Besides chilling out on crisp white beaches besides azure blue seas there are also a myriad of activities that travellers to The Maldives can immerse themselves in. Try snorkelling and diving amongst the exotic fish species and captivating coral reef. Try a watersports adventure and soak up some culture in the capital, Male.
An Ideal Way to Enjoy Ari Atoll
Ari Atoll offers scuba divers the opportunity to wend their way through 24 miles (40 kilometers) of crystal clear water for a close encounter with manta rays, hammerheads and whale sharks. From May to November, liveaboard excursions offer tourists the experience of a safari at sea. Accommodating 12 passengers and an 11-member crew, these vessels transport guests to some of the top diving sites in the area. Among the many highlights is the chance to snorkel with sharks at Gangehi Maavaru. In 2009, Ari Atoll was designated as a marine protection sanctuary for the endangered white shark. At an approximate depth of 95 feet, the wreckage of a fishing trawler is known to be a favourite spot frequented by giant grouper and eels. Divers are encouraged to watch for the Yellowtail Fisilier, a member of the snapper family. This creature which appears yellowish blue during the day changes to red and green at night.
Schools of Fish Await You at Fishufaru Thila
In addition to schools of various members of the fish family, at depths ranging from 36 to 65 feet (11-20 meters), divers of intermediate expertise have the opportunity to see a rather strange creature, the wrasse. This large-mouth fish ranging in length from seven inches to six feet, often referred to as old woman of the sea, feeds on smaller fish and sea lice. The coral reefs in this area are a favourite feeding ground for turtles and reef sharks.
Visit Isdhoo Island For A Step-back In Time
Buddhism was a very important part of the ancient culture of Maldives. Dating back to the twelfth century, the ruins of one of the oldest and largest mosques in Maldives are found here. Copper plates joined together by a ring contain writings in the ancient Maldives alphabet concerning the beheading of monks at Male. Included in the writings were orders requiring all Buddhists to convert to Islam. One of the largest ever to be discovered, the Isdhoo stupa is believed to be the burial site of some disciples of Buddha.
Must-See cultural sites in Male
Opened in 1952, the original Male National Museum was situated in the palace of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar. Within the walls of this majestic three-story building, visitors have the opportunity to see personal costumes, paper and cloth manuscripts, and other items relative to Maldives history and culture.
Erected in 1656, Old Friday Mosque functioned as the center of worship. Built of coral stone, the floor of this mosque contained a carpet which was angled facing east to enable worshipers to assume the correct position for offering prayers to Allah.
Play a round in The Maldives
The Maldives will invest some 520 million dollars in constructing a golf course that floats! The idea is said to be inspired by the island chains’ perilous situation in the grip of climate change and environmental factors – in fact the 1,192 islands sit only five feet above sea level – making this the lowest lying country in the world! The artificial floating islands will be powered only by solar power and will be built elsewhere and literally towed into position! The course will open late 2013 with plans after that to add an underwater clubhouse.