Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Maldives?
Maldives is located just north of the equator in the Indian Ocean near the Arabian Sea. It is southwest of India and lies between Minicoy Island and the Chagos archipelago. The total area of the Maldives is 115 square miles. The chain of islands that comprises Maldives is located in the Laccadive Sea. The sea makes up 99 percent of the total area of the Maldives. The capital of Maldives, Male, is roughly 600 kilometers (370 miles) southwest of India and 750 kilometers (470 miles) southwest of Sri Lanka. Maldives sits at the top of the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, a submarine mountain range.
Do I need a Visa to enter Maldives?
To enter Maldives no pre-arrival visa is required. A thirty day free visa is issued on arrival for all Nationalities, provided: - Should possess a valid passport with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) with at least 6 months validity. - Have a valid ticket to continue the journey out of Maldives. - Have enough funds to cover the expenses for duration of the stay in Maldives (minimum USD 50 per day)
What is weather like in the Maldives?
The Maldives has a hot tropical climate with plenty of sunshine and high level of humidity. The temperature fluctuates between 24C to 30C. Maldives has two monsoons, the northeast monsoon occurring from November to April being the dry and the sunny season, while South west monsoon from May to October is the rainy season. However, it is still possible to get a number of Sunny days even during the rainy season, since the days of rain last periodically for 3 to 4 days followed by the sun.
What is the best time to visit the Maldives?
The best time to visit the Maldives is during November to April when there are clear skies and it is dry. The visibility for diving is also high during this period. However, for surfers it brings good news as the south west monsoon brings the best waves, with the largest waves occurring in July and August.
Are there general safety concerns to be aware of in the Maldives?
Yes, there are a few precautions foreigners must be enlightened on for personal conscious attention.
Can I drink the water in the Maldives?
Water sanitation in the Maldives is non existent as water from the tap treated rain water. It is strongly advised to boil water, drink bottled water or if you are staying in a resort, they may supply drinking water to you. Travellers Diarrhoea is a real possibility, so read up on a couple of water sanitation guides before you come.
Are there Mosquito borne diseases in the Maldives?
Dengue fever can be a problem in the Maldives, with an outbreak in early 2011 having three hundred reported cases with five deaths. Dengue Fever as well as chikungunya fever are problems that occur periodically in the Maldives. Both of these are mosquito born infectious disease, and adequate mosquito protection is highly recommended. Malaria is not an issue in the Maldives.
Aquatic hazards in the Maldives:
- Diving and snorkelling in the Maldives is top notch, and many novices are tempted into trying the sport. Make sure you get proper instruction, and watch out for the sharks.
- There may be plenty of sharks in the waters particularly reef sharks, but despite that there has not been a recorded incident of a shark biting a human. Don't be the first, give them space and you'll appreciate how incredible they are.
- However, there are plenty of other dangerous things in the ocean. On the lighter end of the scale, you could get stung by an Anemone, Sea Urchin or touch a Lionfish. All of these things will hurt, and in the case of the Lionfish, hurt a lot. But these are creatures which don't jump out at you and attack, just appreciate them and don't touch.
- A lot of the time it is assumed that if it's a fish that isn't a shark, it isn?t not going to bite you, as the Titan Trigger Fish is an ample evidence of this. Around mating season, commonly on the months of April and May, is an aggressive time for them as they become majorly territorial. So if you see what looks like a mohawked fish coming straight for you, be careful. The titan trigger fish isn't venomous, but it does have a reasonably nasty bite that can require medical attention.
- The most dangerous fish however, is the Stonefish. It's highly venomous and tends to hang out on rocks where it looks, as it's name suggests, like a stone. It's very well camouflaged and its venom can be (and usually is) fatal, so take extreme care where you put your feet when snorkelling, swimming or scuba diving amongst coral reefs.
- If you're going fishing, be aware that many tropical fish contain various biotoxins that are dangerous no matter how well the fish is cooked. Barracuda in particular should never be eaten, some toxin containing fishes are snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, and many tropical reef fish. So be wary of what kind of fish you've caught and look up whether or not it's safe to eat before you decide to have a fish barbeque.
The Diving health concerns in the Maldives:
If you plan to go diving, make sure it is with a qualified licensed operator. Should you run into trouble and meet with decompression sickness, there are five decompression chambers to reverse your bends in the Maldives. Be wary that the maximum depth you are allowed to dive in the Maldives is 30m as it is legislated by the Republic of Maldives-Ministry of Tourism. So if an operator conducts dives beyond the mark, don?t use them. Before diving, ensure 24hrs before you fly to reduce the risk of decompression sickness.
How to take care under the Maldives sun:
The sun can be ridiculously intense in the Maldives. The direct sun is difficult to avoid as there is also present the reflection and glare from the waters as well. It cannot be overemphasised the criticalness of staying hydrated and using means of protection such sunscreen, wearing sun protective clothing, good quality sun glasses, etc. With the services of medial facilities being limited within the islands, it is most advisable to not allow yourself to the point of heat exhaustion or heat strokes.
Which Airport should I choose?
Maldives has two International Airports. Male' International Airport located a 10 minute boat ride from the Capital in the Middle of Maldives, and Gan International Airport located at the Sothern end of the country in Addu Atoll. The main international Airport known as Male' International Airport which would be the Airport that you should choose for all resorts except for resorts located in Huvadhu Atoll (also known as Gaafu Alifu and Gaafu Dhaal Atoll) and Addu Atoll(Seenu Atoll). If you are coming to a resort located in Huvadhu Atoll or Addu Atoll you should choose the newly internationalized Airport of Gan International Airport. The importance of knowing the location of your Resort (i.e. the name of the Atoll) cannot be overemphasized when choosing your airport.
How do we travel from the Airport to the Resorts & Hotels?
The Airport is located on a separate island and for all resorts & hotels it would mean a transfer by speed boat or Seaplane is a necessity. For most resorts in North and South Male Atoll the mode of transport is Speed boat which should take no more than 45 minutes in most cases. For resorts in Ari Atoll and further away a scenic seaplane ride would get you there in 40 minutes. In the case of Resorts located further away from the International Airport, a domestic flight (maximum 1 hour) and short speed boat ride would take you to your hotel.
Would someone meet us at the Airport?
You can rest assured that all guests are met at the Airport by the Airport guest relation officer, who would then guide you to your mode of transportation to the Resort or Hotel. The speed boats are located only just about 150 meters (about a 2 minute walk) from the Arrival Hall. The Seaplanes are located on the Airport Island as well and as you will be taken by Vehicle on a short ride (about 5 minutes) to the Seaplanes.
What should I bring to the Maldives?
Clothes: Light Cotton wear, Tee Shirts, Beach wear, wrap-arounds, cotton shirts & Shorts. Sandals are the ideal footwear. Other items include: Bathing Suit/ Swim wear, Sunglasses, Sunscreen Lotion, Hat or Cap, Mosquito repellent, Electrical adapter and Power banks.
What is the currency used in the Maldives?
The currency used in Maldives is Maldivian Rufiyaa. All resorts accept all major currencies. And in 99% of the country US dollar is accepted as payment.
Is International roaming available in the Maldives?
Yes the Maldivian Telecom companies have roaming agreements with a number of foreign Telecom Operators; hence you would be able to get roaming service in the Maldives.