Short description of Maldives
Geogarphical Location : Indian Ocean.
Archipelago : Maldives lies on north to south its length is 823 kms and with is about 130 kms.
Area : about 90,000sq kms.
Islands / Atoll : Maldives is consist of about 1190 island and country administratively divided in to 20 Atoll.
Largest Atoll : Huvadu Atoll.. ( Area about 6486 sq miles)
Smallest Atoll : Gnaviyani Atoll, ( area about 4.81 sq miles)
Immediate Neighbors : Sri Lanka and India are located northeast of Maldives. Lakshadweep Island to the north , Chagos Archipelago to the south and the Seychelles to the southwest.
Capital : Male’
Airport : Male’ International Airport on Hulhule Island, its two kilometers east of capital Male’.
Maldives is called as “the tropical paradise” for reasons. Its beauty is none like other. Maldives is a tropical country with separated islands, which are separated by sea. And each island is surrounded by stunning white sandy beaches. It is a wonderful experience to visit and explore the beauty of the islands.
The sea covers about 99% of the Maldives and it is where most attractive things lie in. The natural beauty lies in the Maldivian sea beats no other. There are over five thousand coral reefs and plenty of reef fish, corals, marine mammals, and so many other marine lives. And that is the reason people say, diving in Maldives is unforgettable.
Almost all the islands in Maldives are surrounded by beautiful pure white sandy beaches. Even if you have nothing else to do, I am sure you won’t get bored walking in the soft white sandy beaches and leaving your foot prints on.
When you look at an island from a distance, you can find green trees before anything else, and specially the coconut palms. That brings more beauty to the islands, plus you get amazing drink out of the coconut palms.
Traveling in a sea plane and watching the beautiful islands from the window is the most wonderful experience you could ever have. Islands are formed in a way that makes a round which is called as an atoll. When you see them from sea plane view, it will look like a chain of pearls.
With the natural and beautiful surrounding, you could have a memorable honeymoon trip in Maldives. It is also an ideal place to have a family holiday, where you can spend lovely moments with fun and enjoyment in the beautiful pure white beaches.
Malé International Airport
Male’ International Airport is on an island that only houses the airport and related facilities. The airport located on Hulhule Island is a modern well-equipped airport with all the facilities and services one would expect from an international airport.
The airport complex houses terminals for arrivals and departures, landside shops and airside duty free shops, restaurants, medical facilities, bank, post office and other services. The island also houses the airport hotel.
What to pack
The Maldives is warm throughout the year. Light, cotton and linen wear is ideal. Pack lots of tee shirts, beachwear, and wraparound skirts, cotton shirts and shorts. For visits to inhabited islands, where most of the streets are of compact sand, or Malé where the streets are paved, sandals are easy to walk on. Some essential items include swimwear, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat or a cap. If your travel plan includes traveling to many islands, a mosquito repellent may become handy.
Tourists are issued a maximum of 30-day tourist visa on arrival. A valid travel document is necessary. Visa extensions are granted by the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Malé.
The import of firearms, drugs, pornography and idols of worship are prohibited. Dogs, pigs, and pork products are also prohibited for import by tourists. Alcohol imported under a special license is available in all the resorts. Similarly pork products are available at most of the resorts as well. Prohibited products such as alcohol brought in by passengers are bonded and released at departure.
An international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever and cholera is required by visitors arriving from infected countries.
MTPB at the airport
The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board has a counter at the airport arrival terminal to provide information and assistance to tourists arriving in the country and provide a variety of brochures in different languages for guests.
If you have a booking with a resort, transfer is usually arranged prior to your arrival. The options of speedboat or seaplane transfer where available is for you to choose from. For transfer to resorts close to the airport, motorboat or dhoni transfer is quite convenient. Even if you make a resort booking while in Malé, transfer arrangements are often made by the resort.
The Maldives has one of the largest seaplane fleets in the world, not surprising for a country with 99% ocean and more than a thousand islands. The low altitude seaplane journey offers you the additional opportunity to experience a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the country.
The airport departure tax which is US$ 12.00 is usually included when you purchase your airline ticket.
Duty Free Shopping
Duty Free Shopping is only available at the departure terminal at Malé International Airport. The lounge has specialized shops with a wide variety of international brands selling well known products at competitive prices. The duty free lounge has shops for toys, souvenirs, perfume, electronics, watches, fashion accessories, jewellery, liquor, tobacco and confectionery.
All resorts without exception have water sports centres that provide a range of water sports and fun activities. The most popular among these are snorkeling, windsurfing and catamaran sailing.
The water sports centres are equipped with boards and sails of different sizes and some offer courses for beginners and advanced windsurfers and sailors.
Among other popular water sports activities are parasailing, kayaking, kite-surfing, water-skiing and jet skiing. Some resorts even offer you the opportunity to try out your sailing skills on a local dhoni.
Today surfing is the fastest growing water sport in the country, with several surf breaks that are documented and well-known by surf enthusiasts. The most important surf event is the annual international surf event which has placed Maldives firmly on the world’s surf map.
The best season to surf in the Maldives is the Southwest Monsoon from April to October. Surfers are most likely to enjoy the biggest swells from June to September. The surf generally ranges in size from 3-8 feet.
