Of course, you can reach Andamans on your own, but your overall journey may not be smooth and worth stacking on your wonderful experience pile. It took us years to get the best of everything and to get it all right. Those going for the first time or after a sizeable gap is bound to face problems, as things change every day, it is mandatory to keep up and you may not be aware of a few as it is impossible to keep up with the updates and changes for a person working in some other industry.
You may not be aware of the new policies introduced or the changes in the rates and fares like, the fare of the cruise and boats. You need to travel on water to go from one Island to another and you could be asked for more here and you will never know. But we know exactly what the market conditions there are and so are updated about the prices.
Over the years, we have built good relationship with the hotels, guides, ferry companies and adventure activities organizers there too and this has been very helpful in providing a better experience to our customers.
This lack of knowledge about the updates and changes could be just the reason to soil your vacation mood. It could cost you more money and it could take away a big chunk of your precious time. This is where the importance of a Tour Operator is felt. It is an undoubted truth that planning a vacation under the guidance of a good DMC would be best for you, like AndamanExperts, an Andaman based Destination Management Company.
This is our work and it is our job to keep ourselves updated about every change and the conditions and situations to enhance quality of our service so you can get the best experience at the least of cost and staying at a safe zone at every moment of you tour.
Things to remember While packing your bag
Travelling to a remote tropical island without the right things can get frustrating and leaves you thinking “I wish I had that for a more comfortable beach holiday!” Resources are limited on the islands. Better be prepared than not with -
Tropical sun is sharp and the salt in the air could add to burning of skin. Carrying a waterproof sunscreen for lasting results is advisable.
While the tropical forest region is known for its’ mosquito and insect diversity, the beaches of Andaman Islands can get unpleasant due to sand fly attacks. An insect repellent would be handy. Citronella oil based repellent works well against mosquitoes, sand flies and insects.
Flip flops/ rubber chappals
These are the best beachwear in the world and has proven best here in the Islands. High heels on a beach walk could cause discomfort.
Carry a water bottle with you and refill it at restaurants that have RO water. This will cut down the amount of plastic being generated thereby discouraging bringing in of plastic.
Carry with you a quick drying towel.
Carrying cottons is recommended. Shorts, airy light clothes help in keeping dry in the warm humid environment.
Remember, chilling sessions on the beach are going to be an everyday thing while here. Swimming in the clear blue waters when on the Islands is highly recommended.
Beach mat/ Hammock
Spending time on the beach would be even better if the sand is kept away. Carrying a beach mat to lie on or a hammock to tie on an extending branch on the beach would make all the difference.
While some resorts provide their guests with hand torches, most budget resorts do not. Carrying a flashlight post sunset is advisable stepping on creepy crawlies, etc.
Any specific medication/ general medication prescribed for illness or as a precautionary measure.
Carrying with you a cap in summer is highly recommended. Those who are not accustomed to the heat might fall sick with a heat stroke. Sunglasses for the eyes to cut out the glare are imperative.
Andaman Islands fall under the tropical belt. Owing to its’ position, the islands receive rains from both the southwest monsoons and the retreating northeast monsoons making it a high rainfall area. The weather here is unpredictable and carrying a rain jacket or an umbrella would be useful. Carry zip-lock bags for cameras and other gadgets to keep them safe from moisture
There are only two ATMs on Havelock – SBI and Axis bank out of which SBI is reliable. There are days when both ATMs do not work. Being on an island stranded with no money in hand can get problematic. Therefore, carrying money on oneself is advisable.
Carry a small notebook while travelling to Andaman Islands. The sceneries and the place inspires many to write/ draw/ sketch/ doodle/ create.
We would like to walk you through the 5 Myths about planning a holiday trip to the Andaman Islands.
Myths or wrong perception about Andaman
We would like to walk you through some wrong perceptions while thinking a holiday trip to the Andaman Islands.
Q: Andaman is an expensive destination?
