DIVING AND SNORKELING
The Maldives is a mecca for leisurely drift pace diving and snorkeling. Soft coral, lagoons, swim-through channels, caves and brilliantly colored marine life produce some of the best underwater exploration in the world. Best of all, the seas surrounding the Maldives remains exceptionally warm year-round.
You won’t find a more consistent array of powdery white sand beaches anywhere in the world. Juxtaposed against luminescent turquoise waters and picturesque coconut palms, there’s no question that lounging on the beach may very well be the highlight of your experience in the Maldives.
THE SOUTH ARI ATOLL
Whale sharks, one of the largest marine creatures known to man, are year-round inhabitants of the seas surrounding the Maldives. The South Ari Atoll provides the best odds for catching a sighting. A more adventurous viewing experience can be enjoyed at the Rasdhoo Atoll. This challenging deep dive reaches a reef where hammerhead sharks are known to frequent.
With over 100 private-island resorts to choose from, there’s no shortage of luxurious retreats in the Maldives. Epicurean adventure, tranquil settings, in-room massage services, overwater bungalows and lap pools are just the beginning of your pampered experiences. The fact that resorts can only be reached by seaplane, speedboat or a combination of the two enhances the seclusion of the lodging options.
While the sanctuary of pristine and remote islands is the obvious allure of this destination, Malé, the capital city of the Maldives, packs an urban punch in its tidy 2.2 square miles. Featuring the National Museum, Sultan Park, brilliantly colored buildings, numerous mosques and squares, the city presents a more cultural experience if you’re so inclined. Given its close proximity to Hulhule’, the island where the airport is located, Malé would be an ideal excursion at the start or tail-end of your visit.