Ultimate Guide to Solo Backpacking Trip to Andaman
Andaman Island is all about white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and blue skies. It is a perfect getaway to unwind, spend some quality time with loved ones or self-introspect. Andaman Island is like a gold mine for solo travellers and is also one of the safest places for solo women travellers. Andaman and Nicobar are Made up of 572 islands. But of these, only 9 are open for the tourists. So, lets start with the guide of solo backpacking trip to Andaman
Andaman hosts an annual tourism festival in
December and January, but October to May is generally a good time to visit.
Below is a list of places to add to your itinerary and explore the best of
Andaman Islands on an ultimate backpacking trip.
1. Port Blair
If you are travelling by flights, this is where you will land. Port Blair though a little crowded, is not overly crowded to prevent you from having a good time. Port Blair is also one of the more commercialised places in Andaman. One of the major tourist attractions in Port Blair is the cellular jail. The cellular jail, also known as Kaala Paani was used by the British to exile Political Prisoners. Visiting this place provides a fascinating insight into India’s political, pre-independence past. One can also visit the Anthropological Museum which offers a rare insight into the subtler nuances of the way of living of local tribes. (Recommended Read: 6 Ultimate Reasons to Add Andaman to Your Bucket List) The local bars in the Main Bazaar serve massive royal faloodas which are a great delight to the taste buds.
Major Attractions in Port Blair:
2. Havelock Island – Now Known as Swaraj Island
Havelock Island is one of the major attractions for Solo Backpackers. It has a lot of cheaper stay and food options which makes it a good fit for budget travellers as well. The first attraction is of course the Radhanagar Beach. It has been rated the seventh best beach in the world by Times Magazine in the year 2015. It is the perfect place to catch a sunset at Havelock. Other beaches at Havelock include Govindnagar Beach, Elephant Beach, Vijaynagar Beach and Kalapathar Beach. There are lots of bike rentals available along the beach as well. You can just zoom off on one and explore the area as per your liking. Scuba diving is the most popular activity on Havelock Island. The certified diving operators offer fun diving as well as certification courses in scuba. Elephant Beach is yet another beach worth paying a visit to. The waters are till date quite unexplored making it possible to even spot schools of fishes at times. One can also take a short 2 kilometres hike up to Elephant Beach. Contrary to popular beliefs, the trek to Elephant Beach is well marked and safe.
Kalapathar beach is a fantastic picnic spot
because it is pretty far from the main town. Cook your own meal, listen to
music and dance on the beach. On one side is a lush green forest and on the
other hand is the heavenly and silvery beach. You can also explore the nearby
Major Attractions in Havelock Island:
Water sports and activities
3. Neil Island
Neil Island has been touted as having one of the most beautiful Beaches in the world. This island is rather quaint and is bursting with flora and fauna making it a pristine location for solo travellers craving peaceful alone time. Bharatpur Beach is one of the main attractions of this Island. The beach offers a variety of activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving and jet skiing. One of the must-try activities on the Island is a glass boat tour. The bottom of the boat is made of glass, giving the takers an opportunity to explore the aquatic life. Another hidden gem is the Laxmanpur beach. One must try to be at this beach during sunset, the colours that the sunset leaves on the canvas are just magical. Other places that can be visited are Sitapur Beach and Andaman’s very own Howrah Bridge which serve as a visitor’s delight.
Major Attractions in Neil Island:
Diglipur is a small town in the Northern
part of Andaman Islands. A must visit place for solo backpackers, offbeat
travellers and nature lovers. It is an excellent alternative to other areas
which one might find commercialised. It is comparatively less explored as it is
quite far from most other locations.
Trek to Saddle Peak
Saddle Peak is located at the Northern Most
point of Andaman and Nicobar Islands near Diglipur. It is about an hour and a
half to two hours ascend that will take you to this beautiful top and give a
gorgeous view of the islands. If you start early enough like most trekkers do,
you get to see a sunrise that will make you drop your jaw. The trek is from
within the forest but is quite safe and has no scare of wild animals.
5. Bharatang Island
Baratang Island is gifted in many ways than
one can imagine. It is very different from the rest of the Andaman. The first
attraction is the Limestone Caves. These caves have been formed by constant
erosion by CO2 dissolved in water. Fantastic figures can be seen dangling
off-the roof and growing from within the ground. Going to these caves is almost
like a trekking expedition as a lot of walking and moving around is involved.
However, a visit to these caves will be like nothing else you have seen before.
Another interesting place would be the Mud Volcanoes. One would imagine a
volcano as a lava-spewing machine of sorts. However, mud volcanoes are nothing
like those. Mud Volcanoes are a rather uncommon find, and the one in Baratang
is the only one in the whole of South Asia. Another rather significant part is
the Parrot Island which is a bird-watchers (no pun intended) delight. One of
the most beautiful sights is at dusk when hundreds of birds can be seen
chirping in unison. If you wish, you can also visit Baludera Beach. It is quite
isolated and less visited. You can even get a good elephant ride at the beach.
Things To Do At Bharatang Island:
Solo Tours can be a very exciting, however
one needs to be careful and alert while planning solo. Hence, we have a few safety tips for you that will help you
secure yourself and your trip to a great extent
Firstly, do not try to carry
corals and shells without specific permits from concerned fisheries department.
Secondly do not take photographs
or videos inside the Tribal Reserve areas.
Thirdly and most importantly
avoid staying on the beaches or the forests during the nights.
Ensure that you properly
bargain with the auto riders as they can overcharge.
Ensure you carry a lockable backpack
so there is no chance and scare of petty thefts.