Every place in India is a destination for incredibly varied experiences, and the Andaman and Nicobar islands are a great example of this. The scenic archipelago has been ranked the best beach in Asia by the Times Magazine and has also featured in the top ten beaches globally.
Apart from its beauty, its long and interesting history draws travellers, and its diverse flora and fauna are a treat for nature lovers. State of the art water activities are offered at the islands, and scuba divers from all over the world visit the fringing coral reefs surrounding the area.
Before planning an Andaman and Nicobar tour package, the following things need to be considered-
The best time to visit
The prime time to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands is between the months of October and May. While the temperatures here stay comfortable all year round, and range between 20ºC and 32ºC, the monsoon months are not tourist-friendly.
High tidal waves, strong winds and torrential rain dampen the fun, making it difficult to explore the island properly. However, the sparse crowds make for a wholly different kind of experience, one of solitude and peace among the heavy, dark clouds.
The months between January and April are particularly recommended for a visit to Andaman. The sky is strikingly clear during these months, and the ocean reflects its bright blue hues. Water sports are operated in these months, and the pleasant, albeit humid, weather makes exploring the archipelago comfortable.
These months tend to be touristy and crowded, making the beaches lively and fun. However, it is easy to find secluded, peaceful places among the many beaches of the islands.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a cluster of numerous small islands, of which most are uninhabited. The ones that are open for tourists are breathtaking, with bright and foamy waters and soft, dazzling sands. Travellers indulge in beach hopping to get a taste of the variety of the beaches here.
The restricted islands have been home to five vulnerable tribes for around 60,000 years. Anthropologists consider them to be the first settlers of Asia. The tribes are — the Great Andamanese, the North Sentinelese, the Jarawas, the Onges and the Shompens.
Of these, the North Sentinelese are known to be the world’s most isolated people, and have repeatedly denied contact. The tribes are legally protected, and visiting the islands on which they reside are prohibited. Local tour operators run tours on the Andaman Trunk Road, which passes through the area of the Jarawa tribe, and conduct “human safaris”.
We advise you not to undertake these, as they are illegal, and highly disastrous to the existence of the endangered people. A sea route has become functional for travelling to Baratang, and we suggest you use this instead.
How to reach the archipelago: Reaching the Andamans is the most convenient through flights. Regular, direct flights operate between Veer Savarkar International Airport from Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. Connecting flights run from many other places.
An Andaman tour package by cruise is another popular way to embark on your Andaman trip. Cruises are run by the Shipping Corporation of India from the ports of Kolkata, Chennai and Vizag, and take between 50 and 70 hours to reach Andamans. January to April is the best time to cruise to the Andamans, as the risk of seasickness is the least during these months.
For international travellers, an Indian visa is required to visit the islands.
Barren Island is the only active volcano in Southern Asia, and though it is not possible to actually set foot on its territory, visitors can take a ferry from Havelock Island, or a seaplane from Port Blair to see it from a close distance. The volcano last erupted in 2018, and it is possible to see fumes at the top, the black sandy beaches of the island and the small hills around the volcano from a ferry. From a seaplane, the 2 kilometre wide caldera can be seen.
Because of how unexplored and untainted Barren Island is, the water surrounding it is considered to be unparalleled for scuba diving. Manta rays and well kept, vibrant corals are the prime attraction here, and formations of the lava that has flowed in the past are also interesting.
The stunning phenomenon of bioluminescence can be witnessed on beaches on a no-moon night. Bioluminescent creatures, or creatures that give out light, can be seen clearly in some places in the Andamans.
Havelock is ideal to enjoy this wonderful, fascinating experience because it is quieter and relatively pollution-free. Kayak trips are organised to take the guest in the waters, where the disturbance caused by the oars make the phytoplankton give out an ethereal light. Taking a night sail on a no moon night among the glow in the dark creatures is one of the most fascinating experiences one can have in the Andamans.
The island of Baratang is known for two immensely popular attractions- the limestone caves, and the mud volcanoes. The limestone caves are fascinating ancient, natural structures that are constantly evolving. The mud volcano at Baratang is the only one in the country. It spews out a mixture of mud, water and gases, and draws tourists in large numbers.
While Baratang has a lot to explore, one must remember that it is the home of the Jarawa tribe, who still reside there. Interacting with the tribals is strictly prohibited, and punishable by law.
