For christmas, I traveled for the first time to the Maldives, a country made of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, south of India.
The Maldives are extraordinarily beautiful. There are hundreds of islands grouped in atolls. Most islands are quite small, the average size being a few hundred meters in diameter. The vegetation can be luxuriant and the water is crystal clear at around 30°C.
We stayed on Kuramathi Island located in the Rasdhoo Atoll. It was a short 15 minutes ride in seaplane to get there from Malé international airport. Taking off and landing on water is much smoother than I expected. It’s also pretty fun to land in the middle on nowhere with only a boat waiting for you!
Once on the island there is not much to do apart from diving and relaxing, which was exactly the purpose of the trip! But diving in the Maldives is incredible. It is one of the premiere spot on the planet and a mind blowing experience.
They are hundred of species of fish and colorful corals, sharks, turtles, dolphins, rays and many more. What amazed me the most is that you don’t need to do scuba diving to see all that: just grab a snorkel and swim 50m off the shore! You are instantly surrounded by fishes and the sight of such a luxuriant life is magical.
Yet, learning to scuba dive was a long goal of mine. I got my PADI Open Water Diver and it was the perfect place to do it. Scuba diving offers another amazing perspective: diving down the reef while seeing sharks and turtles and witnessing a better preserved environment. Indeed, many of the corals near the beaches are damaged, due to human activity, pollution or natural events.
We also took the opportunity to visit the local island of Ukulhas which was not too far away. The houses are very colorful as well as the fishing boats which is the main local activity. Most people work in resorts and young people must go to the capital to a get a college education. Life is hard under such conditions and you can feel it walking down the streets. The isolation combined with the dependence on the sea create a harsh environment. Still, the sight of a woman sitting under a tree with a laptop browsing the web made me smile.
I dreamed for a long time to visit the Maldives and the trip was above my expectations! Seeing how beautiful and overwhelming the nature and the marine wildlife are makes you realize even more how incredible our planet is and how important it is to preserve it.Check out all the photos related to this post on Flickr »