Exotic Islands of Andaman

By: TM Abbas & Elakkiya Thavadurai

Last Updated: 12- Oct- 2021

Exotic Islands of Andaman

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere... 

I want it more than I can tell!

And for once it might be grand to have someone understand...

Yes, yes! We hear your inner Belle singing and looking for an adventure. We get you more than you can tell. That's why we have put together the perfect getaway plan for you to explore. Sandy beaches - ✔. Turquoise water - ✔. Salty breeze - ✔. Starry nights - ✔. Sunkissed ocean - ✔. Vacation mood - ✔. Now, it's time to pump up your tropical vibes and get onboard to traverse the exotic islands of Andaman (No, not the Sentinelese, of course!). Located to the east of Indian subcontinent, this tropical archipelago with its white-sand beaches, quiet shorelines, thick canopy, lush mangrove creeks covering its estuaries, forests deciduous and evergreen in nature, grasslands, and a variety of terrestrial and marine fauna, is a raw beauty to be explored. Comprising 572 islands of which 37 are inhabited, these islands are slowly gaining traction on the global hotspot for tourist destinations.

Image Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Port Blair:

'The gateway to your getaway!' - This capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands, is also the archipelago's only notable town. As the island's commercial and administrative hub, it houses the only international airport and port of the region. Naturally, Port Blair acts as the gateway to all islands in the Andaman territory. The city has its tourist attractions that are not to be missed while we are there. With its colonial history, and prominence during the Indian independence movement, Port Blair houses the infamous colonial prison, the Cellular jail aka Kaalapani. Now serving as a national memorial monument, the guided tour offered around the prison quarters should have a place in your itinerary. While on time, don't miss the sound and light show in the evening narrating the prisoner's ordeal during its heyday. The city is also full of other tourist attractions such as Chatham Island, Asia's largest sawmill at the of its commission, Forest Museum, Samudrika Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Gandhi park and more. Once we are done knowing the town's historical past, it's time to feast your eyes. Head on to the southernmost tip of the island called Chidiya Tapu Beach, known as the sunset point. Watch the golden hour while the sun sets and revel at the view of twilight sky taking over the fierce tangerine sun.  

Ross Island:

'The land of ruins'. Renamed as 'Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island' in 2018, it just takes 10 minutes of a ferry ride to reach the island from Port Blair and must-visit island for those history buffs. Established as a penal colony by the British in 1858 to jail prisoners, it was soon turned to be the administrative headquarters of British with its Chief Commissioner's residence including several amenities for the officers such as the bakery, church, swimming pool, tennis court, bazaar, the government house. After an earthquake and a brief stint during World War II, the island was abandoned as it was built only to become a land of ruins. These dilapidated British era structures soon became a prominent historical tourist spot among the islands. It is worthwhile to spend a day on the island walking by those abandoned structures, wondering about the history of a bygone era, admiring the colonial architecture, and ending your day by watching the spectacular sound and light show that is specially curated for Ross island to know its history. Regardless of its past, the island also offers a great scenic view of the sea along with its thick forests full of palm and coconut trees, peacock flocks and herds of deer. 

Jolly Buoy & Red Skin Island:

'The eco-touristy islands of the region'. With its crystal clear waters and vibrant corals, these islands are one of the perfect spots to explore the underwater wonders of Andaman. Part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, the local government, promotes ecotourism on these islands to preserve its bustling marine ecosystem. And for the very same reason, Jolly Buoy and Red Skin are open alternatively in a year for tourists to enjoy the attractions. Just 20 minutes of travel (approx. 30kms) by road from Port Blair can take you to Wandoor, the connecting point to these islands. From Wandoor jetty, a 45 minutes boat ride will take us to Jolly Buoy or Red Skin. Get off the boat, and get going. There are plenty of exciting things for us to do there. Fancy a swim among the beautiful underwater scenery? Get your snorkel mask on and go for snorkelling. Don't want to get yourselves wet? Take the famous Glass bottom boat ride that offers a spectacular view of underwater marine life. Clear skies, pristine beach with its warm aqua blue water, cool breeze - our day can't get any better than this. Pro tip: There is no place for commercial activities on these islands as the site offers real island life experience. Rejoice the moment for the day and return to your comfort cocoons by night. 

Havelock Island:

'The ultimate adventure island', Havelock offers the perfect island vacation vibes. Sunglasses, comfy clothes, flip flops - it's time to bask in the ocean beauty, make good times and tan lines. Unleash your adventurous streak by Scuba diving, Snorkelling, Game fishing, Kayaking, Sea walk and Jet skiing. Pick one or do all and wash away your worries along those waves. The most happening place in the Andaman region, the island with its sandy beaches, dense tropical forests, coral spread, and lighthouse, can be reached by a 3-hour ferry trip from Port Blair. Visit its array of beaches from Radhanagar beach named as the 'Best Beach in Asia' by Time magazine to Kalapathar beach to Vijaynagar beach and the Elephant beach. Rent a bicycle or a motar bike to explore like a local or trek through the woods on a muddy trail to Elephant Beach.  Whether you crave for adventure or simply want to relax by the beach, Havelock offers it all. The crystal blue water, white-sand shorelines and tropical climate attract tourists all over the world to this place. 

Neil Island:

‘The idyllic land of Andaman’. Accessible only by sea through government ferries from Port Blair, Neil island offers a serene experience to those who want to step out their comfort zone and live the Island life. With farming as its primary occupation, the island is covered by more agricultural vegetation than forest cover and high on local culture. Far from the hustle and bustle of Port Blair city and touristy Havelock Island, one can have a quiet holiday along the coastline of different beaches on the island. Between waking up to watch the sunrise at Sitapur beach and catching the sunset at Lakshmanpur beach, enjoy the watersports activities at Bharatpur beach and marvel at the wondrous natural bridge formation. Wander around the island leisurely and find yourself within. Experience the tranquillity and peace of the Island life. 

Baratang Island:

‘The land of the indigenous’. From mangrove creeks to limestone caves, Parrot Island to India's only known mud volcanoes, Baratang island is packed with natural wonders and intriguing tourist attractions. Accessible by road from Port Blair through the Andaman trunk road, with its thick canopy of forest stretching on both sides, it is one of the scenic routes in Andaman to travel. Regardless of public or private transport, the security measures are tightened at the Jirkatang check post and for a good reason. To protect the Jarawa tribe, an indigenous tribe of this region, and for the safety of everyone, the government is adhering to travel guidelines along this route. The Nilambur jetty is the endpoint from where another ferry has to be taken to reach the Baratang Island. Take a boat ride and wade through the dense canopy of mangrove to get the limestone caves. Prepared to be marvelled at the wonder of this million years old sedimentary rock formation. The intricate formation of these flowy like structures has stood the test of times, well-preserved in their caves and leaves us gaping at those majestic interiors in awe. Next natural wonder is the mud volcanoes, the only one of this type found in India. These are not the muddy puddles that can be jumped on up and down like ‘Peppa pig & his family’. These craters are a combination of hot mud, water and gases that should not be meddled with. Finally, visit the Parrot island and put your Sherlock skills to test in trying to solve the mystery of why these parrots are flocking to this island only in the evening. Despite the long journey, Baratang Island is more than just beaches with its natural wonders and home to an indigenous tribe, thus making our itinerary worthwhile. 

These exotic islands of Andaman with each to their features offer a variety of options for travellers.

Natural bridge formation at Neil Island

Our wanderers in front of GreenOcean Ship

No matter what you seek, Andaman offers it all and is a perfect island getaway for everyone. Head to this tropical island's call. After all, 'To travel is to live'. 


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