Best things to do in South Andaman and sightseeing in South Andaman
South Andaman is one of the 3 districts of Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Port Blair, the capital of the UT is South Andaman district headquarters.
Havelock Island - South Andaman
Surreal sights and the best of natures bounty is what one gets to see at Havelock Island. Dressed in tropical tree and silver sand, the island is a tourists haven and the cool blue waters washing the sand onshore is a delightful experience. The evenings here are a sight to behold with the sunning dipping in the far horizon. Havelock happens to be the largest of all the islands in the Andaman chain with palm trees and white beaches offering beach lovers an experience of a lifetime. The presence of a coral and marine life along the coastline of Havelock island makes diving possible and there are many other water activities that one can indulge in.
Havelock Island, 57 kms east of Port Blair, can be reached by sea only via. Govt. operated ships or private owned cruise ships such as Makruzz, Coastal Cruise, Green Ocean etc. The Govt. owned ships are quite slow which takes around 5 to 6 hours to reach Havelock , but are quite cheap. On the other hand, the private operated crusie ships are much faster and will atleast 2 hours of your travel time, but the tickets are bit on a higher side as comparatively. Most importantly, the cruise ships can be conviniently booked over phone or internet. Well, our cruise booking was in Makruzz at 7: 15 am from the Phoenix Jetty, Port Blair. So we got up early the next day and rushed to the Jetty. The check in was hassle free at the boarding point, and soon we were inside the ship. The seating arrangement was in a large A/C hall which had some rows of seat upstairs too. The ship had a on board snacks bar, First Aid facility and all basic amenities. The experience of the ship sailing on the blue seas, tossing up & down on the waves, was quite exciting. Thankfully,unlike many passengers, I and my wifey never had the problem of sea sickness due to shaky rides on ships or boats earlier. So we could enjoy the ride and the beautiful sceneries around us. After sailing for nearly 3 hours, the ship docked at the Havelock Jetty at about 10 am. We were bit hungry at that time. So, after stepping onto the island we hired a two wheeler (a Honda Activa) and bought a road map of the island and went around in search of a descent eatery. In a shortwhile, driving down the road to Kalapathar Beach, we stopped by a Jewish resturant (namely Le Meridian, not to be confused with the 5 star luxury chain of hotels in the mainland ) where we had cheese tomato toast, fruit juice and a pastry before continuing our ride. After some 15-20 mins of ride, we reached the Kalapathar Beach. Believe me, the view was awesome, breathtaking, fabulous, gorgeous, bewitching, unforgettable and insatiably beautiful. The blue, turquoise sea, the silver white sand and the serene landscape spellbound us for several moments. It was truly a heaven on earth. We spent around two hours strolling on the beach holding hands & taking countless snaps of each other and of the scenic landscapes around us. Before setting off to the next spot, we quenched our thirst with sweet coconut water at Kalapathar Beach. The next stop was the world famous Radhanagar Beach. It was unbelievably scenic and its unparallel beauty once again captivated us with blue landscapes, crystal clear turquoise water and the pristine surroundings. Undoubtedly, Radhanagar beach was named the "Best Beach in Asia" by Time in 2004. There is one more famous beach in Havelock Island famous for snorkelling, Sea Walking and Scuba Diving, called as Elephant Beach, but due to paucity of time we could not include it in our plan. After having lunch on the island, we returned to the Havelock Jetty to catch our ship, this time in Coastal Cruise, at 3:15 pm to Neil Island. It took nearly 45 mins to reach Neil islands which I shall cover in my next blog soon...
Paradise!!Island is mostly covered in dense jungle with Turquoise Sea and snow white sand, a perfect destination for Sea, Sun and Sand holiday.Radha Nagar, Vijay Nagar and Elephant Beach all are beautiful, but my favourite is Kalapathar Beach secluded and serene.Best part is mobile connectivity is very poor.
Relax, unwind, explore the beaches, trek- this is all you can do on this island. A good place to go for honeymooners.
Best time to visit
One is advised to visit the island from January to May and then again from October to December.