Located close to Port Blair, Chidiya tapu is an easy escape from the commotion of popular, crowded places for a serene, quiet time. Shops and restaurants are not found in large numbers here, in order to maintain the tranquillity of the area. The island is a paradise for bird watchers, and many species of local and migratory birds can be spotted here. The views of the sunset from Chidiya tapu are perhaps its greatest charm- the expansive, uninterrupted views of the ocean as the sun bids adieu paint a magnificent picture
The natural bridge-like structure made of corals in Neil Island is fondly called Howrah Bridge by the locals, and it is one of the most interesting things to see on the island. The structure is best seen during low tide. Head to Beach No. 2 on Neil’s Island to see this fascinating formation.
Enjoy water activities like sea walking, sea karting, kayaking, diving
Go on a tour of the historical aspects of the islands
Trek up to Mount Harriet for a panoramic view of the neighbouring islands
Indulge in the local cuisine, which is an amalgamation of the cuisines of the different people who have settled here
Pick up souvenirs at Aberdeen Bazaar.
The islands of the Andaman and Nicobar group are bordered by some of the most pristine beaches in the country. Soft, white and gold sand dotted with interesting rock formations greet the bright aqua waves of the Bay of Bengal, where the waters break into a white frothy foam. The mangrove cover is dense and verdant, lending a mysterious and alluring charm to the islands.
Apart from the capital city of Port Blair, accessible beaches lie in Havelock, Long Island, Neil Island, Baratang and Ross Island, among others. Some of these are crowd favourites, hosting a range of top-class activities, fairs and sports, while others are off the beaten track and offer serenity and quaintness. The quiet beaches of the Andamans are a delight for lovers of nature, and one can spend hours relaxing amidst the unparalleled, untouched beauty of the sea and trees.
Port Blair has some of the most scenic beaches in the archipelago. Corbyn’s Cove is one of the most visited beaches on the island, with wide shores and hurling, tall tides. Lined with coconut trees, Corbyn’s Cove has something for every taste. Jet skiing and speed boating are good options for the ones who seek to spend their time more actively. The beach also offers scuba diving around Snake Island, which lies close by. Divers can see hard and soft corals here, and it is an easily accessible place to enjoy the sport. However, the beach is best known for its picturesque walks and delightful swimming options. The numerous cabins and restaurants offering scrumptious food are loved by visitors after taking walks on the beach.
Wandoor Beach is the longest beach in Port Blair and forms a part of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. It is a strictly plastic-free zone and the centre of sustainable tourism in the area. Reaching the beach is a delight in itself, as the road leading to it runs through forests with occasional stunning views of the water. The stretch of white sand beach is lined with tropical trees, and visitors love taking a dip in the clear blue waters here. The gradually increasing steepness of the sea is ideal for swimming, and the netted enclosure ensures that no unforeseen accident takes place. The stunning views from the shore are also a great way to spend a relaxing time, and a number of shacks offer delicious food. Though no water sports are held at Wandoor, Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Beach are easily accessible from here and visitors often take a jetty to either of the two to enjoy exhilarating activities.
Havelock Island is the crowning glory of the archipelago. The fine beaches of Havelock offer picture-perfect, enthralling views and are regularly considered to be the premier destinations in the islands. Radhanagar Beach, also called Beach Number 7, is arguably the most famous beach in the territory. Recognised by the Times Magazine to be the best beach in Asia, and the 7th best globally in the year 2004, it is a must-visit Andaman Tourist Spot. The shore is wide and looks never-ending, and the soft white sand is flanked by lush green trees on one side, and the bright azure waters on the other. The stunning beach is one of the best places to catch unforgettable glimpses of the setting sun, which paints the skies in mesmerising colours. The water here is of medium current, and the absence of corals make it an ideal place to enjoy swimming. The gradual descent of the sea bed also makes swims comfortable and safe. There are shacks and high-end restaurants offering local delicacies which are immensely popular with tourists.
Beach Number 5, or Vijaynagar Beach, is a serene and quiet beach on Havelock. Chosen by tourists as an escape from other crowded beaches, visitors can enjoy speeding lazy hours at the shore or take part in fun activities like snorkelling, diving and fishing. The views of the sunrise from the shore are arresting, and the clear waters reflect the colours of the sky. Vijaynagar Beach is a great relaxing place to include in Andaman tour places.
Elephant Beach on the Island is an experience that is unparalleled. Known for its clear, transparent waters, a wall of green trees and clean, white sand in between, the beach is a haven for thrill-seekers and peace lovers alike. Boat rides and forest treks are the only ways to reach the place. The wooden seatings and benches on the shore are a good way to soak in the energy of the surroundings, and the stalls selling snacks are popular.
