An Indian beach destination with pretty coy brides,wearing red choodas, the mehndi still fresh and dark, shy and busy taking selfies with their partners, you know you are in Andaman- one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in our country. When the name Andaman Islands comes up, it stirs myriads of memories in my mind. It was the place where I went for my honeymoon. We planned our Andaman itinerary for 7 nights a few months back and left immediately after all the wedding rituals got over. The place is not just a tourist location for me but also an emotion, a flashback into some of the best days of my life.
Our Andaman itinerary for 7 nights was a power packed package full of thrilling experience full of adventure, fun, leisure and yes lots of “we-time”. Away from hectic office days, from the hurly-burly of numerous wedding rituals we were surrounded by crystal clear water, cool sea breeze and sparkling clear sky. We were there for seven days and each day we saw something new and different. We selected Andaman for our honeymoon because it is one of the best beach destinations of our country with lots of exciting water sports and adventures and abundance in natural beauty.
In Andaman you can see a different world- the marine life which is so beautiful and enchanting. The way the people and admistration of Andaman are trying to protect the marine life from any kind of pollution is awe-inspiring. Go sea bed walking, scuba diving, snorkelling and say “Hello” to NEMO! Before proceeding with the Itinerary let’s know a little bit about the history behind Andaman.
History of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Situated in the Bay of Bengal about one hundred Islands together form the Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago. Although there are about a hundred islands only the ones located in South Andaman are open for tourism. Many islands either got submerged or destroyed when in 2004 Tsunami created havoc in the coastal areas of some parts of our country. Port Blair is the capital of Andaman Islands and also the biggest city with all major offices and buildings. It is also the only place to have an airport and is connected to the rest of India. Since the place is covered by water all around the British Government constructed the Cellular Jail in the 19th Century for prisoners who were mostly Freedom fighters and were tortured with no mercy and have no hope for an escape.
How to reach Andaman
The only fast connectivity is by air, else you can also visit by a ship from Chennai or Kolkata which takes 3-4 days normally. (Check here) Port Blair is connected to major airports in the country. We had a flight from Guwahati to Port Blair with one stop in Kolkata for around 12 hours. And on way back we took a 17 hours overlay. That added an extra hotel charge as it was feasible spending that many hours holed-up in the airport. So yes! connectivity can be an issue from Northeast India and also flight rates are most of the time higher no matter whenever you plan. To avoid the lengthy layovers; connecting flights; and the extra cost of night stay at hotels in between transits, you can also choose from easier alternatives; charter flights being one among them. The option is quite feasible when flying in as a group to an exotic location like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Are they cheap? No, they are cost-effective and stress-free compared to our experience with the multiple layovers. A friend of mine who had recently availed a private charter flight to the Adman islands, advised us to take help of charter booking portals like Jettly. Charter service providers like these offer good information on their site regarding the travel expense; their fleet of charter planes; in-flight services and much more.
Permits and Passes
Indian nationals does not require any passport for visiting Andaman but however, the tribal areas are prohibited and prior permit is required for visiting them. For more details you can CHECK HERE. The permits can be acquired from Port Blair. For entry into the Marine Parks and Environment visitors have to adhere to specific time. And to ensure the protection of the marine life, in some islands only a limited number of visitors are allowed at a given time. So it will be better if you reach in time and book your tickets.
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Best Time to visit Andaman Island
Due to its tropical climate, the best time to visit Andaman is from October to March. General day time temperature ranges from 30-35 degrees. Days are hot and humid whereas nights are cooler. We visited during the second week of March right after our wedding. During October and December end the place would be thronging with tourists like any other tourist destinations. As result flight rates would be higher including hotel charges and travel packages. But still there is no option other than that as the remaining months would be either too hot or you may encounter thunderstorms or heavy showers.
A Complete Andaman Itinerary for 7 Nights- Travel Tips and Guide
Let’s begin with the complete Andaman itinerary for 7 nights. If you are planning to explore each and every corner of the island than I would suggest planning a trip of 10-12 days. If you are a solo backpacker and have plenty of time in hand then you can explore 10 – 12+ days and keep going. For a small family trip, an itinerary of 4-5 days or maximum a week is enough. If you have kids than it wouldn’t be possible to sustain for too long if you are visiting during the off-season.
