DIY Trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands on a Budget – Part 2

Trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be a trip that you’ll remember for your whole lifetime. The enthralling experiences will enrich your travel stories and give you so much to talk about to fellow travellers. These little islands have got it all. Talk about scuba diving, trekking, monuments, snorkelling, exotic beaches and what not.

Let’s dive right into it and talk about all the activities that you can do in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Things to do in Andaman

There is so much to do in Andaman that you will never get bored. The islands have got something for everybody, so, you can pick and choose the activities that interest you. We’ve listed down all the things that you can do in Andaman, their approximate cost and our experience:

Things to do in Port Blair

Port Blair is the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This is also where you’ll land. Port Blair has a lot of historic importance, so, it makes a great place for history enthusiasts. Following are the things that you can do in Port Blair:

Cellular Jail and Light and Sound Show

Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, stands as a witness of India’s freedom fight. It is enthralling to see the memories of past that envelope this magnificent structure.  The building has seven wings, out of which only one is accessible to tourists. Each of the seven wings have three stories and there are total 696 cells. You can either hire a guide or explore it yourself. Roof of the jail offers a magnificent view of Ross Island and the horizon.

The Light and Sound Show at Cellular Jail is a must watch. There’s a banyan tree that is personified and it narrates the whole story of Cellular Jail. The show is available in Hindi and English, though the one in Hindi is more impactful as it is narrated by Om Puri.

Entry ticket to Cellular Jail is ₹30 per person (cameras will be charged separately) and the ticket of Light and Sound show is as follows:

Ross Island and Laser Show

Ross Island, once a luxurious township during British Raj, is now in ruins. Nature has reclaimed its land and Ross Island is now a home to numerous deer and peacocks. You can take a ferry to Ross Island from Aberdeen jetty. It’s only a 15 minutes ride. We would highly recommend you to go for the laser show. It’s a beautiful piece written and narrated in Hindi by Gulzar.

To explore the island you can either walk or take a buggy that costs ₹80 per person. There’s an old bakery, printing press, swimming pool, and various other buildings enveloped with the roots of towering trees.

There are two tours from which you can choose.

If you plan on going there during the day time, then you can opt for the tour that will take you to Ross Island and North Bay.

If you want to see the laser show, then you can take a ferry from Aberdeen Jetty after presenting the Laser show tickets. They’ll leave you there for 2 hours. Within this time, you can explore the island and watch the laser show.

You can buy tickets for the laser show from tourism office.

Fee to enter Ross Island is ₹20 for adults and ₹10 for kids. Camera fee is separate.

Ticket for Laser Show ₹100

Jolly Buoy

Jolly Buoy is a part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. It is a protected environment to save the corals and fishes.

For visiting Jolly Buoy, you must obtain a permit and buy the ticket beforehand. The ferry starts from Wandoor Jetty, which is about half an hour away from Port Blair. You can either take a taxi or bus to reach Wandoor Jetty. You can easily get the permit and tickets from Tourist Information center.

The ferry takes approximately 45 minutes to reach Jolly Buoy. You can stay on the island for 3 hours. You can also do snorkelling and glass bottom boat ride. We paid ₹2000 for three people to do glass bottom boat ride for an hour. We saw various types of corals and fishes including Sea Anemone and Clown Fish. The first time we visited Jolly Buoy, we also did snorkelling and it was an amazing experience.

Do take water and snacks with you since there are no shops on the island. One time use plastic is strictly prohibited.

Note that Jolly Buoy is only open for six month in a year. In that case, you can visit Red Skin Island.

Jogger’s Park

Jogger’s Park is nestled on a hill overlooking the airport. The view from up there is absolutely spectacular. You won’t find a lot of tourists here but a bunch of local folks walking or running. If you want to see the airplanes landing, then you must visit here early in the morning. In evening, the runway lights are up but there isn’t much air traffic. There’s no entry fee.

Chidiya Tapu

Chidiya Tapu is towards the south of Andaman and Nicobar islands and about 20 km away from Port Blair. As the same suggests, this place is famous for bird watching. A lot of people come here to see the sunset, which is absolutely gorgeous. We hired a scooty to visit Chidiya Tapu. You have to drive through villages and a dense forest. The ride throughout is very scenic.

You can also visit Munda Pahad beach to see the sunset. It is only about 5 minutes away from the confectionary shops.

There is also a zoo nearby. The walk is pleasant though there are few animals in the park. You can visit it if you have some extra time.

Instead of riding a scooty or bike, you can also hire a taxi but it is not very budget friendly.

We have been here twice, once it was raining and the other time it was nice and sunny. It was really good both the times but when it was raining, the mood was absolutely magical. We could see clouds forming over the hills and wind swaying them away. There were light showers enough to keep us cool. We sat there and talked about life in length. There was nobody there apart from us and a few locals. It was so serene, we still can’t forget the time that we spent here. 

Baratang Island

Visiting Baratang Islands is a pleasant one time experience. It’s famous for Jawara Tribe sighting, mud volcano, mangroves and limestone caves. You can either book a day tour or plan it yourself. A tour in a shared bus will cost you around ₹2,000 per person. It includes conveyance, permits, ferry, mangrove boat ride and lunch. It’s all inclusive. If you’re on a budget, you can also take a government bus from Port Blair and then hire a shared jeep to visit Mud Volcano. Boat ride to mangroves and limestone caves must be booked separately in this case.

We visited Baratang Island when we went for our honeymoon. We booked our day tour via Experience Andaman. They made it very convenient.

It was a unique experience but there was a lot of waiting and walking under harsh sun. We would recommend it if you’re visiting Andaman and Nicobar for the first time, however, if you’ve already been here before, you know what we are talking about.

The highlight of the day tour has to be the boat ride through the mangroves. It’s straight out from Jurassic Park.  

There are a lot of other places that you can visit in and around Port Blair. The ones we have mentioned are the most popular.

If you have time then you can also go to Diglipur and experience another side of Andaman. It’s popular for turtle nesting which happens around December and January. We have not been there but it’s definitely on our list.

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