Maldives always on your mind?
Why go to the Maldives when we have the Andamans! We have just been to the Andamans and trust me, it’s truly a paradise on earth.
Here I am sharing the extensive guide to plan your trip to the Andamans that too on a shoestring budget!
How to reach Port Blair?
Port Blair is the main city that connects the mainland to the Andamans. The most convenient way to reach there is by flight. Direct flights are available from Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai. And among these, Chennai and Kolkata have the most frequency of the flights. And while our trip, we found that Chennai has the cheapest flights available! What are you waiting for?
Here is a small tip, we booked our flights in parts; from Ahmedabad to Chennai and from Chennai to Port Blair to save some bucks! And yes, don’t shy away from the long layovers, we saved 8k over 7 hours of layover, not bad, right? 😉
Flights from Chennai to Port Blair and return will cost you around 6k to 8k depending on when you book your flights. I suggest you book them in advance; at least 3 months before. You may get a good deal and can get your flights at a lesser price than this!
How to commute from one island to the other?
The only way to travel from one island to the other is by using a ferry. We have two options; private and govt. operated ferries. Private ferries run by companies like Green Ocean and Makruzz. The private ferry will cost you around 1000 to 1500 per person depending upon the category you choose. The private ferries provide three categories; Economy, Luxury and Royal.
The only difference between these categories is the members of the Royal category get a private cabin along with a TV to watch. So, I suggest not wasting your hard-earned money on the royal category. The rest of the categories have the same seating arrangements.
The cheapest option among these is the govt. ferries. They cost only 130 Rs. for a round trip. But for that, we need to purchase the tickets from the ticket counter 48 hours before the actual travel date. There is no online booking available for the govt. operated ferries. I’ll keep on checking and update here if the online booking for the govt. ferries start officially.
Book the ferries along with the flights, meaning as soonest as possible! The ferries are booked so quickly. Also, the ferries may get canceled due to weather conditions and technical issues. So, I suggest you have a spare day at Port Blair not to miss your return flight!
The best way to explore the Andaman islands
Autos, taxies, self drive cars and two-wheelers, we get all the options here! The autos will cost you around 100 to 300 Rs. to travel from one place to the other while the taxies may cost a little higher. We hired a cab along with a driver for a day that costed us 1200 Rs. for a hatchback car.
The best way to explore the islands is by riding a bike in the narrow lanes and through the dark forests. Trust me, you’ll not regret it!
There are so many shops to rent a two wheeler. You can also ask your hotel staff. We had asked our hotel reception and they were really helpful. We didn’t have to search the vehicle, they got the bike to the hotel. The rent per day os 500 Rs. with half liter petrol filled. This can vary because in Neil island, we got the two wheeler for 500 plus 100 for petrol. We didn’t have to refuel it because the island is quiet small.
Where to stay in Andamans?
Now that we have reached the Andamands, let’s find out a decent place to stay.
Being a tourist-friendly place, Andamans has so many options to stay. From hotels to luxurious resorts and homestays to Airbnbs, it has everything!
Hotels and Resorts
If you are a person who doesn’t mind spending on stays and want some luxuries, Andamans have amazing beachside resorts to offer.
This can cost you around 4k to 15k and more depending on the property you choose. But if you are a budget traveler, don’t worry. Andamans have plenty of homestays and Airbnbs at your rescue!
Homestays and Airbnbs
There are plenty of homestays available in most parts of the Andamans. It can cost you around 1500 to 4k. During my research, I found that there are not many options for Airbnb but they are slowly starting. Keep checking the Airbnb site! 🙂
What to eat in Andamans?
The major population staying in the Andamans are Tamil and Bengali. So, the state has amazing variety of south Indian and Bengali cuisine. It is truly a heaven for the people who loves non-veg and mainly seafood.
Vegetarians, don’t worry! Andamans have got some amazing veg cuisine too. Here are some of the restaurants and cafes I recommend based on my personal experience;
- Full Moon Cafe, Havelock Island
- Shakahaar Pure Veg, Neil Island
- New Lighthouse Restaurant, Port Blair
- Annapurna, Port Blair
- Sea Shell Samssara, Neil Island
If you have any queries or need any help, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to help! 🙂