Maldives Travel Guide
The Dhivehin people of the Maldives are descended from an ethnic mix of Aryan, Negroid, Sinhalese, Dravidian and Arab cultures. The history of the area was dominated by a succession of bids for control that began with Muslim rule in the 12th-century. The Arabs were later supplanted by the Portuguese and then the British, until 1965 when the Maldives finally achieved full independence as a sultanate. The majority of Maldivians are Sunni Muslims and their lifestyle follows the traditions of Islam. Traces of ancient beliefs have endured in the form of superstitions centred on evil spirits.
The Maldives rely on tourism and fishing for their income, and with the large number of foreign visitors, eco-friendly tourism is gaining popularity in order to maintain the Maldives' natural beauty for future generations. Very little tourism in the Maldives is independent, with most visitors opting for all-inclusive resorts and package tours.
Watersports of many different kinds are popular at the various
resorts in the Maldives, including parasailing, surfing,
windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, kite surfing and tubing.
Visitors also love to go cruising in glass-bottomed boats, often in
search of dolphins to swim with.
Parasailing in the Maldives is a great way to explore the scenic splendour of the islands and the vistas of coral and water beyond them from a bird's eye view. Only the larger resorts offer it as an activity and those that do usually have courses for beginners. If your resort doesn't offer parasailing it is usually possible to arrange a visit to a nearby resort that does. Two resorts well-known for their parasailing are Fihalhohi and Adaaran Hudhuran Fushi.
The lagoons found around most of the islands make the conditions perfect for windsurfing in the Maldives. Most of the resorts have windsurf schools or watersports centres offering lessons and equipment hiring facilities. Boards and sails for hire cater to varying skill levels so it is important to ask advice when selecting what you need. Most resorts in the Maldives offer windsurfing as an activity, but some of the most well-known islands for enjoying the sport are Rihiveli, Velassaru, Baros, Meedhupparu, Anantara Dhiggu, Medhufushi and Kuramathi.
Scuba diving and snorkelling
The tropical waters of the Indian Ocean vibrate with exotic
marine life and abundant coral reefs. Some of the popular diving
sites in the Maldives can be explored from the resorts or through
diving safari trips. Most of the resorts run diving schools
offering PADI courses and hiring facilities for diving and
snorkelling equipment and underwater cameras. Some of the best dive
sites in the Maldives include the Victory Wreck, Mushimasmingili
Thila (Shark Thila), Guraidhoo Corner, Kuda Rah Thila (Broken Rock)
and Banana Reef.
Vaavu Atoll attracts divers with its wealth of marine life; Lhaviyani Atoll's Kuredu Express is a strong current that provides excitement for divers looking for thrills; the North Male Atoll is great for lazy dives, and small, interesting sea creatures; Lankanfinolhu Faru is one of the best places to see manta rays; and Ari Atoll is great for dives with sharks and other large fish. The Maldives has a great variety of dive sites and offers dives of varying depths to suit different skill levels; there is a wide variety available for beginners and experts alike. The diving is wonderful year-round in the Maldives, but many visitors prefer to avoid the worst of the rainy season, between June and August.
Night fishing is a popular Maldivian pastime and a favourite
activity with tourists. Conditions in the Maldives create the
perfect opportunity for relaxing under the night skies while
waiting for a catch. Big-game and deep-sea fishing are other
options that involve trawling along the outer atoll reefs for giant
trophies. The big fish to catch in the Maldives include sailfish,
marlin, barracuda, yellowfish, tuna, wahoo, swordfish and many
others. Night fishing is rewarded with a catch of snappers,
emperors, barracuda, squirrel fish and jacks. Often, resorts will
specify a minimum number of participants required for fishing trips
- often four - and those travelling solo should watch the notice
boards and enquire from staff if anybody else is looking for fellow
fishermen. Usually groups can be easily assembled. Most resorts and
hotels offer all the basic fishing gear you may need, but
experienced fishermen do sometimes complain about the quality and
limited selection of the rods; if you are an expert it is best to
bring your own equipment to avoid disappointment, but if you are a
beginner you should be perfectly satisfied with what they
Visitors should note that fishing within the reefs is not allowed at any resort and there are some protected marine regions which must be avoided - it is against the law to fish in some places and offenders will be fined steeply. Talk to your chosen resort before your trip to find out what kind of fishing they offer, as facilities vary from resort to resort.
There is a good private hospital on Malé and first aid facilities are available on all the resort islands. In the event of diving emergencies, a decompression chamber is available. Food and water in the resort hotels is generally risk-free. Medical insurance is advised for travel to the Maldives. If you require certain medications on holiday it is best to take them with you, in their original packaging, with a dated and signed letter from your doctor detailing what the medication is and why you need it.
Rectangular blade plug
Round pins and grounding pin.