Day 1- PORT BLAIR
We landed at Veer Savarkar International Aiport at about 7.30am in the morning. It was a lovely view with the sea down, and greenery all around.We had booked a local travel agent and planned our trip.We asked him to include all the off beat places and include as many beaches and tourists spot he could in our itinerary. He was quite a good man and planned everything according to our need and requirements. We wanted our trip to be hussle free and spend every moment exploring and enjoying. We checked in our hotel, took rest, freshen up and had a tasty light breakfast. At around 10 am our guide who was also the owner and the travel agent who arranged our trip came to receive us and we started our journey.
a. Chatham Saw Mill
From Port Blair, we drove off to Chatham Island. The Chatham Saw Mill was set up in 1883 and is one of Asia’s biggest. There you can see how timber is processed and you can hire a local guide who will explain you all details about the saw mill. You can also see Japanese war Bunkers that dates back to the time of the Second World War.
b. Zonal Anthropological Museum
Next, we toured the Zonal Anthropological Museum which exhibits the lifestyles of the various tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It will take around one hour to go around the museum so you shouldn’t miss it.
c. Ross Island
Our next stop was beautiful, pleasant Ross Island. For that, we boarded a motor boat. You can get your tickets at the counter. Ross Island was once the headquarters of the British colony, nowadays of which you can see the ruins of the houses built during the British time. You can enjoy plenty of your share of nature, with peacocks and deers playfully roaming around tall coconut and palm breeze, with the sea all around it was a mesmerising experience.
d. Cellular Jail
Our day ended with the visit to the Cellular Jail also located in Port Blair. It was kept at the end of the day so that we can enjoy the light and sound show at 7 pm and directly return to our hotel. Cellular Jail is one iconic places to visit in Andaman as it bears deep scars that belonged to the time of the Freedom Struggle in India. The light and sound will leave you teary-eyed showing you how the freedom fighters were tortured and punished inside the Jail also popularly called “Kala Pani ki Saza” in Hindi. There are two shows one telecasted in Hindi and one in English.
Day 2- PORT BLAIR
a. Marine Museum
Our day 2 began with local sightseeing in Port Blair which includes the Marine Museum. It exhibits a large number of various fishes, marine organisms, the marine specimen of numerous kinds and also different kinds of corals. These are mostly found in the Bay of Bengal and Indo-Pacific Bay.
b. Science Museum
There is also a science museum, you can skip it but I would suggest visiting if you are planning to explore every nook and corner of Port Blair.
c. Corbyn Cove Sea Beach
We also visited the Corbyn Cove Sea Beach, which lies nearby. I found the beach very beautiful, less crowded, got a changing room so you can enjoy the sea as much as you can. With a marvellous view of coconut trees all around the beach also offers restaurants for refreshments and water sports like surfing, water scooters, jet-skiing, etc are available. Enjoy the beach with some refreshing coconut water, I am sure you will make memories to last as long as you live.
d. Chidiya Tapu Sea Beach
The ended by visiting the beautiful Chidiya Tapu Sea Beach which is highly popular among tourists for the amazing view of the sunset. The drive to this beach will take you through dense forests and narrow roadways. Once there you can see fallen trees here and there which was probably uprooted during the tsunami.
Day 3- HAVELOCK ISLANDS
I was very excited as we were on our way to one of the special attractions of our tour- the Havelock Islands. Crystal clear water, blue sky and water all around everything together looked like a slice of heaven. We boarded a cruise from Port Blair which took us to Havelock Island within 2 hours. You can either board a Private cruise or Govt. The cruise which will be less expensive but difficult to get tickets.
There are two private cruises when we went there, we took “The Maccruz”. From there we went to our resort took some rest, changed and again we came back to the jetty where all the speed boats are parked. We booked tickets for two of us in a one-speed boat which has six more passengers with us. Havelock is also a popular snorkelling destination. I had asked the tour guide to include all possible beaches we can visit in our Andaman itinerary for 7 days. At first, we went to Elephant Beach.
a. Elephant Beach
Elephant beach is famous for various kinds of water activities like- Sea bed walking, glass bottom boat ride, banana boat, water bikes, snorkelling which comes as a complimentary sport along with the tickets that we booked for the speed boat. In fact the driver was the snorkelling guide. We also enjoyed sea bed walking, I finally found Nemo! It was a marvellous experience. There are changing room so you can carry a set of dry clothes. Also the beach is quite strict about littering so make sure you keep it clean. Plastic is positively and completely banned. There are lots of counters on the beach and you can book any water sport you like. The same speed boat you boarded while going will again take you back to the main jetty.
b. Radhanagar Beach
Of the top four beaches of Havelock Island- The Elephant Beach. Vijaynagar, Radhanagar and Kalapathar we visited only the Elephant Beach and the Radhanagar beaches which are more popular. The main attraction of the Radhanagar beach was it’s sunset, it’s beautiful to watch the sunset from there. The white s, the lovely setting sun everything makes it a picture perfect beach. Radhanagar is also awarded as the cleanest beach in Asia.
