Neil Island in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago, is amongst the group of islands which are being promoted as part of the Andamans travel destination by Govt. of India Tourism department. It is much smaller than it's much more popular neighbor, Havelock Island covering an area of only 18 sq. kms. It is also lesser known , compared to Havelock, however, it is equally, if not more, beautiful and was one of the highlights of our Andaman Trip.
To reach Neil Island, one must take a govt. operated ferry and it takes around 1.5 hours to reach from Port Blair. The crowds here are much lesser than at Havelock so the jetty here is relatively uncrowded!!
The Neil Island Jetty
The island's population is only roughly around 3000 , which makes it even more sparsely populated than Havelock, so one gets a feel of more remoteness here. In fact, the remoteness and the lack of crowds is the real charm of this island. Also the fact that it is not covered by most tour operators. However, I did find mention of day tours in the holiday packages and honeymoon packages offered by MakeMyTrip.
The Neil Island does not have any resorts (at least it didn't have when we visited), however there are a number of homestays and shacks serving food here. The people at this island are even more laidback and it was a pleasant feeling for us when we landed up in the morning and saw youths playing badminton without a care in the world. Well, it put us in the laidback mood too as we preferred to walk with our guide to the different spots rather than take the taxi.
That's me in the pic having a friendly chit chat with the resident goats :)
The Island has 2 main beaches - laxmanpur beach and Sitapur beach, which are pristine and picturesque. Also, it has a natural coral bridge which is a visual delight!!!
There is also a sunset point, which is said to be a good point to wonderful sunsets (but we did not stay long for that!!).
We visited Neil Island for a day, but on reaching there and spending the day walking around this beautiful island, I felt we should have stayed here fora couple of days too!!! Well, I guess , that's gonna be on my list if we visit Andaman again!!
Neil Island is beautiful little jewel in Andaman's crown and I recommend all travelers to must visit this island on the Andamans trip!!