Where is the Maldives? The Ultimate Travel Guide

Where is the Maldives

The Maldives is a dream tropical destination for any traveler in the world. So, a lot of people have searched for “where is the Maldives.” It is a country that is made with more than thousands of stunning islands in the Indian Ocean. This is obviously a paradise in Asia, filled with scenic beaches, turquoise sea water, colorful corals, and wonderful overwater bungalows. That’s why thousands of beach lovers visit the Maldive annually. 

This article contains “where is the Maldives located?”, things to know before visiting the Maldives, and some other essential information about this beautiful country. Please scroll down to know more.         

Where is the Maldives?

The Maldives is a Southeast Asian nation located in the Indian Ocean. Made with a large number of islands, it is a stunning archipelago. And also, the Maldives is an independent island nation named The Republic of Maldives. That means it doesn’t belong to any other country.

Located in the southwest of India (over 900 km away) and Sri Lanka (over 700 km away), the Maldives has around 300 sq km of land in total. Therefore, it considers as the smallest country in Asia.

Further, the archipelago contains 26 coral atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef) with around 1192 islands spreading over  90,000 sq km area in the Indian Ocean.

Actually, most of the atolls support these islands with their large ring-shaped coral reefs as a natural border. Only 200 islands are inhabited out of these thousands of islands. And only around 100 islands have wonderful hotels and resorts.   

The Maldives consider as one of the unique landscapes on the earth since the land rises only between 1 and 1.5 meters above sea level. Therefore only a few islands feature dunes. 

Offering plenty of snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming opportunities, the Maldives has vibrant coral reefs, over 2,000 species of fish, and pristine beaches.

If you are still confused about the location of the Maldives on the world map, just take a look below. 

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Maldives Map

Where is Maldives
The Maldives in the World Map
The Maldives Map
The Maldives Map

Where is the Maldives: How many islands in the Maldives?

As mentioned earlier, there are 1192 islands in the Maldives. Every island is surrounded by turquoise water and completely disconnected from each other. Although there are 26 natural atolls, the government has divided them into 20 atolls for administrative purposes.

Having around 358,000 population, the Maldives is a member of many international organizations. For example, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), United Nations (UN), and Commonwealth. 

And obviously, the tourism industry is the major income source in this country. The fishing and construction industries are the next sources of income. 

The major airport in the Maldives is Velana International Airport or Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Hulhule’ Island. So, it is connected to almost every major airport in the world. Therefore, obviously, Male Atoll/Kaafu Atoll is the most developed and the busiest atoll for the tourism industry. 

And the other famous atolls are North Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Noonu Atoll, and South Ari Atoll. But, this doesn’t mean other atolls are bad. But, these atolls have more resorts than others. (where is the Maldives located)

Aside from that, all of them are breathtakingly beautiful. 

Distance between the Maldives and other Countries? 

Here are the distances (km) between the Maldives and some other countries from the closest point. 

Distance between the Maldives and Sri Lanka: 717km (around a one hour flight)

Distance between the Maldives and India: 430km 

Distance between the Maldives and Seychelles: 1950km 

Distance between the Maldives and Thailand: 2750km (around a 5 hours flight)

Distance between the Maldives and Malaysia: 2970km (around a 5 hours flight)

Distance between the Maldives and Hong Kong: 4760km

Distance between the Maldives and Japan: 5800km

Distance between the Maldives and Germany: 7200km

Distance between the Maldives and United States: 15,000km    

Male’: The Capital of the Maldives

Male’ is the capital of the Maldives. So, it is densely populated and contains all the major landmarks. For example, The Islamic Center in Male’ has a mosque, a library, and a unique gold dome. Apart from that, there are so many colorful buildings. Also, Male’ has a busy harbor and a fish market with fresh fish.

Here’s Male’s map.

Male' Map

Where is the Maldives: Things to Know Before Visiting the Maldives

Various Islands in the Maldives

As mentioned earlier, the Maldives is made of 1192 natural islands formed by volcanoes. But there are some man-made islands as well. Ex: Huhumale, the island near the main airport in Male, is a man-made island completed in 2004. But, now, it looks almost a natural one and contains many shops, houses, and an attractive coastline.     

Out of these all islands, only a few contains a large number of resorts. Others mostly have only one or two resorts. Some of them are totally focused on luxury travelers. On the other hand, some islands are not allowed to visit by tourists.

And some islands are specialized only for one-day special tours. Ex: a picnic, a cruise, and a romantic lunch/dinner. Apart from that, all the other inhabited islands have farmlands and fishing villages. (where is the Maldives located)

The Climate Change Effects

But, the sad truth is, many small islands in the Maldives have disappeared due to climate change issues (global warming, tsunami, and rising sea levels). And some of the others have started disappearing. So, hurry up.

Bioluminescent Beaches in the Maldives

Bioluminescent beaches or glowing beaches are some of the most wonderful creations of nature. There are one or two beaches in the Maldives that bioluminescent phytoplankton light up the water year-round. For example: on Vaadhoo Island beaches and some beaches in Baa Atoll.

