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.
From Port Blair Phoenix Bay jetty, regular speed boats operated by Government and Private Boat operators are available. Time taken is approx. one hour and 45 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.