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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Tips for Maldives Travellers – Thing you must know before your trip
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Tips for Maldives Travellers – Thing you must know before your trip

Over a thousand emerald islands floating on the waters of the Indian Ocean form the Maldivian Archipelago- a lush tropical paradise offering many adventurous and relaxing attractions for all ages.

1

Location and geography of Maldives

The Maldivian Archipelago is located in the North Indian Ocean and consists of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which have over a 1,000 coral islands. Occupying 298 sq. kilometres, it is the smallest Asian country in terms of land area and population. None of the islands has rivers or mountains and all the islands are a mere 2 metres above sea level, making the Maldives the flattest country on earth.

2

Climate and weather

Hot tropical weather exists all year round in the Maldives and the temperature rarely drops below 25°C. The southwest monsoon (May – October) brings more wind and rain in June and July than the northeast monsoon (November- April). The rains come in the form of intense downpours or thunderstorms but generally are not long lasting.

3

History and Culture

It is believed that the early Maldivian settlers prior to 500 B.C.E. and were probably from South India and Sri Lanka and before the 12th Century the Maldives was a Buddhist country. Muslim traders from Arabia and East Africa arrived in the islands in the 12th Century and the Imams and Mullahs who accompanied them converted the Maldivians to Islam. The Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Persian, Arabian, Indonesian and African cultures, have influenced the rich Maldivian culture. Music and dances often reflect African influences while cuisine has distinctive Indian and Sri Lankan influences among others.

4

Reaching Maldives, visas, accommodation and internal travel

Male International Airport links the archipelago to all major cities in South Asia. There are direct flights from Dubai and many charters call here. For internal travel, seaplanes, boats, the traditional dhoni or taxis are available. Everyone gets a 30-day visa on arrival, which can be extended up to 90 days with proof of sufficient funds and valid travel documents. Accommodation in Maldives range from boutique to budget and luxury resorts abound here. Holidays in Maldives will vary from high end to average budgets and if you were looking for tropical beauty, luxury and superb dining then an accommodation like Kurumba Maldives would be a good choice.

5

Beaches

The beaches are pristine white and fringed by swaying coconut palms. Nalaguraidhoo beach with its azure waters, shimmering sands, and pristine environment is a much-frequented beach. The Cocoa Island Beaches located around Cocoa Island are very exotic. Certain beaches in the Maldives are bioluminescent and glow in the night Some say this is due to phytoplankton action while others attribute it to ostracod crustaceans.

6

Snorkelling and Diving

The seas around the Maldivian Islands are teeming with colourful and vibrant underwater life and the calm seas make it a haven for snorkelling and diving. Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Alimantha Island, North, and South Male Atolls are popular dive sites. Dive sites have swim-through, caves, coral reefs, wrecks, and exotic fish like grey reef sharks, whale sharks, and manta rays among other attractions. Many dive sites are suitable for beginners too. Many house reefs are ideal for snorkelling and diving.

7

Food

Sri Lankan, Indian and other countries, has heavily influenced Maldivian cuisine. Coconut, tuna, rice, vegetables, and spices are much used. Among popular dishes are 'Mas huni' (a coconut and chilli mix),'and 'Garudhiya' a Maldivian fish soup.

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