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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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January 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Where Are the Maldives?

from the January, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now


The palm-studded coral islands that fringe the 26 atolls of the Maldives archipelago are scattered in a chain north to south across 600 miles of the Indian Ocean, with the northernmost about 450 miles southwest of India and Sri Lanka, and with a population of only 540,000.

The capital, Male, is central between North and South Male atolls, with its airport island of Hulhulé close by. Speedboats and small Twin Otter float planes transfer people between islands. Each island is so small that those with resorts have only one. Most liveaboards embark their passengers at Hulhulé for one-week cruises, although some passengers may connect with an interisland flight via Gan for the return leg of a two-week southern atoll liveaboard charter.

Ari Atoll is a short distance to the southwest of Mali and has proved to be among the most popular with liveaboard divers.

The Maldives have two distinct monsoons. The northeast monsoon of the first part of the year, January to July, bring clear water from the Indian ocean, and with it, pelagic species. The southwest monsoon, normally August to December, brings wetter weather and the plankton beloved of reef mantas.

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