for what they witnessed. It is hard to see something like this anywhere else.
During low tides, the sea bed becomes exposed. If that’s the case, you’ll see some dead corals and sea shells along the shore adding to the beauty of the beach.
You’ll also find plenty of food options, and you can have a candlelight dinner at the beach.
As Lakshmanpur Beach No. 1 is vast, you need to go to Sunset Point, in particular, to catch the sunset. You can ask any local about the same or check Google Maps.
Before you go to Sunset Point, I also recommend you take a walk to the mangroves section of the beach. It has uprooted trees and mangroves that will give you a different scenery compared to Sunset Point.
Plan your visit to this beach by 3:30-4 pm so you have enough time to explore.
16. Laxmanpur Beach No. 2: The most surreal beach in Andaman
Laxmanpur Beach No. 2 is one of the most unique places to visit in Andaman.
It is a rocky beach with dead and living coral reefs and a variety of marine life, including sea anemones, sea cucumbers, crabs, oysters and brittle stars. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The unique thing about this beach is that it is home to two spectacular natural bridges made of rocks and dead corals. Once you see them, you’ll be astonished as to what all nature can create.
You’ll hardly see any sand on the beach as it is covered with dead corals that have turned into hard rocks. Hence, you need to be careful while walking on this beach.
The place becomes crowded in the evening as you would expect.
You can also hire a guide, available at the entrance. The guide will take you around the beach and give you knowledge about the marine life and the corals you encounter on this beach.
While Natural Bridge 1 is near the beach’s entrance and attracts the most crowds, Natural Bridge 2 is at the tip of the beach. Don’t forget to hike to the latter bridge as it has better views and you’ll get lesser people there.
Also, don’t forget to take your pictures on this beach, especially at these Natural Bridges, as you’ll get some cool snaps.
Note: You’re allowed to visit this beach during low tides only. Hence, visit this beach after lunch, i.e. between 2 pm and 4 pm. After that, there’s a chance of high tides.
I suggest you explore Laxmanpur Beach No. 2 before catching the sunset at Laxmanpur Beach No. 1.
17. Sitapur Beach: The most underrated beach on Neil Island
Sitapur Beach is the most unassuming beach located on the other end of the island, away from all the other beaches. Due to its location, it attracts lesser crowds.
Like Laxmanpur Beach No. 1, this beach has clear blue waters, white sands and a long coastline.
Therefore, people who want to spend time on a calm and beautiful beach will find this place ideal.
Moreover, this beach is famous for its sunrise views on Neil Island. The sky gives away various shades of orange as the sun rises in the background of the sea. It is a sight you shouldn’t miss if you’re on Neil Island.
The only disadvantage is that you cannot swim here due to the rocks present in the seabed.
Visit this beach by 4:30 am to catch the sunrise, and also, don’t forget to carry a camera to get some amazing landscape photos.
18. Bharatpur Beach: Neil Island’s water sports beach
If you’re interested in swimming or trying water sports on Neil Island, this is the place to be.
Located half a kilometre from the jetty at Neil Island, Bharatpur Beach is a vast beach along a curve with clean white sands and transparent waters.
It’s famous for snorkelling, glass bottom rides and scuba diving. There are toilets and changing rooms on the beach.
During low tides, you can also walk half a kilometre into the sea accompanied by coral reefs as the shore is shallow.
You’ll also find plenty of food stalls and restaurants by the beach serving refreshments, coconut water and snacks apart from souvenirs.
If nothing interests you, you can also lay on the beach under the shadow of the tall trees.
Ensure that you carry cash as it’s a commonly accepted mode of payment here.
How to reach Andaman?
The Andaman airport, also known as the Veer Savarkar International Airport, is located in Port Blair.
You can reach Andaman by flight from any major city in India like Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to Port Blair.
However, if you need direct flights to Andaman (at reasonable rates), you’ll get them in Chennai and Kolkata only. We flew from Chennai to Andaman and got a good deal.
Did you know that you could travel to Andaman on a ship? You can board a ship from Kolkata, Visakhapatnam and Chennai to Andaman.
However, many people don’t opt for it as there’s no online reservation. You have to visit the designated government shipping offices in each of these cities to book your tickets.
Moreover, it takes an average of 60 hours to reach by ship, and the cost may also be similar to a flight, so it may not make sense unless you want this experience.
You can visit this website for more details.
How to travel within Andaman?
As Port Blair is the capital of Andaman, you’ll have plenty of options for travelling around.
If you’re travelling locally within Port Blair, you can hire an auto but ensure you bargain with them as they’ll try to loot you.
You can also take buses as we did, as it helped us save costs. Ask the locals for the bus routes.