Things to do
scuba diving at Pilot Reef and Turtle Bay or visit Seduction Point.
This would depend on the duration of your stay here, the hotel and the activity charges.
Neil Island - South Andaman
When it comes to beautiful and serene tourists spots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there is no lack of places. Around 40 kilometers from the world famous place Port Blair is Neil Island that is referred to as the Vegetable bowl of Andaman. The island got tagged as this due to the fact that much of the produce comes from here. A favorable climate and high farming standards has resulted in great harvests and thus the place has become extremely famous. Neil Island is as beautiful as the others and some famous places close to this spot are Bharatpur, Laxmanpur, and Sitapur.
It is a tiny but beautiful island. One can easily stroll through the whole island. Its a simple village not much crowded with tourists like Havelock. The beaches are named after Ramayana characters as Laxmanpur beach, Bharatpur beach, Sitanagar beach, and Ramnagar beach. early morning we started for sitapur beach for sunrise. Bharatpur beach is ideal for swimming and all kinds of water activities. there are many shops selling sea items and fancy items made out of it. Went to see the spectacular sunset at laxmanpur beach. Then there is Natural Coral Bridge..amazing.. You have to walk a little to get there. I found some tiny colourful fishes and starfish within the coral formations...it was all so beautiful.
Neil Island, one of the favourite tourist destinations off the coast of Port Blair, is a popular diving destination too along with other water sports like snorkelling. Dotted by clean, turquoise blue, serene and pristine beaches at Bharatpur, La
it has three beaches and ask of them are picturesque. I just took a tour of the island and left for Port Blair late in the afternoon
Best time to visit
October to May.
Things to do
Be a part of the Subhash Mela that is celebrated for a week in January to mark the birth of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Tour operators have come up with great packages to help one explore the best of the island. One should contact them with regard to this.
JOLLY BUOY - South Andaman
One of the 15 islands that is a part of Wandoor, Jolly Buoy is famous for its clear beaches and corals. About an hour away from Wandoor, the island forms a part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Park. Visitors to the island are not allowed to carry any plastic item and must deposit them at Wandoor with an amount of INR 100.00 which is returned. Snorkeling and scuba diving are what one should try here apart from the glass-bottomed boat rides. Do keep in mind that one needs a permit to visit Jolly Buoy and these are available at the Wandoor Jetty.
Jolly Buoy Island is a part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. The park is in Wandoor situated at a distance of nearly 30 kms from Port Blair. From there you will travel by a ferry, and then through a boat to the island. I recommend each one to visit here because of the amazing, colourful live corals and fish. You have to take permits and tickets either from the tourist office or you can just come over to wandoor and book your tickets from the counter. but my advice is to do it in advance as only a fixed number of tourist are allowed to enter. Carry extra clothes for the water activities like snorkelling, glass bottom boat rides. This place has the best underwater life in whole of andaman. Island has changing rooms and toilets but nothing more. This is a plastic free zone and very clean. Its worth mentioning an old man who was cleaning the place who helped us to take some pics and it was good. We had no spare clothes still we went for the water activities, enjoyed to the fullest and came back soaked. While returning we prefered the local bus and am glad we did that.
