15 Jun 15 Best Instagrammable Beach Moments on Neil Island
Because many of Neil Island’s feature attractions are found at the water’s edge, you will find that you need to visit each beach at different times of the day to fully appreciate the stunning natural beauty that the movement of the sun reveals…rise with the dawn, savor the midday sun overhead, return again at dusk and linger as the night falls and millions of stars appear overhead.
Laxmanpur Beach #1
You will probably have Sunset Point at Laxmanpur Beach #1 all to yourself at noon, especially when there is a hint of afternoon showers in the forecast. Sure, everyone will be back here at sundown, but savor this moment – the sand will never be as white, or the water as clear and multicolored as it is when the sun is directly overhead like it is for you right now.
Sunset Point in late afternoon begins to fill up with visitors and locals (some dogs, too) well before the sun begins to drop down behind neighboring South Andaman Island. Take some time to turn east away from the sun and walk down the shaded side of Beach #1, wade in the shallows, and sit on the beach watching the clouds, the sun, and the water..it’s the perfect ending to your perfect day.
One of the most iconic views is watching the sun go down over South Andaman Island as seen with the evening crowd at Sunset Point on Beach #1 – it’s a daily ritual for the islanders and visitors. You will find that every evening’s ‘show’ is different, but somehow manages to be the most beautiful sunset you think you have ever seen (at least until tomorrow).
Laxmanpur Beach #2
With two unusual coral and stone natural bridges to explore, the broad coastline along Laxmanpur Beach #2 is so popular with tourists that there is a busy bazaar set up on the hill that overlooks the beach near majestic Howrah Bridge. Plan your visit to both bridges during the day at low tide to have the best views of the exposed rocks and tidal pools, where many sea creatures take advantage of shelter in the tidal pools to stay hidden until the next high tide.
This landmark is jaw-dropping in person, and you have the chance to view the geological history of Neil Island when you stand on these rocks at low tide. The island’s coastline has been altered here at Natural Bridge 2 due to the 2004 tsunami, so much so that during high tides the rock formation seems to float offshore. It’s fascinating to watch tiny crabs climbing over the corals, striped sea snakes nestled in the boulders, and the abundant marine life in the shallow tidal pools.
During low tide at Ramnagar Beach #3 the sand and the coral offer unparalleled views of Natural Bridge 2 off in the distance, and you feel as if you are alone together on a deserted island. This secluded beach stretches along a wide expanse of coral reefs and mangrove forests on the south side of Neil Island that offers spectacular sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba opportunities, as well as shady shelters to stretch out for the afternoon in matching hammocks to watch the sun slowly move over the soft lapping waves.
During late afternoons on Neil Island, almost everyone else is headed to watch the sunset at the western tip of the island, so you’ll have the beach all to yourself at Ramnagar Beach #3 to see an absolutely spectacular show as the sun begins a slow flaming descent into the clouds on the horizon. And when the tide is coming in over the vast coral reef, you’ll be amazed how the colors of water, sky and sun merge in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of sparkle and glimmer that is perfect for your beautiful silhouette shots set against this colorful backdrop of nature.
Just a short distance down the beach from the jetty and the ferries, you’ll find a natural shelter from the midday sun under the trees growing in the shallows at the water’s edge. This little corner of the tropical rainforest has escaped the land and gone for a swim in the water! Keep an eye out for wildlife as you explore, but be sure to make time during your vacation on Neil Island to visit these hardy forest dwellers of the mangrove, whose roots anchor on to the coral reefs to grow and thrive in the saltwater tides that flow onto Bharatpur Beach #4.
You are finally here – as you disembark from the ferry, pause for a few minutes and let your fellow travelers move on down the jetty ahead of you. Take in the view of the beautiful expanse of Bharatpur Beach #4 stretching off into the misty green reaches of the island, and snap some shots of the colorful coral reefs and breaking waves stretching as are as your eyes can see – if you look closely, you might even see a dugong drifting in the shallows – but definitely make your first moments on Neil Island unforgettable with an awesome selfie!
Perfectly placed by nature for posing for pictures, the exposed boulders and limestone perches on Sitapur Beach #5 make a great spot for watching the waves or understanding the ever-changing effects of sand and water constantly swirling against great masses of stone and moving giant trees along the shoreline. A striking photographic location with both dramatic sun and shadows to capture, this isolated beach is only available to explore during low tide.
To visit most of the shorelines during your visit, you will need to learn about the tides on Neil Island, for elusive Sitapur Beach #5 disappears during high tide. But at low tide, especially in the morning, this beautiful rock-strewn beach offers the most dramatic images and unusual vistas, such as this view from inside one of the limestone caves at the base of the cliff – be sure and keep an eye to the time so you won’t be stranded when the tide comes in.
The Neil Island Sky
There are many perfect spots on Neil Island to watch the sun setting in the western sky, and no matter where you choose to watch the spectacular event, nature’s gift to you is that on every evening of your vacation, the view from your particular location’s vantage point will be different than the sunset you saw the day before, and tomorrow’s sunset will be different from today as well. But one thing remains the same – it is always spectacular, always memorable, and always a brilliant reminder of that particular moment in time for you and you alone.
So many of your treasured vacation images will be of clear sunny days under palm trees swaying, or puffy white clouds floating over a gorgeous blue and green seascape…but the tropical Andamans also depend on the refreshing rain showers that bring beauty to life on the islands. Monsoons and sudden downpours might temporarily dampen your day’s activities on Neil Island, but you’ll never get a more dramatic shot for your photo album than when rain clouds on the leading edge of an approaching storm become visible on the horizon at sunset.
So many people on the planet have lost the ability to view the night sky in all of its glorious darkness because of the light pollution coming from cities and towns, but in the Andaman archipelago, and especially on relatively undeveloped Neil Island, the stars and galaxies can seem almost close enough to touch at night. After the sun has set, the time is right for romance, to sit in quiet amazement together on the beach, as the Milky Way galaxy stretches out overhead surrounded by millions of stars in a moonless sky. During turtle nesting season, these are the kind of nights when countless sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs – and what an unbelievable sight that is to see!
It may seem a waste of time to force yourself out of bed at dawn, but tropical sunrises on Neil Island happen quickly and you really don’t want to miss seeing the sun burst over the horizon and set the sky aglow with color, do you? Even better than seeing the sunrise from the beach, make arrangements the day before to hire a private boat to carry you around to the eastern side of the island and watch the day begin while you are floating on the ocean currents.