The Maldives consist of 1190 islands which are spread over a distance of 870 km in a north - south direction just north of the equator and about 450 miles southwest of Sri Lanka.
Estimates of the number of islands differ, depending on the definition of an island. Officially there are 1190 islands having some form of vegetation on them, whether grass or bushes or trees. Of this number 991 are uninhabited and 199 inhabited.
The actual number of islands varies from one year to the next as islands are continually being washed away and new ones formed. The islands and reefs are divided into 26 geographic atolls but for convenience, these are broken into 20 administrative groups. The warm tropical climate attracts divers and holiday makers from around the world to 90 resorts.