Crystal blue water, natural habitat, coral reefs, mangroves, white sand beaches, water sports, umpteen varieties of marine life. Enough reasons to explore this magical place. Let us take a ride through this BLUE HEAVEN. As fascinating as it may sound, Here is the guide to visit top 5 places to visit in Port Blair Andaman.
I want you to see how this place looks on the map.
Tiny pieces of islands, right? Yes, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a Union Territory comprising of 572 islands out of which only 37 are inhabited and tourists are not allowed in other Islands. This Island of India lies on the east side of our country.
So, we explore only places to visit in Port Blair, Andaman, because special permission is needed to visit Nicobar which comprises dense forests and tribal areas. Nicobar is not open for tourism because the tribes of Nicobar islands need to be protected.
Pre-requisites for starting tour of Places to Visit in Port Blair, Andaman Island
- As you are going to skip & hop from one island to another to see the different shades of Andaman, I want you to understand that you have to purchase tickets for boat rides, jetty rides, cruise rides, speed boat rides from different sources like online / directly from the counter.
- People prefer group tours organized by travel companies because the bookings & reservations are very well taken care of by them.
- If you want to travel on your own minus the travel company, take your flight and you can hire a local agent who will help you with the bookings and tour map. If you are on the backpacker’s budget, you can take further information from the official tourism website of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
How to get there: Flights available from Mumbai/ Pune/ Chennai/ Delhi/ Kolkata to Port Blair (The capital city of Andaman)
Time needed: 7 days 6 nights / can be more as per your interest.
Places covered: Port Blair, Havelock Island, Neil Island, Baratang Island
Day 1: Arrival at Port Blair Veer Savarkar International Airport.
Place 1: Ross Island, situated in North Andaman
Entry Fee: Rs. 25/person
Getting there: Take an autorickshaw to the jetty from the Airport or government bus is an alternative. You may find a lot of autorickshaw drivers hovering near you at the airport entrance. The distance is only 3 kilometers, so show your bargaining skills and avoid paying a huge amount.
A public boat ride or private boat ride from jetty to Ross island will charge around somewhere between Rs.100-400/person depending on the option you choose.
Ross Island/ Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep : The land of old British Colonies, now rich with flora and fauna
Tell me when was the last time you saw a beautiful peacock within 10 meters of your vicinity, a deer walking next to you while you are exploring an island, and have you experienced feeding the deer a piece of bread with your own hands? If the answer is no, let me take the pride to introduce you to this magical place called Ross Island. You will meet this amazing lady named Anuradha Ji who takes care of the animals and birds here. She is with them since she was 4 years old and by now they are so accustomed to her that you see them listen to her like an obedient kid.
You will see hundreds of year old trees here, as this place saw the rule of British people, it is interesting to see that they had developed their own water distillation machine to purify water for drinking.
Suggestion to stay: J Hotel, Aberdeen Bazaar, Near Clock Tower, Port Blair. You can also check other options to stay here, Generally it ranges from 2000-4000 INR per night.
Cellular Jail Light & Sound Show – Don’t miss this show in the evening on the same day. The show is available in both Hindi and English with a duration of 1 hour 15 minutes. Hindi version starts at 6 pm and English at 7.15 pm. The show will be up for 4 days a week, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can also visit the museum if interested during day time. The Light and Sound show is all about the jail life of prisoners during British rule on India. Monday is a general holiday for both the museum and Show.
Day 2-3: Travel to Havelock Island : One of most popular places to visit in Andaman
Places covered: Havelock Island which is renamed as Swaraj Dweep in 2018, has many serene beaches, but the major/ highlighted beaches are Elephant Beach & Radhanagar Beach.
Getting to Havelock Island
- You can book cruise tickets online.
- There are popular cruise companies like M V Makruzz Cruise which charges INR 1200/person.
- Alternatively, take a government-run ferry called Phoenix Bay Jetty. (online booking not available, you will have to stand in a queue for the tickets). You can check the prices of the Govt. run ferry in Andaman here.
