Neil Island is in the Andaman Islands.
The ticket (one-way) on the speed boat costs Rs.150 for a non-islander. Better to buy it at least a day before as seats gets filled up quickly. You may even try on the day of departure by arriving at the Phoenix jetty early. The road leading to Phoenix from north is dug up (2007) and that place is mess with sewage and sludge. Boats depart early in the morning, so give yourself some more time.
Neil, with its lenghty beaches is popular with "foreign tourists". There were hardly any desi tourists. Neil is quite small compared to Havelock. Its widest part is about 5 km in length. You can walk the whole island in about an hour or two. A local bus does the rounds once in a while.
You can reach Neil Island by catching the ferry from Port Blair. It leaves at 6:30 AM
Bicycles can be rented here for a price between Rs 50-75 per day. Though not needed they can be useful if you want to travel around Neil in a day.
You can get an auto-rickshaw (tuck-tuck) and go around to see self-declared private 'resorts' to find accommodation.
Snorkeling near beach with the caves and also off Havelock if you choose to take the private ride. Mantas to be seen on the ride if you are lucky.
Get here in the morning. check the rockpools, snorkel then bail in the afteroon.
snorkelling is also very good around the jetty at neil. edges of the shallow reefs have some live corals, many different kinds of fish and lots of anemones with resident clown fish.
great variety of shells are available but are not supposed to be taken from the islands.
Neil is a very small settlement about 4000 people. Its also referred as Vegetable bowl of Andamans. The main 'bazaar' has some shops, which also double as eateries. One can get the Veggies / Fishes cooked for his liking. BSNL provides cellphone network, with AirTel coming soon. Sitapur beach is the main attraction. There are no snorkeling or diving spots to write about.
Food has to be ordered generally at least two hours in advance as the "cook" travels to the market gets the supplies and prepares it.
Alcohol is also available in most of the resorts.
There are about 3 to 4 'resorts'. All of them are built facing the beach. They are nothing more than thatched bamboo huts with a bed and a bulb thrown in.
There are two resorts about 3 km from the Jetty (one is called Pearl Park). These places cost between 150-300 depending on the season. Each hut in these places can house two people. These resorts are right next to the beach.
1) Leave via the ferry that got you here sometime in the evening
2)You can manage to get a private boat ride to Havelock from here for around 1000Rs if interested.For Indians this is not a problem but foreigners be aware, the police at the jetty on Havelock do check your RAP (restricted area permit) on the way out and EXPECT to see an entry number on it, which you will not have if you came privately. This is done, precisely to stop tourists making unauthorised visits to islands they should not be on and the authorities take this quite seriously so DO expect trouble if you decide to do this. (Of course if you left by the same method and went back to where you came from nobody would be any the wiser).