The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, are an Indian archipelago known for their pristine beaches, lush forests, and rich marine life. These islands offer a wide range of activities and experiences for travelers seeking a tropical paradise. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing beach getaway, the Andamans have something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the 20 best things to do in the Andaman Islands to help you plan your dream vacation.
1. Relax on Radhanagar Beach (Havelock Island):
- Radhanagar Beach consistently ranks among the world’s best beaches with its soft white sands and clear turquoise waters. Spend a day lounging, swimming, and watching stunning sunsets.
2. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling:
- The Andamans boast some of the best diving spots in the world. Explore vibrant coral reefs, marine life, and shipwrecks. Popular dive sites include Havelock, Neil Island, and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.
3. Visit Cellular Jail (Port Blair):
- Explore the historic Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, which served as a colonial-era prison. The light and sound show in the evening offers insights into India’s struggle for independence.
4. Swim with Bioluminescent Phytoplankton (Havelock Island):
- Witness the mesmerizing glow of bioluminescent plankton in the waters around Havelock Island. This rare natural phenomenon is best experienced on a night dive or boat tour.
5. Discover Neil Island:
- A short ferry ride from Havelock, Neil Island is a tranquil paradise known for its laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, and natural rock formations like the Natural Bridge.
6. Ross Island (Port Blair):
- Explore the ruins of Ross Island, once the administrative center during British rule. Its historical significance and lush greenery make it a fascinating visit.
7. Visit Elephant Beach (Havelock Island):
- Enjoy water sports like snorkeling and glass-bottom boat rides at Elephant Beach. The colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life make it a fantastic underwater adventure.
8. Water Adventures at North Bay Island (Port Blair):
- North Bay Island is perfect for water sports such as sea walking, jet skiing, and banana boat rides. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the abundant marine life while snorkeling.
9. Trek to Saddle Peak (Diglipur):
- Saddle Peak is the highest point in the Andamans. Embark on a scenic trek through lush forests and enjoy panoramic views from the summit.
10. Visit Limestone Caves (Baratang Island): – Explore the unique limestone caves in Baratang Island, formed by millions of years of calcium deposits. The boat ride through dense mangrove forests is an adventure in itself.
11. Witness the Mud Volcano (Baratang Island): – Baratang Island is also home to a mud volcano, which is a rare geological phenomenon. Take a short trek to see the bubbling mud and experience the surreal landscape.
12. Kayaking in the Mangroves (Mayabunder): – Paddle through the pristine mangrove creeks in Mayabunder. Kayaking allows you to get up close to the rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem of these coastal forests.
13. Visit Chidiya Tapu (Port Blair): – Also known as the “Bird Island,” Chidiya Tapu offers birdwatching and stunning sunset views. Explore its forest trails, pristine beaches, and the famous Munda Pahar Beach.
14. Diving at Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (Wandoor): – This protected marine park near Port Blair offers excellent diving opportunities with colorful coral reefs, diverse marine life, and crystal-clear waters.
15. Attend the Kalapani Festival (Port Blair): – If you’re visiting in January, don’t miss the Kalapani Festival, which celebrates the vibrant culture and traditions of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
16. Explore the Laxmanpur Beach (Neil Island): – Laxmanpur Beach is known for its stunning sunset views, natural rock formations, and shallow waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and beachcombing.
17. Witness the Turtle Nesting (Diglipur): – Visit Diglipur between December and March to witness the nesting of turtles on its beaches, including the Olive Ridley turtles. It’s a unique and awe-inspiring sight.
18. Visit the Japanese Bunkers (Ross Island): – Explore the World War II-era Japanese bunkers on Ross Island, which offer historical insights and panoramic ocean views.
19. Enjoy the Light and Sound Show at Cellular Jail (Port Blair): – Experience the poignant history of Cellular Jail through a captivating light and sound show in the evening.
20. Savor Seafood and Local Cuisine: – Indulge in the delicious seafood, coconut-based curries, and tropical fruits that are staples of the Andaman’s cuisine. Try local specialties like fish curry and coconut milk-infused dishes.