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The picturesque beaches, crystal clear waters and a bit of history make the Andaman the perfect choice for a back-to-back, enjoyable holiday, with long treks, wandering around in the island backwaters and diving into a more adventurous, deep sea for. From the multicultural city of Port Blair to the pristine white beaches of the Nile and Havelock islands and the limestone caves of Diglipur, Andaman offers something for every tourist.

Photo by Niket Malpani / Unsplash

What are some good places to see?

Port Blair: A multicultural city reflecting various local traditions, Port Blair is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle city life. Steeped in colonial history, Port Blair is perfect as a basecamp for your stay in Andaman. Havelock Island: Clear blue water and white sand beaches with mahua trees give Havelock Island a picture-perfect appearance. With long treks and attractive backwaters, Havelock promises to escape in adventure and natural beauty.

Neil Island: This tranquil island welcomes you to coral reefs, serene beaches and rich wildlife. Needless to say that unlike other islands in Andaman, snorkeling is perfect here, Nile Island escapes the crowds. There are still a few virgin beaches around for an evening date with your lover, or better, with nature itself.

Limestone Caves, North Andaman: Limestone caves are located in North Andaman and is a treat not to be missed. Your journey through the tribal sanctuary will be mesmerizing. You can also catch a glimpse of fully camouflaged crocodiles in the region's mangrove forests.

Travel Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: If you have ever snorkeled, you already know that there is nothing better than snorkeling in clear turquoise waters to explore vibrant aquatic life.

The coral reefs in Andaman are famous for featuring the widest range of aquatic flora and fauna. Scuba diving is also a great way to get up close and personal with the vibrant, colorful corals that these beaches are famous for.

Cellular Jail Memorial: The taboo of Kalapani is still a victim of the walls of the Cellular Jail. The prisoners sentenced to exile here were not only traumatized by their visit to the jail, but they also believed that if they crossed the black waters (deep waters) of the ocean, they lost their varna (caste) Give. The British used this prison to deport many freedom fighters and political prisoners. Located in Port Blair, it is open for tourists from Tuesday to Sunday. Light and sound shows are especially recommended at night.

Trek to Madhuban: One of the best trekking routes in the country, the trek from Mount Harriot to Madhuban is a huge tourist destination. Trekking enthusiasts love this place due to the lush green forests and exotic creatures in the area. You can start your trek with a ferry ride from Chatham Harbor, Port Blair.

The three major ferry routes in Port Blair connect Chatham, Bamboo Flat, Jungighat, Dundas Point, Viper Island, Hope Town and Mitkari. Ghats make 45 trips per day from these cities. You can visit any of the nearby trek points at the ghat in just minutes.

Which are some great local dishes ?

Seafood: Like other coastal areas, seafood is the specialty of the region.

Port Blair is particularly recommended: try whole lobster in a seafood platter at New Lighthouse Restaurant or Red Snapper. You can also get fresh fried fish from the early morning catch on almost all islands.

Local fare: When you arrive in Havelock, check out the delicious samosas. If you are looking for affordable but luxurious food, many small local restaurants serve healthy Indian bags at reasonable prices.

Many also offer Italian, Thai and Continental food to local couples, whether or not you have any allergy to seafood.

Photo by Vivek Doshi / Unsplash

when to go?

October - May: The winters in this region are not cold, and the weather is pleasant for the most part. The best time to enjoy water sports and other water activities. January: If you want to see the culture and tradition of the local people in Andaman, then visit that place in January. Many fairs and festivals will keep you busy in your journey. The Island Tourism Festival is a 14-day long festival depicting various traditions followed by the tribals of the region. The Subhash Mela is organized on the birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose. The block fair shows the diversity in the culture and rural life of the local people in these islands. May - October: Andaman receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, but this should not stop you from going. Andaman has its own beauty in the rain!

Photo by Soumik Mondal / Unsplash

Getting There:

By Air: Most tourists prefer to take flights from either Kolkata or Chennai. Most flights are operated by Go Air and Spicejet.

By Ship: Passenger ships are available to Port Blair from Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, and Chennai. Three to four trips from Chennai and Kolkata to Port Blair and vice versa are common every month. One sailing takes place from Vishakhapatnam every month. Each voyage takes about 50-60 hours, with the ship docked at Port Blair for two to three days.

Reaching Havelock: Located at just 38 Kms from Port Blair, Havelock has a luxurious camping facility near Radha Nagar beach. Two to three ferries operate every day between Port Blair and Havelock.

Getting Around:

Private Jeeps and Minivans: A cab in the region usually costs around Rs 500-800 for airport pick and drop, and around Rs.1500 for 1-day sightseeing, covering famous points. For a trip from Port Blair to Diglipur, it might cost you around Rs 10,000. Though it sounds a bit expensive, there will be some fun stopovers on the way. Scooters and motorbikes are easily available for hire from Port Blair. You may have to shell out around Rs 400 per day. However, some restrictions are imposed in tribal regions where tourists are prohibited from driving their own vehicles, particularly in Middle and North Andaman.

Bus: All ferries and roads in the region lead to Port Blair. Middle, North and South Andaman are well connected by road, with bridges and ferry crossings. You can also take a bus from Port Blair to Diglipur, Baratang, Mayabunder and Rangat in the North, and Wandoor in the South.

Boat: Most trips to the islands require you to travel by boat. A romantic trip on the backwaters will not only give you a tour of some unexplored beaches, but will also save you from the hassles of public transport. Book in advance to save yourself from long queues. Not all islands are open for tourists, and you should check with the Tourist Information Center before planning your trip.

Beach sight
Photo by Abhishek Koli / Unsplash

What to Pack:
Light cotton clothes for the summer, a light cardigan for winters
Dark sunglasses, umbrella, raincoat, and trekking shoes if you’re planning to trek to Madhuban
Lots and lots of sunscreen
Basic medicines, anti-allergic medications, glucose supplements to prevent dehydration
Beach wear, of course. Scuba diving and snorkelling kits are available for hire at the beach
Unexplored beaches, clear blue waters, stunning rainforests and a dash of history—all this can be found right off the coast of India in the Andaman Islands.