So, people are always eager to know about trip expenses. While the expenses change from time to time, depends upon someone’s luxury level too, but still for a budget traveler like me, it is always very interesting as well as helful to know the expenses of any budget trip. That’s why I am presenting a brief data about my last Andman solo trip that I performed in March 2017.
It’s always a wise idea to book flight tickets as early as possible, you can buy tickets up to one year earlier. If you check the fares in peak season like December or January now, you can find that the fares are too much high, may be one way fare from Kolkata or Chennai to Port Blair is Rs 15000 to Rs 20,000.
To avoid such situation, book at least 3-4 months before your departure dates. I had booked the Kolkata-Port Blair round trip ticket (Air India) 11 months before my trip (March 2017), for which I paid only 7400 in April 2016. But now, almost 2 years have passed, you may not get such low fares now, but you can get round trip tickets to Andman around Rs 10,000 or less.
After the flight, booking the ferries between different islands of Andman becomes another hassle. Mainly there are three islands which are the among the popular ferry routes- Port Blair, Neil and Havelock. You can either book a private or govt ferry among them, but booking a govt ferry is a hassle as no online booking is available. You should book any private ferry like Makruzz, Green Ocean or Coastal Cruise online without much hassle. When I traveled in March 2017, the average ferry tickets costed me about Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per route. For example, Port Blair to Neil Coastal Cruise ferry costed me Rs 800, Neil to Havelock Green Ocean ferry costed Rs 700, while Havelock to Port Blair ferry in Makruzz costed me Rs 1000.
There are some small boat rides also, which are required to take in Andman, but no advance booking is required. For example, from Port Blair, you can get a North Bay and Ross island round boat trip which costs Rs 700. Similarly, Diglipur to Ross and Smith island round boat trip costs Rs 600. The Baratang lime stone caves round boat tour also costs Rs 600. Overall, I had to pay cumulative Rs 5000 for all ferries and boat trips.
3. Local Transportation Costs in Andman
Port Blair is a very good city with all types of public transport options with good connectivity within all parts of the Andman islands. If you need to travel locally in the city only, govt buses are available all the day, with very nominal fares ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 20. Auto rickshaws are also available but cost a little more than the buses.
For long distances like Port Blair to Diglipur, Rangat or Baratang, there is a govt booking office in Mohanpura Bus Stand in Port Blair. For example, Port Blair to Diglipur is 325km long journey which costs around Rs 200.
In islands like Havlock and Neil, you can hire even a bicycle at Rs 100 per day or a bike at Rs 300 per day. In Havelock, you can go from the jetty to Radhangar Beach by a bus at Rs 10 only, while AC buses cost Rs 45. Private taxis will cost more, around Rs 1200 for it. In Neil island, you can hire auto rickshaws, as no bus service is available there. Likewise, in Diglipur, local buses are always available.
4. Hotels or Accommodation Costs
There are many types of accomodations available in Andman specially in Port Blair, you can book a hotel at as low price as Rs 500 to a luxurious one even at Rs 5000. You can also book some govt tourism state run hotels which are not much costly. On the other hand, hotels are more costlier in Havelock island, they minimum cost Rs 800. Neil island is somewhat cheaper than Havelock in all aspects, so you can book any hotel here at minimum Rs 500 just like Port Blair. I had booked a hotel in Port Blair at Rs 500 per night, in Havelock at Rs 800 per night, in Neil at Rs 700 per night.
North Andman is very cheaper than south Andman. In Diglipur and Rangat, you can get a lodge even at Rs 200 per night. At Rs 500, you can get a good hotel too. All the things I am telling here in my own budget travel perspective, if you quit luxury, otherwise there is no limit of expenses.
Last one, food is also a matter of consideration in a travel budget. You can get cheaper food in Port Blair and North Andman area. One meal will cost you around Rs50-Rs60, but islands like Havelock and Neil are a little bit more costly, one meal will cost you around Rs100-Rs150. Other things are as normal as our mainland.
6. Water sports costs
In Andman, there is a huge market of water sports, I am just mentioning some of them:
Scuba diving cost: Rs 3500
Sea walking cost: Rs 3500
Glass Bottom Ride: Rs 500
Submarine underwater ride: Rs 2000
Snorkeling: Rs 300 (half mask) and Rs 500 (full mask)
7. Overall Budget of a solo traveler for 10 days Andman trip
Overall, to sum up, I am presenting my rough travel cost of my last 10 day Andman trip in March 2017. All figures to be assumed in approx.
Round trip flight cost (Kolkata to Port Blair): Rs 8000
Port Blair to Neil ferry: Rs 800
Neil to Havelock ferry: Rs 700
Havelock to Port Blair ferry: Rs 1000
Baratang lime stone caves boat trip: Rs 600
Diglipur to Ross & Smith Island tour: Rs 600
Port Blair to Jolly Buoy island boat trip: Rs 800
Port Blair to Ross and North Bay boat trip: Rs 700
5 nights hotel stay in Port Blair: (Rs 500×5)= Rs 2500
1 night stay at Neil: Rs 700
1 night stay at Havelock: Rs 800
1 night stay at Rangat: Rs 250
2 nights stay at Diglipur: Rs 500
Meal costs (assumed Rs 300 per day): Rs 3000
Thus the overall basic budget (Accommodation, Flights, Ferry and Food) sums up to Rs 21,000 (approx). I have not added here any miscellaneous expenses like auto rickshaw etc and the water sports too. If you add them, the total budget will be around Rs 25,000 per person for 10 days Andman trip on an average.