Bungalows over the water in The Maldives
Tips For Deciding Which Maldives Island Is Right For Your Next Trip
The Maldives comprises 1,200 islands across 26 atolls, arrayed like coral necklaces against thousands of square miles of endless cobalt water.
The Islands
Only a sixth of the islands are inhabited, and the country's total land mass is little more than 115 square miles, about the same size as Fresno, California.
The number of international airlines that fly to the capital, Malé, shows what a popular destination it is. Flights from the U.S. take about 20 hours with connections.
Time Traveler
There is a hotel on the airport's island, Hulhulé, but it is for those in transit. The main resorts are on other islands, requiring another flight, boat ride, or both.
While most visit the Maldives to hit the beach, the island of Malé is fascinating. With less than 4 square miles, it can easily be explored on foot in a few days.
Urban Escape
Visitors will find touristy souvenir shops, local markets, Maldivian cuisine, and exciting landmarks. Stop by the Grand Friday Mosque, one of the country's most attractive sights.
Visitors wanting to get to their resort as quickly as possible can go by speedboat. They are much cheaper than seaplane transfers and can even be done at night.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on South Malé Atoll can be reached in 15 minutes by speedboat from the airport, and being whisked away like a billionaire adds to your experience.
A UNESCO-recognized area, the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve is a wonderland of hundreds of coral and fish species, manta rays, whale sharks, and endangered turtles.
Marine Life
For snorkeling and diving, this is the country's best place to explore the water and its lagoons, deep channels, seagrass beds, and mangroves.