Delhi to Andaman
I had been to Andaman and Nicobar Islands with my family in the year 2006 and we stayed in Port Blair only. I always wanted to come back to Andaman and Nicobar Island. In January 2020 we got our opportunity and took a flight from Delhi to Andaman and landed at Port Blair. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of over 500 islands, situated in Bay of Bengal. These islands are known for their stunning natural beauty and a tribal culture unique to this place only. These islands offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience a remote, exotic travel destination. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands renowned for their white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life. All this makes A&N Islands a popular destination for travelers looking for an idyllic tropical paradise. We spent three days in Port Blair and surrounding areas, 2 days each in Havelock Islands and Neil Islands.
Based on our travel experience I will try to provide a comprehensive guide on visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including information on places to visit, adventure activities, local cuisine, and culture, among other topics. My entire Andaman & Nicobar Island 7 Days/8 Nights Trip Itinerary was as under :-
Day 1 : Delhi to Port Blair by Air India Flight/Check in Hotel. Evening visits to Cellular Jail ; Corbyn’s Cove Beach.
Day 2 : Visit Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Island (Ross Island)/Visit Wandoor Island/Light and Sound Show at Cellular Jail.
Day 3 : Port Blair to Havelock Island by Ship/ Evening visit Radhanagar Beach.
Day 4 : Scuba Diving at Havelock Island/ Afternoon Visit Elephant Island.
Day 5 : Havelock Island to Neil Island/ Visit Bharatpur Beach.
Day 6 : Visit Laxmanpur Beach and Howrah Bridge/ Return Trip to Port Blair.
Day 7 : Visit Baratang Island, Trek to Mud caves.
Day 8 : Port Blair to New Delhi and Back to Home.
To check out my entire Andaman & Nicobar Island 7 Days/8 Nights Trip videos on youtube please click here. https://tinyurl.com/sxc5ncav
Delhi to Port Blair Flight – Getting to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Tourists can come to Andaman and Nicobar Islands by air or sea. The main entry point is Port Blair, which is the capital of A & N Islands. Several direct flights are available every day for Port Blair from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Travelers also have an option to take a cruise from Chennai or Kolkata to Port Blair. When we visited in 2006 flights were available only from Chennai or Kolkotta and we flew from Kolkotta to Port Blair. However there are several flights operating between New Delhi and Port Blair now. We took the Delhi to Port Blair Flight in Air India.
Port Blair Airport
The Port Blair airport is known as Veer Savarkar airport. Initially known as Port Blair Airport, it was renamed as Veer Savarkar Airport in 2002 after the freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who spent 11 years here in the Cellular Jail. Due to the ever increasing traffic, a new 40,837 sqm passenger terminal is under construction since 2019. This terminal will have three floors, one each for arrivals, departures and for waiting. There will be 28 check-in counters and four conveyor belts. After we landed at the Port Blair Airport, our tour operator had arranged for our pickups and we were taken to our hotel where we stayed for 2 days.
Hotels in Port Blair
Port Blair used to be a small town but now has turned into a city. There are scores of hotels in Port Blair from budget to expensive ones. Bokking can be done from any of the hotel bookin sites like goibibo, booking or yatra. Best is to ask for quotes from those travel agents who operate from Andaman & Nicobar Islands and that it exactly what we did and got a good deal.
Port Blair Weather
We went to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in end of December and returned by first week of January. The Port Blair weather is quite different from the rest of India as it is situated right in the middle of an ocean. March to May are the summer months when the temperature ranges from 20 to 36 degrees. The month of April is considered the warmest month of the season. December to March are the coolest months and also the best time to visit Port Blair and for that matter Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The weather during this time is pleasant and very conducive for outdoor activities and adventure sports.