A: Well, many cancel their plan to the Andaman Islands just because the budget overshoots ones expected budget. Now take this approach to lower down your holiday trip cost to the Andaman Islands. We suggest you do a couple of things first. Firstly, find an extremely cheap flight deal to the islands. The flight tickets to Andaman is cheap when booked 3-5 months in advance. We understand it is a little too early to book a flight ticket, however, why not book a flight ticket early after all most airlines provide free cancelation or even free rescheduling. This way you will surely save up to 50% on your return airfare which will approximately account to around 8000 Rupees in return airfare per person. This is quite big money that you save, isn't it? You can then follow how to plan cheapest Andaman package to make your trip less expensive.
Q: One must know swimming to perform water activities?
A: The island is filled with water activities we agree; however, you don't have to know swimming to come visit Andamans. Most, many people who come visit Andaman are from India, and many do not know swimming. Also, every activity such as Snorkeling, Sea Walking and Scuba Diving does not require swimming skills. There is always a guide with you in water, and you are provided with life jackets or rings during your water activities in Andaman. For the elder people or family on a visit who do not want any water activities can go avail a glass boat ride only.
Q: Candlelight dinner is not worth doing in Andaman?
A: Candlelit dinner in Andaman is a waste of money. We understand and have seen many people opting out from the candle lit dinner during one's honeymoon trip. However, we recommend it for honeymoon couples as you don't go out for a honeymoon every year. Well, the beachside honeymoon setup for candle lit dinner is perfect to make for a romantic dinner. Just make sure that the Candle lit dinner is organized near a nice beach resort from where you can see the beach.
Q: Andaman is only for people with luxury?
A: A big NO for this question. There are many 4 star resorts in Andaman Islands that starts with Rupees 8000 per night and if this amount is out of your budget then we recommend go for 3 star properties in Andaman, this will cost you less than Rupees 5000 per night and if you are looking forward to even cheaper ones then go for eco huts that cost less than Rupees 2000 per night. In Havelock, the beach resorts are expensive, however, is value for money. In Port Blair, you can opt for either a beach resort or something in the main city as per your convenience. Selecting a hotel in the city in Port Blair will help you to minimize your cost. The prices actually varies based upon the resorts/ hotels you are selecting.
Q: Andaman is just as Goa or any other beachside destination?
A: This is something that you need to be aware of, Andaman Islands is a different destination altogether and do not compare it with cities wherein you book your hotels and rest things get done. Here the hotels will not pay you any refund in case you get late to arrive at the respective islands because the ferry got cancelled or because of bad weather you were not able to reach a given island. You need to carefully sit down and plan each day's activity in advance. All trips and activities start early in Andaman. Good travel companies can help and assist you with various alternatives during such conditions.
Best time to Visit Andaman?
Andaman Islands can be visited throughout the year. Rain out of nowhere can be expected anytime. It’s a tropical climate so such behavior is expected.
“Usually the season is from October to April, out of which 20th Dec- 10th Jan is peak period when most of good hotels either booked or damn expensive”
Then from May to July you can expect rain, if you love nature, its season for you. Again, August and September is a good time to visit.
Things to note here is that when you are travelling from May to August. Cruise such as Makruzz and Coastal Cruise may not operate. Green Ocean and Government Ferry will sail all throughout the year as these vessels were specifically built to handle any kind of weather conditions. Secondly, do not keep just one day as buffer to travel from Havelock to Port Blair to take your return Flight. Try to Move to Havelock/Neil on the day of arrival and later return to visit other Port Blair attractions.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is a treasure house of natural beauty, attractive marine life and wonderful water sports, is one of the leading tourist locations of the world. The vast expanse of Bay of Bengal, the sandy and serene beaches of the islands, the freshness and greenery of the forests etc., attract the natural lovers here. It is also an ideal option for adventure loving people, as they can enjoy various water sports activities here.
All these factors attract several honeymooners to these islands. Andaman Islands are full of the day activities. However, if anybody wants nightlife here to like in Goa, the islands may fail to satisfy you. Even Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands does not have much night attractions that are alluring. The lack of nightlife activities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is due to the slow life here. People who live in these islands are still far away from the enhanced pace and advancement of life. Many islands are still unexplored. So, there is no need to say that speed of life here is very slow. However, it's an attempt to throw light about the night activities in Port Blair and other Andaman Islands.
