The Maldives is one of the most popular diving destinations on the planet and it’s easy to see why since the whole nation is basically underwater. The rest of the Maldives features numerous beachside resorts and attracts thousands of visitors each and every year. The string of islands that make up the archipelago sit in the warm water of the Indian Ocean. None of the land reaches more than seven and a half feet above sea level, making it the world’s flattest country.
Throughout history, the islands have been colonized by Portugal, Holland, and Britain, but gained their independence back in 1965. The Maldives is home to about 350,000 people with about 25% of them living in the capital of Male. Because of its ideal location and wonderful seaside landscapes, tourism is quite popular here. The resorts are always filled with beer for visitors, but the rest of the nation is dry.
Many travelers love to partake in the numerous marine activities that are available and there are also some excellent spas to relax and be pampered in. It’s also definitely one of the most popular locations with honeymooners. The beaches are simply amazing as they feature white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. They’re as clean as can be and don’t be surprised to see a variety of fish swim right up to the shoreline.
You may be fortunate enough to see whales frolicking in the nearby waters and you’re almost guaranteed to see playful dolphins putting on an entertaining show for beachgoers. Many of the dolphins are Spinners, which like to feed themselves around sunset. Many resorts offer boat rides at this time enabling you to capture the event on film. It’s also quite a romantic sight as the sun slowly slides into the deep blue ocean.
Fishing is another popular activity in the islands since the waters are filled with an assortment of species including tuna, Dorado, shark, jackfish, barracuda, and marlin. If you’re lucky you can take your day’s catch back to the resort and have the chef cook it up for you.
It’s believed there are close to 1200 islands that make up the Maldives, but many of the smaller ones disappear under the water during high tide. You can visit several of them by boat or seaplane if you’d like to explore the area. You’ll also be able to enjoy scuba diving exploits while doing this. The view under the water is fabulous since the water’s so clear. The range of colorful marine life that can be witnessed is simply remarkable.
Of course, the Maldives is just as popular with snorkelers too as there are many coral gardens close to the beaches. Surfing is also becoming quite trendy and you’ll find the season runs between March and November. The islands host a few international surfing competitions throughout the year. Other water sports available include windsurfing, kayaking, boating, kite boarding, water-skiing, and jet skiing.
If you’d rather spend your time on the land instead of in the water you’ll be impressed by the numerous shopping options available in the resorts, the airport and Male. Even if you aren’t interested in shopping, a trip to Male is highly recommended. It’s quite an experience since the small islet appears to be floating on the waves, which is almost true. It’s a charming place with some bustling markets and beautiful mosques. Just remember, the bars are alcohol-free in town.
The Maldives is a blissful nation that is often referred to as an ocean island paradise, and with very good reason.