Andaman Lesser Known Islands Tourist Guide and Packages
Andaman and Nicobar are a large group of nearly 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal. Though they are a part of India politically, they are closer to Myanmar and Thailand than to the Indian mainland. The Andaman Islands are a group of Indian Ocean archipelagic islands in the Bay of Bengal, between the Indian peninsula to the west and Burma to the north and east. Most of the islands are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, while a small number in the north of the archipelago, such as the Coco Islands, belong to Burma.
The Andaman Archipelago is an oceanic continuation of the Burmese Arakan Yoma range in the North and of the Indonesian Archipelago in the South. It has 325 islands which cover an area of 6,408 km2 (2,474 sq mi), with the Andaman Sea to the east between the islands and the coast of Burma. North Andaman Island is 285 kilometres (177 mi) south of Burma, although a few smaller Burmese islands are closer, including the three Coco Islands.
Lesser Known Islands of Andaman Nicobar
NEIL ISLAND (36 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
This beautiful island with lush green forests and silver sandy beaches is connected by boat daily from Port Blair, which provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. One can feel the serenity of village life here. The beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur and Sitapur and Natural Bridge formation on the sea-shore are fascinating. It offers snorkelling and scuba diving as aqua activities. Hawa Bill Nest Guest House of the Directorate of Tourism provides comfortable accommodation. Booking of accommodation can be made from the Reception Desk of Directorate of Tourism, Port Blair. Boat tickets are available at the Ticket Counters of the Directorate of Shipping Services on working days from 09.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 02.00 PM to 04.00 PM.
HAVELOCK ISLAND (50 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR VIA NEIL ISLAND 62 KMS.)
This island, with beautiful sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain-fed forests beckons everyone to enjoy the frolic and fun at the azure sea. Vijay Nagar beach, 5 Kms away from the Jetty on the eastern side and elephant beach, 10 Kms from the Jetty, including trekking through the forest on the north western part of the island are other breathtaking beaches. The Tourism Department organises Island Camping, with tented accommodation, during the tourist season at Radha Nagar beach. One can enjoy the stay right on the seashore by listening to lulls of the solacing sea in this camp.
Havelock is connected by daily speed boat services from Port Blair. Dolphin Resort, run by the Directorate of Tourism, provides comfortable accommodation at Havelock. Private Hotels also offer excellent accommodation facilities there. Snorkeling and scuba diving facilities are offered by Scuba Dive Centre Operators seasonally. Accommodation at Dolphin Resort and Island Camping can be made from the Reception Counter of Directorate of Tourism on all working days during office hours.
BEACHES IN HAVELOCK - Major Tourist Attractions
Radha Nagar Beach lies on the south coast of Havelock Island. It is about 12 kilometers from the Islands ferry pier. Radha Nagar is a Grade A beach of outstanding quality. This beach is also rated as the best beach. in Asia by TIME Magazine. It has an overall length of two kilometers and an average width of 30 to 40 meters. The sand is white and very fine in grain. The beach has a gentle gradient of around 1:20 and continues out into the sea as a sandy bottom for over 100 meters.
Vijaynagar Beach, Havelock, is a long stretch of sand on the east coast of the Island, punctuated occasionally by rock section. Most of the beach is lined by mahua trees, whose trunks grow along the ground for many feet before they begin to climb vertically. These trees have lent a distinct character to the sea front and provide shade, close to the water. Vijaynagar Beach is perfect for long walks along the sea. Dolphin Resort is run by the Tourism Department and many other hotels are also located on this beach.
This beach is another ideal site for snorkeling. It has a rich coral reef formation and amazing underwater marine life. One can reach Elephant beach by small cruise boat from Havelock Jetty in about 40 minutes. By road one can go up to the Forest Camp which is 8 Kms from the Jetty towards Radhanagar side and from there by walk to the Elephant beach which will take another 40 minutes. Private ferry operators organize tours to Elephant beach from Havelock.
LONG ISLAND (102 KMS. BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
Connected with Port Blair by boat four times a week, this island offers an exquisite sandy beach at Lalaji Bay with unpolluted environment and evergreen forests. The sea around the island is frequented by Dolphins. Lalaji Bay beach six kilometers away from the Jetty is accessible by 15 minutes journey by engine dinghies. One can also trek through the dense forests. To reach Long Island by boat one has options from Rangat / Yeratta Jetty / Uttara Jetty near Baratang Island.
BARATANG ISLAND (100 KMS. BY ROAD FROM PORT BLAIR)
This island between South and Middle Andaman has beautiful beaches, mangrove creeks, mud-volcanoes and limestone caves. Andaman Trunk Road to Rangat and Mayabunder goes through this island. Limestone cave can be explored with the permission of Forest Department at Baratang and proper local guidance. Limited Govt. accommodation is available at Baratang. Also visit the Parrot Island nearby during sunset times to sea hoards of parrots flocking which gives picturesque memory to take back.
RANGAT (170 KMS. BY ROAD AND 90 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
One is exposed to the quiet village life at Rangat, Middle Andaman Island. You can also breathe unpolluted air, a rare availability for the city dweller. Amkunj Beach, 15 Kms. away from Rangat Bazar/ jetty towards Mayabunder and Curtbert Bay beach, 20 Kms. away from the Rangat Bazar jetty towards Mayabunder are the beaches near Rangat. Curtbert Bay is a Turtle- Nesting ground. One can view the nesting of turtle during December-February period. Hawks Bill Nest a Guest House, managed by the Directorate of Tourism is near Curtbert Bay beach. From here one can visit Mayabunder and Diglipur also.
