The Maldives, a group of about 1,200 islands, separated into a series of coral atolls, is just north of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a sand bar and coral reef which encircles a lagoon.  Between each reef lie deep channels. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless types of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast oceans. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes navigation almost impossible for the passer-by without sufficient information about these waters.

Only 200 of the islands are inhabited.  Many of these tropical atolls and islands are simply gorgeous, with swaying palms, white sandy beaches, and deep-blue lagoons; none of the islands rise higher than 7.8 ft. above sea level.  These low-lying specs of coral are subject to erosion, and stand at the mercy of any sea.  It continues its effort to reclaim solid ground from the shallow waters of the surrounding reefs, but its precarious elevation above sea level is an on-going concern for all who call this beautiful place home.

The Maldives are southwest of Sri Lanka and have a presidential-parliamentary democracy.  The population is fewer than 325,000, with approximately 100,000 people residing in the capital city of Malé, and an estimated 100,000 foreign workers. Beautiful atolls, inhabited by over 1,100 species of fish and other sea life, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Tourism facilities are well developed on the resort islands.

Over the last few decades the Maldives has transformed itself into a popular fishing, scuba diving, surfing, and exotic resort and spa destination. It is a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail in your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit.

Scuba Diving in Maldives is unparalleled. One can dive reefs, wrecks, and incredible sea life abounds. The color of the water unimaginable. The hotels, way beyond your expectations! To get to the Maldives one flies into their main city and then transfers by boat to their private resort. To return, there are the barefoot airlines, called so because the pilots are indeed actually barefoot, to take you back to the mainland.

It is amazing to think of how these small islands upon which some of the most magnificent resorts in the world, bring in all their equipment and supplies. This is the home of the rich and famous, and devout divers!

While in Maldives, we stayed at One & Only Reethi Rah Maldives. One & Only Reethi Rah Maldives Resort is a jewel among a string of coral atolls, lagoons, and white sands. The experience is privacy, warmth and moments of magic.  This plush resort offers 130 private resort villas well separated along the shore, either on the beach secluded by lush tropical greenery, or set above the clear, protected waters of the lagoon. Designed in an elegant contemporary style, these are among the largest resort villas in the world. 

Set on one of the largest Maldivian islands in North Male' Atoll, adorned with endless white sand coves and turquoise bays, all villas enjoy beautiful ocean views and direct access to the lagoon.  The food at the resort is excellent. The service is outstanding. The rooms beautiful. It’s best to plan a trip soon, because in the future, these islands are likely to be underwater!

Visiting the Maldives is a great stopover choice when planning a trip to India!

Raina Ring