Day 4- Neil Islands
On day 4 that is next day early morning we boarded the Cruise and reached Neil Islands directly from Havelock. Our Andaman itinerary for 7 nights was very compact so we did’t have extra days on our hand else I would have liked to spend a day more in havelock Islands. Neil islands was indeed spectacular and everything looked “Neel” (Blue in Hindi) in true sense. I was awestruck to see such crystal clear sea water.
a. Lakhanpur Beach 1
We went to the sunset point and got a marvellous view of the sea but it would have been better if we visited in the evening during the sunset.We didn’t get off on the beach just enjoy the view from the viewpoint which was a little higher. The beach looked secluded, except a few foreign tourists and life guards not much people were there.
b. Lakhanpur Beach 1(Natural Coral Bridge)
Next the natural bridge was a creation during the Tsuname which looks like two mountains came together to form a bridge. The bridge is formed of dead corals which looks astounding on a closer look. You will have to walk a little bit to reach the main spot. The beach is quite relaxing but the stones can be a little difficult to pass over. It is one of the main attractions of Neil Island.
c. Bharatpur Beach
Our day ended by visiting the Bharatpur Beach which is also famous for snorkelling and other water sports. I felt sick by this time as teh weather was very harsh so it is very important to keep yourself hydrated Keep drinking coconut water and also normal water as much as you can. On this beach we enjoyed the glass bottom boat ride. It will give you a clear view of the marine life, especially various kinds of corals, sea plants, fishes. In the evening we boarded a Government cruise to reach Port Blair.
Day 5 – Neil Islands (Second day)
Early morning we My husband also did scuba diving here but I couldn’t as I was too afraid to go under water.
Day 6 – Baratang Island
It was very early when we started, it was just 3 am. We reached a spot at around 5 am and there were lots of tourists car gathered. All the cars moved together in a convoy. The reason was that the way to Baratang Island was through the prohibited tribal areas, where you can see the tribal people of Andaman and I was quite lucky to spot them in their traditional outfit carrying arms. But unfortunately, photography is highly prohibited so I couldn’t click a picture also these people are very ferocious and have an attacking nature.
We reached the jetty and from there again boarded a speed boat passing through a thick mangrove forest we reached Baratang Island. The main attraction was the Live lime stone cave which keeps on growing every day, a tribal village and mud volcano. The lava that comes out is cold liquefied mud. You can touch them. The whole day was spent enjoying the beauty of the Baratang Islands.
Day 7 – Jolly Buoy Island
On Day 7 we reached the Jetty point from where we had to board a launcher which took us to Wandoor Beach from where launchers will take you to your destination Jolly Buoy Island. After you get your tickets there will be little time left and during then you can have a look around Mahatma Gandhi Marine Museum. If you have kids they will definitely like the museum. Also there are certain rules which you need to follow while visiting Jolly buoy Island. Plastic water bottles are not allowed. So they will give you their own Milton Water Flasks and you need to fill them with water and take it with you. Such is the level to which they try to preserve the marine life from pollution.
The limited number of passengers are allowed each day so it’s better to each early by 9 am to get your permit. All the boats leave together and come back at the same time. After approximately 3 pm no boat is allowed to remain on the island you need to return even if you want to enjoy a little more time. The same boat will bring you back to the main Jetty. Jolly Buoy Island is very popular for its marine life and the wide variety of corals it has. You can carry your own clothes and also carry bed sheets to relax on the beach. Snorkelling and Glass Bottom Boats are two main activities which are highly recommended to enjoy the wide variety of lovely corals undersea.
It just 3 pm when we were back in the main Jetty and again we started travelling to reach the last spot of our Andaman itinerary for 7 days. At first, we were taken to a Rubber Industry and then to the garden where Rubber trees are grown. A local guide showed us all around. And quite surprisingly we found the young boy was from my state Assam. He was from Lakhimpur and his uncle brought him there for work. We were also shown around a spice garden and the guy gave me some fresh Cinnamon as a gift. So cute, isn’t it?
And the end we visited Coral Islands, another soothing and calm place to enjoy the sunset and we spent the few more hours we had sitting there and enjoying every bit of our Andaman trip.
We came back to our hotel at Port Blair and next morning boarded the flight to Kolkata. This was all about the Andaman Itinerary for 7 days. I am sure it will be really helpful to those planning a trip this season. You can also check the links mentioned above for more information on Andaman Island.
Food in Andaman Island
The food in Andman Island have great bengali and south Indian influence. Majority of the population comprises of Bengali people living there for generations. So along with fancy sea food you can also expect your dal chawal and other Bengali cuisines. Almost all the jetty have restaurants or food courts so you can grab a bite while waiting for your boat. Sea food of various kinds is available but pease avoid eating if you are allergic to it. You can also buy fresh and hand over for preparation.
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