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The Maldives Overview
Introduction to the Maldives

Heavenly turquoise blue waters, lush tropical islands and Robinson Crusoe type isolation - these are just some of the images that come to mind when we think about travelling to the Maldives. In this book you'll discover a new world altogether - a beautiful world beyond the imagination of most people. A world where you can be one of a small handful of people that have an island all to themselves. This world is called The Maldives. And this book will tell you everything you need to know about these tiny palm-fringed islands.

Location Of The Maldives

The Maldives are a group of tiny islands that are set in the Indian Ocean - the closest countries to the Maldives are India and Sri Lanka. There are approximately 1200 separate islands in the Maldives and only about one sixth of these are populated. The capital of the Maldives is Male - the most densely inhabited island. But while Male, it seems, is simply bursting from the seams, there certainly are no space problems on the other islands. Male holds about a third of the Maldivian population while the remaining are scattered around various other islands.

A Brief History of the Maldives

While there are no certain facts it is estimated that the Maldives have been populated as early as 1500 BC, most likely explorers from India and Sri Lanaka (Ceylon). During 1152 there was a conversion to islam although there was a brief period from 1558 to 1573 when the Maldives was taken over and ruled by the Portugese. The islands were also under the rule of the British in 1887. In 1965 the Maldives regained its independent status.

Flora & Fauna that Inhabit the Islands & Surrounding Waters

Contrary to the first impressions of many, the Maldives islands are not especially hospitable to plants, mainly because the soil does not have the nutrients to support a large and varied diversity of plant life. The main type of vegetation include coconut trees, vines, banyan trees as well as mangroves. Also found are Breadfruit trees and Bamboos. Flowering plants include Bougainvillaea and Frangipani.

The islands have an incredible number of colourful, tropical fish and when you visit you're bound to see many of them. A few of these include Butterfly fish, Dolphins, Anglefish, Parrotfish and Flutemouth. The colours and shapes of some of these fish are as varied and intriguing as their names would suggest. Divers are sure to have an experience of a lifetime in the Maldives.

While there are a healthy variety of birds inhabiting the islands, there are fewer varieties of land based animals. Common to the islands are flying foxes, geckos and garden lizards. There are also a couple of species of snake (not dangerous).

There are over 100 species of birds - expect to see crows, parakeets, and waterhens as well as koel birds. Also present are herons, seagulls and noddys.

The Type of Travellers the Maldives Appeals to

The Maldives is a wonderful destination for a wide variety of travellers - from those seeking complete bliss and Robinson Crusoe type peace and quiet (in an absolutely idyllic surrounding), to beach lovers and diving enthusiasts to honeymooners and romantic couples looking for some enchanting memories in one of the most beautiful places in the world. With a wide variety of resorts to choose from it's important to research the facilities in a wide range of resorts to make sure that you get whatever it is you're looking for. For example, some resorts may suit more active travellers while others would be more suited to those looking for a quiet and peaceful stay.

How to Get to the Maldives

Almost all visitors get to the Maldives via plane - typically, they arrive in Male, the capital from their port of departure and from there will be transferred to their resort. Transfers are usually via seaplane or speedboat. Given the stunning scenery it's always advisable to arrive by seaplane where possible - the views of the islands from the air are nothing short of spectacular. When researching resorts and prices it's worth remembering that some packages will be quoted with transfers built into the price while others will not. Transfers can be quite pricey.

Some resorts are located quite close to the airport in Male - transfer times can be under 20 minutes while other resorts further away may take an hour or even two to reach depending on the type of transfer. Keep in mind that after travelling a long distance on a flight, the last thing that you'll want to do is spend a further couple of hours on a speedboat.

If your transfer is not via seaplane it is possible to ride in a seaplane during your stay - and get some stunning photos of the islands and atolls from high above.
About the Author
Article written by J. Foley http://travelguy.typepad.com
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