Apart from shopping in the capital city or lazing on a resort beach, there are several exciting pastimes you could choose from.

AMATEUR RADIO: If you are a licenced radio amateur, operating Amateur Radio during your visit to the Maldives could be a thrilling experience. Reciprocal licensing arrangements are available for amateur radio operation in the Maldives. The fee for such temporary licence, valid for a maximum of three months, is only MRf 200 (approx US$13). The prefix is 8Q7. Currently, only two letter suffixes are issued.

The prescribed application form from Communications Authority of Maldives (https://www.cam.gov.mv/amateur_radio.htm) together with a covering letter and photocopy of your passport and original licence should be submitted sufficiently in advance to facilitate processing of your application. The fee will have to be paid after your application is accepted.

Since it may be difficult to organize all these if you are not in the Maldives, the best way to handle is through your Tour Operator or Travel Agent or a friend in the capital, Male. You may also contact MARS (Maldives Amateur Radio Society) for assistance (https://www.marsmv.org/license-maldives-amateur/).

DIVING: The 150-odd resort islands surrounded by clear turquoise waters introduces you to a fascinating world of coral gardens. To have a tete-a-tete with such underwater treasures, diving is indeed the recommended pastime. The corals offer some of the most spectacular vistas of underwater life - turtles, seaweed, shells, crustaceans and schools-and-schools of brilliantly-coloured fish.

Apart from a few, most of the resorts are equipped with diving schools headed by a fully-qualified diving instructor. The waist-deep waters of a lagoon offers a perfect start for beginners. Some of the schools also offer training up to the level of a professional diver. Live-aboards and resorts in the Maldives provide all the latest high quality dive equipments including compressors, tanks, regulators with octopus, BCDs, masks, snorkels, fins, dive computers, wetsuits, weights and weight belts. Protected dive sites popular throughout the world include Manta Point, Shark Point, Lion's Head, Hammerhead Point, and Banana Reef. Wind-surfing and water-skiing facilities are also available.

FISHING: Fishing is another major sport in the Maldives. With water constituting over 99% of the total area, it comes as no surprise that the country flaunts some of the best fishing grounds in the world. Night fishing is a popular tourist sport with the catch - be it groupers, snappers, squirrel fish, skipjacks or barracuda - making a perfect evening barbecue on the beach. Fishing also begins at dawn with dhoanis seeking tuna, dolphin fish, rainbow runners and barracuda.

Reef Casting is a type of fishing done on speedboats or motorized dhoanis involving a fly fishing or a modern spinning tackle used to bait some of the strongest fighters of the reefs. Groupers, snappers, trevally, and barracuda can really put your tackle to test.

The seas outside the atoll enclosure reef are meant for big game fishing. Leaping dorados, darting wahoos, speedy marlins, and the magnificent sailfish are all trolled from dhoanis, yachts, or powerful fishing boats. An engaging sport, many of the resort islands also have speedboats for hire equipped for western-style game fishing.

If you've a generous amount of time at your disposal, take off on large sailing live-aboard dhoanis for a two-or-three day trip to remote pastures where the reef offers lesser-seen baits.

However since the Maldives follows a strict conservation policy, the use of harpoons and hunting of marine mammals such as whales, porpoises and dolphins and huge fish like the whale shark are prohibited.

CRUISING: Cruising along the aquamarine waters from atoll to atoll is an unforgettable holiday experience. Boats with bunk-beds or private cabins can accommodate anywhere between eight to twenty passengers for such island-hopping trips, normally lasting ten to fifteen days. The central atolls of North and South Male, Vaavu and Alifu are usually the most frequented since services are readily available for tourists. These atolls also have some of the best surfing and diving spots in the Maldives.

Aboard the yacht, the crew is highly professional. The resident cook dishes out for you excellent seafood recipes. Dining under a clear, star-studded night sky in the Maldives is indeed an experience in itself. An excursion to a fishing village or an uninhabited island should make your holiday cruise more worthwhile. Some resorts also have glass-bottomed boats and catamarans for hire.

Parasailing on multi-coloured parachutes over the warm waters of the Indian Ocean is an incredible experience. Water sausages and water scooters also make interesting rides.

Besides these, equipment for beach volleyball, football, lawn tennis and indoor games such as badminton, table tennis, billiards and chess are usually available free of charge in many of the resort islands.

PHOTOGRAPHY: With tropical beauty abounding in the region, photography is another rewarding pastime. If the thrills of aerial photography is your cup of tea, seaplanes can be hired for taking you on breathtaking photo flights. Normal restrictions with regards to photographing military and security buildings and installations exist.

Maldives at a glance

Maldives - Tips & Facts

Airborne over Atolls

Favorite Pastimes


Good Food