The water sports at Elephant are unrivalled in the archipelago, and jet skiing, kayaking, snorkelling, diving, banana and sofa boat rides are often enjoyed by visitors. The hard and soft colourful corals in the water surrounding the beach are best enjoyed through Sea Walking, snorkelling and glass-bottomed boat rides. The waters near the coast are shallow and deepen gently, making it an ideal place for swimming or enjoying the water with the younger ones. A visit to Elephant Beach is an important part of visiting the Andamans.
The last of Havelock’ must-visit beaches is Kalapathar Beach, literally meaning Black Rock Beach. It is a riot of colours, with the azure of the Bay of Bengal meeting the white of the sand, on which stands huge, dark rock structures. The thick green forest cover bordering the shore makes for a fairy tale sight filled with mystery. Kala Pathar is an off-centre destination, offering maximum solitude and intimacy out of all the beaches in the archipelago. This makes it an indispensable part of any Andaman Nicobar honeymoon package.
Little Andaman Island, the fourth largest in the group, holds the Butler Bay Beach, which is considered to be the best place in India to enjoy water sports. Especially known as a premier surfing destination, Butler Bay is becoming increasingly popular with intermediate to advanced level surfers globally, and the sport is the highlight of the area between the months of April and June. However, the high, powerful tides here are not suitable for beginner surfers. During the low tides, snorkelling is a great activity to undertake in Butler Bay. The clear waters afford visibility of turtles, colourful fishes and a little coral. Low tides are also good for kayaking, and gears are available for rent easily. The beach also has non-water activities, of which visiting the lighthouse is particularly rewarding. The top offers expansive views of the Bay of Bengal, with creatures diving and ships passing in the distance. Trekking is also a popular activity in the Butler bay Forest area, and trekkers chance upon rare varieties of flora and fauna. A visit to this island is a must on your trip to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, especially if you want to spend time enjoying exhilarating activities.
Neil island is home to four breathtaking beaches, with seemingly unending white shores and radiant blue waters. Bharatpur Beach is known for its water activities like jet skiing, glass-bottomed boat rides and swimming. Sitapur Beach is the best place to enjoy a restful and tranquil sunrise, while Ramnagar Beach is popular for its snorkelling spots. Neil Islands are an unexplored part of the archipelago, and unlike luxurious Andaman hotels that are found in large numbers, in other islands like Havelock the luxury resorts here are limited. It is therefore advised to book them well in advance.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to India’s finest beaches, all offering stunning views of the great Bay of Bengal. The bright blue of the water merges into the blue of the skies, making picture-perfect vistas. The beaches are clean, with soft and bright sands, and the hearty forest cover and Mangroves add a tone of mystery to the setting. Lovers of thrilling water sports are spoilt for choice, as the countless beaches of the archipelago all offer state of the art facilities. Serene and quaint beaches are also numerous, allowing visitors to spend their days in the quiet company of untouched nature. Andaman’s beaches offer something for everyone- and visiting the islands are sure to leave an indelible mark.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have faced one of the darkest episodes in the history of the country, and the Cellular Jail stands as a memorial for it. Used by the colonisers as a torture prison for political activists, the jail is also named Kaala Pani, meaning “dark waters”, symbolising lost hope for the prisoners.
Countless people visit it every year to get an idea of the struggles faced by anti-colonial freedom fighters, and the tortures that had been inflicted on them. Architecturally, the jail is based on Bentham’s model called Panopticon, which allowed a single guard to keep an eye on the entire premise. The daily light and sound show hosted here is a good way to understand the life of the inmates. History lovers make sure to not miss out on a guided tour of the jail.
The jail is around four kilometres away from the Veer Savarkar International Airport, and is easily accessible by road.
Another interesting historical attraction in the archipelago is the Chatam Saw Mill. Located in Port Blair, it is one of the most seasoned wood mills in Asia, and it has seen a long history. Established by the British in 1883, the forests that encompass the Chatham island were used to procure the timber required for the mill. Demolished during World War II, the plant was slowly revived once people started settling down in the islands and human headways started spreading.
Today, visitors are left in awe seeing the extraordinary accuracy with which the plant functions. The Museum in the factory is particularly fascinating, and it houses an incredible assortment of wood carvings. Be sure to purchase a figurine as a souvenir!
