Maldives

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One of the most unique destinations in the world (its highest point is 7.9 feet above sea level, making it the world’s lowest and flattest nation), this string of 1,192 coral islands southwest of Sri Lanka is as pristine as it is beautiful. Most of Maldives' islands are less than half a mile square, many take just minutes to walk around, and you can often swim from island to island through the warm, clean, cobalt-colored sea. Indeed, this is a prime destination for scuba divers, but foodies, spa goers, and sun worshipers alike have also discovered this exclusive Eden. Expect to spend most of your trip being pampered at your own self-contained resort paradise, where most of these activities can be arranged.

Things to do in Maldives

Dhoni dolphin cruises

Take a sunset cruise on a traditional dhoni boat. You’ll drink champagne, dance to Maldivian music performed by your crew, and (if the gods cooperate) watch a pod of dolphins racing mere feet from your bow. Inquire with your resort’s concierge to book a tour.

Cavil Mall, Sanctuary Cove, and Pacific Fair, Gold Coast,
Tags: romance | family | cruise | things to do | wildlife

Diving

With water always 85-95° F, the entire country is practically a dive site. September is best for whalesharks and hammerheads, and manta season runs from May to October. All resorts have dive centers with standard sites, but renting a yacht and crew and dropping into the cobalt blue wherever you wish is unforgettable.

Maldives Boat Club, #01-05, STO Trade Centre, 011-960-331-4811, www.maldivesboatclub.com
Tags: cruise | smart splurge | things to do | wildlife | adventure

Fishing trips

Haul them in as fast as you can lower your line, hand them to the chef on your return, and they’ll be sautéed, filleted, and on your plate that evening. Try renting a local fisherman’s dhoni, leave at sunset, and come back under the stars. Inquire with your resort’s concierge to book.

Cavil Mall, Sanctuary Cove, and Pacific Fair, Gold Coast,
Tags: things to do | outdoors | fishing

Malé

If you have a few hours before your return flight, check out the Maldivian capital, one of the strangest cities in the world, a dense urban island 1.2 miles long and .62 miles wide. Most interesting: The Friday Mosque & Cemetery with its coral tombstones.

, www.visitmaldives.com
Tags: things to do | culture | history | free

Surfing

The Maldives' reefs intercept great open-ocean swells. The best surf reefs - Honkey's, Sultans, and Pasta Point, are conveniently located near Malé International Airport.

Sea & See, Oakum Building, 2nd floor, 011-960-332-5634, www.maldivessurftours.com
Tags: things to do | outdoors

Take a cooking class

Take a class at the Anantara Cooking School, where guests can hone their culinary skills on everything from Thai to Italian cuisines.

Anantara Cooking School, Anantara, 011-960-664-4100, www.anantara.com
Tags: things to do | culture | culinary

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