Meet Teresa, one of our travel experts for the Maldives.
Teresa is a Certified Tahiti Travel Specialist and works with the Tahiti Tourism Board making sure her guests enjoy a fabulous holiday in Tahiti.
Teresa lives on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. She's been a Travel Advisor for 20 years, specializing in tropical islands around the world but her true love is the South Pacific.
Teresa has traveled throughout the South Pacific Islands and is on a first name basis with many of the resort owners. She has visited Fiji 7 times as well as Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand. Her speciality is multi-country holidays. Her agency, Luxury Hideaways, is rated A+ with the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.
Testimonials from Teresa's clients:
"We had the absolute best person to plan our trip for us. Her name is Teresa. She knows everything about this part of the world and took care of every little detail and it was free!!!! I highly recommend her!"
"You were incredible!! I can't say enough how awesome of a job you did. I am a very deliberative person, and I was leery to a point because I didn't not have my hands in any of the scheduling/planning of the trip. So, I might have been on edge a few times until we got to the resort. I was very impressed with your service! So, thank you for all you did."
- Josh and Heather
"We were trying to plan our honeymoon in Fiji and were so confused and overwhelmed by the number and variety of resorts there. But then we found Teresa! She is very helpful and knowledgeable about Fiji and several different resorts there. When we were specifically trying to decide between two resorts, Teresa was able to help us decide as she provided us with specific differences between the resorts. Whenever we had questions, she responded quickly, even with the huge time difference. We are excited to have finally booked our honeymoon! She sent us a package with helpful information and tips, such as what to expect upon arrival and items to pack. We are looking forward to our honeymoon and to continue working with Teresa."
- B Kurian
"When we first started communicating with each other I wanted a Honeymoon that was going to be unforgettable and something that would be truly special, you certainly delivered plus more. Koro Sun was paradise on earth and of course we enjoyed the environment but what we loved the most was the staff and all the happy people we were surrounded by. We didn't know what to expect coming into Fiji but with all your wonderful planning and helpful notes we got through our entire Honeymoon with ease. Our Edgewater Bure was breathtaking and my wife literally had a grin from ear to ear since the moment I told her where we were going till our departure. You gave us an unbeatable capstone to our marriage and for that I can't thank you enough. Again thank you so much for helping me plan the honeymoon and it was a pleasure working with you."
- Devin & Jared Chambers
"Your help was AMAZING! I can not express how easy it was working with you when we were looking at different resorts and itineraries. You put so much effort into accommodating us- form budget to activities to an overall idea of what to expect in Fiji. We changed our minds several times and you were so tolerant, a real pleasure to work with. Your knowledge of the islands was a HUGE help in picking our honeymoon spot. I am not going to hesitate recommending you if any family or friends are looking to plan a vacation. Thanks again!"
"Bula bula Teresa!
You provided my wife and I with outstanding personalized service in preparing our trip (that due to unexpected wedding budget overruns, we were unfortunately unable to take at that time). It was so outstanding that when my friend Mike said that he was planning his honeymoon to Fiji, I told him that he MUST contact you to plan a trip.
My wife and I still plan on getting to Fiji within the next 2 years, and I promise that you will be the first person that we contact for travel reservations and trip planning.
"I wanted to say again thank you this is absolutely amazing we are having a blast and the upgrade to the honeymoon bure was completely unexpected we have been treated amazingly and even got to fly to the island with the owner of the resort who was super nice to us. You were absolutely right about this place and I am so happy I found you thank you again!!!"
"Thank you for the most amazing honeymoon! Wadigi was perfect in everyday! There are no words to express how incredible everything was (the food, the staff, the grounds, the accommodations...and everything in between!) We will definitely be back for our anniversary :-) Vinaka!"
- Bilal & Parisa
Thanks for your expert help in planning out trip to Tahiti.
After less than 48 hours after leaving Denver we are now at out beach bungalow at the Sofitel Hotel in Moorea Atoll.
The Air Tahiti flight from LAX was less than 8 hours and the service was incredible; 2 nice meals and great service.
Upon arrival in Papeete, Tahiti, we had the private car to the Ferry terminal and then a great ferry ride (30 min) to Moorea Atoll. We got here at about 10 am.
Staying at the Sofitel hotel…………..what can I say: it is French and the service is impeccable.
Your suggestion to spend our first few nights ‘on the beach’ was sterling………..here are pictures from out bungalow. Fortunately we got our bungalow at about 11 am and we went right into the water.
We snorkeled for about 2 hours and it was the very best !!! I bought a new GoPro camera and it is a life-renewing experience to be able to film under water like this, especially in crystal clear water!
Tomorrow we are on a 6 hour snorkeling tour to a ‘private island’ where we are to snorkel with manta rays and sharks..
What a hoot! So far, this is one of our very best trips ever (and we have been to 75 countries)
- Walt Whatley
"It's been more than a week since we've been back but I just wanted to let you know that we had a great time at Tahiti. Thank you for arranging our wonderful trip. My kids are already saying they wanted to go back.
