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Islands to Visit Vaishno Devi 5 Nights / 6 Days
Port Blair
Port Blair, the capital city is a bustling overgrown town of immense historical importance.Travellers usually visit the main historical attractions
Easy day trips from Port Blair make it possible to explore close by islands like Mount Harriet (The highest peak in South Andamans and the summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj), Viper Island (where the gallows and ruins of the jail can be seen), Ross Island (the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime), Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Island (for great beaches and lovely snorkeling)
Havelock Island
Havelock Island is the recommended island and hub of all tourist activity. It is perfect for those who wish to kick off their shoes, have a relaxing vacation or be adventurous and try various activities that include but are not limited to camping, scuba diving and snorkeling. From Port Blair, Havelock is just a ferry ride away with 3 daily departures that are easy and convenient.
Located 57 kms northeast of Port Blair, Havelock has the most spectacular white sand beaches, rain forest canopies, turquoise waters and fantastic coral reefs. The water is abundant in marine life both large and small and this Island is ideal for snorkeling & scuba diving.
Ross Island
Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbor (10 minutes journey from the Phoenix Bay Jetty, Port Blair).The island is spread over 0.6 sq kms, is popular with tourists and the Indian Navy has established a museum on the island known as "Smritika". For travellers keen on photography, this Island is intriguing and a 'must visit'. The old buildings have nearly collapsed and bare skeletal structures remain. Held together by numerous sturdy tree roots growing into and over the structures, this is a sight not to be missed.
Viper Island
The tiny serene, beautiful island is situated inside the Port Blair harbor (20 minutes boat journey). The island derives its name from the vessel "Viper" in which Lt. Archibald Blair came to the islands in 1789 with the purpose of establishing a penal settlement. The vessel, it is believed, met with an accident and its wreckage was found near the island.Famous freedom fighters who had been imprisoned on Viper Island include Nanigopal, Nandlal Pulindas and Sher Ali. The ruins of the jail as well as the gallows can be seen on the island.
Neil Island
Neil Island is situated 36 kms east of Port Blair or 18 kms east of the Havelock Jetty. This pretty island is the easternmost inhabited island in Ritchie's Archipelago as well as easternmost inhabited island in the entire Andaman & Nicobar group of islands. Daily ferries connect Port Blair to Neil Island as well as to Havelock. Neil is a much smaller island than Havelock. It is a comparatively flat island, and much of the landmass was deemed suitable for paddy cultivation. Unfortunately, as a result of this, very little forest cover remains at Neil, and almost all of it is concentrated in the reserve forest on Neil's north-western side.
Cinque Island
Cinque Island is surrounded by pristine coral reefs and inviting blue waters. Uninhabited, North and South Cinque are among the prettiest islands in the Andamans. Getting to this charming island takes two hours from Chidiyatapu, and three-and-a-half hours from Wandoor by boat. Unfortunately, there are no regular boat services. Special permission must be taken from the Forest Department to visit this island.
Jolly Buoy Island
Jolly Buoy Island, in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park offers breath taking corals and amazing marine life. It is an ideal place for snorkeling and for basking on the sun kissed beach and getting that fabulous tan. Regular day trips ply from Port Blair to this island at present, however no night stays or camping is allowed here.
Red Skin Island
Red Skin Island is also located in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park has a nice beach and offers spectacular view of corals and marine life. Popular with snorkelers, this island is a great day trip from Port Blair for those looking for a fun day at the beach. Night stays are not permitted here.
Long Island
Long Island is located 82 kms from Port Blair or 35kms north of Havelock. Connected by a ferry three times a week from Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair, enchanting Long island is home to a lovely sandy beach at Lalaji Bay 6 kms north from Long island jetty. It also has beautiful forest cover and coconut plantations. Long island was uninhabited until the arrival of settlers in the 1970s. A plywood factory was established near the jetty but is now closed. A village exists near the jetty, the population of which is approximately 1500 people. The island is populated by settlers and factory workers from different parts of India.
Barren Island
Barren Island, one of the most easterly islands is the only active volcano in South Asia, lies 135 kms northeast of Port Blair and is 300 m above sea level. True to its name, it is a barren area uninhabited by humans, though it has a small population of goats, birds, bats like flying foxes and a few rodent species such as rats known to survive the harsh conditions. A deep void land, the face of the volcano, and fantastic scuba diving possibilities is an attraction to the tourists.Barren Island can be approached by board vessels and one can view the island from the vessel. There is no permission to get onto the island. The travel to this island is a breathtaking adventurous experience.
South Button Island
South Button Island is located southwest of Havelock and is a stunning islet that is almost fairy tale like. A part of the Rani Jhansi Marine National Park, this island is extremely popular for both snorkeling and diving. Incredible marine life and stunning healthy coral await visitors here. Schools of fish like Snappers, Barracuda, Trevally, Sweetlips, Groupers, Angel fish and Butterfly fish whiz around and lucky visitors are thrilled to see Turtles, Devil Rays and Manta Rays as well.
There are no beaches on this island and tourists are not allowed to climb the rocky outcrops. A pair of white bellied Sea Eagles can be spotted flying high and this island is by far the most popular snorkeling destination owing to its splendid coral and shallow depths.
Baratang Island
Baratang Island is a large undulating island of approximately 80 sq kms located due west from Havelock Island. It lies in a creek between the two large islands of South Andaman and Middle Andaman, and forms a 'bridge' between the two. At Baratang, much of the landmass is under cultivation; however patches of denuded forest and primary forest do exist.
The island is geologically significant and boasts natural marvels – mud volcanoes and limestone caves. Baratang presents wonderful short trekking opportunities through the Ranchi village off the South Creek, taking detours into a number of limestone caves. The limestone caves and mud volcanoes bring many a visitor to Baratang.
Rangat Island
Rangat Island is 90 kms by sea and 170 kms by road from Port Blair. At Cuthbert Bay beach, near Rangat, you will find a turtle nesting ground as well. Rangat is useful as a stopover on longer itineraries involving Baratang and destinations further north
Little Andaman Island
Little Andaman Island is 120 kms by sea from Port Blair and has a stunning beach at Butler Bay, a waterfall and plantation of oil palms. Apart from this there are several sandy beaches all along the coastline of the island. The break water at Hut Bay offers an excellent view to the tourists. Little Andaman is the vegetable bowl for the Nicobar group of islands.
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