If you’re a solo traveller or a group of two, you can rent a bike from one of the shops in Port Blair. Search on Google for the bike rentals in Port Blair or enquire with your homestay/resort.
For long-distance travel in Port Blair, I recommend hiring a cab with the help of your homestay/resort as the journey will be comfortable. If you’re travelling to Baratang, it is the only option as autos/bikes or private vehicles are not allowed.
Havelock Island and Neil Island
For both these islands, you can hire a scooty/bike from one of the local bike rentals available on these islands. Your homestay/resort will also help with the same.
Alternatively, you can also hire an auto/cab.
While buses are available on both these islands, they’re not reliable hence I recommend you avoid the same.
How to travel between islands in Andaman?
The only way you can travel between Port Blair, Havelock Island and Neil Island is by taking a ferry.
There are three major ferries in Andaman: Makruzz, Green Ocean and ITT Majestic.
Depending on your origin, destination and travel dates, you can book any of these ferries from this website. We booked our ferry tickets in advance from the same website.
We tried all three ferries for three different trips and enjoyed the overall experience. All the ferries were comfortable and punctual. It can take up to 2 hours depending on where you’re travelling.
Note: I recommend you book the ferry tickets in advance as you may not get a ticket at the last moment, especially during the peak season.
Best time to visit Andaman
We visited the Andaman by September end and found the weather calm and pleasant.
Typically, the best time to visit Andaman is between October and May, when the weather remains sunny. It is also ideal if you want to try water sports.
You may experience showers between June to September, hence, the weather in Andaman may not be ideal during this period. However, you can avail the best discounts in Andaman during this time.
Best hotels in Andaman
One of the best things about the Andaman is that you can find different kinds of accommodations according to your budget.
You can get hostels, hotels, homestays and resorts of various budgets according to your needs.
Given below are some homestays and resorts I can suggest based on my experience. However, I recommend you do your research to find other options as well.
Sandy Shores Home Stay (Port Blair)
Our entire stay in Port Blair was at Sandy Shores Home Stay. It is a two-storey building converted into a homestay.
Sandy Shores is super affordable, located near the Andaman airport and accessible to various destinations in Port Blair.
The host, Nitin, goes out of his way to help his guests with travel itineraries, cab bookings, places to eat, etc.
Nitin is very friendly and approachable, and you can also spend some time with him at his homestay. If you do book this homestay, say hi to him.
Emerald Gecko Resort (Havelock Island)
If you’re a budget traveller who wants to stay in a natural environment, I suggest you try Emerald Gecko Resort.
They’re an eco-friendly resort in a forest with huts made of bamboo walls and thatched roofs without air conditioning, televisions and limited wifi connectivity. Although, they do provide fans and mosquito nets for your convenience.
You have access to a private beach on Vijay Nagar Beach. You’ll also get a complimentary breakfast, although they don’t provide lunch or dinner.
However, that’s not an issue as you’ll find many cafes and restaurants nearby, which is another USP of the resort’s location.
Emerald Gecko Resort (Neil Island)
We stayed in Emerald Gecko once again on Neil Island, and while the concept is the same, we had a different experience this time.
The property is in an isolated place on Neil Island at a walkable distance from Sitapur Beach. Hence, we didn’t find many tourists here.
Moreover, the resort is located in the middle of a forest, giving it a different vibe.
The best thing about the resort was the Fat Martin Cafe.
Unlike the resort at Havelock Island, this place has an in-house cafe, which has some of the tastiest dishes on Neil Island. They source their food from the farm adding to the freshness and the taste.
Don’t forget to gorge on their multicuisine menu even if you don’t stay here.
Flying Elephant Resort (Havelock Island)
Although we couldn’t book our stay here, we did give it a visit and truly enjoyed what we saw.
Located within 2 minutes from the Kala Pathar Beach, the Flying Elephant Resort is in a forest area surrounded by a lotus pond and coconut trees.
The cottages are made of bamboo, and the breakfast is complimentary. As it’s in a secluded spot on the island, it’s suitable for couples.
However, this also means that you’re away from the happening area of Havelock Island but you can hire a scooty from the resort.
Best restaurants in Andaman
One of the best things to do in Andaman is to try different dishes and cuisines here. The Andaman also has some of the finest seafood you’ll ever get in India.
I can recommend some places based on my experiences, but as before, I recommend you do your research as there are many restaurants in Andaman.
New Lighthouse Restaurant
Our homestay owner (Nitin) suggested this restaurant, and we’re thankful to him for the same.
New Lighthouse is an old restaurant in Port Blair that is known for offering a wide variety of fresh seafood at reasonable rates.
