For those looking to vacation in an exotic location that offers modern amenities and natural beauty a visit to the Maldives is a perfect solution. Booking Maldives vacation packages that include hotel accommodation and airfare from various cities is the best way to get the vacation you want.
Maldives is a nation made up of a group of about 1200 atolls, all surrounded by coral reefs interrupted by narrow channels that allow access to shallow lagoons. The islands are low-lying with none being more than 1.8 meters (6 feet) above the water. Only 202 of the islands are inhabited and another 100 are the sites of private resorts.
Since the days of Marco Polo, Maldives has been known as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It has pure white beaches edged by clear, vibrant blue water. Possessing a tropical climate, atolls and islets alike have a luxuriant growth of breadfruit and tropical shrubs, with the dominant plant life being coconut palms. It is located in the Indian Ocean some 750 km (465 miles) from Sri Lanka and 350 km (217 miles) from southern India. Because of its proximity to those two nations, Maldives culture shows influences of both.
Visitors to Maldives will find a tour of Male, the capital city, very interesting. It is home to the nation’s top religious site, the Grand Friday Mosque, the country’s largest mosque with room for 5,000 worshippers. The tombs of national heroes and royalty are on its grounds, in the shadow of its golden dome. Sites of interest also include the National Museum, Singapore Bazaar, saints’ tombs, and the Presidential Palace. There will be no problem in finding additional interesting places to visit.
While Maldives was once the source of most of the cowrie shells once used as money in India and the Middle East, it is now renowned for the great quality of water sports there. Because of coral reefs, the water surrounding Maldives is home to a vast variety of marine life including hundreds of different kinds of tropical fish. Warm temperatures, clear water and interesting marine life has made Maldives one of the premier diving areas in the world. All of the resorts offer snorkeling and scuba dive adventures. The resorts also supply divers with all of the equipment they need to fully enjoy diving on the reefs from near the surface to the depths. In fact, visitors who simply wade near the beaches have exciting views of life in the water. Scuba diving and snorkeling are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Well-known water sports besides diving are very popular with visitors. Canoeing and kayaking are available in sheltered lagoons and water around islands. Catamarans crewed by beginners and experts are available. These are suitable for vacationers who like the classic water sport and want to explore islands and sandbanks.
As Maldives has become increasingly popular, some of the once common activities are now being discouraged. For example, water skiing is discouraged because of concerns about damage that could be done to the reefs and the possibility of accidents in lagoons growing ever more crowded.
Parasailing is frowned upon these days. As the number of people being moved about to resorts and sightseeing in planes and helicopters has increased worries have arisen about possible accidents. However, parasail operators take safety measures and participants still enjoy wonderful views of the islands, the ocean and lagoons.
Similarly, windsurfing is enjoyed by visitors. Windsurfing is done in water around the islands as well as lagoons. The sport is considered more challenging in the lagoons because of wind currents. Instruction is available for those who have never learned windsurfing but want to try it.
Most times of the year are good to vacation in Maldives. Diving is excellent with the advice that viewing is best on the western side of atolls in May through November and on the eastern side from December to April. Surfing is best during March through October. It is also the time of the year when resort prices are cheapest. Prices are also low from May through November except for the month of August. It is also a good idea not to schedule a visit to Maldives during the Islamic holiday of Ramadan because restaurants and other businesses are closed during that month. The dates of Ramadan vary every year but are in mid-August to mid-September.
The best way to book a vacation in Maldives is to obtain a Maldives vacation package from a trusted travel agent. Maldives vacation packages include flights to the country from many Asian and South Pacific cities and the cost of the stay in the country. If you prefer, your Maldives vacation packages cost can be arranged to include round trip flights from an airport near your home. Maldives vacation packages from India and Sri Lanka are also available if you are already vacationing there.