Andaman and Nicobar Islands – all you need to know

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.

Entry formalities to Andaman Islands - no more RAP!

There are 572 Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Only 23-24 islands are accessible 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.

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.

The list of 29 Islands removed from Restricted Area Permit is here:
(While no RAP is needed, some of those islands may require different permits to be visited.)

East Island; North Andaman; Smith Island; Curfew Island; Stewart Island; Land Fall Island; Ayes Island; Middle Andaman; Long Island; Strait Island;  North Passage;  Baratang;  South Andaman;  Havelock;  Neil Island;  Flat Bay; North Sentinel Island;  Little Andaman; Narcondam Island and Interview island.
Chowra;  Tillang Chong Island;  Teressa;  Katchal;  Nancowry; Kamorta;  Pulomilo; Great Nicobar and Little Nicobar
In addition 11 uninhabited islands will also be accessible for foreigners and Indians alike.

Andaman Islands Forest department permit and Andaman Islands Tribal permit

The fact that RAPs are cancelled does not mean that you can go everywhere frely. Most of the places that tourists frequent are indeed freely accessible. Some places require special permits though.

Forest department permit

There are areas under the administration of the Forest Department and you need permits o visit some of those. As an example a valid Forest Department permit is needed to visit Lalaji Bay Beach on Long Island, Saddle Peak on North Andaman as well as Ross and Smith Islands offshore North Andaman require the Forest Department permit. These are issued at the entrance to the respective reserves and constitute no problem. You just come and pay. So it is more like an entry ticket than a permit.

Permit to Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is issued by Tourism Office in Port Blair and needs to be arranged a day or two ahead.


Tribal permit

Tribal permit is needed to visit all Nicobar islands but one and it is also needed to visit tribal areas on Great and Middle Andaman or Baratang island. To put it simple: there is no chance you get a Trabal Permit granted. Do not even try.


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


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 busses on Andaman islands, as well as suburban buses linking Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur and adjacent villages. 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.


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.


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.

Why download Andaman Islands Guide eBook

  • Saving this guidebook offline in your phone, will help you out massively when on the ground (there in no reasonable internet connection on Andamans).
  • Learn about best places to snorkel, where to see turtles laying eggs and how to experience turtle hatching and see little babies running to the sea
  • Read where the most scenic and easily accessible Andaman jungles and waterfalls are
  • Our guidebook will help you to avoid the tourist hell, crowded with Indian day-trippers and let you enjoy even tourist Havelock peacefully
  • Practical information about Andaman accommodation, and best value for money tips for on each island
  • First hand advice on transport and getting around the archipelago, by ships and buses
  • Detailed descriptions of 8 Andaman islands and tips for a few more
  • Custom maps with key places marked for your better orientation

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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 ...

Port Blair 

Useful guide to Port Blair. I keep general info to the minimum and focus on info real individual traveler’s needs. Why visit / Highlights. Many people just pass thru on the way to Havelock. However, Port Blair does have one spectacular sight, worth budgeting an extra day. And it is not the jail. What is it?


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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