Table of Contents
1. Havelock Island
Havelock Island is one of the primary destinations of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is famed for its pristine beauty that goes unmatched when it comes to untouched and unexplored natural beauty and virgin forests of earth. It is a striking contrast of verdant greenery, sandy whiteness and blue vast ocean body. Due to its more than fair share of popularity among tourists and travelers, Havelock has developed luxurious tourist resorts and hotels to pamper the guests living in the lap of intense natural beauty. Havelock is the largest of islands and falls under must-visit destinations. A tour to Andamans would definitely be incomplete without a visit to the Elephant Beach and Radhanagar Beach of Havelock Island. The sublime beauty of the Radhanagar Beach combines with its perfect setting spread against the primitive jungles. The background is filled with a thousand sounds of jungle animals and birds and the secluded beach has “Beware of Crocodiles” marked at places. These factors make Radhanagar Beach one of the most coveted destinations of not only Andamans, also of world.
Snorkelling and scuba diving at Havelock under the aegis of expert trainers can turn into a lifetime experience. Watch the myriad sea creatures, some still and some moving, some peeping and some hiding, some iridescent and some camouflaged, some in groups of thousands and some single and solitary guarding protected corners of shelter. Each lap ahead as you swim through with the sea animals brings you face to face with a new wonder.
2. Neil island
Neil Island is another very scenic natural paradise with captivating white sandy beaches and lush green forests. Neil Island can be reached easily from Port Blair or from Havelock via regular ferry services of various categories. Neil Island offers its own special appeal with some very popular beaches and a crystal clear waters that resonates with millions of teeming wild life and exquisite corals. Neil Island came to be inhabited in the late 1960s. Apart from snorkeling and scuba diving, Neil Island also offers glass bottom boat rides to its guests who are not adventurous enough to enter the waters but would still want to enter the visually ecstatic world of corals and fishes.
Relaxation on the beaches of Neil island watching the magnificent sunsets and sunrises across the ocean is a blissful delight. Neil Island is located at Ritchie’s Archipelago and is an important member of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
3. Ross Island
Ross Island caries the rich heritage of the British legacy since the time when India was under the British Rule. It was named after Sir Daniel Ross who was British Marine Surveyor. As you go through the historical and architectural ruins, you easily get transported to the world of the pre-independence Indian era. Ross Island is definitely a must visit if you are in Andaman and Nicobar islands. The sojourn of the Ross island becomes extremely interesting as you walk through British era Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool, Troop Barracks, Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House and Government House. Rest in the shade of palm-lined beaches and watch the pipeline of waves crashing on the shores and look around for deer, peacock and ducks all around you. Ross Island is just 2 kilometres from port Blair and can be reached easily by boat in fifteen minutes. It is a point that is covered during your stay in Port Blair.
4. North Bay Island
The North Bay Island gives an intensive feel of summer and sand. The corals at North Bay are exquisite and are spread through a long coast line in an extensive stretch. Dive a bit to catch some glimpses of lobsters, clown fish families, stone fish staring at you from behind the corals. The experience is a rightful mix of thrill and fun for all divers, especially the first timers.
Bask in the sun or explore the island both are equally captivating options. Apart from snorkelling, scuba diving, sea walking, glass boat ride and various water sports that are offered in most other tourists friendly islands too, here in North Bay Island you find the option of being in a semi submarine that takes you down to the ocean bed even without touching water and gives you the virtual feel of being under the water while you get amazed by the variety of marine creatures that this part of Bay of Bengal harbours. The variety is endless and enough to make you stare open eyed, not willing to miss a single chance of seeing something pretty and wild and inside the ocean belly.
The natural beauty of North Bay Island is beyond par. The light house peeping from above the verdant greenery has found a place in the 20 rupee note of Indian currency not for nothing. The alluring charm of this destination is indeed special. It can be easily reached by boat from the Phoenix Jetty at Port Blair. It takes hardly 15-20 minutes to reach the North Bay Island.
5. Baratang Island
This exotic island is famous for its exquisite secluded beaches, mangrove creeks, mud volcanoes and limestone caves — each of which is unique and worth a visit. The experience of the mud volcanoes and limestone cave is so enigmatic that it is worth a peep for the adventurous and brave at heart. Guides are provided and permission needs to be secured from the Andaman Forest Department for limestone cave exploration.
