Latest Information on Travelling to Andaman Islands?
  • Runway Status for Port Blair Airport From October,22 to February, 23

    Updated: 19 Sep 2022
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  • Andaman Tourism Opens

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    Andaman Tourism Opens: The Andaman & Nicobar administration has announced that all tourist spots in the South Andaman district will be opened for tourism activities with immediate effect 8 Feb 2022.

  • RT PCR report on arrival

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    A negative RT PCR report has to be presented by all passengers on arrival.

  • What is the advisory to travel to North & Middle Andaman District?

    Updated: 14 Aug 2021

    The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman on production of double dose covid certificate/ All other passengers viz. unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers (those who have taken only 1S1 dose of COVID vaccine) shall have to produce RT-PCR negative test report

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  • All asymptomatic fully vaccinated persons coming to these islands from mainland are exempted from the requirement of carrying RT-PCR negative test report,irrespective of the type of vaccine received and country of origin. Such fullyvaccinated individuals shall produce the final vaccination certificate at the origin airport, sea port in the mainland and at Port Blair Airport / sea port.
  • Alt asymptomatic children below 5 years of age are exempted from carrying RT-PCR negative test report and further RT-PCR testing at Port Blair Airport.
  • All other passengers viz. unvaccinated and partially vaccinated passengers (those who have taken only 1S1 dose of COVID vaccine) shall have to produce RT-PCR negative test report to travel to Port Blair from the mainland, as is the practice now. Such an RT-PCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to commencement of journey from the origin airport connecting Port Blair. Such passengers will also have to undergo additional RT-PCR test on arrival at Port Blair. Such passengers shall remain in self-quarantine till the arrival of the test report.
  • If a passenger on arrival is tested positive then, the prescribed quarantine protocol is to be followed.
  • All Airlines shall ensure strict compliance of this order and observance of COVID Appropriate Behaviour. Any non-compliance shall invite action under Disaster Management Act and other applicable laws. 
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General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :

  1. The Tourism Activities are permitted only in South Andaman & North & Middle Andaman District except Nicobar District.
  2. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with home co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years advised not to travel for tourism purposes.
  3. Tourists/Visitors who are at higher risk due to some medical history are advised to take extra precautions.
  4. Tourists/visitors shall minimize contact with other staff and visitors as far as possible and zero contact policy should be followed at all tourist destinations.
  5. All tourists/visitors shall be briefed by the hotel concerned about do’s & don’ts to be mandatorily followed during their stay and movements.
  6. While travelling tourists/visitors should wear a face mask and carry their own sanitizer and wet wipes for personal use.
  7. At all tourist destinations, staff must wear face masks and wash/sanitize hands regularly while performing their duties.
  8. Arogya Setu App shall be mandatory for all incoming tourists/visitors.
  9. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly after use.
  10. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/ visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&%N Administration, on rate as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid 19 care centre on case to case basis.
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What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?

On arrival at Port Blair :

1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).

2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.

3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.

What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?

If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.

If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:

a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.

Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.

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  • Regular flights to Port Blair (the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) are operational now.
  • There are direct flights from Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Delhi.
  • Public transports like cabs, taxis, and bus services are also functional.
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Travellers should carefully follow social distancing norms and wear masks as well. Also, before making any booking, they should refer to the latest travel news on the government website of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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About Neil Island

Nestled in the Bay of Bengal, Neil Island is a hidden gem within the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. This tropical paradise boasts stunning white sandy beaches, azure waters, and lush green landscapes, providing a serene escape from the chaos of daily life. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the island's breathtaking natural wonders, vibrant marine life, cultural heritage, and thrilling activities. Whether you seek tranquility, adventure, or a glimpse into local traditions, Neil Island is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences. Join us as we embark on a journey through this enchanting paradise.

Overview of Neil Island 

  • Location and Geography 

Neil Island is a picturesque island located in the southern part of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, India. It is situated approximately 40 kilometers northeast of Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman Islands. Neil Island is one of the smaller islands in the region, covering an area of just 18.9 square kilometers. Despite its size, it is known for its stunning natural beauty and unspoiled charm.

  • Climate and Best Time to Visit 

Neil Island enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year. The island experiences two main seasons: the dry season from November to April and the monsoon season from May to October. The best time to visit Neil Island is during the dry season when the weather is pleasant and the sea is calm, allowing for enjoyable water activities. The average temperature ranges from 24°C to 32°C, providing a warm and comfortable environment for visitors.

