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Neil Island is slightly smaller island compared to Havelock and is situated on the southwest of Havelock. This island remained untouched for a large portion of the modern era due to very limited boat facilities to the island.

 

Neil Island is very popular with the foreigners and honeymooners, since they spend a lot more time searching for the unusual, but it is slowly becoming a destination for Indian tourists as well. Foreigners usually stay in this spot for just a day or two, but if you want a truly immersive experience worth the commute up to the place, more time is definitely advised.

 

 

How to get to the Neil Island

  

This particular island is connected by ferries to both the Havelock Island and Port Blair, and it serves as a good mid-point between the two. Many tourist who start their journey in Port Blair, visit first Havelock, and then Neil, and then back to Port Blair, but we encourage you to make your trip the other way around, it makes no difference in the trip but you will be able to avoid big crowds of tourist.

  

 

Even if the governmental ferries do a decent job connecting these islands, it is  advised to take private cruise since it will make the journey much more enjoyable and, needless to say, quicker. This place offers scenic views, and a really peaceful ambience due to the lack of crowds, it features beautiful blue waters as well as virgin beaches, you can relax with your family or friends, or even chat with the friendly tourists or locals.

  

It is a whole experience to head here, as it does look like something out of a children’s book, coconut trees, white sand and calm ambience make it great for getting lost in time.

The sea at Neil is amazing for snorkeling and watching the amazing marine life unravel before your eyes. For those not apt for snorkeling, there are plenty of glass bottom boats for rent. Truly an amazing place to be in.

 

Great reasons to give Neil a visit

 

Peace of mind in an uncrowded spot.

Virtually 0 contamination, clean air and beautiful night skies.

A beach town full of interesting people and places.

Virgin Islands and oceans, which are great for exploring.

Virtually no internet connection, you will disconnect from your work for a few weeks, which is just what holidays are for.

Many people that have visited the Andamans say that the trip is incomplete without giving Neil a visit.

 

Tip: Don’t take any coral or shells with you, these items are fined at the airport. If you buy some of these items from an official licensed store, make sure to keep the bills safely to avoid issues with security.

 

Tips to know before visiting Neil Island

 

Dizziness

The Neil island is only reachable by sea, so you will have to take either a private vessel of a ferry, and be prepared if you experience sea sickness. Carry at all times some antiemetics and avoid foods that are high on sugar or salt, and make sure not to drink any alcohol at least 24 hours prior to the trip. This will make it less likely for you to get dizzy and in the end avoid any kind of vomiting. While in the ship try to stay positive and enjoy the view.

 

It is useful to carry:

A hat for the immense amount of sun and lots of sunscreen to protect your skin.

Some slippers or comfortable shoes.

Comfortable clothes that can get dirty, and appropriate clothing for the beach.

It is recommended to avoid carrying very valuable things such as jewelry and/or costly watches.

 

 

Neil Island’s Port

 

Your experience shall begin at the port, do a quick check that everything is good to go, and then head towards the port, as you approach the island, do not miss the magnificent view of the boat and the crystal-clear blue sea. The water is so pristine, you could see the corals through it. As you walk through the port and towards the town, you can see the white beach and lots of people bathing and all kinds of ships cruising around the area. To the right you get to see the gorgeous mangroves and the Lakshmanpur beach, while in the other corner is the Bharatpur beach. There is also a new jetty under construction.

 

 

Transport

 

Crossing Neil Island walking from the two furthest away points, takes about 3 hours. So people tend to hire a bike or a two wheeler to navigate the place. Rickshaws may also be hired. All of these things are easy to find outside the jetty where your ferry will drop you off.

 

People

 

Neil is a very small isle, with only about 4000 inhabitants. During the partition, many Hindi people left, and people from Bangladesh and west Bengal were the ones that eventually populated the island. The island is quite a small place, and the natives are very kind, so everyone will be able to tell you where everything is located.

 

 

The island is separated in 5 different villages, named after personalities of Hindu mythology

 

Neil Kendra - Administrative district

 

Ram Nagar - A beach resort is available here.

