10 Pristine Islands of Andaman and Nicobar that you must explore!

Hey wanderlusty souls, are you dreaming of turquoise waters, powdery sands, and swaying palms? Then pack your bags, because we're setting sail for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India's emerald jewels nestled in the Bay of Bengal! With over 570 islands, this archipelago is a treasure trove of pristine beauty, untouched by the frenzy of mainland life.

But with so many options, where do you begin? Worry not, fellow explorers, for we have curated a list of 10 must-visit islands that will leave you breathless:

1. Havelock Island: Jewel of the Andamans

Havelock Island - Andaman and Nicobar islandsHavelock, the largest island after South Andaman, is an undisputed paradise. Think pristine beaches like Radhanagar (Asia's best!), lush rainforests teeming with wildlife, and coral reefs bursting with colorful life. Kayak through mangrove forests, trek to hidden waterfalls, or simply laze under the sun – Havelock caters to every beach bum's fantasy.

  • Famous for: Pristine beaches, lush rainforests, eco-tourism activities.

  • Best time to visit: October to April (dry season).

  • What to do: Relax on beaches, snorkel at Elephant Beach, explore Kala Pathar beach, kayak through mangroves, trek to Dolphin Cove.

Read more: Complete Travel Guide to Havelock Island 2023

2. Neil Island: Tranquil Paradise

Neil Island Andaman and Nicobar islands Neil, Havelock's smaller sister, is a haven for peace seekers. Cycle along palm-fringed lanes, swim in crystal-clear waters, and soak in the laid-back vibes. Don't miss Bharatpur Beach, where bioluminescent plankton paints the shore with an ethereal glow at night!

  • Famous for: Tranquility, bioluminescence, cycling trails, natural bridges.

  • Best time to visit: December to February (pleasant weather).

  • What to do: Relax on Bharatpur Beach at night, cycle around the island, visit natural bridges, swim in crystal-clear waters, try scuba diving.

3. Ross Island: History Meets Nature

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Ross IslandStep back in time on Ross Island, once the British headquarters. Explore ruins of colonial buildings, witness the historic lighthouse, and learn about the island's intriguing past. Then, take a break at Corbyn's Cove, a stunning beach with shallow waters perfect for families.

  • Famous for: Colonial history, beautiful beaches, sound and light show.

  • Best time to visit: October to April (pleasant weather).

  • What to do: Explore ruins, visit the lighthouse, relax on Corbyn's Cove beach, watch the sound and light show, learn about the island's history.

  • Bonus tip for Indians: Combine Ross Island with a visit to Jarawa tribe museum on Port Blair.

Read more: Beach Camping Destinations of India for the Sea Lovers

4. Long Island: Eco-Adventure Haven

Long Island, Andaman and Nicobar Long Island, aptly named for its elongated shape, is an eco-tourist's dream. Hike through dense rainforests, spot endangered species like the Nicobar Long-tailed Macaque, and explore tribal villages. Kayak through mangrove creeks and witness the mesmerizing mud volcanoes – Long Island is a nature lover's playground.

  • Famous for: Eco-tourism, wildlife spotting, tribal culture, mud volcanoes.

  • Best time to visit: November to March (dry season).

  • What to do: Hike through rainforests, visit tribal villages, kayak through mangroves, witness mud volcanoes, go birdwatching.

5. Baratang Island: Nature's Symphony

Baratang Island, Andaman and Nicobar Island Andaman

Baratang Island is where nature's wonders come alive. Witness the awe-inspiring Limestone Caves, formed over millions of years, and marvel at the mud volcanoes bubbling with geothermal energy. Take a boat ride through the mangrove creeks, a haven for exotic birds and vibrant marine life.

  • Famous for: Natural wonders, Limestone Caves, mud volcanoes, mangrove ecosystem.

  • Best time to visit: December to February (pleasant weather).

  • What to do: Explore Limestone Caves, witness mud volcanoes erupt, boat through mangrove creeks, go snorkeling or diving.

6. North Bay Island

North Bay Island, Andaman And Nicobar Img: South Andaman District

This island is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boat rides are just some of the activities you can enjoy here. The crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs make it a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Glass-bottom boat rides offer a unique glimpse into the underwater world without getting wet.

