Neil is a tiny but beautiful island located 37 Kms. to the south of the Andaman Islands. With unexplored coral reefs, brilliant bio-diversity, white sandy beaches and tropical forest and vegetation, it is one of the hot tourist spots in the Andamans.
Neil Island is known as the ‘vegetable bowl’ of the Andamans. The settlers named the beaches after mythical characters of the epic Ramayana (Bharatpur, Laxmanpur, Sitapur, Ramnagar etc.) The island, with its very relaxed vibes and long, deserted beaches is a place to chill out after the “bustle” of Havelock. The widest part of the island is about 5 km in length. You can walk the whole island in about two hours.
What To See And Do
As you disembark from the boat at Neil Island Jetty and walk towards the market village of Neil Kendra, the beach appears before you is in the form of a long arc. Neil Kendra, a gently curving bay of white sand, straddles the jetty, scattered with picturesque wooden fishing boats. Neil Kendra is the heart of the island. On the left side of the jetty is Bharatpur Beach and on the right Laxmanpur Beach.
Sitapur Beach at Neil Island
This beach is exposed to the open sea and thus prone to higher tides. It is 5 kilometers to the south and at the tip of the island. This beach is best suited to watch the sunrise with an impressive backdrop of natural vegetation and limestone formations. The journey from the Jetty to Sitapur beach itself is refreshing with green fields and a variety of crops and forest trees.
NATURAL ROCK FORMATION
A natural rock formation in Laxmanpur beach is locally known as the Howrah Bridge. Visit the place during low tide as the retreating sea leaves behind many a secret from its treasure trove.
Where To Stay
There are private hotels in Neil Island which provide accommodation at reasonable rates. Foreign tourists tend to spend, upto two weeks on this island. Govt. run Accommodation named Hawabill Nest at Neil Island offers accommodation for tourists.
How To Get Around
From Port Blair Phoenix Bay jetty, regular speed boats operated by Government and Private Boat operators. Time taken is approx. one hour and 45 minutes.
Auto rickshaws, taxis, cycles and motor bikes are available for transport within the island