The heavily forested islands of Andaman and Nicobar not only have a large variety of marine life, but also countless terrestrial and avian species. Of these, a vast percentage are endemic. Visiting the national parks is an unmissable experience here.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a reserve established to conserve marine life like corals and sea turtles. Lying close to the capital city of Port Blair, the Park is spread over 17 islands in the Rutland archipelago.
The park has a considerable population of sea turtles, and the turtle breeding centre is often visited by tourists. Visitors also enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving on the islands, and the exploration of the fringing reefs around the island is a spectacular experience.
The most famous national park in the Andaman and Nicobar islands is the Mount Harriet National Park. Spread over a dense, lush forest spanning 46 square kilometres, the large variety of terrestrial and avian fauna draws visitors in good numbers. The woods are a wide range of evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, with a large degree of endemism.
The reserve is home to King Cobra, Andaman Cobra, turtles including Green Sea Turtles and Olive Ridley Turtles, robber crabs, saltwater crocodiles and wild pigs. The avifauna of the park is striking- with around 90 species of birds, of which 11 are endemic. The park has been categorised as an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International, under their Important Bird Areas programme. Important species found here include Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman wood pigeon, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Boobook, Nicobar Megapode, and the Nicobar Parakeet.
The park also has wonderful treks for visitors. A light, short trail runs between the park and Kalapathar View Point, and a longer one ends in the white sand shores of Madhuban Beach. Taking a motorbike ride up to Mount Harriet is rewarding, as the uninterrupted views of the Bay of Bengal and the islands of the archipelago are stunning. The twenty rupees note in the Indian currency features a shot taken from the top of Mount Harriet!
The reserve also has facilities to stay overnight in camps or guest houses. Situated an approximately forty minutes boat ride away from Port Blair, most visitors choose to include a visit to the park a half-day affair.
North Button Island National Park is the best place in the archipelago to spot water creatures like dolphins, water monitor lizards and the highly endangered Dugong. The Cerulean whales come up to the surface of the waters in the winter months between December and March, and it is recommended to visit the park around that time. The park is a premier site for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Accommodation is available in North Button Island, for which prior booking is required with the authorities. Private hotels and resorts are located at Long island, which is close to the National Park.
The Great Nicobar island is home to Campbell Bay National Park, which is one of the most secluded and hidden national parks in the country. Forming a portion of the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve, the park is over 400 square kilometres big.
The ecosystem in Campbell Bay is made of tropical evergreen woods, mangrove forests and tree ferns. The forests are filled with wildflowers, and are particularly known for their beautiful, flowering orchids. The months between March and October are the best time to visit the park, as the flora is in its full bloom.
The fauna in Campbell Bay is as varied as its flora. Crab-eating macaque, Nicobar Megapodes, Robber Crabs, wild boar, civet cats, deers and Nicobar Pigeons are found in good numbers. Leatherback Turtles and Olive Ridley Turtles can also be spotted on the shores. The Galathea National Park situated close to Campbell Bay is usually clubbed together by visitors.
Getting to Campbell Bay is accessible either by air or by sea, and both routes are delightfully spellbinding. The government-run helicopter service called Pawan Hans is a quicker way to reach the park, and it runs from Port Blair to the island. The island has accommodation facilities in the form of camps and cabins, and these have to be booked in advance.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands support a very unique mix of life, and are a favourite of nature lovers. Ornithophiles particularly enjoy the islands for its rich avian life. Being an island, the waters encompassing the land are home to countless marine creatures. The Dugong, the highly endangered “sea cow” is found in considerable numbers around the archipelago. One must try and explore the variety of nature while here.
The islands of Andaman and Nicobars have exceptional diversity in its population. Apart from the indigenous tribes, a lot of outsiders have settled on the islands, and have brought their own cultures with them. As a result, the archipelago is a delightful medley of heritage, traditions and customs.
The diversity in the culture of the islands is mirrored in its festivals. Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of pomp in the months of September or October, with pandals being set up for the devotees and worshippers make idols of the Goddess out of clay. Kali Puja quickly follows Durga Puja, and is celebrated across all temples dedicated to Goddess Kali. Premnagar Kali Temple in Port Blair is visited by devotees in staggering numbers.
The Mariamman Festival, though traditionally a Hindu festival, is celebrated by people of all religions. The locals believe that the Goddess Arulmigu Sri Mariamman guards the Chiditapu island, and the festival is passionately celebrated. The old temple dedicated to the Goddess in Astinabad Village is especially revered, and witnesses a huge number of people attending the prayers.