  • Famous for: Water Sports Paradise, Crystal-Clear Waters, Iconic Lighthouse

  • Best time to visit: October to April (dry season)

  • What to do: Dive into the underwater world, snorkel or seawalk, take a boat ride, visit the lighthouse.

Explore: The best 7 day Andaman itinerary for first timers

7. Cinque Island: Hidden Gem

Cinque andaman Cinque Island is a true hidden gem, accessible only by special permits. Pristine beaches, untouched coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life make it a snorkeler's paradise. Spot colorful fish, turtles, and even dolphins as you explore the underwater world.

  • Famous for: Secluded beaches, coral reefs, snorkeling and diving.

  • Best time to visit: January to March (calm seas for snorkeling).

  • What to do: Snorkel the vibrant coral reefs, relax on pristine beaches, spot marine life like turtles and dolphins, explore the island's natural beauty.

8. Diglipur Island: Untamed Beauty

Diglipur Island Andaman and Nicobar IslandImg: andamanislands

Diglipur, the largest island in Nicobar, is a land of raw, untamed beauty. Trek through dense rainforests, witness cascading waterfalls, and spot exotic birds like the Nicobar Pigeon. Visit the Saddle Peak National Park, home to unique flora and fauna, and experience the thrill of island life.

  • Famous for: Untamed nature, national park, waterfalls, tribal culture.

  • Best time to visit: October to April (dry season).

  • What to do: Trek in Saddle Peak National Park, visit cascading waterfalls, spot exotic birds, learn about tribal culture.

9. Mayabunder Island: Off the Beaten Path

Mayabunder Island Andaman and Nicobar IslandsMayabunder is for those who crave a truly off-the-beaten-path experience. Explore tribal villages, witness traditional dances, and learn about the unique Nicobari culture. Relax on pristine beaches like Karmatang, go snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, and discover the island's hidden gems.

  • Famous for: Tribal culture, pristine beaches, snorkeling, off-the-beaten-path experience.

  • Best time to visit: December to February (pleasant weather).

  • What to do: Visit tribal villages, learn about Nicobari culture, relax on pristine beaches like Karmatang, go snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, explore the island's natural beauty.

Read more: 6 Adventurous Places to snorkel in India

10. Little Andaman Island: Escape to the Wild

Little Andaman Island Andaman and Nicobar IslandsImg: South Andaman District

Little Andaman is for the adventurous souls who seek true isolation. Hike through virgin rainforests, encounter wild elephants, and camp under starry skies. This island is a challenge, but the rewards are unparalleled – pristine beaches, untouched beauty, and a chance to connect with nature in its purest form.

  • Famous for: Untouched nature, wildlife encounters, camping adventures, challenging treks.

  • Best time to visit: January to March (dry season).

  • What to do: Hike through virgin rainforests, spot wild elephants, camp under starry skies, challenge yourself with treks, experience the thrill of isolation.

Additional tips:

  • Travel during the dry season: October to April is the ideal time to visit the Andamans, with pleasant weather and calm seas.

  • Book ferry tickets and accommodations in advance: Especially during peak season, ferries can get booked out quickly. Secure your travel and stay arrangements beforehand to avoid disappointment.

  • Pack for the tropics: Light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are essential. Pack swimwear for the beaches and snorkeling adventures.

  • Be mindful of local customs and traditions: Dress modestly when visiting tribal villages and religious sites. Respect the local culture and avoid causing offense.

  • Embrace the slow pace: Island life is all about relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty. Don't rush your itinerary and take time to appreciate the surroundings.

  • Support responsible tourism: Choose eco-friendly accommodations, avoid littering, and respect wildlife. By being responsible tourists, we can help preserve the beauty of these islands for future generations.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the magic of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Each island holds its own unique charm, waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience paradise found.

P.S. Don't forget to check travel advisories and permit requirements before planning your trip. And while you're there, be a responsible traveler and leave no trace behind. Let's preserve the pristine beauty of these islands for generations to come!

Happy island hopping!

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