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Maldives

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Mellow out in the Maldives - dream destination in the Indian Ocean

The Republic of Maldives is the definition of a tropical island paradise. This collection of over 1,190 coral islands has some of the world’s most impressive beaches and turquoise waters. It's easy to simply sit back and soak in the sun, sand, and ocean scenery. Since the Maldives is a hotspot for honeymoons, couples will find plenty of services and amenities to make the most of their romantic getaway.

However, it's not just the views above water that have enchanted millions of tourists. The Maldives is internationally celebrated for its exceptional snorkeling opportunities, some of which are UNESCO-protected sites. Daring divers will find a diverse array of underwater life in the Maldives, including manta rays, reef sharks, and clownfish. The combination of clear water conditions and marine biodiversity makes the Maldives a "bucket list" destination for snorkelers.

Best time to travel to the Maldives

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between November and April
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beautiful tropical weather
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21 to 27°C (70 - 80°F)
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be aware of monsoon season

What to see and do at the Maldives

Ironically, many people love the Maldives because there are so few "things to do." Tourists often stay at their resort for the entire trip to enjoy simple pleasures like sunbathing, sleeping in and snacking on buffet food. While you could easily do nothing but relax on your Maldives vacation, there are also some recreational activities for nature enthusiasts.
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As there are a lot of colourful corals and sea critters surrounding the Maldives, it is a popular destination for diving. Thanks to the crystal-clear waters in the Indian Ocean, you'll have an easy time seeing endangered marine life, such as coral reefs, manta rays, sharks and turtles on your snorkeling adventures. The Maldives is known for its many dive sites, which range from shallow reefs to deep wrecks and channels. Hanifaru Bay for example is world famous for its high concentration of manta rays. Another hotspot is Keyodhoo Island, especially for divers interested in shipwrecks.

In most cases, you can easily snorkel near your island, but there are also professionally guided tours for those interested in an in-depth diving session.

Key facts about the Maldives

With an area measuring 115 mi², the Maldives is one of the tiniest nations on earth. Despite the Maldives’ small size, there are approximately 550,000 permanent residents on its roughly 1,200 islands. Interestingly, the Maldivian capital Malé, where one-third of Maldivians live, ranks as one of the most densely-populated cities.

All the islands in the Maldives are grouped into one of the nation's 26 ring-like formations called "atolls." Currently, ten administrative zones within the nation's atolls are open to foreigners. The islands that focus on tourism typically are very small and it probably will take less than one hour to walk across it. They mostly only consist of one all-inclusive hotel with direct access to the beach.

The Maldives typically welcomes over 1 million foreign visitors every year. Most of them fly into Malé International Airport (MLE), which is a short drive from the centre of Malé. From MLE, you will likely need to take a water plane or a speed boat to reach your final destination. Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) handles all water plane transfers within the Maldives.

Since the Maldives is an archipelago, it relies heavily on imports for its food and supplies. Therefore, tourists should expect higher prices for necessities during their Maldives vacation. It may also be challenging to find convenience stores outside of Malé. While this isn't typically a big deal for those staying at all-inclusive resorts, visitors should factor it into their plans when packing their luggage.

Facts

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archipelago with 1,200 islands
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apx. 550,000 residents
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capital: Malé

Weather & stay at the Maldives

The Maldives boasts beautiful tropical weather throughout the year. No matter when you travel to the Maldives, you will very likely experience average temperatures from 21 to 27°C (70 - 80°F). However, during the wet season from mid-May to October, there is a high risk of monsoons. If you're interested in pleasant and less rainy weather, then it's best to visit the Maldives between November and April. Although the Maldives is busier during the dry season, you're almost guaranteed warm and sunny conditions.

Nevertheless, some travelers prefer to book a trip to the Maldives during the rainy season. Surfers in particular often claim that the waves are more intense at this time of year than at other times. In addition, when booking outside of the dry months, room rates tend to be slightly cheaper.

Remember that the Maldives are susceptible to monsoons and typhoons during the wet season. Anyone planning to visit the Maldives during these months should have a close eye on local weather reports.

Transportation – Getting to and around Maldives

Since the Maldives are a collection of islands, you won't spend much time in a bus or a car. Indeed, the only ways to get around the Maldives are via speed boats and water planes. The type of transportation you use will depend on how far your hotel is from Malé. Also, keep in mind that these services typically don't run after dark. If your flight lands in MLE late in the day, you may need to stay in Malé overnight before grabbing a boat or plane to your island.

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