By Sayali Ranadive

If planning a vacation can be tiresome, planning a dive vacation to a remote island can be overwhelming altogether. Fret not, for here we have curated a comprehensive checklist for travelling to the Andaman Islands, for the benefit of divers or tourists visiting to check diving off your bucket list. This list will help you to make sure you have packed everything you need for a dive holiday in Andaman.


One of the most important things to carry while travelling to the Andamans – or anywhere else for that matter – is your identity proof document, typically Aadhar card for Indians and passports for foreign tourists.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone must also carry their vaccination certificate, which is checked at the airport in Port Blair.


At Barefoot Scuba, we ensure everyone goes through our medical questionnaire before diving. In case there is any YES on the questionnaire, you must bring a written medical clearance from the specialised doctors in the scope of the illness.

Since there is no major hospital and doctor available on call on Swaraj Dweep, we don’t recommend people with a history of heart surgeries, epilepsy and chronic asthma to go scuba diving.

For certified divers, make sure you carry your certification cards, digital or hard copies. Although it is easy to find your certification details through any organisation’s website, the form-filling process would be easier and quicker if you had your certification details handy.

Please note PADI dive licences are valid lifetime, and are acceptable worldwide. You can dive with any dive centre if you are PADI certified diver.

Another thing to check before planning your vacation as a certified diver is to find out when your last dive is. Usually at Barefoot Scuba, the instructors suggest you do a Light Scuba Review or a Full Scuba Review based on how long it has been since your last dive and the number of dives you have.



As it is an island surrounded by water from all sides, most activities that you do on the island are going to be water-based. It is a good option to carry as many swimwear as you can, they are lightweight, easy to dry off and best to swim around in the sea during summer.


Logbooks are essential when diving. They help you and the dive centre you are diving with to learn about your experience, work as a reference for your future dives, help you preserve your underwater memories, etc. It doesn’t have to be manual, you can now log your digitally on the PADI app too.


Andaman is known to have tropical weather and it can rain any time of the year. We consider May end to September as the months when we expect heavy rainfall. You can expect light showers every time the air temperature rises above 33 degrees Celsius. Hence, we request you to carry umbrellas or raincoats.

You can also check Windy a few days before the vacation to get a real-time weather report and wind speed.


Our dive centre is fully stocked with various brands like ScubaPro, Aqualung BCDs of all sizes, and regulators that are serviced annually or as and when required by our in-house technicians. We also have an array of open-heel fins, closed-foot fins, shoe sizes from UK 4 to UK 13 and masks according to various face structures. We have prescriptive masks from -3 to -8 eye power. Since the water temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius throughout the year we only provide short wetsuits to guests.

All our tank valves are YOKE, and made of Aluminium that are visually inspected every year and hydrostatically tested every 5 years as per local regulations. In case you have a DIN regulator, do carry an adapter. We also provide dive computers to all divers doing courses or fun diving with us. The course and fun diving prices are inclusive of equipment rental.

If you are habitual to diving with a specific set of equipment, you can check with us if we have them, otherwise, it would work well for you if you carry your equipment along.

Although there are a couple of pharmacies/chemists on the island, the medication sold here is generic. One may not find their specific medicine at these drug stores. Our dive centre’s first aid kits are stocked with antihistamines, paracetamol, ibuprofen, sea-sickness medicine, Digene and secondary care equipment.

If you are on specific prescription medication, make sure you carry them along as you may or may not find it on the island. Individuals who use inhalers, please carry extra pumps.



It is natural to use sunscreens to protect yourself from sunburns but scientists have discovered certain chemicals in regular sunscreens that can cause bleaching of corals and reefs. These include oxybenzone, octinoxate or nano-particles of any kind. As a diver, you can reduce your carbon footprint and make an effort towards helping the reefs and corals to come back, hence we would request you to use reef-safe sunscreens easily available on Amazon.


As most of the island is forest cover, there are a lot of mosquitoes in the evening around 5 pm to 7 pm and in the morning too. Don’t worry, these mosquitoes do not carry diseases as there are no malaria cases reported on the island so far. You might also get bitten by sandflies if you like to spend your time along the shore, so it would be best to carry your own bug repellant/mosquito repellent based on your skin type. You can also buy generic mosquito repellents in the supermarket here.

Water bottle

Andaman and Nicobar Islands have banned single-use plastic, which means you can no longer find 500 ml, 1-litre pet water bottles anymore. Even the ferries that transport guests to Swaraj Dweep or Shahid Dweep provide RO-purified water. Still, no cups or water bottles, so make sure you take a step towards sustainability and carry your own reusable water bottles.

The islands have a lot of ATMs and most of the resorts, restaurants and shops now accept UPI or card payments. But certain cards, mostly AMEX, do not work at certain places. Please make sure you carry cash as an emergency fund from the mainland so that you don’t have to go through any hassles if your card doesn’t work or someone doesn’t accept UPI payments.

Most of the dive centres and water sports centres click complimentary pictures and videos for you. We would advise you to carry a USB Stick or extra memory cards to take these pictures. The island is still remote and most of the centres cannot facilitate the transfer of pictures and videos on iPhones.

If you are carrying your own Go-Pro camera or DSLR, please ensure you are also carrying waterproof housing/case for it, if you plan on taking it underwater. Although the Go-pro packaging says it is water-resistant up to 10 metres, that is only applicable to fresh water. They don’t work beyond 1 metre of salt water and chances are that salt might unnecessarily accumulate around the buttons. Also, carry extra batteries in case you don’t get the opportunity to charge your battery, especially during long boat rides.



Check the availability of your cellular network in Andaman. Almost all the restaurants and resorts offer WiFi Service on the island, but if you want to connect on calls or the internet on the go, the available service providers on the islands are Airtel, BSNL and very recently Jio.

We think we have covered the essentials! We hope to see you soon and well-equipped to the island standards.