Maldives is any tourists' dream come true. This pristine tropical island with swaying palm trees, pure white beaches and sparkling turquoise lagoons lure tourists from all over the world. It is the ultimate getaway for those who like basking in the sun, frolicking in the sand and chilling out. The last Paradise also lures scuba divers, who are enticed by the fabulous coral reefs and the wealth of marine life.
The Maldives Islands stretch from the south western tip of India all the way to the Equator. One of the most extensive countries in the world, the 1,196 islands in 26 distinct coral atolls, cover a large area of 90,000 square kilometers (about 36,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean. But of all this area, less than 0.5 per cent is island and of these some 200 islands are inhabited.
The pace of life in Maldives is relaxed and laid back. Until the arrival of tourism, fishing was the main occupation in this nation of seafarers. Maldives is blessed with the most beautiful scenery, graceful coconut palms leaning over crystal-clear lagoons, coral reefs with some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world and lots of sunshine. The heady cocktail of all these beckon tourists to Maldives.
LocationMaldives, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, lies to the southwest of Sri Lanka, extending across the equator in a north-south strip, 754 km long and 118 km wide. The 1192 low-lying coral islands are so small that less than four per cent of the country is made up of dry land. Of these only 200 islands are inhabited. Though most islands are uninhabited sandbars with a patch of scrub, others are several kilometers long and quite well vegetated.
ClimateMaldives has a tropical climate where the year is divided into two monsoon periods; the northeast monsoon, which lasts from December to March and the southwest monsoon, which lasts from April to November. The former is definitely the drier period on this country. The daytime temperatures are about 28 degree Celsius throughout the year. The humidity is lower in the dry season and a pleasant cool sea breeze blows into the island throughout the year.
Best time to visitIf you plan to bask in the warm sunshine in Maldives, then the best time to visit would be between December and April, which is the dry season. The downside to it would be the high prices and the fully booked resorts. The most expensive part of the high season, is the Christmas-New Year period when the island is at its busiest.
In the low season, which is between May and November, the skies can be cloudy, humidity high and it could also pour throughout the day. The upside is you end up paying less and encountering lesser crowds. The transition months of November and April are said to be associated with increased water clarity and better visibility for divers.
ClothingJust because Maldives has miles and miles of isolated beaches, gives you no reason to romp around in the nude. Nudism is an considered an offense here. Taking into consideration the warm weather her, light clothing is recommended. Casual clothing is the norm here.
When visiting an inhabited island, shorts and T-shirts for men and blouse or T-shirt and skirt or shorts that cover the thighs for women made of non-diaphanous material, is a minimum requirement. At the resorts where you'll have to walk on soft sand most of the time, going barefoot may be ideal for some. However on visits to inhabited islands, where most of the streets are of compact sand, or Male' where most of the streets are paved, casual shoes or sandals are better.
LanguageDivehi and English are widely spoken language in Maldives.
- Male (Capital)
- Food Processing