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MALDIVES MAP AND TRAVEL ITINERARY
MALDIVES TRAVEL INFO - THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO MALDIVES
This trip review focuses on an holiday to Maldives in the all-inclusive resort of Thudufushi, on Ari Atoll, during the first days of March, traditionally the best time to visit the Maldives. This Maldives travelogue dates back to 2004 and it is important to know that since then, the Thudufushi resort has undergone huge modernization, which also saw the construction of the famed "over-water" (bungalows built directly over the waters of the lagoon). Loved by a certain category of tourists (to tell the truth, more and more restricted, given the comments that you can read around the web), in our opinion, the over water bungalows are quite out of context, as the Maldives are (and should remain) interesting for nature and pristine landscape, not by man-made "luxury" buildings. Furthermore, over water bungalows increase the number of people that can stay on an very small island. Therefore, the photos of Thudufushi that you find in this Maldives trip review, do not reflect the current condition of the island, either for the landscape, either for the resort.
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO DO IN THE MALDIVES?
The Maldives are a unique place in the world: located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, straddling the equator, they are an archipelago of several major atolls which contain along their perimeter hundreds of small islands, whose circumference can be generally walked in a few minutes. Most of these islands are uninhabited, while others are home to local populations who live mainly on fishing, or in other cases, they have been fully dedicated to tourism with the construction of more or less luxurious resorts occupying the entire island and its lagoon. The shape of the reef around the islands, make snorkeling excursions particularly easy and enjoyable, offering very exciting encounters even just a few meters from the beach, while diving enthusiasts will find numerous sites accessible from the resort by dhoni, the traditional local boat. Finally, for those who love just to relax on the beach, most islands offer fine white sand usually ending into fantastic turquoise waters of the lagoons. The Maldives are not recommended for those looking for a truly authentic experience away from mass tourism and luxury resorts, which have now invaded most of the islands and their lagoons (for this kind of tourists, we recommend the less known islands of the Pacific, such as Tonga).
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO MALDIVES?
As the Maldives are typically a beach destination, you might be wondering what is the best season to go to Maldives, which can guarantee warm temperatures and clear skies. The climate in the Maldives is dominated by monsoon and sees the alternation of a wet period with a shorter drier season. The driest months, therefore the best time to visit Maldives, range from late December to early April, with February and March seeing the absolutely best weather of the year. The rainy season in the Maldives goes instead from May to November, a period in which good weather is anyway still possible and quite frequent: in this regard it is important to be aware of the fact that, even accordingly to the changes in climate that are affecting the entire planet, the best time in the Maldives is not necessarily totally dry, as the worse time is not necessarily always cloudy and rainy. Basically, we can say that if you can afford only one week of vacation in the Maldives, then it is better to choose the dry season. If you have instead two or more weeks of time to be spent in the Maldives, then you may consider also the wet season, since if you will get 3 or 4 days of rain, you will not see most of your trip ruined by bad weather (days with bad weather can be still spent in any case by snorkeling, diving, or doing other excursions). The temperature in the Maldives is high throughout the year, with an average of 29 ° Celsius and few variations between night and day or between clear or cloudy weather. Even the sea water temperature in the Maldives is warm all year round, ideal for swimming for long time even without a wetsuit.
HOW TO GET TO MALDIVES?
Generally, any Maldives package tour includes also the flight from your country, so you not have to worry about anything. Some tour operators, together with the island and the resort, will also allow clients to choose the airline to get to Male (capital of Maldives) so, in addition to charter flights, tourists can opt (for example) for Emirates via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Sri Lankan via Colombo or Singapore Airlines via Singapore, just to mention few. The advantage of a charter flight to the Maldives, is that this is usually a direct flights without stopovers, but these flights are usually operated only once or a few times a week, while scheduled flights are in most cases daily, although they are connecting service. Once landed in Male, the destination island can be reached by seaplane or boat, depending on the distance or options actually offered. Is it best to get to destination island by boat or seaplane? In the event that both options are offered, we certainly recommend the seaplane, as the landscape seen from top is fantastic. We advise against booking vacations to Maldives without tour operators, since this is more difficult if compared to other places of the world and only few resorts offer this opportunity currently.
WHAT EXCURSIONS ARE POSSIBLE DURING AN HOLIDAY TO MALDIVES?
Your vacations are usually active and you don't like beach life? Are you wondering how to spend your time in the Maldives? If you are not a tourist looking only for relax on the beach and you're wondering if a trip to the Maldives might be too boring, most resorts offer numerous excursions for lovers of the sea and nature, which will surely make your holiday more interesting and active. Once tired of sunbathing on the beach you get on a mask and fins and a swim along the reef, which is often accessible directly from the beach, instead, if you are a diver, you will find an extensive choice of sites to explore (most of the islands are equipped with diving centers and PADI courses are sometimes offered too). If you do not like to spend all the time in the water, there are excursions to deserted islands, to the islands inhabited by Maldivian fishermen or to the capital Male, not to mention boat trips during which you might as well go fishing. Most of the excursions can be booked directly with the resort once on place.
