White sandy beaches, emerald green seascape and breathtaking underwater world, Maldives is an unforgettable holiday destination. Here's our ultimate travel guide to Maldives.

A sovereign archipelago, the Republic of Maldives is a South Asian island located on the Indian Ocean. In fact, Maldives is known as ‘atolls’, a term derived from the Maldivian word ‘atholhu’.

It comprises of 26 natural islands giving it a unique topography. But the underwater of Maldives is nothing short of spectacular as it homes a stunning marine life. Additionally, the island is strategically located, having access to major international sea routes in the Indian Ocean.

The islands are a tropical paradise of pristine beaches surrounded by turquoise lagoons and luxurious island resorts. Moreover, the resorts have water villas (overwater bungalows), underwater restaurants, and infinity pools suspended above the crystal clear waters.
For a country this dreamy, tourism in the Maldives only began in the early 70s. However, it is thriving as a tourist destination, contributing an average of 30% of the country's GDP.

Visa Requirements
Passport holders of the Philippines are eligible to travel throughout the Maldives for 30 days without obtaining a visa. Other nationalities, however, require a visa-on-arrival. The immigration will issue a free thirty day visa. But make sure you are ready to present your return flight ticket and hotel reservations to the immigration.

The Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Maldives is between November and April, where you can sip on your refreshing coconut water and bask under the balmy days of summer. However, sunny Maldives experiences monsoon from the months of May till October.

How to Get There
AirAsia and Cebu Pacific are two local carriers that offer flights from Philippines to Malé, Maldives. Similarly, both flights land at three international airports; Malé International Airport, the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport or the Velana International Airport.

Getting Around
The Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is an island in itself. By taking a ferry or seaplane, you can access the neighboring islands. As a matter of fact, seaplanes can take you to almost any island in and around Malé. It is also the preferred mode of travel between one atoll to another in the Maldives. Although riding a ferry is less expensive, it's not as frequent as seaplanes.

Where to Eat
There are numerous fine dining restaurants across the Maldives that serve authentic Maldivian dishes. Additionally, you can find sumptuous food at Thila Restaurant in Vihamanafushi, Just Veg by Atmosphere in Kanifushi Island and Family Room Cafe in Hulhumale to name a few.

On the other hand, local food joints serves meals consisting of fish, coconut, and starch. Masroshi, the classic savory snack, is a must-try.

Must-do in Maldives

1. Check out the National Museum in the capital city of Malé. Explore the local markets in the bustling Republic Square.

2. Visit the 16th century Old Friday Mosque that's made from coral stone.

3. Take a dive and explore the Maldivian marine life.

4. Maldives has plenty of small shops selling a variety of souvenirs, ranging from t-shirts to Maldivian woven mats.

5. Staying with the Maldivian locals allows you to learn more about the local culture and save a ton of money.

6. Do not forget to carry a health insurance.

Several transnational health insurance companies offer coverage to foreign nationals. Expat Financial offers customized insurance plans that includes before and after-purchase benefits. They ensure the international health insurance plans meets all your emergency needs.

Maldives is a popular destination to unwind in the luxury of nature. It is definitely a sight for sore eyes and we recommend adding it your bucket list!

Author's Bio: 

David has written extensively on the topic of international travels, expat tips & global health insurance coverage and has been in the insurance business since 1991. His firm offers free advice and advocacy before and after you buy insurance online.