They have a huge selection of live lobsters, prawns and crabs.
The restaurant has an open atmosphere with friendly waiters.
The place is also conveniently located close to Marina Park and Cellular Jail.
Lobster, red snapper and crab masala are some recommended seafood items here.
If you want authentic South Indian cuisine in Andaman, visit Hotel Kattabomman.
Opened in 1975, it is a small joint with barely 5-7 tables, known for its vegetarian dishes.
They serve tasty and value-for-money breakfast items like idli, pongal, vada, dosa and uttapam with varieties of chutney and sambhar.
You’ll also get the same items for dinner.
Don’t forget to have their filter coffee as well.
Full Moon Cafe
The first meal we had after landing on Havelock Island was at the Full Moon Cafe. And we couldn’t have started our journey off on a better note.
Located in the Lemongrass Beach Resort (or the Dive India Resort), Full Moon Cafe is a seafood restaurant with a view of the Govind Nagar beach.
Their menu has adequate options to satisfy any foodie with enough quantity for two people, and that too at reasonable rates.
Their fish steaks, coffee, and coconut rice are some must-try items. The best thing about their menu is that they have many vegetarian and vegan options.
You can also read books at this cafe, play games or chill at the beach.
Anju Coco Restaurant
Anju Coco Restaurant is another famous seafood restaurant in Havelock Island you shouldn’t miss. The quality, quantity, taste and price of the food are on point.
They’re known for their North Indian food but they also provide Continental, Italian and Seafood.
Their thalis and the banoffee pie are signature items, although, I recommend you try other items on the menu.
In terms of ratings, I rate Anju Coco restaurant and Full Moon Cafe as the two best eateries on Havelock Island.
Unlike the previous two restaurants, Kathmandu Restaurant is an unassuming restaurant with plastic tables and chairs but don’t get fooled by that.
You’ll be blown by the quality of the food they prepare. It is a family restaurant with friendly staff and most importantly, value-for-money, compared to other restaurants on the island.
While they serve Chinese, Indian, Italian, Continental and Seafood cuisine, I strongly suggest you try their Nepalese, Tibetan and Israeli dishes that are hard to find elsewhere.
This restaurant will become one of your favourites with the first order itself.
Fat Martin Cafe
The Fat Martin Cafe in Neil Island (also available on Havelock Island) is a gastronomical delight for any foodie.
As part of the Emerald Gecko resort that’s in a secluded area near Sitapur Beach, this quaint cafe offers fresh seafood, pizzas, and burgers apart from desserts.
Their rates are also affordable, and with their quality, we ended up having food from them multiple times.
Some of the dishes I can suggest are the banana leaf wrapped coconut sauce red snapper, seafood platters, lobster in butter garlic sauce and their signature dessert – Hello To The Queen.
The only drawback is that you won’t find their location on the map but don’t worry about that. You can visit the Emerald Gecko resort, where the cafe is available at the entrance.
Kiran Restaurant was one of our top finds of the Andaman trip. While the restaurant looks basic on the outside, you’ll be impressed by the quality of its food.
Run by a Bengali family, they’re the best seafood restaurant you’ll find on Neil Island.
They have various fishes on display and they’ll also help you decide your choice according to your preference. Although there is a waiting time of 20-30 minutes after ordering the food, you won’t be disappointed by the end product.
Red Snapper, Rava Fish Fry and Crab Masala are some of their specialities.
Vibes and Dives
We missed out on Vibes and Dives, but we have heard good reviews about their food.
They have a European and Asian menu which is hard to find on this island.
The owner Vikrant and the staff are friendly and hospitable, and their dishes are lip-smacking and affordable.
This cafe is at Sitapur Beach’s entrance and opposite the Emerald Gecko Resort.
Best travel tips for Andaman
Before I visited Andaman, I had so many doubts about the island that I couldn’t find them online.
Now that I spent enough time there, I would like to give you some essential travel tips to make your Andaman trip a breeze.
- Book your flights to and fro Port Blair at least 1-2 months in advance as the prices might increase otherwise (especially in the peak season).
- Pre-book your ferries online to travel between Port Blair, Havelock Island and Neil Island because you may not find availability at the last moment.
- You can easily rent two-wheelers at Port Blair, Havelock Island and Neil Island.
- Get all your doubts clarified from your homestay/resort owner as they’re locals and hence, knowledgeable about the Andaman.
- If you travel to Baratang Island, you need to book a cab as other modes of transport are not allowed.
- You’re not allowed to take photos/videos or offer anything to the Andaman tribes by law.
- Some places in the Andaman like Munda Pahad Beach, Elephant Beach, and Baratang Island have specific timings so ensure that you’re following a schedule/itinerary for the best experience.