Jolly Buoy was nevertheless the most scenic beach of all we visited in Andaman during our 5 days trip. It is a 'No-Man's Land' and doesn't have any facility for changing room nor toilets. It neither has any provision for killing time if you get bored of the blue seascapes, clear water, and white silvery beaches. But this island fills you with enormous peace and is perfect for a break from the hectic schedules of city life. It is as if time slows down here. Mother Nature has bestowed this island with some of the breathtaking sceneries which are pristine, serene and sublime. We were really excited experiencing such wonderful natural bounty in the midst out busy schedules back in the mainland. Now back to our trip, we changed our clothes and ventured into the waters. The life guards posted their have earmarked certain stretch of the beach within which the tourists are allowed to stay so that we remain within their reach in case of any untoward incident. So while strolling on the beach we ensured we remain within these safety limits. Jolly Buoy, because of its clear waters, rich corals and other marine life, is well-known for scuba diving, snorkelling and for those who don't want to dive into the waters, glass bottom boats are available. There are around four coral reefs which can be seen from the glass bottom boats and believe us, it is worth investing every penny ! We went an hour long ride on glass bottom boat experiencing some of the most colourful, diverse marine life consisting of mostly a variety of corals, sea cucumber, beautiful species of fish, eel , blue & black star fish etc. We used to pull over a black plastic sheet on our heads to have a clear view of the magical wonders under sea at each of the coral reefs. Soon we felt hungry. So we had our lunch in a quiet place around they but not that far from the reach of the life guars. We took several snaps while moving in the beach, capturing memories for rest of our lives. Our return ferry reached at about 4pm and soon we were on our way back to Port Blair but not before catching a glimpse of 'Dollar Fish' at Wandoor beach which is mostly exported from Andamans. It is a species of sea fish, red in colour and as per the locals, it is one of the sought after delicacy in the town.
A great place to see the under water world. This place boasts of the most amazing corals and pristine beaches one could ever witness in a life time. Jolly buoy and Redskin islands have an alternate opening i.e When Jolly buoy is open for six months(the corals need time to grow) Redskin remains close and vice - versa. These two island and few others are a protected site under Mahatma Gandhi National Park Project. This island like many others in port blair is a no-plastic zone. The only way to reach Jolly buoy is to take a ferry from Wandoor beach. It is imperative in port blair. There are no restaurants or eateries of any kind at Jolly buoy or Redskin, so, i strongly suggest you carry your own food! Upon reaching you can take a boat ride, walk around on the beach, do snorkelling or just get in the water and enjoy the beauty of the place. The snorkelling gear is available on rent and the guys(guides) will assist you underwater with snorkelling. Once you don your snorkelling gear its a different world out there, beautiful, colourful corals everywhere and such clear view of the entire sea! It should in-fact be on top of your list when you visit port blair.
Best time to visit
The island is open or 6months only and one must contact the authorities at Wandoor.
Things to do
Enjoy the best of Jolly and the activities it offers one.
It is closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week it is open from 12:00 am to 12:00 pm
Adults need to pay INR 50.00, children are charged INR 25.00 and to carry a camera another INR 25.00.
Elephant Beach - South Andaman
Perhaps the busiest of all the beaches that make Havelock Island a popular destination with the tourists is the famous Elephant beach. The place is loud with tourists and locals and as well as tour operators. There is not a day that passes by without the beach being crowded by foreign tourists who make their way to Havelock to enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. The attractions at Elephant beach is the underwater walking and scuba diving, banana boat rides, and snorkeling. One should try the seafood prepared at the local shacks that dot the place. Elephant Beach has received much international acclaim for being a clean and tourist-friendly beach that offers one a great time when one is vacationing in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If you miss visiting this beach when in Havelock, you are doing yourself a great injustice.
Take a short trek or a shared boat ride from the jetty to reach Elephant beach and indulge into various activities like snorkeling or water sports like banana ride and jet ski ride
Once you arrive at Havelock (3 hour ferry from Port Blair) and check-in into a resort/hotel, you can head to Elephant beach. It is a little more crowded than the other beaches. But it is beautiful. There are corals and sea animals very close to the shore. There is option for snorkelling, glass boats etc. and the view inside water is totally worth the effort. Great place to click pictures as well since you'll find shades of blues and greens
The island derives its name because it is believed that the elephants walked here throwing down gigantic trees. Considered the best place to Snorkel and Dive it also caters to adventure enthusiasts with various water sports. Because of its clear blue conditions and beautifully rich marine life one can spot rare species of fish by simply taking a glass bottomed boat out. The almost sculptural giant trees on the island are very interesting to take note of & of course get clicked with!
Best time to visit
The months from January to May and then from October to December is said to be the best time to pay a visit to this beach.
Things to do
Explore the exotic marine life here.
