Ari Atoll © Neville Wootton
Most visitors to the Maldives come on prearranged
package tours that include accommodation on any one of the 87
resort islands. All the resorts are located in pristine settings,
with idyllic conditions for water activities and long, lazy beach
The resorts are predominately found in the three
atolls closest to the Maldivian capital, themselves situated in the
Malé (Kaafu) Atoll. A few are found in Vaavu, Baa,
Lhaviyani, and the Ari (Alifu) atoll. Each resort has its own
distinct character and architecture.
The larger, less expensive resorts attract young,
adventure-seeking tourists, while some of the smaller, more
expensive resorts offer a more intimate holiday. The excursions
provided by the resorts vary, depending on their proximity to dive
sites, local villages, and natural attractions.
However, all the resorts offer watersports such as
night-fishing trips, scuba diving, parasailing, windsurfing, jet
skiing, banana-boating, knee-boarding, or ringo-riding. Excursions
in glass-bottomed boats and dolphin-viewing trips are also very
Most resorts in the Maldives are not cheap, with
little in the way of budget accommodation or transport. By law,
resorts charge in US dollars, although visitors find that having a
bit of money in local rufiyaa can be handy in Malé and other
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