Nilambur Jetty of Baratang Island has boats to Nayadera Jetty through wide creeks for about one and half hours and after that the caves are one and half kilometre walk away through tropical forests. To reach Baratang Island’s hidden natural jewels, one has to pass through the tribal inhabitations of Andamans. And the probability and all the notorious tales of the tribes attacking the civilized intruders or guests makes the visit to Baratang even more adventurous and thrilling. Baratang, in spite of all its notoriety, continues to attract a lot of travellers and tourists. People visiting this part of the archipelago get a chance to experience life in its primitive form and also gets the rare chance to spend some exclusive time in harmony with nature and its wonders — the enigmatic limestone cave and mud volcanoes. Baratang is situated around 150 kms north of Port Blair and can be reached by waterway through ferry services.
6. Viper Island
Viper Island is scarred with the notoriety of being the witness to the inhuman punishment and torture meted out to the Indian freedom fighters in the British pre-independence era. The island is said to derive its name from the ship named H.M.S. Viper in which a Britisher Archibald Blair had landed at Andaman and Nicobar Islands way back in 1789. The ship is said to have drowned near the island. Viper Island is as tainted with the blood and sacrifice of the brave national heroes as is the Cellular Jail. It was the jail where the prisoners were captive before Cellular Jail of Port Blair was built. It contains the ruins of gallows on top of a low hill. The worst form of torture was given to the political prisoners in which they were chained together through iron couplings that earned the name Viper Chain Gang Jail. The prisoners were also subjected to hard labour. Apart from the historical taint, Viper Island is also blessed with immense natural grandeur. The old jail building tour is interesting enough. It can be reached by a short ferry ride from the Aberdeen Jetty of Port Blair. The island though not very well maintained now and sort of destroyed during the latest Tsunami that had hit the Andamans is yet worth visiting on account of its deep historical significance.
7. Ross and Smith Island
Ross and Smith are the twin islands of Andamans. Both the islands are connected by a sand bar that makes it extremely picturesque. Ross and Smith Islands attract a lot of tourists from all across the world. The sand bar gets submerged during high tide and then resurfaces during low tide. One can simply walk over from one island to the other via the sand bar. Enjoy photography of secluded beaches and glorious sunsets for which the pair of islands is famous. The island is also known to be the home of Olive Ridley Turtles and you can enjoy the view of turtle nesting and hatching of baby turtles and their march to sea if you are lucky enough.
8. Cinque Island
Cinque Island is not that highlighted maybe because there are similar other islands which are marketed aggressively and Cinque Island gets shadowed. It is a natural paradise and compares to the beauty of the more hyped islands. Blessed with white sandy shorelines, captivating coral reefs and the extensive azure oceans this island will catch fancy of all who treads.
This uninhabited island calls for a unique experience. The rocky isles and sand bar joining the North and South Cinque islands are a treat to the senses. The virgin beaches attract the tourists from all over the globe who run away from civilization and madding crowd. This island offers snorkelling and diving in peace and solitude. Game fishing of giant GTs, black marlins and tiger Gobras can be super exciting. Chartered boats reach Cinque Island from Port Blair. It is around 39 kilometres away from Port Blair.
9. Rutland Island
This magnificent island is situated very close to Port Blair. It is just 20 kms away from port Blair and can be conveniently reached by boat. It is popular for being the home to the native Jangil tribe of Andamans. The tribal population is concentrated in the island interiors.
Rutland Island has prominent mountain peaks by the name of Mount Ford, which is 433 meters high and Mount Mayo, which is 227 meters high. The island has very few inhabitants who majorly speak Hindi, Bengali and Tamil languages. As with all major islands, the primary attraction of Rutland Island are variegated coral reefs blessed with a rich variety of marine life. These coral reefs attracts divers, snorkelers and scuba divers. The island is filled with hills, dense jungles and rich variety of shrubs and jungles. Open water diving is popular for the variety of underwater creatures and colourful corals. The fun and relaxing tourist attraction spots of Rutland Island are Jahaji Beach, Bada Balu, Photo Nallah and Dani Nallah.
10. Mount Harriet National Park
The Mount Harriet National park was established in 1969. Mount Harriet Peak is located in the park is the third highest mountain peak in the Andaman archipelago. It is a reserve forest with mountain ranges and beautiful coastlines. The infamous Kalapathar, which is bloody and still considered a curse, from where the Indian prisoners under the British rule were pushed to their horrific death on the ravines is located around 2 kilometres away from the park.
Mount Harriet National Park has very beautiful beaches. Thus when one treks across the park, one can find beautiful coastlines, a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna and a host of colourful butterflies. Mount Harriet also harbours a tribal community in its depths who actually belong to the negrito race and are basically hunters and food gatherers, living a primitive way of life.
