Home to pristine beaches, turquoise waters, fascinating history, and indigenous cultures, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an epitome of beauty and tranquility in a true sense. Located in the Bay of Bengal, this archipelago consisting of around 572 islands is the perfect destination for all water babies as well as adventure seekers craving for some vitamin sea!
With rich flora and fauna as well as a plethora of activities to explore, both on land and in water, a visit to this picturesque region will always leave you longing for more. And to help you make the most of your experience, here’s our list of the top 7 things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These activities will surely leave you feeling fin-tastic!
As the only confirmed active volcano site in South Asia, a visit to Barren Island is a unique experience of sorts. While you won’t be allowed to step foot on the island, you can enjoy a ferry ride or a seaplane tour in and around the island. As the name clearly implies, there’s not much habitation on the island except for a few rare birds and animals like flying foxes, a few rodent species, and goats.
The first eruption of this volcano is said to be recorded in 1787 and recently in 2018, the volcano has been in the news for erupting again. It is also well known as a submarine emergent volcano that lies above the Burmese Plate and the subduction zone of India. On your way to Barren Island, you can also engage in activities like sport fishing and snorkeling. Getting to know about the interesting basalt formations and witnessing the fast-growing coral gardens will surely leave you with an enthralling experience when visiting Barren Island.
Also read: Visiting Sheroes Hangout In Agra.
Officially known as Swaraj Dweep, Havelock Island has to be on your list when visiting Andaman. The captivating white sandy beaches and marvelous coral reefs are sure to cast a spell on you. Located roughly around 70 km from Port Blair, the best way to reach Havelock Island is through a ferry which takes around an hour and a half from the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
One of the most popular beaches of Havelock Island is Radhanagar Beach. The crescent-shaped beach is known for offering a mesmerizing view of the sunset and the rainforest trees lined along the white sand lend a tropical and tranquil vibe to this beach. Make sure to plan a visit to Radhanagar Beach in Andaman to know why it has earned the title of being one of the best beaches in Asia. Elephant Beach in Havelock Island is yet another major attraction. From snorkeling to sea walking, there are plenty of activities to explore at this beach. Interestingly, Elephant Beach offers a perfect combination of water sports and leisure tours, to please all that your heart desires.
Apart from these, Kalapathar Beach, Guitar Island Beach, and Vijaynagar Beach are some of the other popular destinations in Havelock Island. If you wish to explore further, you can also go island hopping to the nearby Neil Island and Long Island.
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Located about 25 km from the city, Chidiya Tapu is considered to be the southernmost tip of Port Blair. Considered to be a paradise for all nature lovers, the Chidiya Tapu Beach is situated alongside deep forest trails and is a perfect spot for birdwatching and witnessing the hypnotic sunset. Among the exotic migratory and indigenous birds that you could spot, Andaman serpent eagle, Alexandrine parakeet, collared kingfisher, chestnut-headed bee-eater, and white-throated kingfisher are some of the rare ones.
The Biological Park at Chidiya Tapu is a popular destination among tourists. Established in 2001, the park is a representation of our rich biodiversity and offers a wide range of flora and fauna to explore. The Park acts as a natural habitat for the animals and aims to conserve the endemic and endangered species of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If you’re a nature admirer or a photography enthusiast, Chidiya Tapu will definitely be among your favorite things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Just be a little careful while taking a stroll on Chidiya Tapu Beach as crocodiles are said to visit the shores at times.
Also read: Best Beachside Hotels And Resorts In Andaman.
A trip is never usually complete without shopping around for some local specialties and unique souvenirs. The archipelago has a number of local beach markets and quaint little shops that truly impress your aesthetic self. One of the best places to head to for shopping in Andaman is the Aberdeen Bazaar located in Port Blair. From delicate pearl ornaments to exquisite seashells artwork, you’ll find a plethora of unique objects to fill your bags and empty your pockets.
If you’re looking for some beautiful pieces of furniture and authentic home décor items, you can head to Government Emporium and Andaman Handicrafts Emporium located in the Aberdeen Bazaar itself. The perfect finishing and intricate details on the items speak volumes of the labor of the skilled and experienced artisans of the region. Souvenirs made with coconut shells and timber crafts are also a unique specialty of the Andaman Islands. The myriad choices can leave you confused, but you can hop on to nearby restaurants, rejuvenate yourself and then get back to your shopping spree once again.
Also read: Luxury Hotels In Andaman.
Probably one of the grimmest chapters in the history of India is the Cellular Jail in Port Blair. Popular by the name Kala Pani, meaning ‘Black Waters’ in Hindi, the jail was used by the British officers as a colonial prison for political prisoners. Each year the memorial is visited by a number of tourists and visitors from all over to learn about the history of that era and witness the pronged architecture style as well.
