The island nation of Maldives is 700 km. the south-west of Sri Lanka, in the equatorial waters of the Indian Ocean. Two almost parallel chain of islands fringed by coral reefs, and lying on a relatively small distance from each other, stretch for 820 km. from north to south. In all there are 1,196 islands, which form 26 atolls, of which only 199 are inhabited and about 100 - are open to visitors. Total area of about 90 thousand square meters. km., sushi - only 298 square. km.
Capital - male (73 thousand inhabitants) - is the main administrative and commercial center of the country, through which all communication with the outside world.