Andaman, the island territory of India, located in the Bay of Bengal, needs no introduction. Everyone who has even a bit of interest in travelling is familiar with the ceaseless beauty that Andaman is, and will always remain. The beautiful beaches, the divine views of sunrise and sunset from Chidiya Tapu, a visit to the ancient museums that reverberates the mournful times of India during the freedom struggle, endless opportunities to work up your legs and find your inner peace by trekking to the wonderful trails like Mt. Harriet, Limestone caves, etc. are totally worth a visit.
So, if you haven’t been to the Island capital yet, 2020 is the time you should finally strike off Andaman from your bucket list. That said, Andaman can be a tough challenge for first-timers, especially if they are not aware of the must-visit places and must-do activities along with access to other relevant information to make their trip a success. Therefore, we, along with our in house wanderers, have curated an Andaman Checklist for 2020 which you can follow.
How to reach Andaman?
First things first, there are two ways you can reach Andaman Island: (1) You can book a flight ticket to Andaman from any Indian city where air services are available. Tickets and schedules are available online. (2) You can reach Andaman via cruise ship from Kolkata or Chennai. There are around three or four ships sailing from Kolkata and Chennai every month. You can check the schedule online and book the tickets accordingly.
Where to go in Andaman?
1. Port Blair
Surrounded by mesmerizing tropical forests and beautiful rugged beaches, Port Blair is the perfect destination for a peaceful vacation amidst nature. Located on the east coast of Southern Andaman Islands, this is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is well connected to the rest of the country through direct flights from Kolkata and Chennai. Gateway to all other islands present in the Union Territory, Port Blair is the destination where the magical Andaman Experience begins. Kick-off your Andaman Adventure with Makruzz ferries and create memories that are to be cherished over and over.
2. Havelock Island
Located approximately 70 km from Port Blair, Havelock Island is a paradise of silky white sand beaches, crystal blue water, rich corals and verdant forests. One can reach the island by sailing with Makruzz – the fastest ferry from Port Blair which would take around 2-4 hours. With absolutely no dearth of beauty on this little island, Havelock is famous among the travellers visiting Andaman for its much-loved Radhanagar and Vijaynagar beaches on the Southern shores which are famous for scuba diving, snorkelling, and deep-sea diving. Apart from that, Elephant beach and Kalapather are two beaches where one can experience the divine views of sunrise and sunset.
3. Neil Island
With untapped coral reefs, white sandy beaches and tropical forest, this tiny yet beautiful Neil Island is one of the hot tourist spots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Located at the south of Andaman Islands, it is the perfect place to have a relaxing vacation far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Makruzz, being the most preferable travel partner in the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands, offers daily ferry services from Port Blair to Neil Island with the best of services on board.
4. Baratang Island
Perched amidst Middle and South Andaman, Baratang is a beautiful island that remains untouched by the hands of commercialization. For years, Baratang has been a travellers’ favourite, becoming the real essence of the true Andamanian experience. Your Andaman tour is incomplete without a ferry ride from Port Blair to Baratang; the scarce views of lush green forest surrounded by sea on all four sides, the rare bird watching experience, and the local food further add to your experience on this island.
This Island has a few beaches to offer and we can suggest you take a boat ride through a Canopy of Mangrove creeks which lead to the popular limestone caves. You can hike up to the mud oozing volcanoes which are also a popular tourist spot. Sea walking under peaceful waters makes your time worthwhile.
Things to Do
Andaman has no dearth of things to do. The sea capital has enough activities to keep travellers of every kind entertained. Take a look at some of the popular, must-do activities in Andaman on our website.
How to travel within Andaman?
Every traveller is different from the other and likes to explore places differently. Well, taking a note, below are some local travel options for folks visiting Andaman.
- Tourist taxis: Tourist taxis are conveniently available outside the Airport.
- Scooter/ Bike rentals: For Backpackers,(why limit) A rental scooter is the easiest and most convenient mode of transportation. One has to pay a mere sum of Rs 500 per day to wander in and around the streets of Neil Island, Port Blair, and Havelock.
- Auto rickshaws: Shared and private auto-rickshaws are also readily available at INR 50 to 200 for short rides & approximately INR 200-250 for longer rides.
- Public transport: Public Buses ply in Port Blair and budget travellers prefer this. However, one should avoid using buses because it can get tiresome.
- Airport pick-up and drop: Airport pick-up and drop taxis are conveniently available to/from the airport to/from the Phoenix Bay Jetty if included in the tour package.
What to eat?
The island is a paradise for foodies, especially for seafood lovers. The local population is a mix of Bengalese, Burmese, and people from southern parts of India and therefore, the local food has a Bengali and Burmese touch. Therefore, you might not have anything traditionally Andamanese in your platter but while you are in Andaman you must try the following dishes.
- Fish Curry
- Amritsari Kulcha
- Chilli Curry
- Macher Jhol
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Coconut Prawn Curry
- Barbeque Food
Where to stay?
There are a number of beautiful hotels and beach resorts which are perfect for the kind of vacation people travelling to Andaman anticipate. Now, finding the best ones out of the lot can be tough and hence, we have curated a list of the best places to stay in Andaman for you.
Where to shop?
Any trip to any destination, especially a place like Andaman is incomplete if you don’t spend a few bucks to buy a few local souvenirs for yourself. You can visit the famous shopping centres, local and beach markets, Aberdeen Bazaar, Government Emporium, Handicrafts Emporium, Anup Eco Arts, Goalghar, Junglighat, Prem Nagar and Delanipur to buy the below-listed items to conclude your Andaman trip. Here is the list of things you can carry home from Andaman :
- Fishbone Articles
- Timber Craft
- Jute Items
- Coconut Handicrafts
- Nicobari Mats
- Sarongs & Hats
- Cane Goods
When to visit?
As said above, better planning ensures higher chances of the whole Andaman experience be like what you anticipate. The second factor is the timing of your trip. If you plan your visit at a wrong time i.e. monsoon and you’ll be stuck inside your hotel for days with storms making the beaches inaccessible for outings and the seas tough for voyages.
The timing of your visit has to be right to make your experience blissful. Accordingly, Andaman, even though it remains open throughout the year for discovery and relaxation, October to March is the time when the maximum number of tourists pour in for exploration.