Last Updated on January 26, 2021 by asoulwindow
Guide to Andaman and Nicobar Islands trip!
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an Indian archipelago consisting of 572 islands. In simple terms, an archipelago is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Andaman Nicobar Trip will leave you with memories of a lifetime!
Located on the Bay of Bengal, to the south-east of the Indian Peninsular sub-continent, these Islands have a rich and flourishing ecosystem which includes white-sand beaches, mangroves, and tropical rainforests.
The Islands are much closer to Myanmar and Indonesia than mainland India of which it is a part. Many parts of the Islands are still to be explored due to the sheer distance (1200 km) and the lack of accessibility that it poses. This adds to the overall charm of the Islands as it is a perfect spot for a week of Digital Detox, a trip with friends or even solo traveling here for a few days of peace and serenity.
This archipelago serves as a perfect spot for conventional tourists but it’s an experiential traveler’s paradise. Andaman Nicobar Trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Here we’ll see a few tips on how to make your trip to the Islands different from that of a run-off-the-mill tourist.
Trekking and Backpacking in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Use your time at Andaman and Nicobar Islands to wander where the wifi is weak, to really understand that nature is not just a place that you visit, but is your home. The Islands have on offer many locations that are perfect for a day’s trek. The thriving ecosystem in these spots adds to the adventure and travelers can experience the soul-enriching feeling you get when you are lost in the right direction. More and more people are including treks, bird-watching and water sports in their Andaman Nicobar trip these days.
Mount Harriet National Park – Andaman Nicobar tourism
The Mt. Harriet National Park has some of the largest and highest peaks in the Andaman archipelago and is easily accessible from Port Blair, the capital city and the main point of entry to the Islands from the mainland. The park is covered with beautiful thick forests and is an epitome of natural beauty.
The park also boasts a collection of rare birds like the Andaman Wood pigeon and the Nicobar Megapode, which you can keep an eye out for as you trek through a canopy of huge trees. The nature trail of approximately 16 kms leads to the beautiful Madhuban Beach. Most Indians have seen a picture of this beautiful beach as it was printed on the old 20 rupee note. It is one of the best places to visit in Andaman and Nicobar islands.
How to get there: The park is accessible from Port Blair via Bamboo flat from Port Blair by ferry service or by road journey
When a place boasts that it has the best sunset in all of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where there are a huge number of beaches, you can be sure that the sunset is going to be legendary. Trekking enthusiasts are in luck as Chidiya Tapu Beach is the starting point of the trek to Mundapahad, where there is a very high, black cliff which looks out to the open sea. It is a highlight of Andaman Nicobar tourism.
The view from this point is exquisite and is totally worthy of the13km trek to get there. There is a lot of flora and fauna to look for as you trek across. This is one of the best places to visit during the Andaman Nicobar Trip.
How to get there: Chidia Tapu is roughly 30 kilometres from the city of Port Blair. Most travellers rent a car or bike to reach Chidiya Tapu from Port Blair. Travellers can take the winding road, through the forest and hills, which also passes through the rugged Kalapathar Beach
Mud Volcano Hiking in Baratang Island
The only active volcano in India is on Barren Island, one of the southern islands of the archipelago. But landing on this Island is strictly prohibited. The next best thing Andaman and Nicobar have to offer is the chance to hike over Mud Volcanoes on Baratang Island.
This peculiar natural phenomenon is something to behold as you’d be walking across thousands of years of Geography. The famous limestone caves of Baratang are also close by.
How to get there: The Government Bus from Port Blair is the most cost-effective and reliable way to get through the 4-hour journey.
A journey through time
For a group of Islands that has such limited access from the mainland, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands sure have a lot of history in them. Some of the Islands were used as out-stations by the British East India Company and there are a handful of museums in the Islands that would thrill any history buff.
Cellular Jail – Andaman Nicobar Trip
This colonial prison, constructed by the Britishers, for the primary purpose of incarcerating Indian Political Prisoners, is an embodiment of the darkest chapters of the country’s struggle for freedom. The prison also features a Light and Sound Show in the evenings once the jail tours are done. That eerie feeling you get when you understand the things that freedom fighters had to go through to get us the freedom that we sometimes take for granted, forces you to do some soul searching. This is the biggest attraction of Andaman and Nicobar islands tourism.
How to get there: It’s within the city limits and a private cab can be taken from the airport which is just 4 km away.
Ross Island – Places to see in Andaman Nicobar
First occupied in 1782, the Ross Island (currently known as Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Dweep) was turned into an administrative Headquarters in 1857 and was used for 85 years. There are ruins of old offices made by Indian prisoners and the ageing on these ruins creates an overall tranquil ambience. A calm and peaceful lunch soaking in all the history associated with it is an excellent plan on those who plan to visit Ross Island. This is one of the highlight of the Andaman Nicobar Trip.
How to get there: Getting a bus to Aberdeen Jetty, from where a ferry can be hired to get to Ross Island. There is also an option of heli-taxi service albeit it is quite expensive.
Museums in Port Blair
There are three different museums within a 10 KM radius of the Port Blair Airport namely The Samudrika Marine Museum, The Forests museum and The Zonal Anthropological Museum. The marine museum has exhibits that showcase the thriving aquatic life around the Island Group.
The one of a kind Forest museum lets the visitors have a glance at the variety of wildlife found on the Island and the Anthropological Museum is particularly unique as it features the lifestyle and culture of the four tribes found in the islands. You must not miss it while indulging in Andaman and Nicobar Islands tourism.
