The crystal clear waters surrounding the Andaman Islands are renowned the world over for the enthralling diving experience they provide. Seeing the cornucopia of underwater life from behind a diver's mask is truly a magical experience. Over the years, scuba diving has become a popular tourist attraction of these islands. What is unique about the Andaman Islands is that it offers a plethora of scuba activities suitably tailored for people of all ages and differing fitness levels. Beginers can opt for a program that introduces the basics of diving allowing one to discover the underwater world and exquisite marine life. In case you already have earlier diving experience, you may even opt for an advanced certification course though a authorized PADI dive centre.
The cost of a diving trip varies depending on the type of boat, the length of the trip as well as the diving site chosen.
Snorkelling is another popular activity in the mesmerising and clear waters embracing the Islands. The principal charm is the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting without any complex equipment/training as required in scuba diving. Snorkelling appeals to all ages, as it requires very minimal physical abilities.
Kayaking is possible through the lovely mangrove creeks and is a calming and breath-taking experience. Guided tours are recommended and it is a great family activity as both a single and double seater kayak are available on rent.
Trekking is a great way to admire the fantastic variety of flora and fauna of the island. Although there are no challenging treks on the islands, a basic level of fitness is necessary.
The treks to Elephant Beach and Japanese Hill are popular options at Havelock and treks to Mt. Harriet and Madhuban at Port Blair. While on the trek, your guide will help you spot some exotic birds, butterflies and the occasional reptile.
Bird watching is another popular nature activity on these islands given the number of endemic birds found in these islands.
Game Fishing is another exciting activity for all anglers.Please contact our team for further details on game fishing.
Andaman Islands offer adventure beyond realm of ordinary travel and it is essential that you are well prepared before arriving here. For a starter, be assured that Andaman Islands are known to be politically stable with extremely low crime rate. Apart from indigenous tribes, the resident population of these islands is a vibrant mix of Indians who have settled here from various parts of India. Though belonging to differing faiths and cultures, the inhabitants live in an atmosphere of complete religious harmony and tolerance. Adherence to precautions and tips below will go a long way in making your trip to these stunning Islands most memorable.
Trekking has also, in recent times, become a popular activity in these islands and a relatively large number of tourists regularly opt for organized treks. These islands are not known to offer treks of extreme difficulties, however, since a large part of these Islands are covered with reserved forests, it is best to be psychologically prepared for hazards which lurk in such environment. The trekkers need to be thoroughly prepared for journeys into wilderness or sparsely inhabited areas and take sensible precautions with regards to snakes, crocodiles and dangerous animals. When planning a trek, anticipate the duration of the trek and all the items that you are likely to require. Your pack should be large enough to accommodate your needs and still be light enough to permit you to carry it for long durations. For long and challenging treks, it is preferable to use the services of a local guide. It is also advisable to trek in a group and follow a buddy system for added safety. Following general guidelines are recommended:
Andaman Islands boast of innumerable beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, superb coral and kaleidoscopic marine life. However, swimmers (including confident swimmers) need to be aware that the waters hold hidden dangers in the form rips, strong currents and undertows. Guests are advised to inquire locally to ascertain safe places to swim and preferably have someone keep a watch while you take to the sea. Swimming alone at secluded beaches or swimming under the influence of alcohol can have dangerous consequences. Similarly, swimming immediately after a heavy meal should be avoided.
Guests need to note that crocodiles live in creeks in South Andaman and certain Islands around Havelock, often changing habitat via sea. There has been a fatal incident involving a tourist in the near past at Havelock and we request guest to exercise caution and vigilance while entering waters in Andaman Islands.
Tourists who come to the Andaman Islands solely to experience the delights of the local cuisine maybe in for some disappointment. To understand why, it is important to dwell into the history of the Islands' settlers. There are 2 main types of populace in the Andaman islands - the local tribals who have lived untouched by modern civilization for the last thousand years and continue to lead an isolated life. The remaining population consists of those who were resettled either by the British post their penal confinement or by the Indian Government post independence.
The settlers post Indian Independence were mainly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu who brought with them various innate gastronomic skills. With minimal local produce and ingredients available in these islands, their cooking underwent natural adaption and therefore the cuisine has witnessed some fusion but very limited growth of indigenous cuisine. With the result, the food available in these islands is no longer specific to any particular region of India.
Nearly all settlers at Havelock are refugees of Bengali lineage and one can find Bengali cuisine amongst the locals. However, do note that their food is limited only to the confines of their homes and not routinely available at local restaurants.
Due to the shortage of skilled kitchen labour, most hotels have brought in cooks from the northern and eastern states of India and hence one can savour foods indigenous to these regions.
This restaurant serves good seafood and also has a beer and wine license. The food here has a north Indian/Mughlai touch. They are open for both lunch and dinner.
One of the first and finest pure vegetarian south Indian restaurants in Port Blair, Annapurna is open through the day. The restaurant serves a respectable variety of south Indian dishes and is a good option for a tasty vegetarian meal from a clean kitchen.
The first and only 'take- away' restaurant serving some of the best tandoor, Mughlai gravies and Chinese food. If you are craving for some authentic Mughlai food, you must try this take-out.
Part of the TSG Emerald View hotel, this restaurant is well appreciated for some real delicious seafood and
This is another vegetarian restaurant and serves good, wholesome food.
Icy Spicy is without a doubt one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Port Blair. It is the place to go if you are in the mood for some authentic North Indian food, tasty Chinese, freshly made pizzas, pastas and innovative mocktails.
True to its name, "Something Different" offers a truly diverse and exceptional meal experience. We serve lip-smacking Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes combined with delicious milkshakes and light snacks. Located at Beach No: 2 on Havelock Island only a few minutes from the local market and approximately 10 minutes from the Havelock Jetty.
Located at Dive India centre, this shack serves good continental fare and
Located at Wild Orchid hotel, this is a must-visit for all tourists visiting Havelock. This restaurant serves delicious tandoori grill and seafood dishes.
Port Blair is not famous for its retail therapy, however shopaholics can visit the charming Aberdeen Bazaar at the heart of the city to explore their urge to splurge! The by-lanes of the busy Aberdeen Bazaar filled to the brim with small stalls selling trinkets, stoles, and costume jewellery make for a nice morning/afternoon walk. One must try the piping hot 'parathas' (spiced potato pancakes) and 'samosas' (fried pastry with a savory filling) sold by the cart vendors. Steer clear of the chutneys though, as the water used in it may be questionable.
There is also 'Sagarika'- a government run emporium where one can buy handcrafted wooden and shell items as well as mementos in the form of shell key chains, lamps, etc. However, the finish and quality of the products can be average. 'Sagariaka' is closed on Sundays and all other days it is open from 0900 hrs till 1800 hrs.
NOTE: Please do remember to take the invoice of any wooden and shell items purchased as the same is likely to be checked by the airport authorities at departure. It is illegal to carry pieces of coral or wood out of these Islands unless accompanied by a proper invoice.
Several of the hotels and resorts at Port Blair and Havelock offer bar service, but by and large, these Islands are not known for a vibrant night life and you are unlikely to encounter loud music or parties here on a regular basis.
The nightlife however comes alive with a lot of fun activities during Christmas and New Year period when parties at Port Blair, Havelock and Neil continue late into the night.