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Andaman and Nicobar islands are a pristine, untouched and relatively unexplored part of India. This union territory of India is located deep in the Bay of Bengal. The article is a compilation of some of the best places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Whether you want to find things to do, hotels or sightseeing options, you'll find it all below. Moreover, this article will help you plan your Andaman and Nicobar trip and ensure that you don't miss out on the best sightseeing places.
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Best Time to Visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Winter (October - March): There's no winter in Andaman and Nicobar per se, with it being close to the equator. However the weather is pleasant during the winter months, especially December. This is the best time of the year to visit the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- Summer (April - June): The summer months are a popular time of the year to visit the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Do keep in mind that the days can get hot during the summer season.
- Monsoon (July - September): The rainy months in the Andamans bring torrential rains. It's best to avoid visiting the islands during this season.
How to Reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands
There are only two ways to reach the islands.
1. By Flight
You can find direct flights to Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar islands from Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Andaman and Nicobar islands have only one airport which is the Veer Savarkar airport located in Port Blair.
2. By Ship
Wanna enjoy a cruise? You can take a ship from either Chennai, Kolkata or Vizag to Port Blair. The journey takes a total of 3 days.
Where to Stay - Andaman Nicobar Hotels
Andaman and Nicobar islands are actually made up of a group of lots of tiny islands. Chances are you won't be staying in just one island for more than 2 days. Based on the places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar, I've listed the various accommodation options in different places.
Best Places to Visit in Andaman and Nicobar Islands for Sightseeing
Like mentioned earlier, Andaman and Nicobar islands are in fact made up of many tiny islands. Each of these islands has something unique and mesmerising to offer. Based on your interest and hobbies, you can choose which islands to visit.
Whether you reach Andaman and Nicobar via flight or by ship, you'll find yourself in Port Blair first. There's a lot to do in this capital city. Spend atleast 2 days here to visit the various places to see in Port Blair.
Where to Stay in Port Blair
There are sufficient hotels and resorts in Port Blair. Some of the recommended Port Blair hotels are Seashell, Peerless Resort, Seashell and Sinclairs Bay view.
Places to Visit in Port Blair
While in Port Blair, you can take day trips to nearby islands such as Ross Island, Havelock Island, Baratang Island etc. Apart from that you can even visit some of the sightseeing places in Port Blair like the cellular jail and corbyn's cove beach.
1. Cellular Jail
The cellular jail in Port Blair is an iconic symbol of India's freedom struggle against the British colonisers. This jail is open for visitors to take a look around. There are boards with information and pictures to help understand the sad history of the freedom struggle in India. Men who raised their voices against the British oppression of India were exiled to Port Blair. Their punishment was labelled 'kaala paani' or black water. They were completely cut off from the world, their family and friends and holed up in tiny cells. You can attend the light and sound show in the evening to hear all about the tales of these men.
2. Ross Island
While the Indian freedom fighters were confined in the cellular jail, the British officers enjoyed a lavish life on Ross Island, which overlooks the cellular jail. While the island is a small one in itself, it was large enough to accommodate all the needs of the Britishers. They build churches, swimming pools, a cemetery and staying quarters for themselves. Today the island is under the command of the Indian Navy and open for visitors to take a look around.
3. Corbyn's Cove Beach
Port Blair has a small stunningly beautiful beach called corbyn's cove beach. What's more, the drive to get here is just as beautiful as the beach. It's a popular hang out spot for the locals and there's often a lot of activity on this beach during the weekends.
Havelock island is probably one of the most famous places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar. This absolutely breathtaking island offers a lot of activities.
Where to Stay in Havelock Island
More than a decade ago, when I lived in Port Blair, there were exactly 3 hotels on Havelock island. Today you'll find multitude of hotels and resorts on the island. Dolphin resort has been around for a long time. They have hut-style accommodation, a small private beach and different categories of rooms for various budgets. Today, there are newer and more modern resorts on the island for you to take your pick.
Places to Visit in Havelock Island
Not only will you find beaches for complete relaxation, you can even try your hand at snorkelling in Havelock island. Read on to find out how and where.
1. Radhanagar Beach
Radhanagar beach is said to be the most beautiful beach in India. Pure white sand, clean beach and high waves will ensure you have a memorable time at this beach. What's great about the radhanagar beach is that there is sufficient trees and the locals have build tents and wooden huts for visitors to enjoy the shade and get lazy without being exposed to the harsh sun.
2. Snorkelling at Elephant Beach
You can't leave Port Blair without snorkelling at elephant beach. Believe me when I say it's a truly unforgettable experience. You can hire one of the small boats from the Havelock island main jetty. Here, a boatman will take you on a rocky ride through the waves, crossing pristine untouched locations, where you can see the perfect reflection of the trees in the water, to reach elephant beach. You'll hardly find many souls on this remote beach in Havelock island. Get your rented snorkelling equipment out and take a good look at the corals and fishes in the clear waters.
From Port Blair, you can take a day trip to this unique island. There are tourist buses that ply from Port Blair to Baratang Island early in the morning and they return back in the evening.
Places to Visit in Baratang Island
Baratang is one of the most unique and best places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar islands. While getting here, you'll pass by an area occupied by the Jarawa tribes of Andaman and Nicobar.
1. Mud Volcano
We've all heard of a volcano spilling out lava but a volcano spilling mud? Well, you can see this peculiar albeit enrapturing sight in Batang island, Port Blair. Once you cross the Jarawa area, you will have to catch a ferry to reach the island. This mud volcano can be found on the main part of the island.
2. Limestone Caves
Take one of the small rocky boats to reach the limestone caves in Baratang island. This boat ride will take you through a vast area where there's nothing but forests on either side of you and the sea roaring ahead. You'll pass by mangroves to reach a small idyllic village. The limestone cave is located a short hike from this point. It's advisable to have a local guide with you who can guide you during the hike and help understand the caves better.
As mentioned earlier, definitely take a boat ride to cross the mangroves to reach the limestone caves. Sitting in a tiny boat, passing by a massive canopy of mangroves is a feeling like none other. You can't miss this during you Andaman sightseeing trip.
JOLLY BUOY ISLAND
Jolly buoy island is one of the offbeat and by default, the best places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar. What makes this place so alluring is that very few visitors are aware of this island. You can take a leisurely boat ride from Port Blair to reach this extremely tiny island. Once they reach the island, these boats are anchored a little farther away from the island. They provide small glass bottomed boats for visitors to reach the Jolly buoy island. From these boats you can see the corals and fishes in the water very clearly. The sand on this island is as white as it can be and the water so blue that you can see fishes easily. Spend a morning bathing and relaxing here them leave when it's time for you boat to leave. It's the perfect day trip from Port Blair.
Mount Harriet is another great day trip from Port Blair. You can take a ferry from Port Blair to reach here. Once you reach the island, you'll need a vehicle to drive you all the way to the top most point. From this point on mount harriet, you can see the misty sea on one side and beautiful cottages on the other. It gets a little cold up here. That combines with the remote location and the sea views from the cottages makes this one of the top places to see in Andaman.