The evergreen primitive forests of mixed varieties of trees shelter a wide variety of birds too, such as wood pigeon, cuckoo dove, Andaman drongo, white-headed starling, Andaman woodpecker and lot many more.
11. Chidiya Tapu
“Chidiya” in Hindi means bird. And as is implied by the name, Chidiya Tapu is the ideal place for bird watchers for viewing rare migratory birds and also the common indigenous birds, which are the attractive feathered residents of the island. Chidiya Tapu harbours a very exquisitely beautiful beach and attracts tourists in large numbers. The spot offers captivating views of sunrises and sunsets. The mix of dense deep evergreen forests on one side and the beauty of stunted hills on the other side flanked by mesmeric beaches make this spot idyllic.
One can view at least 46 varieties of endangered species of birds and animals in the vicinity. The mix of seasonal orchids and other varieties of plants along with the Sylvan Sands and the Munda Pahar Beaches provide an exquisite panoramic view. There are also provisions for staying in the forest guesthouse. The forests greet the guests with wonderful mellowed cacophony of a multitude of bird species. Boating, snorkelling and swimming are the adventure activities usually indulged in by the thrill loving tourists who visit these parts. Nature lovers and solitude seekers love to explore Chidiya Tapu, which is situated about 25 kilometres from Port Blair. Trek to Mundu Pahad while in Chidiya Tapu is attempted by the trekking enthusiasts.
Rangat is quite a large island in the Middle Andamans. It is blessed with nature’s bounty in the form of with pristine beaches, lush green vegetation, cascading waterfalls and interesting flora and fauna. The population is scanty and composed of simple and down-to-earth people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The main occupations of the populace are fishing and cultivation. Rangat is an ideal location for nature lovers and tourists obsessed with exploring lesser-trodden places on earth. The gentle sea breezes and the warm sunshine on the sandy beaches and the ever extending ocean front offer a sense of peace and tranquillity that attract a lot of tourists from all across the globe. Rangat also offers deep green forests and clear blue skies and perfect locations for chilling on the beach and sunbathing or relaxing. Photography, trekking, enjoying the Panchvati Waterfalls are some other attractions
Rangat harbours the famous Cuthbert beach that provides unlimited options to enjoy sea and sand. It becomes a nature lover’s haven when in the months of December and January Rangat beaches turn into nesting grounds for turtles. The amazing scene of tiny freshly hatched turtles paddling towards beach is a sight that is never to be forgotten. Another destination of tourists interest near Rangat is Yerrata Creek and Yerrata Mangrove Park. Here you watch in wonder the diverse varieties of mangrove. There is 13 metre tall Mangrove watch tower that offers a panoramic bird eye view of the mangroves and the adjacent forests.
Mayabudner is located in the northern side of the Middle Andamans. Even though it is a bit far from Port Blair (approximately 242 km away) it is definitely worth a visit. Mayabunder can also be reached in three hours from Rangat. Mayabunder makes for a perfect location for beach holiday, far from the maddening society and civilization, in the lap of nature. It offers fascinating mangrove creeks and entrancing beaches and isles. Mayabunder is also the home of former Burmese Karen Tribes. These tribes were known to serve the British as logging labourers in the pre-independence era.
The chief attractions of Mayabunder are the enigmatic Karmatang Beach, interesting Interview Island, serene Rampur Beach and enchanting Avis Island. The Karmatang Beach is famous for being the nesting ground for turtles. Avis island on the other hand is small and uninhabited and known for its beauty exuding from the sea, beach, sand and coconut plantations. The Rampur beach has unspoiled beauty and primeval mangrove forests. It also interestingly flaunts the remains of a German Jetty. The Interview Island is also steeped in natural beauty and has various sources of water. For example, the Western coast of Interview Island has a cave that gives out fresh water. Mayabunder offers various water sports to the adventurous and thrill seeking tourists.
Diglipur is a haven for tourists and travellers who are looking to spend a vacation that is intensely close to nature and provides absolute peace and solitude. Diglipur presents an agricultural face with orange plantations and stretches of very green rice fields. Situated in North Andaman, Diglipur, construes a dream vacation with infinite sea beauty, unbridled view of wide expansive seas, foam lapped shoreline and pleasant sea breeze.
