There is an ongoing four-week long curfew on the island owing to rising COVID-19 cases.
Tourist attractions attracting large gatherings closed till further notice.
A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.
The dream of a peaceful and enriching island vacation mostly remains unfulfilled with the increasing tourism influx in the world. But, Neil Island of Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands is far from the disappointment you would imagine.
Tucked away at a peaceful corner in Andaman Island, Neil Island now known as Shaheed Dweep boasts dense tropical forest, rich biodiversity, pristine white sand beaches, colourful coral reef and most importantly? a life away from the entire hustle-bustle.
Unlike its neighbouring islands Havelock and Port Blair, Neil Island is an almost untouched land spanning over an approximate area of 14 sq km. Being not so large in area, it gives travellers a chance to explore the entire island on foot and experience the stay like a local. With a small market, a limited number of people, vehicles, hotels that can be easily counted on fingers and three-four lavish resorts located within the proximity of quiet beaches as well as in the jungle, each traveller gets the feel of a private island vacation.
This particular island is also famous amongst newly-wed couples as an exotic honeymoon destination. This gem of an island with almost non-existing internet connectivity and availability of only BSNL signal forces you to go on a digital detox and connect with nature. Neil Island is not only a place to find inner peace, bond with loved ones but also helps you awaken your adrenaline rush through scuba diving, jet ski, snorkelling, speed boat rides, banana and glass-bottom boat rides. You are a ferry away from the busy Port Blair or Havelock Island (SwarajDweep) to all the adventures waiting in tranquil Neil Island.
Once you disembark from the ferry and step out of the jetty at Bharatpur beach to move towards your resort or hotel room you have booked for yourself, rice paddies, fruit, coconut palms and plantations will take over all your attention. The mellifluous vibe of the main bazaar, at Neil Kendra, situated 500 metres south to the jetty, gives you the glimpse of a peaceful hamlet life.
Before heading over to Andaman Island to witness the magic of its long and secluded beaches, you must book your ferry as well as accommodation in advance, as they are sold out fast during the peak season ? between October and April. Though the options in Neil Island aren’t aplenty like its neighbouring Havelock Island and Port Blair, it still has decent numbers of budget-friendly, mid-range, deluxe and luxurious accommodations to suit the pockets of all kinds of travellers.
It does not matter where you stay. Despite being a small island with less population, the island doesn’t disappoint you with its transit facility. Within the island, many cabs and auto-rickshaws are available at your service. You can also hire a two-wheeler or bicycle to explore every nook and corner of the rustic island on your own. Riding through the roads, streets, fields, flora and the localities islanders live in; will be an ideal way to capture the real vibe of the Neil Island.
Every corner in Neil Island has a story to tell and has a lot in store for you to experience the best beach vacation ever. The character of Neil Island stands out from other beach destinations in and outside of Andaman Island. You get to catch the best sunrise and sunset of Andaman here in Neil Island. You get to try some adventure water sports on a quiet beach which cannot be expected in any other part of Andaman Island and India. You also get to see some colourful corals when the tides are low and, all of these are possible while you bask in the sun on the quiet beaches of Neil Island.
When you plan to visit Sitapur beach, set your alarm for before sunrise. Located at the tip of Neil Island, Sitapur beach is famous for its unreal and magical sunrise. The sight of the sun coming from the sea and then painting the sky with different shades of orange is breathtaking. The most common sight you will find at the beach is high tides, and hence the beach is not advisable for swimming. If you cannot stop yourself from swimming then, take a couple of dips and get back to the shore to soak up the sun. Quite and pretty as a picture, this beach is perfect to lie down for a while and think nothing.
A destination for water sports in Neil Island, this beach has trainers that will have you experience scuba diving, snorkelling, jet ski, speed boat rides and several other water sports that you will be unable to forget easily. Here in Bharatpur beach, you do only get to experience the water sports for once but can also take professional training under the guidance of the expert divers. Unlike Laxmanpur, you can here swim in the transparent blue water while you sort some colourful corals, fishes and turtles. Neil Island is the best place to witness rich and unblemished marine life.
You may get confused as you hear about two beaches of the same name. Do not worry! Laxmanpur Beach 1 is a spot where you can spend an entire day reading a book or simply sunbathing. However, sunbathing for long hours is not good for your skin; you can relax and spend some uninterrupted time before you witness the most magical sunset of Andaman Island. Then head back to your den as the beach closes down post-sunset due to high tides during dark hours of late evening and night. Also, the beach is rocky and has dead corals around, which makes it unsuitable for swimming.
The natural rock formation is another attraction point and is in Laxmanpur Beach 2, standing tall since decades. Formed of dead corals, it is a bridge structure popularly known as Howrah Bridge amongst the islanders. This spot is the photographers’ favourite and looks like view straight out of a movie. The best time to visit the natural rock formation is when the tides are low so that you spot various species of fish, crabs, colourful corals, sea urchins and cucumbers, starfishes in the nano ponds made of the seawater during low tides.
After the entire hustle-bustle in Port Blair and Havelock Island, Neil Island is the ideal place to unwind before you get back to your chaotic city life and laptops.
If you plan your visit to Neil Island and have a stress-free vacation, we at Andaman Islands Travels Pvt.Ltd. are at your service to help you with bookings.
Now known as Shaheed Dweep, Neil Island is located at a distance of 30 kilometers from the main islands of the Andaman Islands. You can easily reach there via a ferry. The details are as follows:
October to April is the best time to visit Neil Island. During this time, the weather is quite pleasant. When travelling to the Andamans, avoid summer and monsoon seasons.
