Neil Island

This beautiful island with lush green forest and sandy beaches is the vegetable bowl of Andamans. Connected by boat from Port Blair four days a week, Neil island is 37 Km away from Port Blair, you just have to hop in a ferry from Havelock and move to a world of your own. It provides an ideal holiday for eco-friendly tourists. One can feel the sincerity and serenity of village life here. Neil Island is small enough to be explored in two or three hours, the biggest stretch of beach is of five kilometers. Beautiful beaches at Laxmanpur, Bharatpur, Sitapur and the bridge formation on the sea-shore (Howra Bridge) are the attractions.

Neil Island General Information

  • Area: 189.9 kms
  • Population: 3, 79,944
  • Geo Location: 11o 40’ N & 92o 46’ E
  • Average Climate: 21o C-31o C
  • Best time to visit: October to May
  • STD Code: 03192

How to Get There

Situated at a distance of 37 kilometers from Port Blair, Neil Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The natural beauty of the island is unmatched and breathtaking. People from all over the world visit the destination to spend some great time at this captivating destination. Neil Island is well connected to different corners of the world via air and sea. Here is more on reaching Neil Island.

By Air

Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair, is the nearest international airport from Neil Island. The airport is located at a distance of around 40 kms from the island. The airport connects the island to major cities of the country including Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar. On reaching Port Blair, you can reach Neil Island by taking an early morning boat from Port Blair.

By Sea

Neil Island is well connected to major cities of the country via sea. The island has good connectivity with different cruises that are available from cities like Chennai and Kolkata. From Port Blair, tourists can easily reach Neil Island. From Port Blair Phoenix Bay jetty, regular speed boats are available. Time taken is approx. one hour and 45 minutes.

Best Time to Visit Neil Island

The best time to visit the island is during the winter season. During the winter season, the weather remains pleasant which is perfect for enjoying time at the island. Here is more on the best time to visit Neil Island.

Summers: March – May: 20°C - 34°C
Monsoons: June – August: 14°C - 28°C
Winters: December - February: 14°C - 30°C

Neil Island in summers

Summer season begins in Neil Island with the coming of March and it ends with May. The weather remains hot and humid during the season. The evenings are relatively cooler which are perfect for sightseeing around.

Neil Island in monsoons

Neil Island experiences irregular rainfall during the monsoon season. Monsoons begin with the month of June and end with August. The rains add to the beauty of the place and make it more captivating.

Neil Island in winters

Winter season is the perfect season to visit the place. The weather remains pleasant

Place to visit

Its tranquil beaches are considered amongst the top in its list of tourist attractions. It includes Sitapur beach, Lakshmanpur beach, Bharatpur beach and Ramnagar beach. All these serene beaches are best suited for sunbathing, snorkeling, Scuba-diving and water-scooting. Watch the lovely sunset at the beach or go snorkeling to an unknown world of marine creatures.

Truly one of a kind experience, snorkeling in the waters around Neil Island can be done through a glass bottom boat, which offers a maximum view of the marine life. Besides water sports on these lovely beaches, the ‘Natural Bridge’ in the vicinity is also worth checking out.

Sitapur Beach

Sitapur 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

Lakshmanpur Beach

Lakshmanpur beach, the secluded beach of Lakshmanpur lies 2 km north of the Neil jetty. The beach is a broad spur of white shell sand with shallow water and offers a good snorkeling option. Sunbathing and swimming are other activities. One can view spectacular sun-set from this beach. This rocky beach lies about two kilometers from the jetty with lots of coral formation , ornamental fish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, star fish etc. which are best suited for people of scientific temperament. The rocky surface can get slippery and one needs to be on one’s guard. The main attraction here is the natural rock formations.

Bharatpur Beach

Bharatpur beach, half a kilometer from the jetty, Bharatpur is one of the best beaches known for swimming and coral-watching with a vast sandy stretch. This beach is ideally recommended for youngsters because of activity options. One can hire glass-bottom boats for coral viewing. The Sea around the Jetty area is full of corals with schools of fish swimming around. The colour and form of vegetation along the beach soothes the senses.