Time in the cruise: Approximately 3 hours / runs daily from 6.20 am-2 pm
Suggestion to stay: Havelock Country Homes.
You will have to give 2 days for Havelock Island. You can ask the resort staff to arrange for a drop to the beach from where you get an option of a speed boat that takes you to elephant beach.
Snorkeling in Andaman can be done at Elephant beach. And no, you do not get to see any elephants here, it’s just a name given to the beach. You will be approached by many people who offer snorkeling and the charges range between INR 600-INR 1000 depending on how deep you want to go in the water. Generally, it will be of 30 minutes duration. This is an opportunity to see underwater life and beautifully carved corals. This will be the best part of your places to visit in Port Blair, Andaman tour.
Tips to remember: Carry an extra set of clothes/ towel and remember which boat got you to the beach because you will have to return with the same person. They give you the time to meet them again at the same spot. Leave nothing but only your footprints at the beach, please!
Lunch Suggestion: Something Different- A beachside cafe, Beach No. 2 Behind ‘Havelock Power House Havelock Island. Try any fish fry and fish curry. The approx. cost for a table of 2 would be around 1000-1200 INR. Bar options is also available.
Places to visit in Andaman in the evening: Radhanagar Beach – One of the jewels of Andaman/ Rated as Asia’s Best Beach as per Times Magazine. It is approx. 10 kilometers from the resort – Havelok Country Homes.
How to get there: Private Auto-rickshaw ride will cost approx Rs. 200
Start from the resort around 3.45 pm – 4.00 pm, I am sure you don’t want to miss a single moment of that mesmerizing sunset show which is offered by nature. Though you might find this beach crowded, I suggest to find a quiet place for yourself and settle down for some time. Sunset at the beach equals to meditation. Look at the picture above which does not need any filters from any high-end photo editing app.
Things to keep in mind while going for scuba diving in Andaman:
- Recommended early morning shift only, because no human water activity will help you see the marine life in its purest form.
- The first batch starts roughly around 5 am.
- Training will be provided for 15 mins.
- Non-swimmers can also indulge in this activity.
- This activity is not recommended for people with asthma, heart issues, and those who have undergone a surgery recently.
- Listen to the trainers and keep your calm once inside the water.
- Do not give up easily, once you come up, they do not take you inside the water again.
Must do: Want to complete one of the Bollywood dreams like ZMND movie? Or will you be fascinated by touching the Nemo? Go scuba diving at the Nemo Beach, Beach no. 1 on Havelock Island. Charges: 4500/- per person. I will suggest you go early morning only. Thank me later, please!
Day 4: Havelock Island to Neil Island / One of the finest blue crystal water beach
How to reach: Take a similar cruise to Neil Island
The best time to visit is during winters Nov-Mar. Carry poncho/umbrella because it can rain anytime. The sunset happens around 5 pm and sunrises quite early around 4 am.
Places covered: Neil Island, consists of many beaches. Bharatpur Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, Sitapur beach are amongst them. The main activities here are snorkeling, diving, observing natural rock formation, and watch sun-set.
You will get a surprise when you get down from the cruise because I am sure you will have the thoughts that suddenly the cruise has bought you to the Maldives. Pristine crystal clear blue water and your eyes will see different shades of blue in the panoramic view. Each frame is a picture-worthy frame. Don’t blame yourself if in the back of your mind you start singing, “tujhe dekhu ya pyaar karu…..”
Suggestion to stay: Tango beach resort (they have their private beach exclusively for the resort guests)
You have the entire day to spend at Neil Island. Glass bottom boat ride at Bharatpur beach on Neil Island is an activity nobody will like to miss. The only regret I had while watching the diverse marine life sitting on the boat, which had a glass bottom, was the layer of diesel floating on the water. This gave me a slight heartache to see how we humans are intruding on their lives for our amusement!
Charges INR 600 per person / you might get a discount if you are traveling in a group.
The best part about staying at this resort is you can start walking from their private beach which connects to the Bharatpur Beach at a distance of 1.5 kilometers and trust me walking by the ocean will never get you tired. You will get ample opportunities to click some of your best pictures while walking.