Diglipur is located 325 kilometres away by road from Port Blair and takes nearly 12 hours to reach. The highest point of Diglipur and also of Andaman archipelago is the Saddle Peak, which is surrounded by Saddle National Park. Andaman has only one river, Kalpong, that flows here. Diglipur offers the unique glimpses of simple rustic life led by the local people. The simple ways and humble and friendly nature are extremely pleasant. The solo hydro-electric project of Andamans is located on the Kalpong River of Diglipur. The several enticing view points and tourists attractions that call in a lot of tourists from across the world each year are Lamiya Bay Beach, Mud Volcano of Shyam Nagar, Kalipur Beach that is also famous for being the turtle nesting ground, Ramanagar Beach, Pathi Level Beach, the Alfred Caves or limestone caves and, of course, Saddle Peak, the highest point of the entire group of islands of Andaman and Nicobar.
15. Aamkunj Beach
Aamkunj Beach has a magnificent coastline and is loaded with surreal natural beauty, exudes peace and is a paradise for bird watchers. It is located close to Rangat, just about 8 kilometres from Rangat while one travels towards Mayabunder. The Nimbutala Helipad is just a kilometre away from Aamkunj Beach. This beach offers very cool swimming location and is also appropriate for sun bathing and relaxation. Amkunj Beach was provided with basic tourist facilities in the form of eco-friendly huts, wooden sofa and tepoys and natural groves. These groves were named after trees that are found locally such as casurina, jamun and pandanus. The beach is a favourite local haunt too of the villagers apart from the tourists travelling from outside.
16. Dhaninallah Mangrove Nature Walkway/Walk
Dhaninallah Mangrove Nature Walkway/Walk is an exquisite beautiful walkway among lush mangrove with the air filled with the scent of sea. This place can be reached by taking a short detour via the Andaman Trunk road after crossing the famous tourist destinations of Rangat and Amkunj Beach. It is actually located around 20 kilometres from Rangat. It is a superbly long walkway and one of its kind in the whole of India and hence very unique. The name Dhaninallah came into existence after the name of a variety of mangrove locally called Dhanipatti. This Walkway straightway leads to a captivating and long beach known as Dhaninallah Beach, which is famous for being a turtle nesting ground. The walkway is exceptionally beautiful at par with the beauty of the beach. The walkway has been constructed among the mangrove which is around 715 metres long leading to the beach front crossing creeks and mangroves. One can have a close look at the mangroves on both sides. The walk gets thrilling and is super exciting. Both sides of the walkway is fringed by lush green thick mangroves of every height and also contains small resting huts. Enjoy pristine nature and an air filled with bird chirpings emanating from the mangrove surrounding forests. Once you reach the beach you shall be doubly bowled over by the emerald blue waters of a tropical sea. The beach is very clean with silvery white sands.
17. Panchavati Waterfalls
Panchavati Waterfalls is located on the Panchavati Hills and commands a unique and beautiful location. Even though it is located 200 kilometers away from Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The waterfall tumbles down from quite a great height and is a natural wonder. The beauty of waterfalls and the lush green surroundings attract a lot of tourists from far and near. It is an ideal location for trekkers too and if you intend to trek you need to wear comfortable shoes. Also, the waters of the waterfall are inviting and in case you are tempted to take a dip, carry an extra change of clothes. There is no stipulated time for entry or fee or restriction for entry. It can be visited anytime from sunrise to sunset. The location is ideal for nature photography, fishing and tasting the local culinary delicacies.
18. Cuthbert Beach/Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Cuthbert Beach is a pleasant sandy beach commanding an unhindered view of the beautiful azure blue seas. It is a 8 kilometre long picturesque beach fringing the Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The walk on the beach is replete with the greenery of coastal zone vegetation. The beach is provided with eco-friendly huts for resting purposes and also provides information to tourists arriving at the beach for exploring the natural beauty from far and near.
Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Middle Andaman Islands. It is an ideal location to enjoy the peace and solitude of a quiet and simple village life. Cutbert Bay is also tremendously noted world over for being a turtle-nesting ground. This beach and bay area is 20 kilometres from Rangat. Amkunj beach, which is 15 kilometres away from Rangat jetty towards Mayabunder. Mayabunder and Diglipur are all well connected to Cuthbert Bay Beach area. While entering the Cuthbert Bay Wildlife Sanctuary the travel through the mangrove creek can get immensely thrilling as one can spot Salt Water Crocodile. The water Monitor Lizards along with other reptiles such as the water and terrestrial snakes living in the surrounding forests and mangroves from other major attractions.
The sanctuary is marked as one of the most important turtle nesting beaches in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The turtles arrive at the beach to lay eggs. After digging a pit and laying eggs, the turtles get back to the sea. The beach is regularly visited by turtles laying eggs in the months of November to March. The nesting and hatching takes place in the night. Tourists visit the sanctuary to catch a glimpse of the turtle nesting and egg laying phenomenon. Also, they can take part in observing and carrying out the process of transfer of eggs to the hatchery and then releasing the hatchlings into the sea. This is a golden chance to watch how natural conservation works.
