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NEIL ISLAND DIARIES: A HIDDEN EMPYREAN PARADISE

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR, DESTINATIONS, INDIA

A staggeringly beautiful paradise – garlanded with coconut trees basking in the sun, the most scenic, deep burgundy sunsets, and unexplored coral reefs – Neil Island is such beauty! If you, like us, love exploring tiny islands, familiarizing yourself with the way locals live there, this island should find a place on your bucket list for sure!

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The picturesque imagery of Neil Island and a trip here would spoil you rotten. It is a small island, about 7 km from corner to corner, so can be covered in about 2 hours! You can base yourself in a nice hotel and uncover all the attractions in 2 days. A number of scooty rental companies have booths at the Jetty and offer convenient and economical means for exploring the cutesy island.
Having a nifty scooty makes it so much easier to witness the untamed beauty! We warn you – it is not any ordinary island destination where you can party and booze till late night. But it has a different pastoral charm where you can absorb the local culture, uncover some truly beautiful gems, and bask in the generosity of the locals.

Neil Island – You beauty!

Be ready for views like these

HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR VISIT TO NEIL ISLAND

• Meeting the most generous locals (who served us their local produce heartily ) They are always ready to strike a conversation
• Slow and laid-back pace of life that we both love
• White sandy beaches with green canopy of forests & unexplored coral reefs
• Magical landscapes and gorgeous burgundy sunsets
• Awesome snorkeling and diving spots
• Stunning scenery

This was taken from Makruzz while we were cruising to Neil Island – Look at the blues!

The sights that await you in Neil Island

Couldn’t resist being clicked amidst lush forests

HOW TO REACH NEIL ISLAND ANDAMAN?

The only entry and exit point of the island is a jetty at Neil Kendra. You can take a regular boat from Port Blair (Phoenix Bay Jetty) or Havelock (Havelock Jetty ) to reach Neil, or opt for a private cruise ship, Makruzz.

You can check schedules for Makruzz online and book in advance accordingly. As tickets for Makruzz usually get sold out fast, make sure you don’t miss out on that. We paid $15 for a one-way cruise to Neil Island from Havelock.

Makruzz – Quite a beast

Before boarding the cruise – At Havelock Pier

ACCOMMODATION IN NEIL ISLAND ANDAMAN

After 4 days of being completely out of touch with the outside world (due to dodgy mobile connectivity and no wifi), we finally had another reason to love Summer Sands Neil Island – Good wifi. For us, home is where good wifi is and so we loved being in this little piece of heaven! All those looking for hotels in Neil Island Andaman can consider a stay at Summer Sands.

CHECK PICTURES FROM OUR STAY AT SUMMER SANDS, HERE

THINGS TO DO ON YOUR VISIT TO NEIL ISLAND ANDAMAN:

1. A PARADISE FOR THE BEACH BUMS

Day trips from Neil Island Andaman are about beach bumming at Bharatpur, Laxmanpur, and Sitapur Beach. The cool fact is all the beaches have been named after the mythological characters of Ramayana – Laxman, Sita, and Bharat. Finding a secluded piece of sun-soaked heaven is quite easy on all the beaches because Neil Island is yet to go tourist crazy!

BHARATPUR BEACH

Picture yourself sitting quietly on a beach with a book in one hand and coconut in another. Well, do nothing and just soak up the beauty around. Or, you could go swimming or snorkeling for coral watching. The vegetation surrounding the beach is just soothing.

I could sit here forever – Bharatapur Beach was really clean

That’s Neil Island for you

LAXMANPUR BEACH

The gorgeous landscape offers a perfect backdrop for a tranquil day at the Laxmanpur beach.
Mostly, tourists come to this beach (popular for its spur of white shell sand) for watching the sunset. We went to the secluded side of the beach that lies 2km north of Neil Pier post-lunch and spent a few languorous moments there.
Perhaps we found the reading perfect spot so you could add this to the list of things to do in Andaman Neil Island.

Lost in translation – It was a random click, I swear

The perfect reading spot?

Lush beauty = fresh air

SITAPUR BEACH

Unlike Laxmanpur and Bharatpur beach, Sitapur beach is best suited for watching the sunrise in the striking backdrop of limestone formations. The beach is 5km south of Neil Island and the journey to the beach is extremely refreshing. Just sit back and indulge in unhurried conversations for you’ll never forget your time in the dreamy paradise that Neil Island is.

The cutest cart with the vibrant sky – Take me back here

The beach wasn’t accessible during high tides

2. HOWRAH NATURAL BRIDGE, NEIL ISLAND

Our visit to the Howrah Natural Bridge wasn’t as easy as it might have been for other visitors. We reached quite late in the evening as we wanted to get away from the crowds and spend a memorable time while waiting for the sun to set.
As the beach is exposed to open sea, eventually lower tides turned into higher, and we were scared for our lives.
See the magical transformation of the sun setting at the bridge that we witnessed, here.

3. TALK TO THE LOCALS

People in Andaman, particularly Neil Island are so warm and friendly. We were welcomed with a big endearing hello and cheery smiles wherever we went. While coming back from Sitapur Beach we stopped our scooty near the gorgeous mango plantation.
We saw a lady who was also the owner of the area. An introductory talk on general life in Neil Island later, she offered us freshly picked mangoes, which we loved gorging on. So, never hesitate to speak to the locals there as they would rather appreciate being in your company.

Befriended the cutest kids – love those smiles

She invited us home and offered the yummiest mangoes ever

WANDERER HUB’S TIPS:

• Rent a scooty to explore Neil Island. It would set you back by 400 INR|6USD for a day.
• Apply sunscreen generously before heading to the beaches and carry an umbrella with you.
• You can find a few shacks and kiosks selling knick-knacks at almost all the beaches. So you really don’t have to worry about food.
• Neil Island is not for the people who wish to party late into the night, in fact, it’s perfect for people who enjoy slow travel.
• Carry lots of flowy dresses and kimonos to be fashion-forward on your Neil Island holiday.

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