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The Travel Well Guide
Coral Reefs including the Eye of the Maldives
City: N/A State: Maldives (MAL) Country: Maldives
The Maldives, is an island nation consisting of a group of atolls stretching south of India's Lakshadweep islands between Minicoy Island and the Chagos Archipelago, and about seven hundred kilometres (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea of Indian Ocean. The twenty-six atolls of Maldives encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, of which two hundred and fifty islands are inhabited. The geomorphology of the Maldivian islands is unusual. An atoll is a coral formation surrounding a circular lagoon, but these lagoons, many of which are very large, are dotted with other, smaller, ring-shaped reefs, each surrounding its own sandy lagoon. These are known locally as 'faros', and this formation is known as the Eye of the Maldives. Natural channels, allowing the free movement of fish and currents between the lagoons and the open sea, cut through each reef. The islands are formed from coral sand, and are very low lying, averaging no more than 2 m (6 ft 6 in), with vegetation mainly consisting of coconut palms, and mangroves. Just take a look, however, beneath the surface of the turquoise sea and you will find glorious, dazzling coral gardens teeming with multi-coloured fish that are more curious than afraid of humans. The diving and snorkelling here is the main attraction, and the exclusivity of many of its resorts, which appeals to the rich and famous. Long term, the Maldives are under threat. Climate change is already adversely affecting the coral, which can only thrive at temperatures from 24 to 27 °C (75 to 81 °F), and the natural phenomena of El Nino and La Nina has caused severe bleaching to some of the formations. Sea levels are also rising, and although preventative work is being done, it seems that these fairy tale coral islands will surely slip beneath the surface of the sea in the not too distant future.
Climate | When to Visit
Avoid Monsson season which is from mid-May to September. December to April are the months with the least rainfall and have the beast weather.
Visit during: January to December
Directions | How to Reach
By air to Male and then by boat to the other islands.
miscellaneous | Important Information
Enjoy Whale and Dolphin spotting at the Maldives and white sand beach dinners.