Planning your trip to Andaman and freaking out on what to carry, what is the budget etc. – here are some handy tips and budget ideas:
Things to carry with you: Swimming costumes/beach wear, crocs, sun glasses, duffel bags (spare), basic first aid medicines (especially keep them handy while you are transiting between islands on a ferry since that could lead to sea sickness – so do keep medicines for nausea and diarrhea), umbrella, clothes (as per your convenience- keep two/three pairs extra as it tends to rain in the island quite frequently)
Where to stay: I stayed in hotel Sentinel (in Port Blair), hotel Silver Sand (in Havelock Island) and hotel Silver Sand again (in Neil Island) – all of them are good properties with amazing views but the best I found in terms of service and hygiene was hotel Silver Sand (in Neil island). I recommend book the hotels in advance
What all is must see: Cellular jail in Port Blair, Beaches such as Radhanagar beach and beaches in Havelock and Neil Island. Sandy beaches at Sitapur, Bharatpur and Lakshmanpur, the breathtaking view of sea and the lusting greeneries in the islands are really rejuvenating for tourists. For ideas on itenary, you can check with any of the local travel agents or you can also visit my pages
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is home to 4 Negrito and 2 Mongoloid tribes. These tribes are believed to have been living here for 60,000 years and do not like outsider intervention. To prevent the primitive tribes from the exploitation by the outsiders the area inhabited by the primitive tribes has been declared as tribal reserve area. Entry into the reserve area without permission is liable for punishment with imprisonment and fine. In case you are interested to see the tribes and their way of living, you can try to obtain permission to visit the reserve area.
Another interesting place to explore is Barren Island which hosts the only active volcano in India – this volcano has become active again in January 2017. i did not get to see the volcano but you can check with your travel agent if you can hire to ferry to go around the Island – it is said that waters around barren island are reputed to be the best scuba diving destination.
What all is must to experience: Coconut water, pakoras on the beach, scuba diving, snorkeling, sea walk and some other water activities. Andaman Islands offer one of the most cleanest beaches and blue waters – so definitely try out the water activities. It is the only place in India with such clean waters. If you are very fond of photography, the place offers some of the best shots of pristine blue waters. Some of the hotels offer private beaches. You can be an early bird on these beaches to experience mesmerizing views of sunrises and sunsets
What to buy: Apart from the souvenir T-shirts, you get good jute bags in the shop outside cellular jail. I recommend that. Also, on some of the beaches (especially outside Radhanagar beach), you get good pearl jewelry. You can try that if you are found of pearl jewelry. Local market in Port Blair is also worth a visit to get a flavour of the local life
When to visit: Temperatures range from 35 degrees in summers to about 15 degrees in winters. Pleasant months to visit are around winter months – so plan for a trip around October to January
Budget: If you are flying to Andaman from Delhi and staying in these 3/4 star hotels, the approximate cost per person is around INR 60,000 – this includes shopping, cost of all the activities, dining etc.