The Maldives is a group of low-lying coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 major atolls, situated south west of Sri Lanka. A small percentage of the islands are inhabited and 87 are exclusively resorts, boasting tropical landscapes hugged by picture-perfect beaches festooned with palm trees. The myriad islands are surrounded by coral reefs enclosing shallow lagoons.
The resorts are predominantly located in the three atolls closest to the Maldivian capital, in Malé (Kaafu) atoll. A few are found in Vaavu, Baa, Lhaviyani and the Ari (Alifu) atoll. Ari has recently been earmarked for development as the new Tourism Zone. Each resort has an individual character supported by traditional or modern architecture.
The larger, less expensive resorts attract young, adventure-seeking tourists whilst some of the smaller, expensive options offer a more reclusive, intimate holiday. The excursions provided by the resorts vary, depending on their proximity to dive sites, local villages and natural attractions. All the resorts, however, offer watersports, such as night-fishing trips, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, jetskiing, banana-boating, knee-boarding or ringo-riding. Very popular are excursions in glass-bottomed boats.
Time Local time is GMT +5
Communication: The international access code for The Maldives is +960
Currency: The official currency is the Maldivian Rufiya (MVR) which is divided into 100 laari.