  • History and Cultural Significance 

Neil Island has a rich history and cultural heritage that adds depth to its natural allure. Historically, the island was inhabited by indigenous tribes, primarily the Nicobarese people, who have maintained their unique cultural traditions and way of life. The island played a significant role during the colonial era as a penal settlement established by the British. The ruins of the colonial structures still stand as a testament to this era.

Culturally, Neil Island is known for its vibrant festivals and celebrations. The indigenous tribes engage in traditional dance forms and music, showcasing their cultural diversity and heritage. Harvest festivals, such as the Ossuary Feast, are celebrated with great enthusiasm, reflecting the islanders' close connection to nature and agriculture.

The island's historical and cultural significance, coupled with its natural splendor, attracts visitors seeking a deeper understanding of the region's heritage and a desire to experience the authentic island life.

Sightseeing in Neil Island

Natural Attractions

  • Beaches

Bharatpur Beach: Bharatpur Beach, located on the western coast of Neil Island, is a picturesque stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs, making it a haven for snorkelers and diving enthusiasts. The beach offers an opportunity to witness the diverse marine life, including colorful fish and exquisite coral formations. Visitors can indulge in various water activities like swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. The beach is also known for its lush greenery and coconut groves that provide a soothing ambiance.

Sitapur Beach: Sitapur Beach, situated on the eastern coast, is known for its breathtaking sunrise views. The tranquil atmosphere and the gentle waves lapping against the shore make it an ideal spot for relaxation and meditation. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers stunning views of the turquoise sea. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the shoreline, collecting seashells or simply enjoying the serenity of the surroundings. During low tide, a natural bridge called "Howrah Bridge" emerges, adding to the charm of the beach.

Laxmanpur Beach: Laxmanpur Beach is renowned for its stunning sunsets and natural rock formations. Located on the western coast, the beach offers a mesmerizing panorama of the horizon as the sun dips below the azure waters. It is an excellent spot for photography enthusiasts, providing a picturesque backdrop of the changing hues of the sky. Laxmanpur Beach is also famous for its unique limestone formations, which have been shaped by the relentless waves over time. Visitors can explore the rocky shoreline and enjoy the tranquility of this pristine beach.

Laxmanpur Beach

  • Coral Reefs and Snorkeling

Neil Island Marine Park: Neil Island Marine Park is a protected area dedicated to preserving the rich marine ecosystem surrounding the island. It encompasses a vast expanse of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and diverse marine life. Snorkeling in the marine park allows visitors to witness the vibrant coral gardens teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating marine species. The park offers guided snorkeling tours, ensuring a safe and informative experience for visitors.

Howrah Bridge: Howrah Bridge, named after the iconic bridge in Kolkata, is a natural rock formation that emerges during low tide at Sitapur Beach. This bridge-like structure created by the rocks provides a unique opportunity for snorkelers to explore the underwater world. It is home to a variety of marine creatures, and snorkeling around this natural wonder offers an unforgettable experience of swimming amidst the abundant marine life.

Snorkeling Tips and Safety Measures: Before embarking on a snorkeling adventure in Neil Island, it is essential to keep a few tips and safety measures in mind. Firstly, ensure you have the necessary snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins. It is advisable to wear a rash guard or wetsuit to protect your skin from the sun and potential jellyfish stings. Familiarize yourself with the proper snorkeling techniques, such as breathing through the snorkel and clearing the mask if it gets foggy. Respect the marine life and avoid touching or damaging the coral reefs. Additionally, always snorkel with a buddy and follow the instructions of trained guides for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Snorkeling Tips and Safety Measures

  • Mangrove Forests and Biodiversity

Ramnagar Beach: Ramnagar Beach is known for its mesmerizing mangrove forests, which provide a habitat for various bird species and marine organisms. Visitors can explore the dense mangrove ecosystem by taking a boat ride through the meandering channels, observing the rich biodiversity of the area. The mangroves play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and act as a natural barrier against coastal erosion.

Neil Island Forest Reserve: The Neil Island Forest Reserve is a protected area that encompasses a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is home to several endemic and endangered species, including the Andaman serpent eagle, the Nicobar megapode, and the Nicobar scrubfowl. Walking through the forest trails offers a chance to witness the island's rich biodiversity, including towering trees, rare orchids, and colorful butterflies.