Bioluminescent Beaches in the Maldives

Maldives Population

The Maldives population is 100% Islamic. And it is one of the two countries in the world with a 100% Islamic population. The other one is Saudi Arabia. Therefore, many restaurants, cafes, and shops close for certain time periods in the daytime for prayers in the Ramadan season. (where is the Maldives located)

Restrictions in the Maldives

Since this is a strictly Muslim country, there are some specific bans as well. Ex: you are not allowed to bring pork products, alcohol, tobacco products, and any other religious books (ex: Bible). So, leave them to avoid any hustle at the airport.     

You cannot find alcohol in towns and public places. It is an illegal thing. But, don’t worry; it is available at your hotel.  

Also, wearing bathing suits, revealing the elbows, shoulders, or knees is banned for women in public places. Homosexuality is also illegal. 

Vacation Friendly Rules on the Resort Islands 

The resort islands in the Maldives are allowed to drink alcohol, eat pork, wear bikinis, and any other dress, canoodle, and do anything you like. 

Best Time to Visit the Maldives

The best time to visit the Maldives is November to April. Although the climate is stable year-round, these months are the best to visit. However, since the Maldives is susceptible to the southwest monsoon, from May through October is the rainy season.

But, from November to April, you can experience windy, sunny, and dry weather on these islands.

Overwater Bungalows

Most pictures of the Maldives include the stunning overwater bungalows. Yes, every hotel has its own overwater bungalows since there’s a huge demand among travelers.

Overwater Bungalows in the Maldives
Overwater Bungalows in the Maldives

Who doesn’t like to spend a holiday in a luxury villa located on turquoise water with a private pool, private steps to the ocean, isolated from others, and all the facilities? That’s why you can see plenty of overwater villas on every island.

But, keep in mind, not every villa is comfortable and has everything that you expect. Some are uncomfortable, dirty, and scary. So, just check real reviews before you select one. (where is the Maldives located)

Drinking-Water in the Maldives

Drinking water is a big issue in the Maldives because its freshwater sources are declining due to climate change. So, they treat the existing water with reverse osmosis desalination, recycling, and other techniques before drinking.

Reverse osmosis desalination makes drinking water totally safe. Although the process removes all the natural minerals, it is better to drink the treated water than natural water.

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The Maldives is Safe to Travel

Terrorism and the rate of violence in the Maldives are very low to nonexistent. The only dangers in these islands are strong currents along the beaches and tsunami threats like natural things. Apart from that, the Maldives is a safe country to travel to. In fact, that’s why thousands of visitors attract to this paradise annually from all over the world.

Sea Plane Experience in the Maldives

Sea Plane flights from the Male airport to the other islands are costly. Of course, it will be a scenic and wonderful experience, but, still, it is costly. The rides take around 15 minutes. But, the cost will be around $1000 per person. Also, there are no planned schedules for seaplane flights. Therefore, it is better to avoid.

Sea Plane Experience in the Maldives

Cost of Visiting the Maldives

Not only seaplane flights, but also, the whole Maldives tours are costly. Especially in the high season, the cost per night per person is around $500. But, it is totally worth visiting this paradise country at least once in your life.

Here’s the option for budget travelers. This map shows you all the hotels in the Maldives with its rate. So, you can select the one that matches your budget. (zoom in to view many hotel deals)


Marine Life in the Maldives

The Maldives’ both above and below water worlds are sensational. So if you are looking for snorkeling and scuba diving, this is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.

On the other hand, South Ari Atoll is very famous for year-round whale shark watching. Also, there are some active dolphin pods in the area.

Marine Life in the Maldives

If you like to see Mantra rays, there’s a high concentration in the North Male Atoll. Another highlighted atoll is Rasdhoo Atoll which has rare hammerhead sharks.

Apart from that, the Maldives has colorful fish, rays, sea turtles, and reef sharks everywhere. (where is the Maldives located)

Where is the Maldives: Mistakes to Avoid in the Maldives

Here are the mistakes to avoid when you are in the Maldives.

Now we know that hotels and resorts privately own many islands in the Maldives. Therefore, travelers choose one resort and spend the whole holiday on that island. Also, since the cost is particularly high, everybody tends to do that. But, each island has its own features. So, try at least two or three. Do not limit it to one.

The next point is that the Maldives is always on top of every list of “the best honeymoon destinations” globally. But, do not wait until your honeymoon visits this awesome destination because it has many things to do with a group of friends or a solo traveler. 

The Maldives is famous as a tropical beach destination. But, it is more than that. When it comes to its culture, it has a mix of Sri Lankan, Indian, Middle Eastern, African, and Malaysian cultures. So, you can experience various food, dance performances, music, and traditional lifestyle. Do not limit yourself to a resort; just tour around the island and discover the unique culture of this country.

Maldives Food

The next important point is that it is better to plan your tour to the Maldives and the nearby wonderful destinations like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. Since there are always direct flights for fantastic deals to these destinations, it will be financially beneficial.

Last but not least, do not forget to visit a bioluminescent beach in the Maldives because it will surely be the most unforgettable experience.

Where is the Maldives located?