Scattered across the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the atolls of the Maldives lie 435 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. The country is comprised of 1,192 tiny coral islands, of which only 200 are inhabited. Over recent years, the Maldives have come to define luxury in ever more opulent terms. But their real draw is the opportunity to live out a Robinson Crusoe fantasy (albeit as a very pampered castaway) in an exquisite setting. Because the Maldives is a devoutly Muslim country, the government has insulated its tourist trade from the local population. A few hotels offer day trips to the capital of Malé, but most travelers spend their entire visits happily sequestered at the resorts of their choice. Emirates now has a nonstop 13-hour flight from New York to Dubai, where you connect onto a four-hour nonstop flight to Malé.
CLIMATE: The Maldives have a tropical climate, with rainfall and moderately high temperatures throughout the year. The period from November-April is hot and dry, while from May-October, the sea is rougher and the humidity increases.
TIME: Ten hours ahead of New York (EST).
CURRENCY: Rufiyaa (MVR). Fluctuating rate valued at MVR15 = US$1.00 as of January 2012. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY: There is no embassy or consulate. Please contact Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tel. 94-11-249-8500.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels in the Maldives, dial 011 (international access) + 960 (Maldives code) + local numbers in listings.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit visitmaldives.com before your trip.
Cocoa Island By COMO
Understated yet luxurious resort on a small coral island, a 45-minute speedboat ride from Malé.
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
Seductive private island resort accessible by speedboat with 107 palm-thatched pavilions and bungalows overlooking the luminous waters of a lagoon.
Glamorous resort on a pristine island, a 30-minute speedboat ride from Malé.