The most common breed of turtles visiting the beach are the Olive Ridley turtles. Other varieties such as the Green sea turtles, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles have also been reported to visit at times.
19. Long island
Long Island is not that big, about 18 square kilometres. It can be designated as a modern village and enjoys certain facilities that are not really available in most villages of Bay Islands. Among the modern facilities, Long island has its own power house and bank and wireless facilities. It also boasts of a well-equipped Boat Building Yard. Long Island has bounty of natural beauty that includes rice coral reefs, exclusive beaches, enigmatic caves, lush greenery, mangroves and lines of azure blue skies melting with the similar blue seas. Adventure tourism gets a boost on account of the exquisite beauty of the island, virgin dense deep tropical forests and a rich marine ecosystem. The tidal swamp forests merge daintily with the evergreen green forests to give the island a wholesome green-surrounded-by-blue effect.
The glistening silvery beaches of Lalaji Bay and Merk Bay of North Passage Island adjacent to Long Island lends the island unmatched beach beauty. Sunset rust views from Long Island attract nature lovers to take a cruise along the Yerrata Creek. Enjoy nature in Long Island in its full glory and find an unbroken serenity all around where you hear the breeze, the waves, the birds and nature’s song.
Plan a trek through the main village area across plantations, fields and rainforests. There is a beautiful trail from the jetty to the Lalaji Bay area that is around 6 kilometers long. Snorkel and sunbathe in seclusion in complete privacy.
20. Guitar Island
Guitar Island has stunning beauty. It is situated close to Long Island and can be easily reached by water. The name is derived from its shape which is like a guitar. It is uninhabited and hence is loaded with peace and tranquillity. Overnight staying in Guitar Island is not possible because there are no accommodation facilities here. Stay can be arranged at Long Island or Rangat both of which make provisions for day trip to Guitar Island. Guitar Shaped, this island is one of the most beautiful islands. Fibre boats or speed boats carry interested and adventurous tourists to this island from Long Island in around 15 minutes.
Long walks across the soothing and powdery beach of Guitar island is an invigorating experience. The waters along the coasts are crystal clear and the silence in the air puts your mind at rest and peace. The beach here can be enjoyed to heart’s content without any interruption and away from noise of chattering human crowd. To best enjoy, go to the beach with your favourite book and music, lunch pack, drinks, towels and change of clothes and laze on the beach from early morning till sunset. Laze around the beach for hours. Interestingly, there is another island adjacent to Guitar Island which is also like a guitar in shape but smaller in size and hence called Small Guitar Island.
21. Merk Bay Beach
Merk Bay located on North Passage Island of Middle Andamans offers one of the most delightful and secluded beaches. This bay area is known for dolphin spotting too if one is lucky. It is located in between Strait Island on the right and Guitar Island on the left. It is also flanked by a set of three small islands on the opposite side called North, Middle and South Islands. Merk Bay Beach is undoubtedly one of the best and most peaceful beaches of Andamans. The beach is ideal for lazing with its fine and white sands that stand contrast to the blue waters of the ocean around and makes for a perfect beach location to compose a holiday. The beach is safe and perfect for bathing and snorkelling. This bay area is also known for being a superb site for spectacular bird watching. Want to watch dolphins in their natural setting and be a witness to their legendary playful nature! Merk Bay is the place you should be.
Boat can be hired from Long Island and Merk Bay can be reached in an hour. It however takes around 2 hours by boat from Yeratta Jetty. This island is uninhabited and all provisions of entertainment such as hammocks and books, drink and food need to be carried along. It is advisable to reach the island in the morning early hours and stay till sunset.
22. North Passage Island
North Passage Island is chicken-neck shaped and it is situated 30 kilometers northeast of the gorgeous Havelock Island. On one side is the famous Strait Island to the south of North Passage Island. And Strait Island is known to be the home for last breed of rapidly dwindling Great Andamanese tribe. Guitar Island and Long Island are located to its north. To the east of North Passage island there is a channel and across it lies John Lawrence island in Ritchie’s Archipelago. The Middle Andamans lie closer to the west. North Passage Island has a beautiful secluded beach on its north-eastern side, Merk Bay. It is an island to be enjoyed in solitude. As it is uninhabited, only day trips are advisable. The calm and sheltered waters between North Passage and Middle Andaman towards the western side of North Passage Islands is good for