One would have to contact a tour operator for logistics like hotel packages and activities. There is no charge to visit the beach, though.
North Bay Beach - South Andaman
Take a ferry from Port Blair for a days trip to the beautiful North Bay Beach. The North Bay Beach organizes a great number of water based sports and activities like walking underwater and snorkeling, However, the star attractions here are the glass bat riding that comes at INR 300.00 per head and scuba diving at INR 4000.00 per head. There is a huge coral reef that is home to many marine species that put on a colorful display. The beach has a lighthouse that one can visit. They view from the top of the lighthouse leaves one in awe.
The next day after returning from Jolly Buoy was for some adventure deep in the sea ...Yes ! underwater..Nope not scuba diving but rather an altogether different experience 30 feet deep in the water on the sea bed. In fact we did what is called 'Sea Walking', relatively new activity in India, and it is introduced in Andamans by M/s Sea Link Adventures. Sea Walking can be done either off coast of North Bay, just a 20 mins ferry ride across narrow seas opposite of Port Blair, or at Elephant Beach at Havelock Islands. We reported at the jetty at Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex at 10 in the morning.The day was bit windy and so the sea had gone little rough as a result of which all small boat rides were suspended for some time. The weather disappointed us, for the rough sea would restrict the viewing distance underwater while we go for sea walking. Anyways since Rs. 7000/- per head was already paid in advance for sea walking, we had to venture in. We boarded the ferry to North Bay and just before docking at the beach, we were transferred to a small boat by the Sea Link Adventures personnel to a pontoon in the middle of the sea. Several nets were installed underwater around a perimeter of the pontoon within which we were supposed to do sea walking. Once on board the pontoon, we were given a short briefing about the safety features of the mechanism that will take us underwater, and how to communicate with hand signals their. After changing to appropriate clothing, we, one by one, put on a glass helmet which was continuously supplied with pressurised breathable air that prevented the sea water rise within the helmet. We were climbed down the ladder attached to the pontoon into the sea water, accompanied by scuba divers who were available as a safety measure. Soon we were taken to a depth of over 30 feet below the sea level onto the sea bed and with bit of difficulty initially in balancing the body, we started to sea walk. We came across colourful school of fish, colourful corals ,star fish and other marine life. It was an experience worthy of remembrance. After 40-45 mins of sea walk, we climbed back to the pontoon and before leaving to the North Bay beach, Sea Links Adventures handed over us a CD containing our underwater photographs that they had taken during our sea walk.It was complementary from their side. Upon reaching the shores at North Bay, we changed to dry clothes and had a relishing fish meal. We did a bit of souvenirs shopping on the island, before boarding on the ferry back to Port Blair with beautiful memories and experiences.
North Bay Island is about an hour ferry ride from Port Blair.One of the best places to enjoy Sea sports.*North bay lighthouse is printed on the back of Rs.20 note - Check out
North Bay (Coral Island) North Bay (Coral Island) is accessible from Port Blair via ferry. The treasures of these coral islands are unforgettable. As the underwater world comes alive, one forgets that there is a less perfect world outside, so engrossing are the vast expanses of colorful corals, fish and vegetation. A peek into this magic land leaves one in a daze for the rest of the day. Coral island with white sand beaches and surrounded by the pristine beauty of Nature. The sea has gifted this island with all the splendour to attract any sea loving human. The coral reefs, though damaged, are gorgeously decorated by nature to stun the visitor.
Best time to visit
October to March is the best months to visit the place.
Things to do
Let nature and the blue waters make your day here.
All days of the week right from 12:00 am to 12:00 pm
No entry fee to visit the beach but INR 500.00 is charged for a day long trip here.
Chidiya Tapu - South Andaman
Travel for 40 minutes from Port Blair and one will reach a place called Chidiya Tapu. This place is ideal for those who love playing around and the sunset is the best attraction here. Called Chidiya Tapu, the place is home to a number of avian species, seasonal orchids and spotted deers. The Munde Pahar Beach is another great attraction here and tour operators provide some lucrative packages for tourists. Make the most of the rides in a glass bottomed boat and experience the blessings of nature at this place in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
30 kms away from the main city, Chidiya Tapu is situated. This is the best place to see sunset and bird watching and hence this is also known as “Sunset Point" and "Bird Island”.
