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The Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean are a honeymooner's fantasy: pristine white-sand beaches you can claim as your own, coconut palms, and clear blue water. Here's what else we like, all of it enough — if you have the time and budget — to make this place well worth the extra travel.
1. Most properties are single-isle resorts.
Since most atolls here only have one hotel on them, you can have that luxurious, private island experience — with few crowds, and wide-open beaches, just about anywhere you stay.
2. The diving is a-maz-ing.
The Maldives are known, more than anything, for their spectacular diving. Look for eagle and manta rays, reef sharks, tuna, and barracuda. And, on the more shallow dives, you might see parrotfish, grouper, snapper, turtles, and moray eels. The coral itself can be a rainbow of colors, including yellow and black.
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3. You can fly on a seaplane.
For some atolls, the best way to reach them is by seaplane, so you may get to ride one just getting to your resort. On others, you can book seaplane rides as an excursion.
4. Two for the price of one: You can visit somewhere else on the way.
There are no non-stop flights to the Maldives so you may fly through another interesting destination, and choose to layover there, on your way. Choices include London, and even Dubai.
5. Dining here is the original fusion.
Traders come through these islands from all over, and today the food is a mix of local ingredients (seafood, fish, fruit,and breadfruit) as well as curries and spices from around the region.