A number of dioramas at the jail are a mute testimony of the torturous treatment rendered to Indians who were fighting for their rights at that time. A few cells are also open for public viewing to give you a glimpse of the nightmare the prisoners were made to live and breathe in. You can also visit the Cellular Jail Museum and attend the Light & Sound Show at the jail that could refuel the patriot inside you while also throwing some light on the sacrifices made by those bravehearts. The Cellular Jail is open to the public on all days except national holidays from 9 am to 5 pm and has an INR 30 entry fee for each person.
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A part of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Jolly Buoy Island is truly a wonderland for all water babies and beach lovers. This untouched and serene gem of nature welcomes you with its pristine white beaches and rich exotic corals. Whether you’re looking for some quietude to spend a few special moments with someone or you want to explore nature in its purest form, visiting Jolly Buoy Island is definitely one of the best things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Unlike a few other islands in the Andamans, Jolly Buoy Island cannot be visited all throughout the year. It is mainly accessible between the months of November to April and is usually closed on Mondays. Along with scuba diving and snorkeling, a glass-bottom boat ride is also a famous attraction on the island. The ride gives you an opportunity to witness the beauty of the rainbow-colored corals tucked beneath the clear turquoise waters without actually having to take a dive underwater. It’s a unique experience for young kids and older adults alike!
Also read: Experiencing Scuba Diving In The Andamans.
Another delight for adventure seekers in Andaman is a trek to Mount Harriet, considered to be the highest peak in the South Andaman part of the archipelago. Beginning from Madhuban Beach, the trekking trail wanders through thick old trees and dense forests and offers rare glimpses of colorful birds and a variety of unique reptiles and amphibians. The breath-taking vistas of Port Blair and the surrounding islands from the peak of Mount Harriet are surely a one-of-its-kind experience, leaving you short of words to describe its enchanting beauty.
If you’ve ever been inspired by adventurous experiences shared on National Geographic, this enthralling trek to Mount Harriet will surely satiate your thirst for some unique exploration. Just make sure to arrange for the necessary permits from the forest department as the region lies under the protected zone of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Also read: Cycling Tour Of Delhi.
What Should I Not Miss In Andaman?
There’s no doubt in the fact that visiting the heavenly beaches is a must on the list of things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Naturally, sunbathing at the beaches and indulging in water sports in Andaman isn’t something that you would want to miss. Apart from activities like scuba diving and parasailing, you should get an experience of sea walking at North Bay Island or at Elephant Beach, and also enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride between Port Blair and Jolly Buoy Island.
Along with island hopping, a visit to the national parks and museums of Port Blair should also not be missed out on to get a wholesome experience of your trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
What Are The Activities Available In Andaman And Nicobar Islands?
Surfing, swimming, scuba diving, sea walking, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat ride, and dolphin boat ride...water activities to explore in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are plenty. To satisfy your adrenaline rush, you also have activities like parasailing, paragliding, jet skiing, banana boat ride, and seaplane adventure. If a relaxing vacation is what you had in mind, then lazing around the beaches and sunbathing in hammocks are some things to do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
What Can I Buy In Andaman?
From handmade goods to home décor items, there are a number of quirky things to buy in Andaman as souvenirs and memorabilia and even as gifts for friends and family. A few things that you shouldn’t miss out on include shopping for spices, pearls, shells, jute items (hats, bags, clothes, footwear, etc.), and cane goods. You can also shop around for some unique fishbone articles, timber crafts, coconut handicrafts, and Nicobari mats.
Is Andaman Safe?
With a relatively low crime rate, Andaman is considered to be a safe tourist destination. The locals are warm and friendly, trying to provide a safe environment for all kinds of travelers. The government too, is trying its best to ensure the safety of all travelers visiting the island. Whether you’re planning a family trip, a honeymoon, or a solo vacation, Andaman is a safe spot to visit.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Andaman?
Andaman is considered to be a year-round destination to visit for all tourists. But the best time to visit Andaman is probably during the months from October to March. Along with the pleasant weather, you can also enjoy all the water activities to the fullest during these months.
Do We Need Passport For Andaman?
Indian residents don’t need a passport for visiting Andaman. However, a foreign national will require a passport with an Indian visa to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Which Is Better: Goa Or Andaman?
With beautiful, welcoming beaches and an array of water activities, both Goa and Andaman are exciting holiday destinations for many. From mesmerizing views and delicious cuisines, Goa and Andaman both stand as a tough competition for each other. Which one is better for you will solely depend on what exactly you’re craving for or the type of vacation you’re trying to plan. While Goa attracts people with its raving party scenes, Andaman charms you with its exotic appeal. In the end, both destinations are absolutely worth visiting, so you can choose the one that best appeals to your mood.
How Many Islands Can We Visit In Andaman?
Andaman and Nicobar Island has got more than 500 islands, but only 50 islands are inhabited by people where actually tourits can also visit and enjoy a serene vacation.