As soon as you reach the location u come to know that some serious environment damage has happend at this place.Ya the damage is that, the 2005 Tsunami was hit at this place the first and it had seriously damaged the place. Chidiya Tapu, well known for its rich collection of birds, white spotted deer and orchids, draws many visitors, and is a perfect place for nature lovers. The place also offers excellent sites for snorkeling. The best thing about this place is its "SUNSET VIEW".One of the best sunsets i have ever seen in my Life.The colour of the SKY while it starts becoming dark and the calmness of the place makes it SERENE!!!!
This beach is very well maintained by Govt officials. The sun-set on this beach is 'don't miss it'. The still water and surrounding environment make you feel to stay there forever.
Best time to visit
The best months to visit are from October to March.
Things to do
Bird watching is a great treat here.
It is closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week it is open from 12:00 am to 12:00 pm.
No entry fee is charged, but one has to pay to enjoy the activities here.
Little Andaman - South Andaman
Little Andaman island is the fourth largest of the Andaman Islands of India with an area of 734 km², lying at the southern end of the archipelago.
We had a overnight ship from Port blair to Little Andaman. Its at a distance of 120km. Only Government ferries available. It generally takes around 9 hrs to reach but due to heavy rain it reached after long 12hrs. As we had no idea about the ferries and ticket, a local auto wala booked M.V.Dering ship for us taking three times extra money and saying there's so much rush for ticket...that was all a lie. It was a bad bad experience. We never wanted a luxurious ride or facilities but the ship was dirty, very slow and there was only seats no berths for a overnight ship and on top of that it was raining not being a rainy season. The Ship had few tourists and more Islanders. The journey was pathetic and tiring...Till the time ship reached there we were so frustrated that may be we took a wrong decision of coming to Little Andaman and we were already thinking of how to get back like escape from here. And we got out of ship all drenched but thank god we had a taxi waiting from our hotel. This place is calm and quiet, offbeat with basic facilities. You can hire bike for rent. We went for the White surf waterfalls through a forest and it was worth it. We were the only tourists anywhere we went through the island. We wanted to go for the other water fall called Whisper Wave but many of the locals warned us not to go there as its way is through a long forest range and will be full of leeches because of rain. We dropped the idea. Then we went to the Kalapathar site and it was breathtaking. With the help of locals we went through it to the other side. The splash of sea water, it was hitting the rock. As we were enjoying the beauty of the place it started raining again and we went back to our stay. Half of the day was still left but we had no option than staying inside our rooms and do nothing. The place we stayed too had no other guests so we were bored to hell. Though we loved the untouched beauty of the place but we wanted out return tickets asap. As there are few tourists the resort people want you to stay that's why they sometimes give you wrong info about the return ferries. There are seaplane and heli services also but we didnt knew abut that. Next day morning we went to the butler bay beach on the other side of the road just few meters away. It was scenic. Then again we went to the Kala Pathar as we liked it soo much and didnt had much of it. Its no less than any foreign location. I decided to come back some day for picturising a song or a scene when i make a movie. This place made me forget all the bad experience i had to travel here. I have no words to express...for me its the best place i have been in andaman. We tried going towards the light house but after several tries we took a U turn because it was a long way through the forest, the road was very bad because of rain and at last it was going to rain and if that happens we will be stuck there. It was a wise decision. We got to know about the night ferry M.V.Sentinel from a localite and decided to leave. Though if we would have listened to the resort people we would have to stay there for another day. This was a nice ship way better than the previous one.
