Head to the Maldives for some serious relaxation. This country is made up of 1,190 islands, 200 of which are inhabited and 99 of which are resort islands. With a population of just 350,000 spread out over those islands, it seems like every beach here is a private one.
The diving, snorkleing, and surfing in the Maldives is world renowned. Some tourists may strive to avoid monsoon season, but every June through September surfers flock to the Maldives to take advantage of the pumped up waves that come with the storms. Divers will love the warm, clear seas that offer visibility of up to 50 meters away, making it easy to spot the thousands of different species of sea life found in the islands’ numerous reefs.
Sadly, global warming is believed to be threatening this beautiful island nation. Rising sea levels could completely flood the low-lying islands. The country has become very eco-focused as a response: Its president has pledged to make the country carbon neutral, and environmentally friendly tourism is promoted.
Where is it? In the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka.
Where to stay? Go all out by booking the Soneva Gili’s Private Reserve. It’s 1,400 square meters of private luxury floating in the ocean. You’ll have five separate buildings all to yourself, including your very own deep water coral pool (accessible by waterslide), sundecks, butlers, open-air bathrooms, and private spa facilities. Everything in the private reserve, from the music to the wine, will be customized for you and your guests. Check out the Soneva Gili’s 360 degree virtual tour to really drool over the accommodation, but know that if you have to submit an inquiry about the price, you probably can’t afford it. .
What else should I know? The Maldives is a prominently Muslim country, so don’t pack any alcohol, pork, or pornography. (Your bags will be checked for forbidden items on arrival.) Don’t worry, though, bacon and beer lovers—alcohol and pork products are readily available at most resorts in the islands.
Who’s it for? Environmentalists, snorkelers, divers, surfers, sun-tanners.
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