Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Welcome to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

From plane or helicopter,  Andaman Islands look like green emeralds scattered over the turquoise seaWe lived here for 5 weeks and traveled from north to south and west to east. The interior of Andaman Islands is mostly untouched rain forest, as well as 90% of the beaches on the coast. If you want to experience the white sand beaches under your feet, the turquoise sea in front of your eyes and the green jungle behind you, and to have all these just for yourself, like Robinzon, the Andaman Islands are just perfect place for you. But beware! There are bits of hell inside this paradise. Our blog will help you to be well prepared and to enjoy the best of the archipelago.

There are 572 Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As of July 2018, only 23-24 islands wereaccessible to visitors. Of that, you were only allowed to overnight on 12 of the Andaman Islands, others can only be visited on a day trip. The Nicobars have been completely closed. Only in August 2018 Indian government announced opening Nicobar islands to tourism, along with easing restrictions on Andamans. Soon, the number of islands, accessible to outsiders, will rise to 29 inhabited and 11 uninhabited islands.

Why so many restrictions? The Andaman Islands are closer to Burma and to Thailand than to India itself, so India protects them as their maritime boundary with the surrounding world. At the same time, the original tribes still live on the islands. Tribes like Onge, Sentinel or Jarawa still hunt with spears and deny civilization. India has earmarked vast tribal territories for them, and is preventing outsiders from getting into contact with  them. And thirdly, India simply is a bureaucratic country. They love putting up restriction, just to have then policemen enforcing them or other bureaucrats issuing permits. E.g., would you believe that it is illegal to snorkel independently on the Andaman Islands? (More info in our blog.)

You may find a lot of information saying RAP or Restricted Area Permit is necessary to visit Andamans. Since August 2018, the RAP regime was cancelled and all the islands the islands, described in this guide book, are free to go.

We have divided the basic information about the Andaman into three parts

TRANSPORT

Andaman Islands Transport

We are talking about a large archipelago, thus ships, ferries and boats are, of course, the key option for getting between the islands. Ships connect the capital, Port Blair, with most of the inhabited islands on the archipelago.

Port Blair is connected to the Middle and North Andaman by Andaman trunk road. Handful of buses run south to north daily. You will find long distance, express busses on Andaman islands, as well as suburban buses linking administrative centers such as Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur and adjacent villages. Large islands such as Havelock and Little Andaman run local buses too.

Between some of the towns and islands of the archipelago, you can try your luck and fly a helicopter.

For detailed guide about transport please visit "Getting around Andaman Islands"  dedicated chapter here.

ACCOMODATION

Andaman Islands accommodation

Accommodation here is very diverse: from bamboo cottages with mattress on the floor and prices somewhere from 6-7 € per night to overpriced accommodation at over 100 € a night. These expensive accommodations are located mainly on the island of Havelock and my sincere warning is: if someone asks Havelock for a lot of money, it does not mean that it offers good quality.

Read our honest advice to other travellers and  details about accommodation in Andaman Islands here.

HIGHLIGHTS

Andaman Islands itinerary. 

How to plan your a trip and which places you definitely may not miss?

The Andaman Islands are diverse and beautiful. Archipelago offer more then just  miles of gorgeous beaches. Witness turtles nesting and laying eggs. Hit the right hatching  time and watch small turtles run into the sea. 🙂

Play Robinzon and spend the day on the uninhabited island. Go through the magnificent jungles, without any worry about dangerous wildlife, swim in the waterfalls and of course snorkel and dive.

Check Andaman Islands Itinerary and highlights here.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands guidebook content

Plan your visit: Itinerary and Highlights of Andaman Islands

How to plan a trip to Andaman Islands and what highlights not to miss? Beaches, waterfalls, marine life. You may be asking yourself: how can I manage to see everything and how much time do I need? Read on, answers are here ...

Transport - getting there and around Andaman Islands

Ships, buses and helicopters are available on the archipelago. Ships will ferry you between the islands, buses will transport you along the Andaman Trunk Road from Great, via Middle and all the way to North Andaman. But the most attractive option is flying a helicopter. Andaman Islands transport is pretty varied.

Accommodation - huts, hotels and resorts at Andaman Islands

Andaman Islands Accommodation is very diverse. Your sleeping options range from bamboo huts with a mattress on the floor to  luxury rooms and cottages.  Prices start from 6-7 € per night for bamboo hut to over 100 € per night for luxury rooms. Read more and avoid overpriced tourist traps on Havelock and Neil islands ...

Havelock

Is Havelock heaven or hell of the archipelago? Both! This guide, is probably the only place, where you can read about negative things. We do not need to sell any tours or services to you, so we can afford to be always open, straightforward and if needed be, critical.

Neil Island

Neil Island, together with its bigger neighbor Havelock are two most visited Andaman islands and thus two most touristy ones. Visitors mostly tend to think of Neil island as being more quiet alternative to Havelock. Having visited 12 Andaman islands, I have difficulties to agree with that.

North Andaman 

Guide to highlights / transport / accommodation. The real beauty and the best area of the whole Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, is in the north. Still, not many people make their way this far. Good for you! When you take this little extra effort, you can enjoy the area with little to no tourist in sight.

Little Andaman 

Little Andaman has that sensational feel of the end of the world. Kilometers of Beaches are completely free of any humans, jungle waterfalls and water reservoirs wait just for you. Enjoy a motorbike ride and feel the complete freedom to discover the beauty of this island. And it is surprisingly inexpensive!

Andaman beaches and nature will enchant you, the traffic will exhausted you and accommodation may be a challenge. In any case the Andaman Islands are worth a visit!

Middle Andaman

Middle Andaman highlights are its turtle nesting beaches and two mangrove walkways. Check transport and hotels at Middle Andaman and explore its exoticay named places: Dhani Nallah, Moricedera and Yeratta ...

Long Island

You may consider visiting Long Island for its beautiful Lalaji Bay beach and nice jungle walk heading from the inhabited south of the island to the Lalaji bay ...

Wandoor and MG Marine national park

Wonderful sea journey thru narrow stretch of the sea, between South Andaman and Alexandra island, surrounded by dense jungle on both sides...

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