The Bay of Bengal has a hidden gem known as the Andaman and Nicobar islands, located to the east of Indian mainland this amazing location is surrounded by blue turquoise waters. The sugar white beaches are outlined by the lush primeval forest, mangrove jungles, coconut grove and the turquoise water make it one of the most visited tourist places in India.
The islands of Andaman are located 1367 kilometres away from the Indian mainland 190 km away from Myanmar and 150 km from Indonesia. It is still a baffling fact that how the friendly population of Andaman that comprises of South and Southeast Asian settlers, as well as Negrito ethnic groups has reached the remote islands.
Even though there are 572 islands but only a dozen or so is open to tourists. The tropical rainforest canopy is inhabited by spotted deer, wild boar, giant coconut crabs, crab-eating macaque, reptiles, butterflies and a wide verity of birds. Home to the leather back sea turtle, the largest sea turtles in the world, the crystal-clear waters of Andaman is rich in marine life making it an ideal spot for scuba diving.
Major places to visit in Andaman includes the Havelock, Neil Island, Long Island, Ross Island, Diglipur and Bharatang Island.
Andaman and Nicobar island is one of the most popular beach tourist destination in India. The weather in Andaman is brilliant, the island has a tropical climate, the main seasons include winter, summer and the monsoon, expect heavy winds during monsoon.
December – February (20 degrees-30 degrees) Warm, sunny days, optimal diving conditions and turtle nesting.
March–mid-May ( 24°C degrees- 32 degrees) . The temperature is high during this season but fewer tourists and lower costs.
Late May-mid September (22 degrees – 32 degrees) Least-recommended time to visit Andaman. Strong winds, frequent rain and low visibility underwater are common during this season.
Best time to visit Andaman
Early November – Mid May 21 degrees -32 degrees
Calm sea and the sunny days means it is the best season for diving in Andaman and also for sightseeing tours. Expect a high number of tourists everywhere and the price are high during the season.
The permits are issued free on arrival from Port Blair’s airport or Haddo Jetty, all foreigners need a permit to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The permit is issued for 30 days which allows foreigners to stay in Port Blair, South and Middle Andaman (excluding tribal areas), North Andaman (Diglipur), Long Island, North Passage, Little Andaman (excluding tribal areas), and Havelock and Neil Islands. You can get a 15 day extension from the Immigration Office in Port Blair, or at police stations in Andaman but it is not assured all the time.
Day trips to Jolly Buoy, South Cinque, Red Skin, Ross, Narcondam, Interview, Rutland Islands, as well as the Brothers and the Sisters are not possible without the permits. The permits cost ₹50/500 for Indians/foreigners. Students with valid ID are eligible for discounts.
It is important to keep the permits with you at all times, police may ask to see it, and also hotels will need permit details.
Andaman is a wild place with virgin forests and beaches, so it is best having this guideline while travelling to Andaman. Little Andaman, Wandoor, Corbyn's Cove, Baratang and North Andamans has crocodile populations, in 2011 an American tourist was killed by a saltwater crocodile near Havelock (at Neil Cove near Beach 7), so read the signs before you enter the sea. Do not enter the water when the visibility is low especially at dawn or dusk.
Sand-flies bites are common, bring along hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion for the bite, you should not scratch bite marks as it can get infected. Seek medical assistance if it gets infected, repellent containing DEET helps to prevent the bites. The number of sand-flies are high during dawn or dusk.
Tourist Information Centre :
Directorate of Tourism, Port Blair.
Tourist information centre Veer Savarkar Airport,
Port Blair 03192-232414
GB Pant Hospital : 03192-232102, 03192-233473.
Port Blair: 03192-232 100
Havelock : 03192-232405
Woman Helpline : 1091
Fire control :101
Crime& Traffic : 100
Fire safety department Port Blair 03192-232101
How to reach Andaman by sea
Travelling by sea is a tough choice to reach Andaman, there are 3-4 sailings in a month between Port Blair and the mainland. All ships arrive at Haddo Jetty and the tickets can be booked at the office of Director of Shipping Services.
Port Blair and Chennai (3 days)
Port Blair and Kolkata (4-5days)
Port Blair and Vishakhapatnam (4days).
Organise your return ticket at the ferry booking office at Phoenix Bay.
There are government ferries and private ferries which is best for inter-island travel.
Tickets to Havelock, Neil and Rangat islands can be collected from the Phoenix Boat Jetty (03192-245555). Ross island and North Bay can be reached from the Aberdeen Jetty, ferries from Haddo serves further-off Nicobar islands.
Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair is the only airport in Andaman. Daily flights from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai to Port Blair. Airline companies - Jet Airways, 1800-225522, www.jetairways.com. Air India, 03192-233108, www.airindia.com. Go Air, 03192-231540, 092-23222111, www.goair.in. Spice Jet, 0987-1803333, 03192-24017, www.spicejet.com
No road transport
No trains to the island
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