EXPLORE MALDIVES TOUR PACKAGES

MALDIVES HAS DEEP BLUE SEAS, TURQUOISE REEFS, WHITE SANDY BEACHES AND PALM TREES. IT IS ALSO A PLACE FULL OF CHARACTER, WHERE ITS PEOPLE HAVE LONG SPENT THEIR DAYS LANGUISHING IN THE VERY ESSENCE OF IDYLL LIVING. WHILE IT IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO SIT ON A BEACH AND WATCH A SUNSET WITH A COCKTAIL BALANCED ON YOUR HAND, IT IS ALSO A GEOGRAPHICAL MARVEL, KNOWING THAT THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF FISH SWIMMING AROUND THE VIVID CORALS JUST A FEW FEET AWAY FROM WHERE YOU SIT.

MALDIVES IS LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF INDIAN OCEAN, 670 KM/416 MILES SOUTH-WEST OF SRI LANKA. THE ISLAND ARCHIPELAGO COMPRISES OF 1190 ISLANDS WITH A LAND AREA OF 115 SQUARE MILES (298 SQ. KM)., 202 OF WHICH ARE INHABITED. SEA AREA: APPROX. 41,500 SQUARE MILES (107,500 SQ. KM) . MALDIVES IS DIVIDED INTO 19 ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS CALLED ATOLLS. THE CAPITAL ISLAND MALE' IS SOMEWHAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY AND THERE ARE TOURIST RESORTS IN 9 ATOLLS. SOUTH AND NORTH MALE' ATOLL, SOUTH AND NORTH ARI ATOLL, LHAVIYANI ATOLL, BAA ATOLL, VAAVU ATOLL, DHAALU ATOLL AND SEENU ATOLL.

FORMATION AND GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

THE MALDIVES LIES IN TWO ROWS OF ATOLLS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN, JUST ACROSS THE EQUATOR. THE COUNTRY IS MADE UP OF 1,190 CORAL ISLANDS FORMED AROUND 26 NATURAL RING-LIKE ATOLLS,SPREAD OVER 90,000 SQUARE KILOMETERS. THESE ATOLLS STRUCTURES ARE FORMED UPON A SHARP RIDGE RISING FROM THE OCEAN, MAKING WAY FOR THEIR SECLUDED UNIQUENESS.EACH ATOLL IN THE MALDIVES IS MADE OF A CORAL REEF ENCIRCLING A LAGOON, WITH DEEP CHANNELS DIVIDING THE REEF RING. A STRING OF ISLANDS TAKE THEIR PLACES AMONG THIS ATOLL RING; ENCIRCLING THE ISLAND LAGOON. THE REEFS OF THE ISLANDS, ALIVE WITH COUNTLESS TYPES OF UNDERWATER CREATURES AND VIBRANT CORALS, PROTECT THE ISLANDS FROM WIND AND WAVE ACTION OF THE SURROUNDING VAST OCEANS. THIS UNIQUE STRUCTURE OF REEFS AND CHANNELS MAKES NAVIGATION ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE PASSER-BY WITHOUT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION ABOUT THESE WATERS NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE MALDIVES IS MADE UP OF SEA. THE PEOPLE OF THE ISLANDS ARE WIDELY DISPERSED ACROSS THE ATOLLS, WITH ABOUT 200 INHABITED ISLANDS. ABOUT 90 ISLANDS ARE DEVELOPED AS TOURIST RESORT AND THE REST ARE UNINHABITED OR USED FOR AGRICULTURE AND OTHER LIVELIHOOD PURPOSES
POLITICAL STATUS: SINCE 1965, MALDIVES IS AN INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC, ELECTING DEMOCRATICALLY THE PARLIAMENT. THE PRESIDENT IS THE HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT, ELECTED EVERY 5 YEARS

CAPITAL : MALÉ - MALE' THE CAPITAL ISLAND ENVELOPES AN AREA OF 1.77 SQ.KMS.

MALDIVES STANDARD TIME: +5 HRS GMT ( 5 HOURS AHEAD OF GMT )

RELIGION: 100% SUNNI MUSLIM - MALDIVES IS PERHAPS THE ONLY COUNTRY WITH A 100% MUSLIM POPULATION. ISLAM WAS INTRODUCED AROUND A.D.800, AND THE MODERATE FORM PRACTICED IN MALDIVES HAS REMAINED VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED.

WEATHER & CLIMATE:

THE WEATHER IN THE MALDIVES IS USUALLY PICTURE PERFECT: SUNLIT DAYS, BREEZY NIGHTS, BALMY MORNINGS, AND IRIDESCENT SUNSETS. THE TEMPERATURE HARDLY EVER CHANGES - WHICH MAKES PACKING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY AN EASY TASK (SEE WHAT TO PACK). WITH THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT ABOUT 30 DEGREES CELSIUS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, THE SUN IS A CONSTANT ON MOST DAYS, SHINING THROUGH TREETOPS, CREATING LACY PATTERNS ON YOUR FEET, HEALING COLD-BONES WITH ITS WARMTH. THROUGHOUT THE DAY, THE SUN WILL MAKE ITSELF KNOWN, ENSURING THAT IT WILL BE REMEMBERED AND MISSED, LIKE AN OLD FRIEND, AS YOU PACK UP YOUR SUITCASES TO LEAVE MALDIVES HAS TWO DISTINCT SEASONS; DRY SEASON (NORTHEAST MONSOON) AND WET SEASON (SOUTHWEST MONSOON), WITH THE FORMER EXTENDING FROM JANUARY TO MARCH AND THE LATTER FROM MID-MAY TO NOVEMBER.
CURRENCY: THE MALDIVIAN CURRENCY IS THE RUFIYAA. ONE RUFIYAA IS 100 LAARI AND IS AVAILABLE IN 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 AND 5 RUFIYAA NOTES.

CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED :
AMERICAN EXPRESS, DINERS CLUB, EUROCARD, JCB, MASTERCARD, VISA.
MOST BANKS REPRESENTED IN MALÉ PROVIDE AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (ATM) SERVICES AND CREDIT CARD SERVICES AT SEVERAL KEY POINTS IN MALÉ.


GETTING TO MALE
TO GET MALE’, THE CAPITAL, YOU CAN CATCH A FERRY FROM THE AIRPORT, THAT LEAVES EVERY FEW MINUTES FOR JUST A DOLLAR OR 10 MALDIVIAN RUFIYAAS DURING DAYTIME. DHONIS HAVE BEEN USED BY LOCALS FOR CENTURIES AND THIS FERRY IS A MODERN ADAPTATION TO THE TRADITIONAL ONE AND ARE OFTEN BEDECKED IN KITSCH DECORATIONS.

TRAVELLING AROUND MALE
MALE’ IS MOST FAMOUS FOR ITS MOTORBIKES, THE FASTEST WAY TO GET AROUND. TAXIS ARE EASILY AVAILABLE AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED RUFIYAA 20 FOR EACH TRIP, NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO IN MALE’. YOU COULD ALWAYS TAKE THE EASIER OPTION AND WALK: ANYWHERE IN MALE’ IS REACHABLE IN TEN MINUTES.

SHOPPING
THE CAPITAL MALE', BEING THE CENTER OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IS THE IDEAL PLACE TO SHOP. SHOPS OPEN BETWEEN 7.30 AM AND 9.30 AM, AND CLOSE BY 11 PM. ON FRIDAYS THEY OPEN BY 1.30 PM AND CLOSE AS USUAL. MALDIVES IS AMONGST ONE OF THE TOUGHEST COUNTRIES IN DEALING WITH DRUGS. LENGTHY JAIL SENTENCES ARE NORMAL IF FOUND IN POSSESSION OR WHILST USING THEM, EVEN WITH A JOINT. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO IMPORT ANY FORM OF DRUG INTO MALDIVES. ALSO, PLEASE DO NOT USE DRUGS EVEN IF OFFERED WHILST THERE, IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK!

VISA REQUIREMENTS
NO PRIOR VISA ARRANGEMENTS ARE REQUIRED. A TOURIST VISA OF 30 DAYS WILL BE GIVEN TO VISITORS WITH VALID TRAVEL DOCUMENTS, ON ARRIVAL. VISITORS SHOULD BE IN POSSESSION OF AT LEAST US$25 PER DAY OF STAY IN THE MALDIVES. FOR THOSE COMING FROM YELLOW FEVER INFECTED REGIONS, AN INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF INOCULATION IS REQUIRED.

CULTURE
THE ISLANDS OF MALDIVES APPEAR IN-BETWEEN THE TRADING ROUTE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN. THUS SETTLERS, AND VISITORS FROM NEIGHBORING REGIONS AND AROUND THE WORLD HAVE COME IN CONTACT WITH THE ISLANDS FOR AS LONG AS HISTORY HAS BEEN RECORDED. SUCH IS THE TO-AND-FRO FLOW OF PEOPLE AND THEIR CULTURES, THAT A MARKED EFFECT HAS BEEN LEFT IN THE MALDIVIAN PEOPLE, THE LANGUAGE, BELIEFS, ARTS, AND ATTITUDES.

THE LOOKS OF THE MALDIVIAN PEOPLE MAY DIFFER FROM ONE ATOLL TO THE OTHER, ATTRIBUTING TO THE GENES PASSED ON BY SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIANS, AFRICANS, AND ARABIANS.

THE LANGUAGE, DHIVEHI, DIFFERS IN DIALECT IN SOME REGIONS IN THE SOUTH OF MALDIVES, POSSIBLY DUE TO THE SECLUDED NATURE AND SUBSISTENT WAYS OF ISLAND LIFE. MALDIVIAN BELIEFS HAVE BEEN VERY MUCH BASED AROUND RELIGION AND SUPERSTITION, OFTEN USED TOGETHER IN MATTERS OF SIGNIFICANCE BUT GIVEN SEPARATE POSITIONS IN SOCIETY. IN MATTERS OF FAITH, ISLAM DOMINATES, BUT INFLUENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL STILL CONTINUES TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN MOST ISLAND COMMUNITIES, POSSIBLY GIVING CREDIT TO THE FOLKLORES AND BUDDHIST TRADITIONS OF THE ISLANDS’ FIRST SETTLERS BEFORE CONVERSION TO ISLAM IN 1153 AD.