At 1,000 km off the east coast of India, the 500 or so islands of Andaman and Nicobar represent India’s most remote state. A permit is required to visit the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands are off limits to visitors (to protect the indigenous population).
In fact very few foreign guests visit the Andaman Islands and consequently there are few hotels and a limited infrastructure. This, however, makes a visit very appealing to those who like to explore places off the beaten track. The islands’ thick tropical forests support a wide range of wildlife, and their isolation means that many species are endemic. The islands are particularly attractive to SCUBA divers as some of the marine life to be found along the fringing reefs is unique to the area. A permit is required for the Andaman Islands and this can be obtained on arrival in Port Blair. Flights are from Chennai Airport.
Havelock Island (now officially called Swaraj Dweep) is in Ritchie’s Archipelago and is north east of Port Blair. Reached by ferry from the capital, is perhaps one of India’s best kept secrets with beaches thought to be the best in Asia (TIME magazine).
Port Blair is the capital of the Andaman Islands and is situated on South Andaman. Foreign visitors are restricted in the areas that they can visit and this is limited to the southern the eastern end of the island, which includes the beach at Corbyn’s Cove. Most people only spend one night here because flights and ferries do not always connect – but if you have time you might like to visit the Cellular Jail.