Mangrove Forests and Biodiversity

  • Sunset Points and Natural Rock Formations

Natural Bridge: The Natural Bridge is a remarkable geological formation created by the relentless waves over time. This natural rock arch stands as a testament to the powerful forces of nature. Visitors can witness the dramatic interplay of the waves and the rock formations, creating a mesmerizing sight. The Natural Bridge is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts, especially during high tide when the waves crash against the rocks, creating a spectacular display.

Sunset at Laxmanpur Beach: Laxmanpur Beach is not only famous for its natural rock formations but also for its enchanting sunsets. As the sun sets on the horizon, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, casting a warm glow over the tranquil sea. Visitors can witness this breathtaking spectacle while strolling along the shore or sitting on the sandy beach. The combination of the natural rock formations and the captivating sunset creates a magical ambiance, making it a favorite spot for romantic evenings and tranquil contemplation.

Natural Bridge

Marine Life and Water Sports 

  • Scuba Diving and Dive Sites

Havelock Island: A Scuba Diver's Paradise Havelock Island, located near Neil Island, is renowned as a scuba diver's paradise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and vibrant coral reefs, Havelock offers unforgettable underwater experiences. Numerous diving centers and certified instructors cater to divers of all skill levels, ensuring a safe and exhilarating adventure.

Popular Dive Sites around Neil Island 

Neil Island itself boasts several captivating dive sites that attract diving enthusiasts from around the world. Here are a few noteworthy sites:

  1. The Wall: Known for its vertical drop and vibrant coral formations, The Wall offers a breathtaking descent into the depths. Divers can witness an abundance of marine life, including angelfish, parrotfish, and colorful reef sharks.
  2. Margherita's Mischief: This dive site features a stunning coral garden, where divers can marvel at the intricate formations and spot a variety of marine species, including sea turtles, lionfish, and moray eels.
  3. Junction: As the name suggests, Junction is where two currents meet, creating a dynamic diving experience. Divers can observe large schools of fish, such as snappers and trevallies, as well as explore the intricate coral structures.
  4. Bus Stop: Located near Neil Island, Bus Stop is a popular spot for both snorkeling and scuba diving. It offers a vibrant reef teeming with colorful fish, including clownfish, surgeonfish, and butterflyfish.

  • Fishing and Angling

Fishing Experiences and Techniques Neil Island provides excellent opportunities for fishing and angling enthusiasts. Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, the island offers a variety of fishing experiences. The rich waters surrounding the island are home to a diverse range of fish species, including barracuda, red snapper, and grouper.

Anglers can try their hand at various fishing techniques, such as bottom fishing, trolling, and jigging. Bottom fishing involves dropping baited hooks to the seabed to catch fish dwelling near the reefs. Trolling involves dragging lures or baited lines behind a moving boat to attract predatory fish. Jigging is a technique that involves jerking or "jigging" a weighted lure vertically to entice fish.

Fishing Charters and Tours To enhance the fishing experience, visitors can opt for fishing charters and tours available on Neil Island. These tours provide well-equipped boats, experienced guides, and all the necessary fishing gear. The guides are knowledgeable about the best fishing spots and techniques, ensuring a productive and enjoyable fishing trip. Fishing charters and tours often include refreshments, snacks, and the opportunity to cook and savor the catch of the day.

  • Sea Walking and Glass Bottom Boat Rides

Exploring the Underwater World with Sea Walking For those seeking a unique and immersive underwater experience without scuba diving, sea walking is an excellent option. Sea walking allows participants to explore the underwater world by walking on the seafloor while wearing a specially designed helmet connected to an oxygen supply.

Neil Island offers sea walking experiences that allow visitors to get up close and personal with vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine creatures. Accompanied by professional guides, participants can witness the mesmerizing beauty of the underwater ecosystem while walking along designated routes.

Glass Bottom Boat Rides: A Window to Marine Beauty Another popular activity on Neil Island is taking a glass bottom boat ride. These boats have transparent sections in the hull, offering passengers a captivating view of the underwater world without getting wet. The boats cruise over shallow reefs, allowing visitors to observe the colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and other marine life in their natural habitat.

Glass bottom boat rides are an ideal option for those who prefer a more relaxed and leisurely way to explore the marine wonders. Knowledgeable guides provide interesting insights about the marine ecosystem, pointing out different species and explaining their characteristics.

Travel Tips and Practical Information 

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