Port Blair – Day 1 Activities
Cellular Jail Visit
The Cellular Jail is located in Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. It remains as a grim reminder and silent witness of how Indian freedom fighters were imprisoned and tortured by the British. Veer Savarkar was interned here. This was called “Kalapani” as it is in Andaman Nicobar Jail located here that the British would exile the criminals as well as freedom fighters for life. People who were sent on Kalapani would be either killed, hanged or imprisoned for life, never to return to their home or family. One can visit the cellular jail during the daytime. However, the Light and the Sound Show in the evening is highly recommended.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach
The beautiful Corbyn’s Cove Beach Port Blair is only 9 kms from Port Blair town. Corbyn’s Cove is a coconut palm fringed beach. Being the closest beach to Port Blair, Corbyn’s Cove Beach attracts a huge crowd most of the time. The amazing blue waters on one side and the palm trees on the other is a visual treat. The coastal road from Port Blair to this beach is full of scenic beauty. The drive to this beach is amazing as it offers a stunning view of the coastline and the greenery that surrounds it. The roads passes through fantastic landscape with vast open sea on one side seemingly touching the sky. It is very hard for the travelers not to stop themselves from stopping on the way occasionally and getting out of the car to catch hold of some beautiful pictures of this place.
Port Blair – Day 2 Activities
Ross Island – Visit
The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island Port Blair (earlier called Ross Island) was once the administrative headquarters of the British and capital of these Islands. Today the island is under the control of Indian Navy. The island stands now as a ruin of the bygone days with the old structures almost in debris. Ross Island Port Blair is famous for friendly flocks of Deer and lush green walking trails. It is better to walk rather than the rickshaws as the distance is very less. We roamed around the Island. There is a ruin of a beautiful church as well as a cemetery which was really a nice experience.
Cellular Jail Light and Sound Show
The Cellular Jail Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India is a popular tourist place. It remains as a grim reminder and silent witness of how Indian freedom fighters were imprisoned and tortured by the British. During those days criminals as well as freedom fighters would be given kalapani and exiled for life. People who were sent to kalapani jail here would be either killed, hanged or imprisoned for life, never to return to their home or family. One can visit the cellular jail during the daytime. However, cellular jail PoBt blair light and sound show in the evening is highly recommended. Many movies with name kalapni have been made and songs of kalapani have been popular.
Havelock Island – Day 3 Activities
Port Blair to Havelock Island – Ferry Ride
Early morning after a hurried breakfast, we reached Port Blair Harbour known as Phoenix Bay, for our next destination which is Havelock Island. We bought tickets for the ferry ride to from Port Blair to Havelock Island. The ferry ride was an amazing experience and a bit scary for first timers. Wherever you see there is only blue sea and nothing else. Finally we reached Havelock Islands where the representative of our Tour Operator was waiting for our welcome. We enjoyed lunch at this restaurant. Thereafter we were driven to the El Dorado Beach Resort Hotel where we spent two nights. How to go to Havelock island ? The only way is by ferry both government owned which is quite cheaper and private luxurious ones, bit expensive. The Havelock Island was named after a British Army Officer. It is now officially known as Swaraj Dweep and is the most visited of tourist destination in the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is becoming popular for its beaches and a laid back atmosphere. Havelock Island is a place to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. The Island is also famous for its white sand and crystal clear and transparent waters.
El Dorado Beach Resort – Stay in Havelock Island
The Eldorado Beach Resort is a beautiful beach resort located in a lush green tropical garden, which is a paradise of birds and butterflies in the lap of nature. The restaurant boasts that one can enjoy tropical speciality sea food crabs, lobsters and a wide variety of fish, straight from the nets of the local fishermen. However, the breakfast and dinner that came with our 2 nights and 3 days havelock package was just ordinary fare consisting of mostly South Indian common cuisine. There is also a bar here. Nevertheless what I liked the most was its own private beautiful beach. You cannot however swim here due to the rocks. If you are thinking where to stay in Havelock Island, I would definitely recommend El Dorado Beach Resort. The website of El Dorado Beach Resort is http://eldoradoathavelock.com/
Radhanagar Beach – One of Asia’s Best Beaches
The Radhanagar Beach located in Havelock Island is known as one of Asia’s best beaches and rated amongst world’s top ten beaches. Radhanagar Beach has azure blue sky, silky white sands, turquoise water and lush green forest that provides welcome shades. There are some stretches on this beach having a sandy bottom which is good for swimming and some with excellent coral reefs that are great for snorkeling. Radhanagar Beach Sunset are spectacular and families have a really nice time at here. This was a lifetime experience never to be forgotten.
