Lush green forests and mangroves, bright blue waters and the sun setting on the horizon. This is how a day in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands can be described. The beautiful islands are over a thousand miles away from the Indian mainland. This is the perfect destination for a quiet getaway. The stunning coral reef, gorgeous rainforests, pristine beaches and of course, the turquoise waters that surround it all-this archipelago is a tropical paradise in all its glory. These islands, off the eastern coast of India in the Bay of Bengal, are rich in flora and fauna with a long list of things to do.
This blog post is your best bet of knowing how to travel in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and things to do in Andaman.
When to visit Andaman?
Although, the islands are bustling with tourists all year-round, the best time to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is from November to mid-May. The temperatures in this period range from 20 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius. Summers in Andaman are from April to June. The temperature ranges from 24°C – 37°C. Temperatures get much warmer from mid-May onward. You could head to Andaman post mid-May to enjoy thinner crowds and post season discounts.
Monsoon in Andaman are from July to September. Andaman receives over 200mm of rainfall per annum. The sea during this period is also rough and so, you are not advised to go to Andaman during this period. Winters in Andaman are from October to March and are the best time to visit here. This is the peak season for tourists since, the temperatures are in the range of a pleasant 20°C – 30°C.
Also See: Must visit islands in Andaman
How to get to Andaman?
Most airlines have direct flights from the Indian metros. The flight duration can vary from 2 hours (from Chennai) to close to 4 hours (from Delhi).
You can also get to Andaman by cruise. These cruises start from Chennai, Vizag and Kolkata. The duration of the cruise is 4 days. The cost of the cruise is almost as much as a flight ticket and so, is not as attractive.
Things to do in Andaman
There are a lot of things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, here are our top favourites.
Water Activities in Andaman
There is a long list of water activities that Andaman has to offer. You can pick between activities like swimming, scuba diving, parasailing or jet skiing. This is the best way to take that adrenaline rush to another level. If you are an adrenaline junkie and love water and adventure sports, then Andaman is the place to be. Snorkeling and scuba diving in Andaman are whole other experiences. And for those of you that want to relax and have a good time, you can go dolphin watching. There are enough things to do in Andaman to keep your adventurous or non-adventurous side satiated.
Also See: Places to visit in February in India
Sea-walking is one of the biggest attractions in Andaman. Walking on the seabed and being so close to the marine animals is a wonderful experience. Imagine walking alongside fishes and have them hovering over you. You wear a helmet that lets you breathe, and you are a part of a whole other ecosystem. Sea-walking can be done by anyone from the ages of 7 to 70. You don’t need to know swimming to undertake this activity. There is an experienced diver alongside you to ensure your safety.
The best places to do sea-walking are the North Bay island and the Elephant beach. You will have to book this activity in advance
Sea Walk Timing – At North Bay Island – 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am and 1:00 pm
Sea Walk Timing – At Elephant Beach – Boat ride starts at 8:30 am and runs till 2:00 pm
Cost: A sea walk will cost you Rs 4,800. The duration of the entire trip will be around 4 hours.
Scuba diving in Andaman are a great way to explore the reefs and marine life. The coral reefs in Jolly Buoy island and Red Skin Island are beautiful. There are various levels of scuba diving. For the basic level, you will be handheld by an experienced diver. You don’t even need to know swimming to enjoy scuba diving in Andaman at this level.
Havelock Island has some of the best dive sites around Andaman.
Cost: A scuba diving expedition for a beginner or non-swimmer would start at Rs 4,500 for around three and half hours. This price will go up based on the intensity and time for the dive increases.
Snorkelling is another great way to explore the marine life and eco system in Andaman. You don’t need to know swimming to enjoy snorkelling.
You will be provided with appropriate gear for snorkelling and will be accompanied by a guide. Some of the best places to snorkel in Andaman are Elephant beach, Bharatpur beach and Havelock Island.
Cost: Snorkelling is much cheaper would start at around Rs 500 for around half an hour.
Glass Bottom Boat
If you’d like to explore the marine life without getting yourself wet, you could do that in the comfortable confines of the glass bottom boat. The boat gives you a great view with good comfort. This is a great option for people who are afraid of the water or have young kids with them.
The best places to go on this ride are around North Bay Coral Island and Jolly Bouy Island. This ride will roughly take around 2 hours and the price is around Rs 1900 per person.
Andaman also has a host of other water activities like parasailing, banana boat rides, jet skis. You will find them on all the popular beaches in the peak season.
Trekking And Exploring
Trekking here may sound out of place but it is one of the offbeat things to do in Andaman. Andaman still has a lot untouched beauty and nature. It is one of the advantages of being away from the mainland and being not as well explored.
