The Maldives are an archipelago with 1,190 coral islands, grouped in 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of India. The islands are spread over an area of approximately 90,000 square kilometre (56,000 square miles), but the total land area is only 298 square kilometre (115 square miles). The largest island is 5 square kilometre (3.1 square miles) and there are only nine that are larger than 2 square kilometre (1.2 square miles). 200 islands are inhabited and another nearly 100 are tourist resorts.
The Maldives are best known for the pearly white sandy beaches and coral blue sea. There are excellent beaches and stunningly colourful underwater life. Due to the isolated position of the island, the number of animals on land is limited, but just under the surface of the beautiful blue ocean, there's a wealth of wildlife to see. Over 2,000 species of fish in all colours of the rainbow roam the clear waters around the islands. You will likely see plenty of anemones, different kinds of rays, octopus, squid and even giant clams. Whales, dolphins and turtles are spotted often.
Malé is the capital of Maldives. The city occupies the entire islet of Malé. The city is occasionally dismissed by travellers as a mere transit destination with "nothing to do", and it is indeed not a party place.
However, it does have a distinctive character of its own, with narrow streets, colorful houses and a strong communal feel, and it may be interesting to stop a little longer and soak in the atmosphere if you've got time on your hands.
The Maldives are tropical, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 26.4 °C (79.52 °F) to 31.5 °C (88.7 °F) throughout the year. However, rainfall increases considerably during the April-October southwest monsoon, particularly from June to November.