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Neil Island

Neil Island Known as the "vegetable bowl" of Andaman Islands for its quality and quantity of agricultural produce, Neil Island is a small settlement 36kms from Port Blair and takes around 2 hours by sea. It also has a decent cattle population and is known for milk production, most of which gets transported to the capital city.

The best beaches to visit on Neil Island are Bharatpur, Sitapur & Lakshmanpur. Among them, Sitapur is considered to be the best. Neil Island is being considered as another 'Havelock in the making'. But we really leave it up to you to decide. It has a small village life with most people occupied with Agriculture or tourism activities. Neil Island is yet another place which is considered ideal for eco-tourism owing to the lush green paddy fields, banana plantations and tropical trees. Sporting activities are picking up pace at Neil Island with a dive center coming up soon. There are a number of private resorts opening up, but for now the Haw bill Nest is the most popular one. It belongs to the Govt. of India.

How to Reach:
One can reach Neil Island by taking an early morning boat from the Phoenix Bay jetty at Port Blair at 6:30am every morning. (Single sailing every day, subject to weather conditions)

 


ROSS & SMITH Island

ROSS & SMITH Island
Two secluded islands far away from the hustle bustle of the city and connected to each other by a thin strip of sandbar; that's Ross & Smith Island for you. The island pair stands as a silent reminder of 'Beauty in Connectedness'.

Everything from traveling to spending time on the islands have an exclusive feel to it. There is a Marine Sanctuary on the island which makes it an ideal place for spotting beautiful coral reefs and colorful species from the underwater. The beach is surrounded by tropical forests and is a preferred place for trekking and trail hiking by many tourists. One can also opt for activities like Scuba Diving & Snorkeling. And the clear blue waters add a touch of cleanliness and to the whole experience. The beach is seldom crowded and many a times tourists find the whole island to themselves alone!

Furthermore, Ross & Smith islands are home to the Olive Ridley turtles which means, being the right place at the right time, one can even witness the turtle nesting! (connect it to Turtle Nesting activity?) Occasionally, wild elephants from the adjacent forests may be spotted on the islands. The Smith island has a small village with about 60 families and accommodation is offered by the Directorate of Tourism. During peak season night stays are not advisable as there might be accommodation scarcity.
It is to be noted that Ross & Smith Islands cannot be visited without prior permission from the Forest Office at Diglipur (opposite the Jetty). The permission costs Rs 50 for Indian tourists and Rs 500 for foreign tourists and can be obtained on all days (except Sunday) between 6am to 2pm.
The twin islands can be reached from Diglipur. No public boats are available. A fisherman's boat ('dongie' in Hindi) or a speed boat can be hired which will cost Rs 1000 at the minimum. The ride would take around 25 mins from the Ariel Bay Jetty in Diglipur. Even while travelling directly from Port Blair, one will have to first halt at Diglipur and then hire a dongie to the islands.




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