One Of The Smallest Tourist Island Destinations Is A Picture-Perfect Tropical Paradise

Sometimes, what you really want on a vacation is something you don't get enough of at home or work. That's a whole lot of peace and quiet. If you need a getaway, and you just don't want to be bothered with crowds and lines, perhaps a rural island getaway is just what the doctor ordered. While some islands are better for partying and group activities, some are secluded, quiet, and away from everything you think of in your day-to-day life. 

There is a beautiful island destination in Lakshadweep, off the southwestern coast of India, that is part of a coral atoll that fits the bill exactly. In fact, this is one of the smallest tourist destination islands in the world. You need a permit to get here, and it's one of the only islands (along with Bangaram and Kadmat) in this area that you can stay on as a non-Indian resident. There is sun and sand, and plenty of water sports. Even better? It's secluded and quiet. 

This lovely place is Agatti Island. Let's look at what you need to know, how to get the permit, how to get there, and what to do during your visit. This is a quiet island, so you won't be visiting a dozen tourist spots, but you can learn a lot about the history and culture by talking to the locals. Kalpitti Village is a great place to do this, as well as learn how they make coir (coconut fiber) products like ropes and mats. 

What to know about Agatti Island

As we mentioned, you require a permit to visit, even if you're an Indian national. You can apply for a permit here and it must be received 15 days before you travel. You also need accommodation booked before arriving on the island. Book early, as there are only two resorts on Agatti Island. Make sure to check all the details so your trip won't be spoiled. You cannot bring alcohol to the island, and you should bring cash as many places don't take credit or debit cards.

It's best to visit from October through March.  Monsoon season – mid-May through mid-September — has intense rains and rough seas that keep boats inside the island's lagoon, formed by coral reefs. This long and skinny island is known for fishing, so make sure to try the seafood. 

To get here, you can fly into the little airport at the southern tip (with a very short runway, so know that going in), or take a boat from Kochi. There are also cruise lines that go there, run by the government of India. Agatti is the biggest of the islands here, though it's just 4.5 miles long.

Exploring the seas

The big thing you're going to want to do on Agatti Island is likely beach-related, and this is the perfect spot for it. The sands are white, and the water is clear. That makes it perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. (You can also visit nearby Bangaram Island for this on a day trip.) If actually being in the ocean isn't for you, there are glass-bottomed boat rides so you can tour the stunning island waters without getting that wet.

There are a number of dive sites and lots of animals to encounter around Agatti Island. If you're new to the sport of scuba diving, you might try the dive site called "Fish Soup on the Rocks," which is a good place to spot sea turtles. This particular spot is fairly shallow, and you can also spot Moorish idols, butterfly fish, and plenty more.  At deeper dive sites, you might see parrotfish, crabs, shrimp, moray eels, barracuda, and eagle rays... that's just a sample. You might even see a shark. No matter what you choose to do on this secluded island paradise, it will be worth the effort to get there.