It's recorded that Marco Polo was the first official visitor to the beautiful Andaman and Nicobar islands, a tropical archipelago of 572 islands.
Isolated in the Indian Ocean and little known in the western world, these islands (a territory of India) are covered by tropical rain forests and only a handful of them are inhabited.
Historically, farming and fishing were (and are) the main revenue sources here, however, increased tourism (especially from scuba divers and beach lovers) are providing another source of much-needed income.
Note that travel to the Nicobar Islands is restricted, and only Indian nationals engaged in research may visit. Some exceptions are made for tourists with special permits.
Name: Andaman and Nicobar Islands; a territory of India since 1947
A permit is required to visit the Andaman Islands, and can be obtained - with the presentation of passport and visa - at the Port Blair Airport. The permit is valid for 30 days.
Note: Travel to Nicobar Islands is restricted to Indian nationals.
In the Andamans, besides beach activities and prolific fishing venues, tourism highlights include mountain trekking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
A visit to Port Blair, Andaman's capital, should include stops at the Cellular Jail, the Anthropological Museum, Chatham Sawmill and the Marine Museum.
Excursions to the beautiful islands of Wandoor and Jolly Buoy are recommended as well as a trip to the bird sanctuary at Chiriyatapoo.
Accommodation choices are fairly simple with a few good eco resorts now available.
Calling Code: 91, then 3192
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
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Andaman and Nicobar Islands enjoy tropical weather year-round, with humidity running on the high side.
During the monsoon months (May - September) and (November - mid-December), heavy to moderate rain can be expected.
High temperatures throughout the year average near 87°F (31°C), while lows are near 73°F (23º C).