Travel Guide | Neil Island

Neil Island Getaway: A Traveler’s Detailed Guide to Serenity (2024)

The thing with the Andaman Islands is that every island is better than the previously visited one. And Neil Island does not stay in the race to be the most beautiful island. With pristine blue waters and stunning natural beauty, Neil Island stands out as one of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands must-visit islands.

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Travel Guide | Neil Island
PIN for later reference – Travel guide to Neil Island

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Disclaimers:

  • The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
  • Opinions and views expressed solely by me are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
  • Ensure that you check the relevant websites for up-to-date information on COVID protocols.
  • For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
  • For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
  • While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Travel Resources
For Best Hotel Deals in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, use Booking.com or Goibibo
For Hostels in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, use HostelWorld
Use Skyscanner or Trip.com to get affordable flight tickets to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Viator and GetYourGuide are your best tour operators
Rentalcars and Discover cars are the best agencies to rent out cars at lowest prices
For comprehensive travel insurance, use SafetyWing or WorldNomads

Travel Blogs:
One Week in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Travel Guide to Havelock Island
Scuba Diving in Havelock Island
Travel Guide to Neil Island
Scuba Diving in Neil Island
Plan Your Visit to Chidiya Tapu
One Day Trip to Baratang Island
One Day Trip to Ross Island from Port Blair
Never Forgotten Tales of Cellular Jail
One Day Trip to Jolly Buoy Island from Port Blair
Reasons To Skip North Bay Island

About Neil Island

Neil Island, now known as Shaheed Dweep, is one of the most amazing islands in the South Andaman district. It lies about 35 kilometres from the capital city of Port Blair.

Neil Island is named after a British Brigadier General, James Neil. It was later renamed Shaheed Dweep in December 2018 as a tribute to Subhash Chandra Bose.

Did you know that the names of the beaches on Neil Island are named after the characters from the mythological story Ramayan?

Travel Guide | Neil Island

How to Get to Neil Island?

By Air

The flight or a chopper may not be the most convenient way to get to Neil Island.

  • Helicopters run between Port Blair and Neil Island. The flight time is about 20 minutes.
  • The flights are available only on Tuesdays.

By Ferry/Cruise

  • There are government-operated ferries and private cruises between Port Blair and Neil Island. The travel time by private cruise is about 2 hours.
  • Government-operated ferries are cheaper but take longer to run.
Travel Guide | Neil Island

We took a private ferry from Havelock Island, and the travel time between Havelock and Neil Island was around one hour.

  • Private Ferry Operator: Makruzz 3.
  • Class: Economy.
  • Cost: INR 2678 for two people.
Travel Guide | Neil Island
Private ferry

Ensure that you book the ferry/ boat in advance, as Andamans is a top-rated tourist destination, and all the ferries are generally booked quickly.

Best Time to Visit Neil Island

Like Havelock Island, the best time to visit Neil Island is during the winter season, from December to February, as the climate is cool. During summer, it is very hot, and I would not recommend travelling to Andaman during the summer season.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

Phone Network and Internet on Neil Island

  • Phone Network – Similar to Havelock Island, only Airtel and Vodafone networks work. Jio does not work at all.
  • Internet – Even though theoretically, data (Airtel and Vodafone) is intermittent, I would say that they are non-existent on Neil Island. Some resorts provide Wifi, but they are either extremely slow or, most times, do not work at all.

Transportation within Neil Island

Motorbikes are the best way to travel around the island. One needs to have a valid license to hire a bike. This must be shown at the bike hire centre before picking up the bike. For 24 hours, the cost to rent a motorbike (excluding fuel/ petrol) is INR 600. The traffic is very low when compared to mainland India.

  • Ensure to note down all the scratches on the bike before picking it up.
  • Wearing a helmet is a must, even for a pillion rider.
  • Petrol prices are not included in the cost. They are more expensive at the bike hire centre than the petrol bunks. There are fuel stations on the island.

The island also has taxis, which can travel between the ferry drop point and the resorts. The cost of a one-way taxi ride is INR 100 to 150.