Havelock Island – Day 4 Activities
Havelock Island is a place to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. The Island is also famous for its white sand and crystal clear waters best suited for scuba diving. The dive sites at Havelock Island are perfectly suited for most scuba diving. Contrary to popular belief, one need not be an expert swimmer to do Scuba Diving in Havelok Islands as it is considered suitable for everyone from the age of 10 to 60 years. It is considered a safe adventure and water sports in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The only thing needed is some basic swimming knowledge and a moderate fitness level. Even otherwise each scuba diver is accompanied by an expert diver who acts as the guide and instructor. Out first Scuba Diving Experience was simply amazing. Please check this video.
Elephant Beach – Adventure Activities
The Elephant Beach lies on the western coast of Havelock Islands and can be reached by either taking a speed boat or by trekking through a forest trail. We took a speed boat from the Havelock jetty which took about 25 mins and the distance covered was about 9 km. This ride was amazing.
Question arises as to “what to do in Elephant Beach Havelock Island ? Elephant beach offers many adventure activities. All water sports activities are available here. The calm blue shallow waters is the perfect spot for snorkeling. Elephant beach is also a great place to just spend the day lying on the beach and relaxing. The beach is very scenic with fallen trees and white sand giving the photographer some interesting shots. We enjoyed speed bike rides, swimming and walk on the beach besides off course lots of photography. The reef here starts very close to shore at a depth of about 1 meter and is mostly made up of hard coral that has plenty of marine life. These waters are also home to turtles and sting rays.
Neil Island – Day 5 Activities | Havelock Island to Neil Island | Visit Bharatpur Beach
Havelock to Neil Island
After enjoying 2 nights and three days at Havelock Island we now move on to the next Island which is Neil Island. Havelock Island to Neil Island by ferry took about one hour. We reached the beautiful Neil Island in the evening. Our rep was ready with the taxis at the Neil harbour. We were transferred to the Tango Beach Resort hotel which is an amazing hotel with swimming pool and a bar.
Bharatpur Beach is the best beach in Neil Island with tranquil and picturesque atmosphere. It is located only 500 meters from the Neil Island jetty and is a perfect place to enjoy time with your family and friends. The waters near the beach are shallow and free of rocks. The water currents and waves are also low most of the time, making it a great place for swimming. The Bharatpur beach is also quite famous for its view of sunrise and sunsets. A natural bridge structure of dead corals also stands beautifully in Neil Island and is locally called as the Howrah Bridge. The attraction is a natural wonder that was formed by corals over the years and is a tourist attraction in Neil Island. After spending a lot of time at this Beach we attracts people from all walks of life. Soon it was lunch time and we tried some sea food.
Neil Island – Day 6 Activities – Visit Laxmanpur Beach and Howrah Bridge | Return Back to Port Blair.
Laxmanpur Beach is situated at a distance of 2 km from the Neil Jsland Jetty. There is also a village called Laxmanpur Village near the beach. Laxmanpur Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach that is suitable for snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming and other other activities. This serene beach offers a stunning panorama of the area and with amazing view of the setting sun.There is also a natural bridge popularly called as Howrah Bridge which is an added attraction near to this beach.
Back to Port Blair
After a blissful 2 days at Neil Island it was time to return to the main Island ie Port Blair. The ferry ride took us to Port Blair where we stayed an extra day to cover the Baratang Island.
Baratang Island – Day 7 Activities
Baratang Island is located at a distance of 98 km from Port Blair and 204 km from Diglipur in North and middle of Andamans. Spread in an area of approximately 238 sq km Baratang is one of the main islands of the Great Andaman group, a closely set archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, adjoining the Andaman Sea. Baratang Island is home to the rare Limestone Caves in India. The other main attractions are the Parrot Island, the blue beach at Baludera and the Mud Volcano. Baratang is also famous for the aboriginal tribes of Jarawa, that stir curiosity in every traveler.
Trek to Limestone Mud caves.