Things you can do at Little Andaman: -Wake up to the chirping of birds and waves breaking at the shore -Hire a scooter and go to the lighthouse or drive the scooter at night in pitch dark -Swim in Kalapatthar lagoon -Drive through palm plantations and visit spice plantations -Go on Jungle trek to look for hidden waterfalls -Watch local boys fishing
Best time to visit
Things to do
Ross Island - South Andaman
The twin Islands by the name Ross and Smith are joined together by a natural sandbar. These islands are just 15 minutes away from the capital of Port Blair and are home to the Great Andaman Tribe whose population has drastically dwindled to 28 from 5000 over a span of 20 years since the British occupied the place. Ross Island used to be the capital and served as the same from 1858 to 1941 until it was hit by a massive earthquake and attacked by the Japanese. It stands today are an important tourist destination in the archipelago and some attractions are the ruins of the Chief Commissioners house and the church. There are a number of machine gun nests that have been left behind by the Japanese who took over the island during World War II.
Fit a visit to Ross Island into your itinerary. A small island about a kilometer and a half off the coast of Port Blair, this is where your imagination can stretch its legs. The mysterious island could be George's Kirrin Island from Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' series, or it could be a place once inhabited by people who left it in a hurry. From a distance, it looks little more than a thicket of trees, but a close inspection will reveal a ghost town of beautiful structures such as the State Ballroom, the Chief Commissioner's House, a church bakery and troop barracks, now in ruins. Once the Administrative Headquarters for the islands as well as the seat of British power, Ross Island was shattered by an earthquake in 1941, forcing its English occupants to move out. Walk through the eerie ruins to startle deer, who bound away across the backdrop of prehistoric trees and azure waters. Take the first boat out to the island so that you can have it to yourself for a while.
Ross Island is another essential half-day trip from Port Blair. The former administrative headquarters of the British was also invaded by the Japanese in which almost all the buildings were destroyed. Visiting Ross Island is like discovering a lost city and definitely great fun.
Best time to visit
January to May and then from October to December.
Things to do
Visit the machine gun nests here.
All days of the week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Contact a tour operator today and get to know how much one has to pay for hotel and other associated charges
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park - South Andaman
The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is located at Wandoor and was established n the year of 1983 which the aim to protect and preserve the ecosystem here. Out of the 15 islands that comprise the park, only two are open to the public. They are Jolly Buoy and Red Skin for a period of six months each on an alternative basis. A 10-minute ride in a glass bottomed boat provides tourist with a glimpse of the coral reef that surrounds Wandoor. Swimming and snorkeling apart from enjoying a picnic is what this place allows one to do. There are a number of tour packages that one can avail of but do so in advance to avoid disappointment.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is January through May and then from October to December
Things to do
Swim and snorkel at this island paradise.
The park is closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week, it opens from 9:00 am to noon and then from 2:00 pm till 5:00 pm.
An entry fee of INR 10.00 is charged.
New Wandoor Beach - South Andaman
30 kms from Port Blair, Wandoor has become a sought after place in Andamans because of the nearby located Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park and also is the boarding point of thousands of tourists who flock here for jetties to the serene and tranquil islands of Jolly Buoy. It is basically a small village with couple of beaches and hence, suitable for relaxation, far from the crowded cities & towns. It is also well known for sea water fish including the very popular Dollar Fish (a red coloured fish), most of which are exported at premium rates.
Kala Pathar Beach - South Andaman
DiveIndia - South Andaman
The most trusted diving facility in all of Havelock Island is Dive India. The brand is recognized by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and it conducts many diving activities in Andaman, Elephant, Neil and North Bay islands. This diving school has received much international acclaim for the services they provide and the underwater activities like scuba diving and snorkeling that they provide. One should know that this is the best and that they are in safe hands here. Many foreign tourists and as well as Indians come to Dive India to explore to the underwater marvel and marine life of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Best time to visit
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are best visited during January to May and then from October to December.
Things to do
Dive and explore the island life.
All days of the week from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
To undergo diving instructions and experience some great diving one should be ready to shell out anything between INR 3300.00 to INR 5000.00
People who've been to South Andaman
Sohita Dikshit ♥♥♥(Ghamandi Indian...)
Jyoti Mahar Kundu