Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Maldives is a chain of twenty-six safe and secure atolls comprising some 1,190 largely uninhabited coral islets. They form a north to south axis scattered across the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. From Ihavandiffulu Atoll in the north of the island chain stretches as far south as Addu Atoll - technically this is in the southern hemisphere, at latitude 1° south.
The Maldives has a global footprint of some 34,749 square miles, but the actual landmass makes it the smallest country in Asia. It also lays claim to the world’s lowest natural high spot at 8 feet (7 foot ten inches). India and Sri Lanka are the nearest neighbors, some 249 miles (250 miles) and 435 miles (438 miles) to the northeast respectively. Apart from short spells of Dutch and Portuguese influence, the Maldives has been largely independent, first under Buddhist influence (BC through early AD), before adopting Islam in the 12th century.
When to VisitClimate is what the Maldives is all about, with weather typical of equatorial regions namely, hot and quite humid too. Daytime temperatures in the capital Malé range from 86 °F to 90 °F (86 to 90F) throughout the year - while at night the air is a tad cooler, ranging from 79 °F to 82 °F (79°F to 82°F). October boasts the highest rainfall, averaging just over 30 mm (1 inch) with February reporting hardly any. Catching the sun in between the showers is easy enough in this tropical setting.
Where to VisitThe only limitation is what is included in the travel budget. Week-long package deals are the norm and it is all down to what is affordable for each visitor. With more than 70 resorts offering a range of accommodation and facilities, prices start at the low cost budget level, and extend to the highest degrees of luxury imaginable. Surfing the internet is one way of comparing the costs, but a good travel agent will have all the information and will structure an affordable all-in-one package to suit the visitor’s pocket. Packages are typically fully inclusive of all transport, food, refreshments, and entertainment. Use of spa facilities and scuba diving would be add-ons, as would deep sea fishing expeditions.
Culturally SpeakingMaldivians are naturally warm and welcoming to tourists – they need to be, because tourism is the mainstay of their economy. The staple diet of the local population remains fish, with fishing trips often lasting for days at sea. Pandering to the preferences of incoming visitors has resulted in more exotic food imports. Tourists should be mindful of the Islamic laws in place when visiting the Maldives. While alcohol is available for the visitor, drug taking of any kind is a definite taboo.
A Typical Island SettingWith so many five-star options available, sun-worshiping tourists have some serious decisions to make before visiting this magnificent tropical paradise. Malé is the international entry and exit point for planes and ships. From there, inter-island transfers are available through flying boats and luxury catamarans; some cruise liners are able to get close enough to certain islands. Local Maldivians use traditional motorized dhow s for transport between the islands. This is a trouble-free way of island hopping, though it can get quite choppy on the open sea.
Picture Perfect Coral ResortsTime seems to stand still after landing on a resort island. Visitors are quick to adventure out and explore their dream surroundings. Many islets are small enough to take, less than one hour to walk around, while all are renowned for pristine beaches, lush tropical vegetation, and exotic house-reefs just a few meters off shore, making them a firm favorite with the tourist in search of the sun. Most visitors stick to eating, sun tanning, relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling, although all manner of water craft and surfing activities are available on a hire basis. Spa facilities are becoming increasingly popular at the upmarket resorts.
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Author: robric. Last updated: 3 weeks ago