Maldives, the smallest country in Asia by land area, is a great destination for leisure and relaxation.

A vacation on one of the country's resort islands is a pretty unique experience. I visited twice and stayed at the Kuramathi and the Bandos island resorts. Both were beautiful locations and had excellent beaches, intense blue waters, quality services, relaxing spas, good food and a generally relaxed atmosphere. It can get pretty close to paradise on Earth.

Snorkeling was amazing in the two islands' reefs, with a wide range of colorful fish as well as black tip reef sharks, sting rays, eels and scorpion fish. There was also a surprising amount of wildlife on the islands: different types of birds, fruit bats, various little lizards and cool hermit crabs which would enjoy a bite of fresh coconut if you could spare some. The nightly sting ray feeding sessions on Kuramathi were very cool.

When the beach, coconut cocktails and endless snorkeling aren't enough, trips to some of the other islands or snorkeling trips are a fun thing to do. You can visit inhabited islands, other resorts or just a small deserted island in the middle of the ocean. A quick trip to the island capital of Male was also quite interesting.

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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