Ensure to haggle with the taxi driver.

Important Information

Supermarkets and Shops

There are plenty of shops and supermarkets to buy groceries and water. The water is cheaper at the supermarket when compared to buying it at the resort.

The water bottles are available only in 2-litre bottles.

Wildlife

There are sea snakes on the island. So please be careful as to where you step, especially at night. It is best to avoid the beaches after sunset.

Where to Stay on Neil Island?

Neil Island has plenty of resorts and accommodation options. Some of these resorts are along the beach and have a part of the beach in their backyard. These beaches are exclusive to guests and are secluded.

Review of Silver Sand Beach Resort

My friend and I stayed at Silver Sand Beach Resort. We were upgraded to a cottage, and I must say that it was gorgeous. The cost of one room (Neil Panorama) with two meals included was about INR 18254.

Note: Be careful of the sea snakes while walking in the resort after sunset.

  • Staff – The staff were friendly and nice. They were approachable and attended to us at all times.
  • Room – The room was spacious and clean. They were very well maintained. Like I said earlier, we were upgraded to one of the cottages.
  • Location – The resort was around 10 minutes from the ferry point. The resort had a beach in their backyard.
  • Food – The food is not good. I would give it a miss.
  • Wi-Fi – Even though they had Wi-Fi at the reception, it did not work well for me.

Things To Do on Neil Island

Scuba Diving

The number one thing to do at Neil Island is to scuba dive. The water is absolutely clear, warm and amazing. It is ideal for scuba dives with a visibility of about 15 metres, absolutely stunning and in perfect condition to dive.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

There are many dive centres on Neil Island. I went with India Scuba Explorers, and I enjoyed diving with them. The dive staff were experienced, and I had a great time.

Travel Guide | Neil Island
India Scuba Explorers Staff

One of the most incredible things about diving with them was that they dived at a dive site that no other diving agency had explored. The marine life at this unexplored dive site was breathtaking. I saw a sting ray, a turtle and a few more rays.

Sunset at Lakshmanpur Beach

This is the highlight of Neil Island. We were told that the sunset here was outstanding, and one cannot miss seeing the pretty ending of the day. Unfortunately, we could not witness this beauty as we saw the sunset at the Natural Bridge.

Sunrise at Sitapur Beach

Sitapur Beach is a perfect place to witness the sunrise. The sun rising from the horizon along the beach is something to die for and is worth getting up at 4 AM.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

The beach is also considered to be the edge of the world. Also, this beach is one of the best places to make local friends.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

Glass Bottom Boat Ride

Even though we did not take the glass-bottom boat ride, we were told by the locals that it was totally worth it. The rides are conducted at Bharatpur beach. Bharatpur Beach is also a perfect beach to go for a swim.

Watch Corals at Natural Bridge

Also fondly known as Howrah Bridge, this natural bridge is a beautiful path to witness different kinds of corals. The corals are dead and are washed up near the path. I was told by a local guide that one can see clown fish colonies from the bridge. Unfortunately, we did not see any clownfish, but we witnessed the sunset on one of the days at the natural bridge.

Note: Be careful of the sea snakes after sunset.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

Indulge in Local Food

There are plenty of restaurants serving local food on the island. I suggest visiting Garden View and Holiday Inn restaurants.

Do try the potato curry at the Garden View restaurant.

Is Neil Island Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

I would say that Neil Island is relatively safe. Even though I travelled with a friend, I would still vouch that this island is a good destination for solo female travellers. As in any other place, take appropriate precautions while travelling alone and trust your instincts.

Travel Guide | Neil Island

Closing Notes

This serene paradise, with its pristine beaches, lush forests, and vibrant marine life, promises an escape. As you explore its secrets, take a moment to immerse yourself fully in the island’s tranquil charm. Capture the mesmerising sunsets, dive into the crystal-clear waters, and savour the local flavours that make Neil Island unique.

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Travel Resources
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Neil Island Getaway: A Traveler's Detailed Guide to Serenity (2024)
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