The Maldives is famed for its rare underwater beauty. It offers some of the best dive sites in the world. Many of the resorts feature excellent house reefs. Just a short swim from the beach, snorkellers too can experience some of the most incredible underwater life on our planet.
Located to the west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is an archipelago nation containing 1,192 coral islands, near-infinite sandbanks, and stunning reefs stretching 820 kilometres across the equator.
Only 200 islands are inhabited while another 90 are resort islands; the majority are located north of the capital, Malé. Most of the islands are less than one kilometre square with land no higher than two meters above sea level.
The climate is tropical and has two significant seasons: the northeast monsoon from December to May is light and fairly dry while the southwest monsoon from June to November occasionally brings brief downpours followed by sunshine. The temperature ranges from mid-20’s ºC to mid-30’s ºC with the highest temperatures in April and May.
High season is from November to May.
Language: Dhivehi is the local language. English is widely spoken by Maldivians and in the resorts.
Currency: The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa. The US Dollar is commonly accepted as are major credit cards in the resorts.
Local Time: GMT + 5 hours. So that you may enjoy an additional hour of daylight, some resorts set their clocks to “Island Time”, 1 hour ahead of Male.
Business Hours: Generally 0900 to 1700 in the private sector. The weekend falls on Fri & Sat.
Mobiles & Laptops: Current technology and satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available at resorts. Mobiles & Laptops usually work.
Electricity: 230-240 Volts -AC
Alcohol: Sorry, travellers are prohibited from taking alcohol into the Maldives however once at your resort there is an amazing choice of imported beers, wines and spirits.
Packing: The average year around temperature is a balmy 28 degrees. Dress is generally casual. In Malé, women should wear modest clothing. At the resorts, guests should pack casual pieces for the day and island chic for the evening. Shopping can be very limited so travellers are advised to pack “everything” they require for an escape to paradise. There are luggage restrictions for guests that choose to a private flight transfer to a resort. Luggage allowance on the Twin Otter seaplanes is 25 kilograms per passenger. Soft and waterproof luggage is preferable for journeys on seaplanes and speedboats.
Due to the geographical nature of the Maldives with 99% sea and just 1% land, transportation is via speedboat and seaplane. Velana International Airport is on a separate island from the capital Malé. After collecting luggage and clearing customs, a seaplane or speedboat whisks you away. Paradise awaits.
Many of the newer resorts are accessable by seaplane, which operate during daylight. These trips provide a spectacular view of the islands. Speedboat transfers are scheduled around international flight arrivals and service most of the resorts within a 30 to 50 minute transfer from Malé. Private transfers are also available.