- The sunrises and sunsets happen early in the Andaman, compared to mainland India, hence ensure that you’re on time for them.
- Compared to other tourist destinations in India, you may find it hard to bargain with the autos/cabs in Andaman as the rates are fixed for most routes.
- Airtel and BSNL have a mobile network in the Andaman apart from Vodafone, but the signal strength varies from region to region.
- It’s preferable to carry cash in hand, especially when you’re travelling on Havelock Island and Neil Island.
- The internet coverage in Andaman is poor, and even if you get free wifi from a cafe/resort, the speed will be less.
- The most commonly spoken language here is Hindi followed by regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, etc. The locals also understand English.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Andaman worth visiting?
Andaman is worth visiting if you want to explore a laid-back island destination with some of the best beaches and sunrises/sunsets in India.
Apart from that, it is a great place to explore if you’re interested in learning about India’s freedom struggle with the British, the diverse marine life indigenous to Andaman and the ancient tribes that live here.
Andaman is also known for its huge variety of lip-smacking seafood and various water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, parasailing, glass-bottom rides, semi-submarine rides, etc.
Which part of Andaman is beautiful?
Havelock Island and Neil Island are the most beautiful islands in South Andaman.
However, if you travel to Middle Andaman and North Andaman, you can find several lesser-explored islands with even better sceneries compared to South Andaman.
For example, the Ross and Smith Island in North Andaman, where many movies are shot, was among my favourite places to visit in Andaman.
How many islands can we visit in Andaman?
While only 38 out of 572 islands are inhabited in the Andaman, you can only visit a few islands as a tourist that you can find here. Apart from these, you can also visit Port Blair, Havelock Island and Neil Island, the main tourist attractions in the Andaman.
Is 3 days enough for Andaman?
3 days is enough to cover any one destination in the Andaman, i.e., Port Blair, Havelock Island or Neil Island. However, you cannot cover multiple destinations at once unless you are missing out on some places in each of these destinations.
For the best experience, I recommend keeping aside at least one week to explore Andaman.
Which are the places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar in 5 days?
The following are the places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar in 5 days:
1. Ross Island
2. North Bay Island
3. Cellular Jail
4. Samudrika Marine Museum
5. Zonal Anthropological Museum
6. Chidiya Tapu Beach
7. Munda Pahad Beach
8. Limestone Cave, Baratang
9. Corbyn’s Cove Beach
10. Radhanagar Beach
11. Kala Pathar Beach
12. Scuba Diving at Dive India
13. Laxmanpur Beach No.1
14. Laxmanpur Beach No. 2
Which are the places to visit in Andaman in 7 days?
If you have 7 days, you’ll be able to cover almost all of the important places in the Andaman. Given below are the best places to visit in Andaman for a week:
1. Ross Island
2. North Bay Island
3. Cellular Jail
4. Samudrika Marine Museum
5. Zonal Anthropological Museum
6. Chidiya Tapu Beach
7. Munda Pahad Beach
8. Limestone Cave, Baratang
9. Corbyn’s Cove Beach
10. Elephant Beach
11. Radhanagar Beach
12. Kala Pathar Beach
13. Scuba Diving at Dive India
14. Vijay Nagar/Govind Nagar Beach
15. Laxmanpur Beach No.1
16. Laxmanpur Beach No. 2
17. Sitapur Beach
18. Bharatpur Beach
Andaman and Nicobar Islands remain one of the best island destinations in India apart from Lakshadweep.
To get the best experience, I suggest you keep aside 7 days to explore Andaman and follow a schedule as some places have fixed timings.
Plan your flight tickets to and fro Port Blair and your ferry tickets between Port Blair, Havelock Island and Neil Island in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.
You’ll find plenty of homestays and resorts in the Andaman, but it’s preferable to book the stay of your choice before to avoid missing out.
You don’t have to worry about travelling in Andaman as you can rent bikes, hire autos/cabs or take the bus depending on the region.
Apart from the places I’ve listed in the article, don’t forget to try the various water sports activities, especially scuba diving in Andaman. Gorge on the seafood you get here; you may not find such quality in India.
Also, try to learn more about Andaman’s role in the freedom struggle, the extraordinary marine life and the culture and the unique lifestyle of the tribals that reside here. These are some of the best things to do in Andaman.
When you experience all of these things together, you’ll realise how wholesome and diverse the Andaman truly is in terms of what it offers as opposed to just visiting some beaches and indulging in water sports.
With that said, I hope you found this guide on the ’18 exciting places to visit in Andaman’ valuable. Let me know if you have any doubts in the comments section below.