With Christians forming the second largest community in the islands, Christmas is celebrated with a lot of fervour. Churches are decked splendidly in lights and lamps, and see a large attendance.
Other than religious festivals, the Andaman and Nicobar islands also host a number of fetes. The Island Tourism Festival, lasting for a fortnight, is held every January. The celebrations are held across the archipelago, but are especially fervent in Port Blair, Havelock Island, Neil Island, Diglipur and Rangat.
The festival sees a lot of tourists, both from India and abroad, and there is a lot to interest and entertain the visitors. Live music concerts, dance performances, plays and theatre are the highlights of this carnival. Stalls selling scrumptious food and traditional handicrafts, flower shows and games are also a part of the event, and add to the gaiety of the festival.
The Beach festival is the highlight of the year on the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Fun shore and water activities are hosted by different beaches during the festival, in order to promote their own respective attractions. Water sports are enjoyed widely during this time, while sand sculpture competitions and dinghy racing are major crowd-pleasers. Games like tug-of-war, kabaddi and volleyball are also played, and music concerts are organised in the evenings. The festival is held in the month of April and is a gala time for the people in attendance.
Other festivals are held throughout the year in the archipelago- the Port Blair food festival, which celebrates the intricacies of Indian cuisine, the Film Festival, the World Tourism Day festival are all great fetes to attend. Visitors try and take part in the fun and game affairs, to make their Andaman holiday even more memorable
(Please note that the following are sample itineraries. Flying Squirrel Holidays works with your requirements to tailor-make your dream Andaman and Nicobar Tour Package for you. special Andaman Nicobar Honeymoon Package customisations are also available.)
The Great Andamans: 6 Nights, 5 Days
Escape in Andamans: 7 Nights 6 Days
Andaman Nicobar Honeymoon Package: 8 Nights, 7 Days
The Great Andamans (This is only a sample itinerary)
Day 1Arrive at Port Blair and transfer to your hotel. Post lunch, head to Corbyn's Cove to enjoy an afternoon of swimming. In the evening, head to Cellular Jail to witness the light and sound show depicting the struggles of India's freedom fighters. Retreat to the hotel for dinner.
Day 2Day 2 is for Havelock. Travel to Havelock post breakfast, and check in to your hotel. Spend the day at Radhanagar Beach and marvel at its pristine beauty. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also available here. Retire early at night.
Day 3This is for your leisure. You can explore Havelock on your own, indulge in water activities or just unwind by its beaches.
Day 4Head to Elephant Beach in the morning to snorkel among its stunning reefs. The reefs here are less than one meter deep, and no prior swimming experience is required. Our trained guides will ensure you explore the beautiful reefs in utmost safety. After lunch at Havelock, head back to Port Blair.
Day 5Keep this day for exploring the colonial past in the form of Ross Island. The churches, caves and buildings in Ross Island transport you back to the past, and make for an experience different from the ones offered anywhere else in the Andamans. The ruins and the light and sound show are particular attractions. After Ross Island, head to North Bay Island to indulge in activities like diving or glass-bottomed boat rides. You can even try sea walking here. Head back to the hotel towards the evening, and you are free to shop for souvenirs in Port Blair.
Day 6Check out of your hotel and head home.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Cost of a trip depends on places you plan to visit, the duration of the stay, the class of travel and accommodation and the inclusions you seek. We have years of experience in conducting the tours. Let us at Flying Squirrel Holidays get the best deal for you.
Which is the best month to visit Andaman?
The months from October to May are the best months to visit the island.
What language do they speak in Andaman?
Bengali is the most spoken language. Apart from that, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam are also widely used. Andaman Creole Hindi is a trade language used on the island, spoken mainly in Port Blair.
Which currency is used in Andaman?
Indian Rupee is the currency used in Andaman.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are one of the most distinctive destinations to visit in India. The postcard-perfect beaches with their clean white sands, verdant mangrove or palm trees overlooking the bright blue Bay of Bengal are some of India's finest. The water activities conducted in the beaches are state of the art, and host some of the best diving experiences globally. The archipelago comes with a heavy history, and exploring this aspect is fascinating and moving. The demography, being a mix of different cultures, is reflected in the festivals and gastronomy of the islands. The Andamans are absolutely enchanting, and the visit here will stay with you forever.
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