The technicolour palette of a few hundred shades of blue and green will cause you to wax lyrical, the second you set foot into Andaman's tropical terrains. On this intoxicating odyssey from the capital city of Port Blair to the uncharted lands of Diglipur, you'll find yourself driving past desolate beaches and islands bereft of any touristy frills. You'll stumble upon mangrove forests aquiver with the heady chorus of a thousand cicadas, bask in the magic of ivory-white coasts lapped by topaz waters and witness routinely crimson sunsets, that are sublime experiences in themselves. And punctuating the scenic terrains, are shacks boasting of an inspired cuisine of fragrant coconut-infused curries and afternoon sessions of warm repartee with the southeast Asian locals, that'll keep you coming back for more.
When in Port Blair, make stops at the museums of Anthropology, Fisheries and Samudrika; built in the late 18th century, visit the historic Cellular Jail or Kaali Paani; go island-hopping, and make sure to cover the islands of North Bay, Ross and Viper; if you're visiting after sundown, catch the light and sound show at Ross Island; take a contemplative walk past Radhanagar Beach and later, go snorkelling at the Elephant Beach; catch a sunset, and spot rare bird-folk at Chidia Tapu; at Mahatma Gandhi National park, walk down to Jolly Buoy island and marvel at the outlandish twisted tree trunks; trek up to Mount Harriet through sandalwood thickets, for a spectacular view of the islands.
On your way from Jirkatang to Middle Strait, explore the Jarawa Tribe reserve; cloaked in a hushed silence, the mangrove forests – a lush microcosm of the Andaman islands, can be visited via ferries; take a dongi ride through the limestone caves; witness the flame-orange skies rendered by the sunsets at Rangat's Parrot Island.
Sun-bathe by the Cutbert Bay Beach; take a ferry ride through Amkunj Bay Beach's mangrove fringed creek; trek the evergreen outcroppings of the Moorys Dare; pack a picnic-lunch and drive up to the nearby Panchavati hills; you could end your sojourn in Middle Andaman with a night of camping under Long Island's starlit skies.
Visit the Karmatang Beach for its kaleidoscopic coral reserve and turtle hatcheries; wander through Austin Creek and spot a myriad of birds; for a few hours of absolute serenity, head to Avis Island; take an invigorating walk through Ray Hill's wilderness trails; drop in at the Austin X Island and say hello to a spotted deer or two; Ross and Smith Islands are a hotbed for water-sport enthusiasts, but can be visited to learn about turtle nesting too; make sure to hike up to the lesser-known chain of mud volcanoes; if you have time, end your trip with a drive down to the beaches of Ramanagar and Kalipur, and sold by the shacks, get yourself a pomfret thali or two.