Shopping: Purchase earrings, tea coasters, artifacts, key chains, and lots of other souvenirs from local vendors at the beach and request you not to bargain here because we should appreciate their art and hard work behind the beauty they create.
Enjoy the evening time with some hot chai and maggie sitting at the beachside observing people how they are so intrigued by their mobile phones and cameras and missing the beauty of the moment.
Day 5: Cruise back to Port Blair : Capital of Andaman
Places to visit in Port Blair: Baratang Island, Mud Volcano Andaman, Limestone Caves Andaman
Suggestion to stay: Aparupa Ambience
Things to remember while visiting Baratang Island:
- It is going to be a long day/ long journey, pack some snacks as you might not get anything to eat until you return.
- Please start your day at 3 am, reach the check post at 4 am. Local cabs are available for this.
- To reach Baratang Island you cross through a check post, show your ID cards, need special permission (INR 700/person) to cross through the jungle which has the Jarawa Tribe.
- Photography or offering food to the tribal people is not allowed. By doing so, you might invite a heavy fine from the forest authorities.
- The gate opens at 2:00 P.M and stays open till 5:00 P.M. Strictly follow the time as you will not get any option to return until the next day and Baratang Island does not have any stay options.
This is an adventurous road trip of approx. 2 hours through the jungle without stopping until the Baratang jetty/ A launch boat will take 15-20 minutes to take you to Baratang Island.
Journey from Baratang Island to Limestone Caves Andaman: (must visit)
- No entry fees
- You can find speed boats within 5 mins of the Baratang jetty.
- The speed boat captain will take you to the Limestone caves Andaman and will also guide you through the details. This is one of the must-see places to visit in Port Blair.
- The speed boat journey towards the limestone caves Andaman is full of nature’s surprises, you will go through the dense mangroves.
- Limestone Caves Andaman shows you the marvels of nature that happened due to natural activities of sedimentary rock formation.
- Listen to the information the boat captain gives.
- The return journey is again through the speed boat.
Journey towards Mud Volcano: (can be avoided)
- No entry tickets
- Take the same local cab to the entrance of the mud volcano Andaman
- Be ready to walk up the stairs for minimum of half an hour.
- If there are elderly people with you, completely avoid this place
- It is fascinating to watch mud erupting from the earth naturally.
- However, most of you might not be impressed
IMPORTANT notes for while planning Places to visit in Port Blair, Andaman islands:
- A Local guide or travel company will be a good option because there are a lot of rules and regulations to be followed.
- Understanding which cruise ride is government-owned and which boat ride is privately owned can be tiring. Some of them allow booking and some of them don’t.
- Visiting different island also has different rules and regulations as per high tide and low tide situations. And who wants to get tired before the actual journey starts?
Local food: Seafood, rice, use of coconut in the curries. Must try fish cooked in coconut curry
Approximate budget per person: INR 50,000 includes everything mentioned in this article (to-n-fro flights from Mumbai, stay at 3-star hotels, lunch-breakfast-dinner, cruise, jetty tickets, internal travels, miscellaneous spending) provided all the bookings are done well in advance. (preferably 6 months). Of course, this excludes shopping!
My experience on places to visit in Port Blair, Andaman:
My holiday was a mix of relaxing time plus seeing all the important places. I did not hurry up anywhere and had kept 1-1 half-day in between these days to relax at the resort. My focus was to cover must-see places to visit in Port Blair Andaman, Mud Volcano Andaman, Neil Island, Limestone caves Andaman, havelock island, Baratang island, snorkeling in Andaman & Elephant beach.
A special thank you note to Mr. Vinod Deshmukh ( https://www.facebook.com/vinod.deshmukh.351 ), our tour guide working with https://www.veenaworld.com/ who made this experience worth every rupee that we spent and also helped me with the notes for this article.
This holiday is going to leave you in the dreamy state of mind for 6 months at least. You will keep scrolling through the pictures again and again. Leave your comments below, I am sure you will come back after 6 months of your holiday to comment again!