NEIL ISLAND 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.
1.Lakshmanpur Beach 1 & 2 : 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 ones guard. The main attraction here is the natural rock formations.
2.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.
3.Sitapur Beach : 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.
4. 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
Activities in Neil Island : Activity options in Neil include Snorkeling, Scuba diving, Game fishing, trekking. Cycling, Sun bathing, swimming, bird watching and many more. 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. 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.
SWIMMING AND 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.