Majority of tourists choose Andaman Islands to enjoy a pleasure time with some water sports activities in the beautiful scenic surrounding. Therefore, nightlife has not much relevance here. It is difficult to see many options for enjoying exhilarating nightlife in these islands. Real pubs, clubs and discotheques are very rare here, the tourists can find some moments of delight and entertainment at night in Port Blair.
Some hotels in port Blair have pubs and night clubs where you can get a chance to enjoy nightlife in the city, even though the fun they give is limited. The other thing is that such activities are restricted to the luxury hotels here. They offer many options for amusement and nightlife enjoyment. Fortune Resort Bay Island, Sea Shell Hotel at Marine Hill, Peerless Beach Resort at Corbin's Cove Beach, Sinclairs Bay view at South Point and The Love Garden Restaurant at Hotel Shompen at Middle point etc. are such hotels that help the tourists make their nights in Andaman Islands happening.
There is recent development in attempt to provide an night out option, TSG Bella Bay luxury Dinner Cruise with action packed live entertainment operates from Junglighat by 0730pm in the harbour and pass through various places of interest such as Viper Island, North Bay, Ross Island, Mount Harriet, Bambooflat etc, Ship return back at junglighat by 1030pm.
Therefore, if you want to enjoy nightlife in Port Blair, select some luxurious hotels that have clubs and pubs. But, the stunning scenery and the breath-taking beauty of sea are enough to make nightlife more enchanting here. you may not feel that you need a night club or pub to spend your night. Nightlife in Port Blair, more the bars, pubs and discotheques, means experiencing the difference. Chilling out at the luxury hotels in the islands and enjoying the full moon or walking along the shores listening the sounds of thundering sea waves will surely be a memorable experience.
A: Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a group of 572 islands located in the Bay of Bengal. It is around 1600 km away from the Indian subcontinent down South-East.
A: Entry to Nicobar Islands not permitted for tourists, even people of Andaman Islands can visit Nicobar group of islands with permits issued by the Andaman & Nicobar administration with specific and valid reason.
A: We strongly recommend experience ‘Scuba diving’ and Snorkeling in Andamans, No swimming skills required as you perform these activities under supervision of experts.
A: No, Andaman follow standard time zone as per rest of India, However on practical ground Andaman is 2 hours ahead of mainland India. Let’s illustrate this; when the clock states 4 AM, it’s morning and by 5PM sunsets.
A: Sea Plane services have been stopped in the islands. However, the other option is Helicopter with capacity of only 6 seats and you need to be lucky to get a ticket. To be honest the chances are less, and the ticket opens only the day of departure. You might want to try your luck after arriving in Andamans.
A: Although the islands are not known for their vegetarian cuisine, there won’t a shortage of veg dishes as with the influx of tourists, Andaman is now replete with vegetarian food joints.
A: Being an island, Andaman is famous for having scrumptious seafood. Crabs, shrimps, prawns, lobsters, and fish among others are must haves. However, the food may not be available at a cheap price.
A: The tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands cherish their peace and any kind of photography of them is strictly prohibited and even punishable.
A: Andaman is all about expereinces and do not compare it with Thailand, Maldives, Sychelles etc, Vehicle services in Andamans are always on point to point basis and not at disposal basis, Being on time will always be a good experience, Going beach is an obvious choice but do not forget to carry a towel and a pair of cloths as driver would not allow board vehicle wearing wetted cloths.
A: Andaman Islands are very relaxed in rules. Just some simple etiquettes like dressing up properly and asking for permission before taking pictures should be kept in mind. Having said that, since Andamans is a protected area, one should not expect comfort equivalent to the level of one on mainland in India.
A: Yes. Indian Rupees is used in Andaman Islands. You can exchange currency at the airport, from the banks or currency dealers. Also, you can withdraw Indian Rupees from the ATMs there.
A: For Indians: No passport/visa/permission is required. They can stay in permitted areas for as long as they want. For Foreigners: Passport is required with an Indian Visa. This is applicable to foreigners entering Andamans directly by air/ship or charter/private yachts. Additionally, a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is also required for selected islands which can be availed on arrival to Port Blair from the Immigration counter at the airport or embarkation of ships at the sea-port. RAP is issued for 30 day visit in islands, and is extendable upto 15 more days and tickets can be rescheduled in Port Blair itself from the respective airline offices.