Brimming with the most interesting marine life and legendary beaches the mysterious and multicultural Andaman Islands make for a serene getaway. Stretching over 700 km. in the clear waters of Bay of Bengal, these islands offer a landscape of scenic and picturesque extravaganza that consists of 572 shimmering emerald-like islands, only 36 of which are inhabited. Dip your feet in the crystal clear azure waters as it lazily hugs the white sandy beaches and the bliss will be guaranteed. With a profusion of wildlife and verdant forests, the islands are a nature lover’s paradise. Be it a lazy afternoon on a hammock on Asia’s best beach, an array of thrilling water sports or a strenuous trek on a challenging-yet-scenic terrain—your Andaman visit is likely to be packed with a range of interesting experiences. Check out our list of top 5 things to do on the scenic island.
Havelock: Water Sports Galore
The largest concentration of diving sites can be found in Havelock. With its white sandy beaches, colorful beach huts and the best scuba diving in the whole of Asia, there is really not much left to desire. Known as the backpacker’s paradise, Havelock has about 7 beaches, with each boasting of its own distinct quality. Some of the best known ones are the Elephant Beach, known for snorkeling and Radhanagar Beach which was accorded with the title ‘Best Beach in Asia’ by Time Magazine in 2004. Other activities that can be enjoyed at Havelock are Sea Walk, Scuba diving and some offbeat fishing trips to uninhabited locations.
Neil Island: Relish the languid pace
For that some extreme relaxation, hit the Neil Island, about 90 minutes away from Port Blair. Some of the fascinating beaches include Laxmanpur, Bharatpur and Sitapur that offer their own coral colonies. Get amazed with some naturally formed coral bridges or the vast coral reef under the island as you dive with professionally certified divers. Ride a bicycle through the picturesque villages. Although not as luxurious as Havelock, Neil Islands’ warmth and tranquility coupled with a few smiles from the locals is a must-visit for its laidback vibe.
Ross Island: The dilapidated Paris of the East
If you are inclined towards some adventure, visit the Ross Island. It feels like the Lost City with the perfect juxtaposition of Victorian English era architecture. The architecture stands despite the rampant invasion of the ever-growing jungle. With abundant wildlife and fauna an excursion to Ross Island is a must. There is a small museum called ‘Smritika’ full of historical displays and photos of the island when it was flourishing and a small deer park where the resident deer nibble on bushes.
Samudrika Marine Museum: Celebrating the Island life
Run by the Indian Navy, the ‘Samudrika Marine Museum’, situated in Port Blair, has various exhibits that highlight the islands’ diverse ecosystem, the tribal communities and the marine life around the Andaman Islands.
Kalipur: Endangered and Exotic Turtles
The biodiversity of the Andaman Islands offers an ideal nesting habitat for primarily four endangered species of marine turtles: the leatherback turtle, hawksbill turtle, green sea turtle and Olive Ridley turtle. These turtles travel thousands of miles across the globe, yet manage to find their way back to the same beach for nesting. Witness the tenacious way of life of these sea creatures at the Kalipur Beach.