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The Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation positioned in the Indian Ocean, less than one-hour flight from Sri Lanka. The island nation is unique in terms of geography and topography, located on top of a vast underwater mountain range the Maldives consists of 1,200 pearl string like islands and sandbanks spread over 26 natural atolls and covering almost 300km2. Some 200 islands are "local islands" and another 140 odds are "resort islands", the rest are uninhabited. All islands are encompassed by a lagoon of crystal clear turquoise waters, protected by a reef structure. The "one island, one resort" concept is unique to the Maldives with the land mass of each island being anywhere between 1 - 2 kilometers in total circumference.
History and Culture
A unique country of turquoise lagoons and soft white sandy beaches, Maldivians inherited ancient mythology passed by word of mouth through generations. These myths cover fascinating stories on various aspects of island life. Having been greatly influenced by India, Sri Lanka, The Middle East and North Africa whose countrymen visited the Maldives while traversing through the trading routes of the central Indian Ocean. The Maldivian culture is rich and vibrant due to the infusion of these various cultural elements. One of the most famous cultural displays seen in the Maldives is the “Bodu Beru”. Bodu Beru performers wear a traditional sarong and white t-shirt. A Bodu Beru performance of chanting and dancing barefoot on the sand will have you tapping along with the drumbeats.
The Maldives is a perfect destination year-round although there are two seasons, one between May and October when intermittent rain showers occur followed by the less humid and drier season from November to April. A tropical serenity located on the equator, the Maldives enjoys a year-round idyllic climate with temperatures between 23°C and 32°C.
Time Zone and Currency
Time Zone is GMT +5 hours. Currency is the US dollar and all services and facilities are in US dollars. The Maldives does have a local currency called "Rufiyaa" (MVR) however US Dollars is the most accepted currency in the resorts who also accept credit cards American Express, Visa and Mastercard. If you are visiting a local island you may wish to have a small amount of Rufiyaa on hand, however in most cases US Dollars are also acceptable here.