Maldives

Maldives

The Maldives is a geological marvel stretching across the Indian Ocean at the Equator like a magnificent strand of rare pearls. The exposed top of a submerged mountain ridge, the Maldives is the lowest country on earth, with an average height above sea level of just one to three meters (three to six feet). The islands have long been a welcome sight on the horizon among mariners, positioned as they are along ancient trade routes and sea-lanes. Now, as then, sailors are welcomed by Maldivians and find shelter from the Indian Ocean among its countless protected, deep-water anchorages.

Maldivians trace their roots to several different cultures including South and Southeast Asians, Africans, and Arabians. Cultural diversity can be seen in everything from music to boat building. Music is frequently played with a local bodu-beru, or big drum, that is quite similar to African drumming. And the Maldivian dhoni, a sailboat built locally by skilled craftsmen, is strikingly similar to a dhow, the traditional Arabian sailing vessel. If your definition of paradise is a lifestyle stripped to the basic essentials of whether the sky is blue and the sun is shining and where the toughest question to answer is if the beach now astern is more beautiful than the one ahead, the Maldives is your destination. One word will suffice in describing the Maldives, Perfection.


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