Madhuban is the ideal trekking spot for you. The trail leading from Madhuban to Mount Harriet is very popular. It has indigenous flora and fauna, lush green forests and of course, breath-taking natural beauty. This is a zig-zag trail, starting from Madhuban which is 20 kilometers from Port Blair by ferry. The mud volcanoes in Diglipur are a natural wonder and an amazing sight not to miss while in Andaman.
Getting here: You can get to Madhuban by ferry from Port Blair.
Cost: This activity is free!
Limestone Caves Visit And Mangrove Kayaking
These caves are mysterious and exciting. The limestone caves are formed by sediment rocks and are gigantic. The ride to get here is beautiful by itself and the caves are mesmerizing. Passing through the narrow caves is thrilling and comes highly recommended. Yet another thrilling activity is Mangrove kayaking in Mayabunder. It comprises of 1/5th of the total mangrove cover in India. Paddling through this lush green mangrove is another of our favourite things to do in Andaman.
Getting here: These caves are only 30 minutes away from Baratang Island on a ferry and 150 kilometers north from Port Blair.
Birdwatching In Andaman
The “Chidiya Tapu”, also known as the Birdwatching island is home to hundreds of bird species. Birdwatching is one of the amazing things to do in Andaman has to offer to the nature lovers. Birds in all colours, shapes and sizes can be seen and heard chirping all through the day. Look for the many magnificent birds that call this island home.
Getting here: Chidiya Tapu is 25 kilometres from Port Blair. You can hire a car or a bike to get here.
Cost: This activity is free.
Relaxing At The Beach
With the stunning views and picturesque beaches, lazing around in the sun should be a priority in Andaman. Soaking up the sun at the beautiful white sand beaches at Corbyn’s Cove, Elephant Island and Long Island is what heaven looks like. You can laze around on any of the beaches in the calm and wonderful environment. You couldn’t have asked for more while soaking up the Vitamin D at these places and sipping on your drink. In short, on the best things to do in Andaman is to not do anything at all.
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No trip to Andaman is complete without visiting Havelock Island. This Island is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia. The Radhanagar beach is picturesque and serene. It is also known as Beach No. 7. Sit back and relax at yet another tranquil beach with nothing but the sound of waves breaking on the shore. Snorkeling at the Elephant beach at Havelock Island is a popular activity. The island is a tourist destination but the beaches are barely crowded. The bright glowing waters at night take you to another world. Night kayaking is a great way to experience the magic of bio luminescence in Havelock Island
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of 572 beautiful Islands. This group of several islands have a wide range of options to explore for tourists. They are like shimmering jewels in the Bay of Bengal.
Island hopping is easy, fun. Islands like Neil island and Ross island are fun half day trips off Port Blair. Catching the sunrise or sunset at Neil beach comes highly recommended. A visit to Viper Island is for those of you looking for some serenity. There are plenty of vipers found in this region. The ruins of the political prison here make this a popular attraction. Viper Island is just 4 kilometers west of Port Blair.
Cellular Jail Visit
This jail has a pre-independence backstory to it. It is also known as “Kaala Paani Jail” and was used to jail political prisoners by the British. It is a striking reminder of our fight for Independence. We can imagine the struggle that prisoners went through behind the bars of this prison. Some notable political detainees like Vinayak Sarvarkar have spent time in this prison . A visit to this reminder of the past is a must if you are visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Cellular Jail hosts a spectacular Light and Sound Show. The show narrates the story of some of the prisoners and their struggles in the jail. There are four shows in the evening starting at 5.30pm, 6.45pm, 8pm and 9.15pm. Most of the shows are in Hindi.
The Entry fee to the Jail is Rs 30 and the Light and Sound Show is Rs 25.
Shopping in Andaman
Andaman has developed so much as a tourist place that shopping has become an important thing to do in Andaman. You will find some lovely souvenirs hand crafted for you made from things like bamboo to sea shells. Nicobari women are known for making beautiful jewellery combining pearls and sea shells.
Frequently asked questions(FAQ’s) about Andaman
Q1) What to shop for in Andaman
Ans. Crafts made of wood, bamboo and coconut shell, Ornaments made of sea shells, Pearl jewellery, Spices
Q2) Where to shop in Andaman
Ans Port Blair – Aberdeen Bazaar, Sagarika
Havelock Island – Market No. 3 And No. 2 Village
With this Andaman and Nicobar Island travel guide, your trip will be a great experience. Hurry! Book your Andaman and Nicobar Tour now with iTraveller. Don’t worry about the Andaman trip package costs. Our packages are very affordable and pocket friendly.
Further Read: Places to visit in North Sikkim