A family beach vacation in the Maldives is all about sea, sand and sun. And whether you intend to spend your Maldives holiday above or below the surface of the Ocean, there is no lack of family fun. Snorkel and scuba dive. Deep-sea fish. Windsurf, sail and even surf. And should you tire of nature, water sports and the beach, there is a cultural side to this pearl-like nation that offers much for adults and children to explore. Visit a village and in addition to introducing the kids to the local way of life, shop for crafts and souvenirs.
The Maldives, a string of 1,192 coral islands stretching 900 km (560 miles) from south to north, is a top snorkeling and scuba diving destination. Notwithstanding the damage to the reef caused by the December 2004 tsunami and coral bleaching in 1998, the diversity of the marine life is beyond compare. Over a 1,000 species of fish including manta rays and triggerfish, various types of shark - hammerhead, gray reef and white tip reef - and nearly as many type of coral are found here. Warm water and exceptional visibility round out the experience and ensure the Maldives is nothing short of a great place for snorkelers and scuba divers to explore the underwater world.
Formed by volcanic eruptions each of the islands found in the country's 26 atolls - ring-like coral formations enclosing a lagoon - has its own unique charm. Deserted white sand beaches. Peaceful lagoons. Stunning house reefs and deep marine channels teeming with colorful fish. And each resort has a unique appeal: dive resorts, all-inclusive family resorts, and barefoot luxury resorts.
Unless you are departing on an Indian Ocean cruise, travel to the Maldives will be by air. Both commercial and charter airlines offer service between the Maldives and most European and Asian capitals. Sri Lanka, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are good transit points for travelers from North and South America.
The weather in the Maldives is characterized by two monsoons: the dry monsoon from December to April and the wet monsoon from May to November. Surfing is best during the wet monsoon. Snorkeling and diving are best in March and April, the end of the dry monsoon.
Overexposure to the sun is the most common aliment afflicting tourists to the Maldives. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including your child's nose, ears, and toes, before you set out for the beach and repeat applications throughout the day. Limit the number of hours they play under the sun, especially in the first few days. There are no vaccines required for international travelers.