The best known surf breaks are in the North and South Male’ Atoll and most surfers stay in resorts close to these breaks. However cruise operators offer specialized surfing cruises, that give you the opportunity to test some of the less known surf breaks in the atolls further away from Male’ Atoll.
Maldives is home to some of the most diverse marine fauna and flora in the world. Tens of thousands of reefs, a thousand recorded species of fish, over two hundred species of coral and hundreds more species of other marine life; no wonder many see this as one of the greatest dive destinations on earth.
There are thousands of dive sites; so numerous that you can literally swim over from one to the other. Only a small percentage of the Maldives reefs have ever been dived. Each dive site has its unique characteristics in form, fauna and flora, the currents and other elements that shape and mould them. Resorts concentrate on dive sites within a one or two-hour radius, while cruise boats cover more ocean and therefore a greater variety of sites.
The dive centre is one of the most important facilities in any resort. Each resort has a dive centre and are staffed by qualified dive instructors. Divers may, if they wish, bring along their own dive gear, however the centre carry a wide range of rental equipment. At resorts diving is conducted daily all year round. Even in Malé there are some dive centres, mainly serving the residents of Malé. There are two decompression chambers in the Maldives located in Kaafu Atoll and Ari Atoll.
Maafushi island (Maldives)
Maafushi island (Maldives) is the best place for a holiday if you’re looking for a cheap place for the best beach vacations and wanting to find the real life of Maldives.
The island is located in South Male’ Atoll, just 30 minutes from the airport and the capital male ‘ if you go on a speed boat. Also to the island can be reached by regular ferry coming from Male’ from 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. all days except Friday. Cost one way for one person is 2.5 – 3 $ and it takes 1.5 hours of time.
Maafushi is really nice local island! It is not a resort but it is a great place for those who want to immerse in the atmosphere of the local life of Maldives and Resort of Maldives at the same time.
On the island there are hospital, police station, school, many shops of food, clothing, household goods, fields for football and volleyball, concert Playground, bar, cafe on the shore of the ocean, where tables are standing right in the sand. There’s a good beach with white sand and a very good coral reef.
All the prices are low as they are for local residents in contrast to the island-resorts. While you can every day travel to the neighboring island-resorts, which are located in a few minutes by speed boat and spend a whole day there, taking advantage of all the infrastructure free of charge. (For example, a trip to the nearby Byadhoo island-resort with dinner, beach towels, the opportunity to enjoy all of the amenities of the hotel, transferring to a day at very competitive price to your selected guest house from many other guest houses.
The Maafushians are very friendly people ever ready to help without any sign of self-interest. So you will be able to buy souvenirs many times cheaper than they sell for the resort tourists. Local shops (except souvenirs) have fixed prices and you can by fruits, snacks and even swimming fins there for the real (not resort) price.
Maafushi it is a place where you can see the ocean from any place on the island. The Indian Ocean is calm and very beautiful. You can enjoy it as a natural swimming pool. There is a nice coral reef nearby.
There are two beaches on Maafushi on opposite sides of the island. The reef is located in the west side, You can walk on the snow-white sand in shallow water a few meters long and there begins a good riff. Steep wall of coral and fish. There a huge turtle, eagle rays (very nice!), Dolphins and groups of all kinds of fishes. It should carry with them flippers necessarily because it is the ocean, and without them hanging like an empty bottle..It is a great choice for the tourists that want “budget holidays” resting in a Resort at very competitive price all day with lunch), the snorkeling, fishing from boat, swimming with manta ray and dolphins, a picnic on a deserted island, rest on a small beach in the middle of the ocean (a small island, where nothing except sand), a concert of national culture and etc.
MHulhumalé Island (Maldives)
Hulhumale is the result of the largest land reclamation project undertaken by the Maldives government.
The island was conceived as the “New Male”, born out of the growing need to alleviate congestion within the country’s capital. A mere 20 minute ferry ride seperates Hulhumale from Male but you may as well be in a different world!
Hulhumale is physically larger than Male City and enjoys direct access to the international airport via a link road. Its wide lagoon provides safe harbour for all manner of vessels including the majority of the Safari boats operating within the Maldives. Hulhumale is much more spacious when compared to Male city and though there is a bustling little community resident here you never get the feeling that the place is crowded. There is substantially more greenery throughout the island, much less noise and way less traffic! Although shopping in Hulhumale isn’t on par with Male, you’ll still easily find most conveniece goods, toiletries and food items avilable in the stores and corner shops dotted around the place.
The entire North East side of the island boasts a very long stretch of rather nice beachs lined with coconut palm trees. Over the years a number of guest houses have sprung up alongside it offering modern and comfortable accommodation options to visiting tourists. For eating out you can choose from a selection of small restuarants and cafe’s offering simple but adequate dining. For classier eating options and serious shopping, Male city has a lot more on offer and with the ferry leaving every 15 minutes it’s super easy to get there anyway. These convenient travel options and more importantly the generally better standard of living in Hulhumale are why we encourage our divers to find accommodation here. But of course if you prefer then you can also stay in Male City and still dive easily with us.