Composed of 1,190 coral reef islands forming an archipelago of 26 atolls, the Maldives are acclaimed as a tropical paradise of pristine beaches and clear cobalt and turquoise waters. The country was formed from ancient volcanoes now hidden under the Indian Ocean. It is the planet’s lowest country, resting at just 4 feet 11 inches above sea level. They cover 35,000 square miles, making it one of the world’s most dispersed nations. It is the least populated (300,000 people) and smallest nation in Asia, though its size belies its prominence as a tourist destination. It is the perfect destination to tie off a multi-nation trip, particularly to Sri Lanka or India. Male is the international gateway to the Maldives via Hulhule Island, and the surrounding island resorts are accessed by private speedboat.

Once a Buddhist nation, the Maldives is now predominantly Muslim. Ever resilient, the friendly people of the Maldives have battled el Nino, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the uncertainly of climate change. Nonetheless, this singular country features some of the best sand, sun and surf to be found anywhere, with world-class diving and ultra-luxurious resorts.

Maldives Regions

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Seasonality & Festivals

Browse a month-by-month breakdown of suggested itineraries, seasonal activities, climate considerations and festivals.

When to Go
When to Go

Weather in Maldives

The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April, when the weather is clear with no rain.

  • The Maldives are situated in the Indian Ocean to the south-southwest of India. The country consists of approximately 1,190 coral islands spread over roughly 35,000 sq miles (90,000 sq km), making this one of the most disparate countries in the world. While there is a prevailing hot tropical climate that affects all islands, the weather can vary depending on the atoll where you are staying.
  • The tropical climate means relatively high humidity tempered by sea breezes. Temperatures fluctuate between as low as 77° F (25° C) and as high as 92° F (33° C), depending on the time of year.
  • There are two monsoons: the southwest from May to October, which is the true wet season, and the northeast from October to December that is relatively quieter. The driest period runs from January to April.
  • Temperatures are highest in April and May; at other times of the year, the temperature rarely exceeds 86° F (30° C).
  • Average rainfall per month during the southwest monsoon season can exceed 12 inches (205 mm) in a month.
  • The driest period lasts from January to April, when average rainfall is closer to two to four inches (50 to 102 mm) per month.

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