How to get there: It is advisable to hire a private cab and visit all three museums in a single day stretch. The museums are within city limits and easily accessible
Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar
Now it is time for exploring the Vivid Culture. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to four Negrito Tribes namely Sentinelese, Greater Andamanese, Onge and Jarwas, and two Mongoloid tribes- Shompens and the Nicobarese. These tribes are estimated to have arrived at the Islands over 60,000 years ago and their lifestyle holds cement over this fact as they are primitive hunter-gatherers and remain isolated from the mainstream population.
The Government has strict regulations when it comes to visiting these tribes although it is possible if you can acquire government-certified RAP( Restricted Area Permits). The Jarawa tribes found in Baratang Island is the most accessible tribal visit of the lot. These tribes can be seen living their peaceful simple lives in the midst of the virgin green forests.
You can get a glimpse of their lives while riding along the Jarwa creek, on the way to the Limestone caves. Care should be taken so that you are not scammed into illegal “human safaris” as the Government has strict rules in place to keep the interaction with the tribes to a minimum. It is good that we are aware of the existence of such a lifestyle in a fast-paced world but their protection should also be our responsibility.
How to get there: Access the ATR (Andaman Trunk Road), which cuts through the Jarawa dwelling area, on your way to Baratang.
The Beaches – Andaman and Nicobar Islands tourism
The shallow depth, vivid flora and fauna, flourishing marine ecosystem, minimal pollution, crystal clear water, and beautiful white sand makes the beaches in Andaman and Nicobar perfect. These beaches can give you everything you wish for while at a coastal vacation. Needless to be said, the beautiful beaches are the main selling point of the Island’s tourism.
You can’t go wrong while choosing among the exquisite beaches of Andaman and Nicobar, nevertheless, these are the top three. These beaches are the biggest draws of the Andaman Nicobar tourism.
Perfectly serene and Beautiful, the Wandoor Beach located 25km from Port Blair is a Photographer’s paradise. This beach comes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park making it a perfect location to spot a variety of Flora and Fauna.
Scuba Diving under professional guidance and Rides on Glass bottom boats over coral reefs are a speciality of Wandoor Beach. Snorkelling can also be easily done due to the shallow depth and wide shoreline. Do include this beach in your Andaman Nicobar Trip itinerary.
How to get there: The beach is 25 km from the airport and public transport, rickshaws or cabs can be taken to get to the beach
Merk Bay Beach
This pristine beach located on the North Passage Island is fairly less frequented by tourists than the other beaches because of the dense mangrove forests surrounding the beach that bars ships and boats to get too close. This adds to the overall beauty of the Beach and it is one of the most remote and beautiful beaches you can visit in Andaman. The water is perfect for snorkelling and also keep an eye out for Dolphins while you are at it.
How to get there: Boats are regularly available from Port Blair to Long Island three times a week or you can choose to take a bus from Port Blair to reach Rangat and then take a boat from Yeratta to Long Island. Once you reach Long Island, a boat safari can be taken to get to Merk Bay. The one hour journey can be made more fun by booking the glass-bottom boat.
Radhanagar Beach- Andaman and Nicobar islands tourism
Radhanagar Beach located on Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island) is quite easily the most famous beach in the archipelago. Its beauty is so highly regarded by its visitors that it was named the Best Beach in Asia and 7th best in the world by Time Magazine. What is stopping you from planning that Andaman Nicobar Trip?
The panoramic view of the turquoise water meeting the long stretch of white sand is a frame, worthy of praise even from the Heavens. The soft waves and clear water makes you want to go for a swim almost immediately. More information on other beaches and locations in the Island cluster can be found here
How to get there: Public and private buses, Rental Cabs and jeeps are available from Havelock Boat Jetty to the beach, which is 10.5km away. There is also an option of renting scooters
Andaman and Nicobar islands – Best time to visit
Winter: October to May
October to May is winter in Andaman and Nicobar islands, making it a perfect time to visit the islands. Thanks to the pleasant weather, the best time to travel to Andaman and Nicobar is in winters. The temperature in these months hovers between 20°c – 30°c. From January to April, expect no rains at all. That makes it the peak season on the islands.
This is when Andaman and Nicobar islands tourism thrives. This is also the best time for indulging in water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling and sightseeing around the islands.
Monsoon: July to September
From July to September, it rains in Andaman and Nicobar. The strong winds and high tidal waves also keep the tourists away from the beach during these months. You should avoid going to Andaman and Nicobar during monsoon as well. The temperature in these months hovers between 22°c – 35°c.
Summer: April to June
Expect 80% relative humidity during summers. The temperature in these months hovers between 24°c – 37°c. Though the Andaman Nicobar Trip can be planned in these months but most people prefer the window period between October and April.
What to carry during Andaman Nicobar Trip
Here is the list of things to carry in this humid tropical Island:
- Light cotton clothes
- Flip Flops
- Water Bottles
- Special Medicines
- Special Diet (If required)
- Sun screen
Conclusion: Final Thoughts on Andaman Nicobar Trip
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the most underrated tourist spots in India. The place is perfect for Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways, for a digital detox or just some fun time with your family. It deserves to be in your travelling bucket list. The beaches in Andaman can easily hold a candle to the ones in Hawaii and Barbados in the Americas. This is why Andaman and Nicobar islands tourism is booming.
But there’s much more to these Islands than just the Beaches. Go on adventurous treks, do some watersports, Dive into the rich culture and the extensive cuisine. Great variety of vegan and vegetarian food from North India and South India is easily available in Andaman and Nicobar Island. So make sure that Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the options for your next vacation! Plan that Andaman Nicobar trip now!
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