The Limestone Caves are located 50 minutes away from the Baratang Jetty. The only way to go there is by by hiring a small speed boats. The boat ride from Baratang Jetty to these caves is a thrilling experience. Once there you have to trek to reach the limestone caves. Once there one can see massive sedimentary limestone formations, some of which are hanging from the top, some growing from the ground. It is advisable to carry drinking water and food packets while trekking to visit these caves. I have seen bigger and larger caves and therefore this wasn’t a big attraction for me.
Port Blair to New Delhi and Back to Home – Day 8
On the last day after breakfast we left for airport. The Maruti Ertiga driver working for the travel company who had been with us at Port Blair had been very helpful and nice guy. He always ensured that we had a wonderful trip, stopping at anywhere we asked him to and guiding us in many ways. My wife and I decided to buy a gift for him and we bought a nice T shirt and a trouser for him. After he dropped us at the airport, we handed over the packet; he had tears in his eyes. This was a small gesture on our part but made a big difference in his attitude towards tourists coming from the mainland.
My Tips for Travelers Coming to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Before planning a trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it is essential to keep few things in mind and follow some dos and don’t’s like what to carry and wear, and few other safety precautions.
Respect the local culture and traditions. This applies not only to A&N Islands but anywhere you travel to.
Seek permission before clicking photographs of the tribal communities. This is better to be avoided, if at all.
Keep the beaches and the islands clean. I don’t know why some of the beaches are so dirty especially in Neil Islands. Don’t believe me watch this. However, you must do your bit to keep the fragile environment clean and litter free.
Carry a copy of necessary documents like ID, permits, etc at all times. This need not be emphasised enough. The IDs especially Aadhar Card is required to be shown at the hotels, while boarding ships etc.
Always wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. One must keep onself always hyderaed by drinking lot of liquids. Coconut water is available in abundance at all the beaches and all over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Do not harm the marine life and coral reefs. Corals takes a long time to form and protects coastlines from storms and erosion. They are also habitat for marine life and also a source of food and new medicines.
Do not take part in any water sports activities without proper supervision. Some sports like snorkeling requires some training before venturing into the depths of the sea.
Do not litter on the beaches or anywhere else on Andaman & Nicobar islands. That goes for any place that you visit as a tourist.
Do not consume alcohol or drugs in public places. Most of the resorts have bars where one can have few drinks or two. There are other restaurants that serve beer or drinks.
Andaman and Nicobar Trip – What to Carry and Wear
It is recommended to wear comfortable and breathable clothing, while traveling to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Some essential items to carry are as follows.
Lightweight and comfortable clothing. Shorts and T shirts would be wonderful.
Hat, cap and sunglasses to protect from the sun. A sunscreen lotion would be very helpful in this kind of climate.
Insect repellent, though we did not carry any.
Snorkeling or diving gear, if you plan to indulge in water sports. We did not carry this either. Howver I would recommend buying snorkeling item which wont cost much.
Necessary medication especially medicines for tummy upsets and a first aid kit.
Safety Precautions while in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are relatively safe place. However, it is always a good idea to take some precautions while traveling like the following.
Avoid traveling alone at night, especially in secluded areas.
Be aware of your surroundings and avoid dark and isolated areas. You should have the address and location of your hotel with you at all times. As soon as you check in ask for the number of the Reception Desk and save it in your mobile.
Do not swim in areas with strong currents. It is advisable to swim in places where others are swimming. Don’t venture deep into the sea.
Stay hydrated and drink only bottled mineral water. If your hotel has an RO machine, you can fill you water bottles before venturing out.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a beautiful and enchanting destination that offers visitors an opportunity to forget their busy life for a while and relax and unwind in the lap of nature. The pristine beaches, azure blue sky, rich marine life, the A&N islands have something for every traveler.
While enjoying this once in a lifetime trip, it is also important to keep in mind certain dos and don’ts elaborated above, as also what to carry and wear and some safety precautions. Further it is very important to respect the local culture and traditions and ensure that you leave the islands as clean as you found them.
We highly recommend visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and exploring its stunning beaches, rich marine life, and unique culture. The islands are an ideal destination for those seeking a break from their hectic lives and looking for an opportunity to reconnect with nature.