Neil Island

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Neil Island Tourism

Neill Island is a part of the South Andaman Administrative District and belongs to Ritchie’s Archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. A part of the massive ocean separates it from Ross Island and Havelock Island, Tourists visiting Havelock often make a day-long trip to Neill Island.

Perhaps the most endearing feature of this island is its three sandy beaches, namely Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and Lakshmanpur Beach. The forest cover has reduced considerably due to the cultivation of rice but a section in the north-west of the island is being preserved actively.

The regions where the forest cover is lost has a couple of degrees or so higher temperature than the region with enough flora. Nonetheless, Neill Island is the major supplier of vegetables to most regions of the Andaman Islands.
Due to its limited area, Neill Island can be covered with a simple walk. All three beaches are exquisite and extraordinarily clean and are well-connected to the mainland as well.

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Things to do in Neil Island

Neill Island has three beaches, the Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and the Lakshmanpur Beach. Bharatpur Beach is the most famous as it also has the Neil Island Jetty. Tourists can explore the beachside and can go for a short Glass-Bottomed Boat Ride in the ocean to explore the marine life and the coral reefs. Swimming and fishing are also quite famous at Bharatpur Beach.

Sitapur Beach is a smaller stretch of beach; about four-kilometre long and is famously known as the Sunrise Beach for its breathtaking sunrise view. Tourists often spend early hours of the morning at this beach before they explore the rest of the island.

The third and the last beach, the Lakshmanpur beach is the smallest of them all (2 kilometres stretch). The shoreline has white sandy beaches and shallow waters making it a perfect location for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. It is also known for the natural coral rock formation and its sunsets views. These beaches are also famous for Scuba Diving, Sea Walking, Deep Sea Diving, Boat Rides, Fishing, Banana Rides etc.

After exploring the shoreline, tourists can head to the market at Neill Kendra and then explore the rest of the island. Its small area makes it possible for tourists to explore almost the entire island in 2 to 3 hours. Tourists can also rent bicycles and bikes to explore the quaint little island the way they want to.

Tips for Visiting Neil Island

1. Only two ATMs and limited money exchange facilities are available in Neil ISland, so it is advisable to carry enough cash for your transactions.
2. Boats often get delayed or stalled due to weather conditions in Neil, so make travel plans with buffer time in mind.
3. Mosquitoes in Neil are common during the evenings. Carry mosquito repellents.
4. Petrol is hard to come by. Enquire about petrol availability before renting a scooter.

Accomodation at Neil island

Neill Island has an ample number of hotels and resorts; some of them are the best ones in Andaman. Most of these resorts are located in the western part of the island. The southern area has a few ones, while there is just one located in the central area. Tourists can choose to stay at one of these resorts or hotels in Neill Island, Andaman depending on their budget.

The Silver Sand Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Beach Resort, Sea Shell Samsarra, TSG Aura, Tango Beach Resort, Coconhuts Beach Resort and the Summer Sands Beach Resort are the luxury hotels of Andaman located in Neill Island. A night’s stay at one of these resorts would cost anything between INR 6000/- to INR 12000/- per night for one person.

There are also some budget hotels at Neill Island, Andaman where a night’s stay for one person would cost between INR 200/- to INR 4500/-. Kalapani Beach Resort, Hotel Exotica Square, Purnima Residency, Blue Stone Lodge, Elephant and Four Wise Men Resort and Hotel Amullya are some of them. Most of these budget options get fully booked during the tourist season. So, booking well in advance is much recommended.

Best Time to Visit Neil Island

Neill Island in Andaman is best when visited during the winter season i.e. between the months of October and February. The tropical island experiences mild winters during the season. The temperature hovers between a maximum of 30°C and a minimum of 20°C. The days are mostly warm and the evenings are pleasantly cool. Also, it is the best time for a cruise in the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The ferries and cruise ships operate smoothly from Port Blair and Havelock Island during the season making it the best time to visit Neill Island.

How To Reach Neil Island

A ferry can be taken from Havelock Island to Neil Island. You can also take a ferry from Port Blair to Neil ISland. Ferry timing from Port Blair to Neil (via Havelock) is 6:00 AM and 11:00 AM. The fare for the same is INR 195, INR 250 or INR 350 depending on the type of service you choose.

Restaurants and Local Food in Neil Island

The cuisine Of Andaman is like the island itself-tropical, exotic and refreshing. The sea that is all around has a defining effect on the island's culture, livelihood and cuisine. There is little here, in which you will not find traces of the sea. The food here, hence, is dominated by seafood preparations and you don't want to miss the fish delicacies here. Other than seafood too, the staple diet is essentially non-vegetarian.
However, as the island is becoming an increasingly popular tourist spot, the resorts and other eating places will give you options of Indian, Chinese and a few more cuisines.
Also, the fruits here are popular and refreshing. You can find Mangoes, Bananas, Pineapples, Guava and more. One can also sip in the truly refreshing and tropical coconut water here.
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Suggested Itinerary for Neil Island

The pristine island is perfect for an amazing beach vacation.

Day 1: Arrive at Port Blair and take a regular city tour. Visit the Chatham Saw mill, which is the oldest and largest mill in Asia. Take a stroll through Forest Museum, Fisheries Museum and Cottage Industries Emporium called Sagarika. Visit the famous Cellular Jail which was also called Kaala Paani in its heyday, as it convicted Indian prisoners during British Raj. Attend the light and sound show held in the evenings in the prison.

Day 2: Take a ferry to Havelock Islands as early in the morning as possible. The two and a half hours ride will give you numerous chances to stop and gawk at the emerald green waters. Spend some time on Radhanagar beach which is believed to be the best beach of Asia. Trek to the Elephanta Beach and have a peaceful dinner at Dolphin Resort next to the coastline.

Day 3: Go for scuba diving or snorkelling or spend the day in idyllic bliss, at any Radhanagar beach or Elephanta beach or choose from the other numerous beautiful beaches present.

Day 4: Head back to Port Blair and take a ferry to Ross Islands, which is a half day trip from Port Blair. It is an abandoned settlement and gives you a feel more or less like discovering a long lost city.

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