Teresa, I wanted to thank you for you assistance for this wonderful trip.
Don't think we'll be going back to Bora Bora anytime soon, but we may seek your help for some of our future trips and cruises."
"We wanted to give you a summary of our Tahiti trip. In a word, just fabulous. We have never taken such a purely luxury, relaxing type of vacation in the past and it was an absolute delight.
Probably our favorite experience on the trip was the shark and manta ray feeding trip. I thought this would be somewhat hokey but it was great fun. Swimming with the sharks was a novel experience and even Debby with her limited swimming abilities had a great time. I was actually able to dive down and bat one of the lemon sharks on the tail. The mantas were like puppies in the way that they crowded around us, swimming over our shoulders in order to get to the food. We laid out the money for the video of the trip and its been the most popular picture of any trip that we have ever brought home. And we would recommend that anyone who goes to Bora Bora take the opportunity to eat at "Bloody Marys", a superb place to get the fresh seafood that we were looking for and it was very reasonably priced.
I could gush further but suffice it to say that it was a fantastic trip and just the type of relaxation that we needed at this busy time in our lives. Thanks for planning a wonderful trip for us!"
The Maldives are a coveted vacation spot as the smallest country in Asia (regarding both size and population).
This beautiful destination has historically been known under different names in the Sanskrit language,
translated as "Necklace Islands," "Garland of Islands," and "Hundred Thousand Islands."
As a cluster of small islands in the Indian ocean, the Maldives are made up mostly of the water in between its 1,190 islands,
about 90 of which are developed as tourist resorts.
Their unique layout into a double chain of 26 atolls spread out over roughly 35,000 square miles.
Each atoll adds to a variety of vibrant coral reefs teeming with lush underwater life including fish, sea turtles, whales, and dolphins.
As a tropical monsoon climate,
the Maldives have two dominating seasons: a dry season
(associated with dry northeast winter monsoons) and a wet season
(associated with moist southwest monsoons and strong winds and storms).
The dry season has little rain and lower humidity; it lasts from December-April.
The wet season is (you guessed it) wetter, characterized by stronger winds and rain; it lasts from May-November.
For divers, both the dry and wet seasons have their advantages: during the dry season, visibility is superb,
due to currents beginning to flow in November from the northeast; the currents start to weaken in February.
During the wet season, the water temperatures are a couple of degrees lower, and this seems to inspire larger
numbers of hammerhead sharks and reef sharks to congregate, and to do so in shallower waters than in the dry season.
Visibility isn't as good, however, as the currents are less.
The temperature remains fairly consistent year-round, ranging only from the low- to mid-80's (Fahrenheit).
September-January tend to hover around the 80 degree mark, and February-August tend to reach a little higher around the
mid-80's. Chances are any time you decide to visit, the Maldives will be pleasantly warm.
Storms in the Maldives
During the winter rainy season, afternoon showers occur with frequency.
In the case of a tropical storm or cyclone, residents and travelers are relocated to safe areas. Fortunately, the
Maldives are not as prone to cyclones as other islands;
only 11 cyclones have affected the Maldives in over 128 years.
Overwater villas in the Maldives. Photo courtesy Jon Haase.
What's special about the Maldives?
Tourism is relatively recent here--really, it all started for the Maldives in 1972 with just 2 resorts. It's grown to over 80
resorts today. It's the lowest country in the world (yes, it's in the record books) with an average altitude of only about 5 feet above sea level.
You're going to get fabulous lagoons protected by coral reefs and other atolls, and gorgeous beaches. But you won't get the knife-edge mountain backdrops
you'd see somewhere like Bora Bora, or jungle hikes to waterfalls like you'd get in Hawaii, Fiji, or the Seychelles.
Certainly it's famous for fantastic snorkeling, scuba diving, and above-water sports too. Like the Seychelles, you're going to be a long ways
from a major land mass, which means dense schools of fish, less pollution, and more privacy. The roughly 1200 islands are all quite small,
with none of them larger than 5 miles across. Each atoll has on average about a half dozen inhabited islands, plus 20 to 60 that are uninhabited.
Underground wine cellar and chocolate cave at Gili Lankanfushi, North Male Atoll, Maldives. Photo courtesy the resort.
Traditional Maldivian cuisine is based on coconuts, fish, and starches. Skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna and wahoo are common in Maldivian cuisine.
As well, a thick brown paste made from tuna, called Rihaakuru, is an essential part of many dishes. Maldivians don't eat raw fish, however (but that
doesn't mean you won't ever find sushi in resort restaurants). Their starches are typically rice, taro (the root ingredient of Hawaii's poi),
sweet potato, and cassava. You'll find a strong Indian influence--not surprising, given the proximity--and a plethora of different curries.
As a tourist in the resorts, expect to find Indian and Maldivian options, but also food styles from around the world. The resorts are well aware
that many guests will want to what what's familiar to them.