Home to thriving biodiversity, unexploited coral reefs, white sandy beaches, adventurous experiences, and a notable population of birds and animal life, Neil Island has emerged as a sought-after destination in the Andamans. The island is popular for its gorgeous beaches that feature white sands and uninterrupted views of the clear blue skies.
Shaheed Dweep is known for its extremely beautiful beaches that are sure to leave you in awe. Visit the below-mentioned beaches for an unforgettable beach experience:
You can book your stay nearby Lakshmanpur Beach or Sitapur Beach at a fancy resort.
Neil Island is an ideal ground for marine turtles. If you are willing to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, then visit Sir Hugh Rose Island where they are found in abundance. This tiny island is often known as Small Neil in the local language. It is located on the tip of Neil Island. However, it is a protected region, and one needs permits to visit there.
Neil Island is well-known for offering a plethora of adventure water sports. You can try your hand at the following when in Shaheed Dweep:
The Andaman Islands is the topmost destination in India to witness the rich marine life. It also offers scuba diving experience and certification programs. Neil Island has the required infrastructure for scuba diving. Underwater sighting becomes even easier here owing to its crystal clear waters. The experience of scuba diving at Neil Island is memorable. While diving here, you will be surrounded by incredible marine creatures. The accommodations on this island offer scuba training and gear lending as per your requirements.
Bharatpur Beach in Neil Island is popular for glass-bottom boating. It is home to colorful, gorgeous coral formations. As a result, the fish population is more here. This beach is definitely a must-visit in the Andaman Islands. It is a preferred spot for fishing and angling as well.
In India, sea walking is available in the Andamans only, and Neil Island is one such place where you can go for it. The corals are present in abundance here. There are certain beach resorts also that offer private sea walking sessions to their guests.
For snorkeling, pristine clear water is required, and it is in abundance on this island. Its waters prove to be an ideal setting for adventurous water activities. When in Neil Island, you can see a wide diversity of colorful fishes with your naked eyes.
Trekking to Howrah Bridge is quite famous in Neil Island. This adventure activity tempts all adrenaline junkies towards it. Resembling a bridge, Howrah Bridge is an arch-like structure. Trekkers reach its tip that goes through a small artificial garden and a muddy path. Make sure that you don’t go there in the monsoon season as the route to the bridge is closed during this time.
Offering an awesome romantic experience to lovers, Neil Island is especially famous among newlyweds. Its beaches are known for the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Witness a glorious pink and red sunset at the stunning Lakashmanpur Beach. View the best of nature during evening time. Want to catch the loveliest sunrise of your life? Visit Sitapur Beach to enjoy such a fantastic marvel of nature. The sky is painted in various shades here.
If you are a foodie, then Neil Island is a paradise for you. The island is called the vegetable bowl of the Andaman Islands. Whereas its neighbor, Havelock Island, is more famed for seafood, Neil Island provides excellent choices in fresh and vegetarian meals. You can also purchase a fresh supply of your veggies from the local market of Neil Kendra. Along with scrumptious vegetarian and vegan dishes, you can also try different cuisines such as Chinese, Israeli, Continental, Italian, and Nepali.
Neil Island has emerged as a sought-after place for destination weddings owing to its natural charm and the untouched beaches having turquoise blue waters. Its beaches are clean and are dotted with secluded and peaceful resorts, thus allowing the couple and their guests to enjoy total peace of mind in such serenity. Neil Island has not been commercialised yet as a trending exotic wedding destination, and that is why, not everyone knows about this hidden pearl being a hotspot for beach weddings. You can tie the knot at a dreamy location and that too within an affordable budget.
With an area of only 13.7 square kilometers and a flat landscape, you can roam around Neil Island on a bicycle. The roads here are smooth and very easy to ride on as there are no sharp curves or elevations. It is navigation friendly and you can easily take a stroll on the island. You can also rent mopeds from the jetty. Moreover, many resorts have their own cycles and motorbikes available for rent.
There are affordable and basic huts along with lavish resorts in Neil Island. The properties here resonate with the warmth of tropical vibes, stunning views, and contemporary settings. Ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 800, budget stays are available at Sitapur Beach and Bharatpur Beach. The price tariff ranges from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000 for mid-range rooms with air conditioners. If you want to stay at a lavish property, then you have to spend Rs. 5000 or more for luxury hotels with swimming pools and fantastic views.
There are a number of properties available in Neil Island. Some of the best hotels are as follows:
It is tough to specify a timeframe for Neil Island owing to its secluded beauty. On your way back to Port Blair from Havelock Island, you can visit this island for one day if you have little time in your hands. Natural enthusiasts and backpackers come here for a longer duration and stay for weeks. Such is the aura of this laid-back island.
A famous backpacker destination, Shaheed Dweep has been developed as a tourist destination in recent years with investments from entrepreneurs. The island has all kinds of accommodations—extravagant resorts as well as affordable hotels. Hotel tariffs begin from as low as Rs. 500 per day. Overall, it is a budget-friendly location having basic restaurants and other facilities. Visiting this place would be a great addition to your travel diaries.
It is very much easy to navigate in Neil Island as it is a small place. To get around, you have options such as buses, autos, car rentals, bicycles, and mopeds. They ensure your smooth journey.
You get to choose from many options as there are various eateries in Neil Island. The food available here is mouth-watering and everyone loves it. There are options for both— non-vegetarians and vegetarians.
Try out these restaurants in Neil Island to relish the local and authentic food:
Yes, the island is safe for everyone, including solo female travellers. Solo backpackers from all over the country visit this paradise and have a great time.