 

Sitapur - The point where the sun rises

 

The Lakshmanpur beach - The best sunset point and a natural bridge.

 

The Bharatpur beach - The place where most of the water activities are concentrated.

 

The main thing that Neil Island locals do is agricultural work. This isle is one of the main vegetable suppliers to Port Blair. The main market has basic shops and even an ATM. There are a lot of restaurants, and some people even open up their homes and cook with their produce to earn a little bit of extra money.

 

Fun fact: Just like in the rest of the Adamans region, in the Neil island the BSNL mobile network will provide an excellent connectivity. Don’t get your hopes high, it’s not anywhere near internet speed, but at least you will be able to send messages and call.

 

 

Lodging

 

In Neil Island you will find a wide array of hotels and lodging houses, you can stay at a low range one, for as little as Rs.1000 Rs the night, or at a luxury resort that can cost upto 30,000 per night. We recommend not to spend too much for the resort as you would hardly spend time in your rooms.

 

 

Important places to visit

 

As previously mentioned, beaches in Neil are named after characters of Ramayana, the Indian mythology. Toward the east of the island, you can find Sitapur beach, toward the youst point, you can find Lakshmanpur. Bharatpur is found in the north, and Ramnagar toward the south. All beaches, except for Ramnagar, are great for swimming (Ramnagar is rocky)

 

 

Fun fact: A fun thing to do while in Neil is to rent scooters and take a trip around the city. Give it a chance and visit all the rural areas which, most of the times, will offer amazing panoramas.

 

 

Sitapur

 

Sitapur lies on the east of the island, it is the best place to catch the sunrise at about 5AM. Its beach is full of mangrove trees. Swimming is not recommended due to the rocky surface, but one can dip their feet without any problems. It is a magical experience to pick any rock and sit there waiting for the sun, limestone formations are quite abundant.

 

 

Howrah Bridge

 

The Howrah Bridge, or as tourist call it, Natural Bridge, can be found near the Lakshmanpur beach. It can be reached via the main road from the market, you can take your vehicle, park it and enjoy a nice 10 to 15 minute hike though the beach and mangroves. At the beginning of the path you will find many peddlers, selling everything from coconuts, to decorative items. After this you will find a small stretch of rocks and dead corals near the Mahua trees. Expect to see wildlife while you walk, so keep your eyes peeled for any crabs or lobsters that pass.

 

Everything will be worth it once you reach the astonishing Howrah Bridge, which is entirely made of coral, and if you wait for a low tide and the setting sun, you will have the chance to take an amazing picture as well. It is not recommended to take little children of people of old age, since the trek itself can be quite tiresome.

 

  

Tips: If you feel thirsty try having some coconut water! It will keep you hydrated, and the mere size of the coconuts will provide you with enough water for the whole trip, remember to take breaks while you hike and drink lots of water.

 

Bharatpur

 

This beach has a large stretch of sand and beautiful flora that is the border of the beautiful blue sea. This is the best beach to practice scuba diving, as the marine life is abundant and the water is extra clear. Jet Ski and Banana riding are also available at this spot.

 

 

Lakshmanpur beach

 

This is the most famous beach in the place to watch the sunset. This place is usually not so frequented at other times of the day. A lot of marine life like corals, fish, and even sea cows can be found. The white sand and the beautiful hue of the water are great for photographing and relaxing.

 

Tip: In order to get a good view of the sunset, you must walk to the left end of the island, plan your itinerary accordingly with some extra time in hand..

 

  

Activities in Neil Island

 

The waters in Neil are usually cleaner and clearer than Havelock, hence it is advised to do all the water-based activities in this spot. Snorkeling, and scuba diving are magical experiences, as the water is shallow and features a lot of life. It is advised to book these activities with us in advance. If diving is not an option, glass bottom boats are also available.

 

  

Neil Islands are overall a very nice escape from the rush of modern life, the place feels really peaceful, without feeling empty. All things considered, an amazing visit that you deem to be underrated. If you can afford it, spending more time on Neil is an excellent option for your trip.

 

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