WHAT IS THE BEST MALDIVES ISLAND?
Well, you have just decided to go to the Maldives and now the most important question raises: on which island of the Maldives should I go? In the Maldives there are dozens of islands, each with its own resort, offering features and services radically different between them, both in terms of cost and quality, as well as for beaches, lagoon, reef, diving and available optional excursions. Here is a guide that allows to evaluate the most important aspects that should be considered, before booking any resort in the Maldives:
Obviously this Maldives travel review is not, and does not want to be, a complete guide about all the resorts on the Maldives, as this subject would require hundreds of pages, but only a generic guideline helping to decide at least what parameters should be considered before choosing an island and its resort.
DOES THUDUFUSHI OFFER GOOD SNORKELING?
Thudufushi, a small island within Ari Atoll, offers excellent opportunities for good snorkeling along a coral reef that surrounds the island for two thirds of its circumference. The reef is easily accessible directly from the beach, by swimming through two convenient passes (a pass is a natural or artificial channel dug into the reef, that connects the island's lagoon with the sea) or from the island's main jetty. The resort, through the diving center on the island, offers snorkeling gear and snorkeling trips in group tours, both around the island and both at major sites in South Ari Atoll by boat.
DOES THUDUFUSHI OFFER GOOD DIVING?
In Thudufushi there is a great diving center that can accommodate both beginners, who can take PADI courses in addition to the classic "test dive", as well as the most experienced divers who can find in the vicinity of Thudufushi magnificent sites to explore in full safety.
MALDIVES PICTURES | THUDUFUSHI PHOTOS AND TRIP REVIEW
|<<-- GO Depending on where your home country is located, the journey to the Maldives may involve a long flight that could be either direct or connecting via one of the many hubs, like Dubai. This trip review illustrates a flight from Italy, my home country, all the way to Thudufushi, via Dubai and Male.|
|<<-- GO Sun, sea, sand. In this section we have collected all the images related to the outdoors life on the island of Thudufushi, a small dot of sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the circumference of which can be hiked in a few minutes. We remind that the photos are from a journey made in year 2004 and that in the following years, Thudufushi has undergone various processes of transformation.|
|<<-- GO In this section you will find pictures of Thudufushi island resort, including photos of the rooms. Please note, once again, that the images are from a journey made in 2004 and after that year, the structures have been totally refurbished and overwater bungalows were also built in the lagoon.|
|<<-- GO A collection of photos of tropical fish that that can be found in Thudufushi's lagoon, often under just a few inches of water in front of own room. Although these pictures are from Thudufushi, you can still get a general idea of what to expect even from other Maldivian islands and their resorts.|
|<<-- GO Thudufushi island's reef can be reached through 2 easy passes, by just swimming from the beach, and can be circumnavigated for about 2/3 of the island's circumference. Although the reef has suffered the effects of El Nino current in the late 90s, the corals are slowly recovering and the underwater landscape is nice.|
|<<-- GO At only 25 minutes of navigation by dhoni boat from Thudufushi, there is an uninhabited island which offers good opportunities for a nice picnic and great snorkeling on the nearby reef. In the Maldives there are many deserted islands and most of the resorts offer day trips for those who wish to spend a day unlike any other.|
|<<-- GO Half-day excursion to Athuruga, the island regarded as "twin" of Thudufushi. Includes a complete tour of the island on foot and some snorkeling around the reef, which has different features than Thudufushi's. Even Athuruga has undergone major modernization after 2004, therefore, these photos do not reflect the current situation.|
|<<-- GO Within just a few minutes from Thudufushi by dhoni, a traditional Maldivian wooden boat, there are additional reefs to be explored when you are tired to snorkel all the times around the island. These tours allow to see more fish and different underwater scenery, and they are offered as optional excursions (sometimes free of charge) by most resorts.|
|<<-- GO Among the various tours available in Thudufushi, there is also the classical "test dive", a short and easy dive that can be done also by beginners not having any previous experience, under the supervision of instructors who will ensure safety. All the equipment is provided by the diving center on the island and is included in the cost of the tour.|
|<<-- GO After seeing the underwater images on this web site, you might be wondering what camera equipment were used. Although this trip review dates back to 2004 and the equipment used is now obsolete, in this section you will find information on the camera and its underwater case carried during snorkeling and diving excursions.|