Located just south of the Indian subcontinent, the Maldives are a dazzling chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. It is a group of over a thousand idyllic islands nestled in the glistening turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives are paradise on earth.
The Maldives archipelago is located atop the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean, which also forms a terrestrial ecoregion, together with the Chagos and the Lakshadweep.
With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the world's lowest country, with even its highest natural point being the lowest in the world, at 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in).
The Maldives has a tropical climate, hot all year round and influenced by the monsoons: the south-west monsoon, from late April to September, it's stronger in the northern islands, and it's accompanied by the wind, which can make the sea rough and therefore may discourage activities such as diving, and is also accompanied by higher humidity and more frequent cloudiness.
The northeast monsoon, from October to December, it's quieter and simply brings showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, especially in the southern atolls.
The driest period, outside the monsoons, runs from January to April and it felt more in the northern atolls.
The temperatures are stable: highs are around 30 °C (86 °F) and lows around 25 °C (77 °F) for most of the year. Relative humidity is high and stable throughout the year as well, around 80%.
However, between February and May, there is a slight increase in temperature, and even in the feeling of sultriness, especially in the northern atolls, given that in this period the maximum temperature rises to 31/32 °C (88/90 °F), and the minimum temperature to 26/27 °C (79/81 °F).