MAYABUNDER (240 KMS BY ROAD FROM PORT BLAIR)
Situated in the Northern part of Middle Andaman Islands, Mayabunder offers excellent scenic beauty, mangrove creeks and beautiful beaches. Beaches at Avis Island (30 minutes boat journey from Mayabunder), and Karmatang (13 Kms) are fascinating.
BEACHES NEAR MAYABUNDER
KARMATANG BEACH AND RAMPUR BEACH
Rampur beach is on the outskirts of Mayabunder town. Karmatang beach is before reaching Mayabunder and is hidden from the road going past it by a rock outcrop and coconut plantations. The place is quite enchanting. The water is clean. The waves are not too rough and sand soft under the feet. Rampur Beach is smaller of the two and with less shade. It is right next to the road. Close to the beach, you can also see a portion of mangrove forest.
DIGLIPUR (325 KMS. BY ROAD FROM PORT BLAIR)
Situated in North Andaman Island, Diglipur provides rare experience for eco-friendly tourists. The place is famous for its oranges, rice, forest wealth and marine life. Saddle Peak (732 Mtrs) is the highest point in the Andaman Islands. Kalpong the only river in Andamans flows from here. The only Hydro-electric project of the islands is on this river. Trekking to Saddle Peak through the evergreen forest, Kalipur, Lamiya Bay and Ram Nagar beaches and the sandbar joining Ross and Smith islands are a fascinating experience.
Ram Nagar Beach, Kalipur and the Sandbar joining Ross and Smith islands are famous for Turtle Nesting during December-February season. One can enjoy unhurried holidays here. Turtle Resort run by the Directorate of Tourism at Kalipur provides comfortable accommodation. There are few private resorts as well.
The Craggy Island across Kalipur beach is a little island known for fishes and corals. Ross & Smith Islands are twin islands bridged by pristine white sandy beach that has a swimming pool lagoon on one side and a snorkeling paradise on the other. A chain of mud volcanoes could be witnessed in the green jungle of Shyamnagar at Diglipur. A trek through the primary jungle leads to Alfred caves-a cluster of amazing 41 caves. It is a den for swiftlets and fruit eating bats.
BARREN ISLAND (139 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
The only active volcano in India is located in Barren Island. The volcano erupted once in 1991 and again in 1994-95, after remaining dormant for about 177 years. This island is about three kilometers in diameter and has a big crater of the volcano, about half a kilometer away from the shore. The island can be visited by chartering boats/seaplane and with the permission of Forest Department. Foreign nationals are restricted to be onboard the vessel only and landing ashore is not allowed.
CINQUE ISLAND (26 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
A sanctuary with rare corals and under-water marine life, Cinque Island has fine sandy-beach and sand–bar connecting North and South Cinque Islands and tropical rain-forest. There is no scheduled ferry service to Cinque Island. Chartered boats of permitted category are allowed from Port Blair and Wandoor. To visit, one may contact private boat operators in Port Blair to hire a boat with due permission from the Forest Department.
LITTLE ANDAMAN ISLAND (125 KMS BY SEA FROM PORT BLAIR)
Little Andaman island located south to south Andaman, has varied attractions in store for the tourists. There are two water falls in the islands, both in the midst of the ever green rain forest. White Surf Water Falls is 6.5 kms from Hutbay Jetty. One can enjoy Elephant Safari through the forests. The other water fall – Whisper Wave is 20 kms away from the Jetty. Journey to Whisper Wave includes four kilometers of trekking through the forest. Butler Bay, a beautiful beach is 14 Kms. from Hutbay Jetty and the beach is ideal for basking, snorkeling and surfing. Tourist huts are available on the sea-front for stay. Boating through creek near the beach is exciting. Netaji Nagar beach 11 Kms from Hutbay Jetty and Harminder Bay beach are other beautiful beaches in the island. One can witness elephant lumbering operation and elephant calves training inside the forest.
Little Andaman is also famous for its Red-oil palm plantation, which spreads over an area of sixteen hundred hectares. There is a palm oil extraction factory inside the plantation which can be visited while travelling between the White Surf Waterfall and Butler Bay beach. The Onges and Nicobarese-two of the aboriginal tribes of the islands and settlers from other places reside in this island. Entry to tribal area is restricted. Hut bay is the entry and exit point for the tourists. Ferry services are available every day from Port Blair and the journey takes seven to nine hours. Regular seaplane services are also available from Port Blair.
This District territory of the UT Andaman and Nicobar Islands comprises of 28 Islands with an area of 1841 Sqr. Kms. The Nicobar groups of islands are separated from Andamans by the Ten Degree Channel. The Nicobars are abounding in coconut palms, casuarinas and pandanus. Great and Little Nicobar have Crab eating macaques with long tail. Nicobar pigeons are in plenty. Nicobar group is out of bounds for foreigners at present. Indians are given permission in exceptional case on application for Tribal Pass.
GREAT NICOBAR Island
This place is 540 kms by sea from Port Blair. The Great Nicobar Island has an area of 400 Sqr. miles. This southern-most island is only 90 miles away from Sumatra. The southernmost tip of India, ‘Indira Point' is in Great Nicobar Island. Megapode, a rare bird, is found in Great Nicobar. Great and Little Nicobar have the Giant Robber Crab. Campbell bay is the head quarter of Great Nicobar Island. The only Bio-sphere Reserve in A&N Islands –the Great Nicobar Bio-sphere Reserve is close to Campbell Bay.
Campbell bay is open for Indian tourists. Campbell Bay can be reached by Helicopter from Port Blair (3 hours, Rs.11, 625/-) or by sea. Sailing from Port Blair to Campbell Bay would be available on an average once in ten days. Tourism Department & APWD have guest houses here.