When you visit the Maldives, it won’t take you long to understand what makes this tropical country one of the most unique places in the world. The Maldive Islands are independent tropical nations in the Indian Ocean, composed of a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands, 200 of which are inhabited. These islands are grouped in 26 ring-shaped atolls, formed from undersea volcanic eruptions. Not something you’ll see anywhere else in the world.
No picture will do the Maldives justice; you have to come and experience it for yourself: the postcard-perfect white-sand beaches, captivating coral reefs, and turquoise blue lagoons. So, here are the top five reasons to visit the Maldives.
1. A Perfect Couples Retreat
Around 80 percent of tourists in the Maldives are couples and honeymooners. Isolated private islands, endless palm trees-trimmed beaches, and pristine glistening lagoons make the Maldives a perfect romantic getaway for couples. Each island in this exotic slice of Earth is home to a single resort, providing a secluded paradise for newlyweds and couples seeking solitude.
2. Snorkeling & Scuba Diving Paradise
Snorkeling in the Maldives is one of the best reasons to visit the Maldives archipelago. This spectacular tropical destination is known for having calm and safe waters with outstanding visibility. The underwater world in the Maldives is amazingly diverse and includes coral reefs with strikingly colored corals, more than 2,000 species of fish, dolphins, manta rays, stingrays, eagle rays, sea turtles, and the beautiful whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean. Swimming with the majestic whale sharks in the coral atolls and the surrounding lagoons is one of the best reasons to visit the Maldives.
There is a large number of fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving spots in the Maldives. However, some of the best places to jump in the crystal-clear, calm waters and explore the breathtaking undersea world are Baa Atoll, Laamu Atoll, North Malé Atoll, Ari Atoll, and Gaafu Alifu Atoll.
3. Picture-Perfect Beaches
One of the first things that come to mind when thinking of Maldives is white powder-sand beaches and perfect turquoise lagoons. Kilometers of unspoiled white sand and the vast Indian Ocean attract millions of holidaymakers in search of the laid-back time on the Maldivian beaches. From the calming sound of waves to pleasant temperatures, and from blissful mornings to the magical dusk that paints the beaches in thousand shades of orange, purple, and red, your Maldives beaches experience will grow into life-long memories.
4. Maldivian Culture and Cuisine
Nothing is fun like learning the famous Maldivian folk dance of Bodu Beru (meaning “big drum”) or simply watching the group of local dancers gracefully swinging on the beach in the evenings. Appreciate the Maldivian culture and indulge the local food based on fish and coconuts. Try Mas Huni with tuna, coconut and chili salad, Dhon Riha (Maldivian Curry with tuna) or Garudhiya (Maldivian fish soup). Also, don’t miss the Mas Kashi street food with dried fish with coconut and mango.
5. An Endangered Paradise
Will this paradise on Earth be swallowed by the ocean in the future? The Maldives is the world’s lowest country in elevation. None of the lowland coral atolls is rising more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) above sea level. A 2004 tsunami erased more than 20 islands from the map. With sea levels dramatically rising, the experts fear that the Maldives could completely disappear under the ocean in 30 years.
Hopefully, countries will take radical measures to prevent this. Yet, you may want to visit this awe-inspiring paradise while it’s still there, just in case.