Ramnagar Beach

A sandy beach situated at Diglipur Island. It is connected by two daily boat services from Maya under and from Port Blair twice a week

Thing to do

Activity options in Neil include Snorkeling, Scuba diving, Game fishing, trekking. Cycling, Sun bathing, swimming, bird watching and many more

Scuba Diving

The coastal belt surrounding A & N Islands is the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world. The coral reefs and under water formation are untouched by human activities. The abundance of marine life around Neil provides a rich variety of varied diving sites. The ideal dive season is from December to May. The Jetty area and Laxmanpur beach-I are the dive spots.

Swimming & Snorkeling

Exercising in the water gives you a sense of freedom and a new dimension, which needs to be experienced. And there is no better place in the Andamans than Neil Island to give you the right swimming environment. The beach at Sitapur is wide enough and is sparsely populated. Swimming relaxes and rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. It is an ideal exercise for all age groups.

Snorkeling is available to view shallow areas of the coral reefs without going underwater with scuba equipment

Cycling

Cycling outdoors in Neil Island can be great fun! Cycling improves strength, stamina and aerobic fitness with a minimal risk. It is low-impact exercise, and is especially appropriate for people with problems in their joints, being a non-weight bearing sport. A cycle is the ideal vehicle to explore the tiny and flat Neil Island. Unlike most of the islands in the Andaman Group, Neil has a flat terrain and is ideal for cycling. The island is also comparatively small, with an area of 19 square kilometers and a population of 4000. One can feel the serenity of village life here.

Water sports

Water Sports activities at Neil Island offers Jet-Ski rides, scuba diving and coral viewing through Glass Bottom Boat. The area around Jetty is ideal for such activities. The place has enormous scope for water sports activities.

Bird Watching

The Island is surrounded by emerald lagoons and tropical evergreen forests. In some stretches, mangrove swamps line the shores.

It is a landscape of primeval splendor. White-headed mynas or the woodpecker with a white-barred black mantle and red crown, fulvous-breasted woodpecker are endemic to the island. The olive-backed sunbird and Andaman swallow are other endemic birds in the islands, which are a birdwatcher's paradise.

Game Fishing

or fishing enthusiasts, the sea of the coasts of Havelock Island, in the Ritchie's archipelago offer some of the best catches.

There are organizations that offer all kinds of fishing equipment and boats.
Game fishing
For fishing enthusiasts, the sea of the coasts of Neil Island, in the Ritchie’s archipelago offers some of the best catches. There are organizations that offer all kinds of fishing equipment and boats.

Do’s & Doe’s

Andaman & Nicobar Islands have many sandy beaches and coral reefs. But only some of these beaches are supervised for safe swimming, snorkeling and diving. Though Andaman water is generally safe for swimming and looks inviting, it also has some potentially dangerous marine animals, which may come in conflict due to mistaken identity such as prey or to defend their territory. Though such incidences are extremely rare, visitors are advised to observe the following precautions for a safe and enriching swimming experience..

Do's

  • Do not swim inn protected area to avoid dangerous animals
  • Look for the safety sign boards. They help you to identify potential dangers
  • Ask a lifeguard duty for some advice on swimming conditions like local currents, tides, visibility, and the presence of dangerous marine creatures etc. Swimming conditions can change quickly, so seek prior advice from a lifeguard before entering in water an unpatrolled area
  • Get a friend to swim with you so that you can look out for each other’s safety and get help, if needed children should always be supervised by an adult, avoid swimming in the dark
  • Raise your hand up help if you get into trouble in the water. Stay calm and wave your arm for help

Don't

  • Do not dangle your arms or legs in the water during boat rides:
  • Do not swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Shiny Jewellery or bright colored clothes resembles fins of small fishes and may attract predatory fishes. Avoid such accessory or clothing while swimming
  • If you have an open wound, please avoid swimming. Many predatory fish are attracted to blood odour
  • Avoid diving or swimming amongst school of fish. This may attract predatory fishes such as sharks
  • Avoid night swimming or diving

Advisory for Tourist

All tourist are required to ensure that while undertaking snorkeling, they are accompanied by trained snorkel guide, who has been licensed /certified by National Institute of water sports (NIWS)