Looking for the best things to do in the Maldives? A natural necklace of more than 1,000 islets off the west coast of India, the Maldives are even dreamier — and more diverse — than you’d expect.
1. Have a private party for two.
Step one: Select a prime beach spot at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort on a private island in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. Step two: Request a candlelit dinner. Three: The chef whips up a spread of fresh seafood. Last but not least: Relax as the beat of traditional boduberu drums erases any worries. Post-meal, stargazing and skinny-dipping await in the private pool of each overwater Ocean Pool Villa.
2. Netflix and chill like you never have before.
Catching a flick outdoors is instantly appealing. For a truly epic movie night, add sand, silhouetted palm trees and hand-crafted beverages. Cinema Paradiso, Soneva Fushi‘s outdoor movie theater, is the best way to extend balmy days into balmy nights. Comfy beanbags and loungers are up for grabs, in addition to complimentary popcorn and 50-plus flavors of ice cream. Gentle ocean breezes also included.
3. Swim to another hemisphere.
Travel to the southernmost islands, and you’ll really have something to write home about: Visitors can swim from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern one and back. While you’re at it, make pit stops at pristine sandbanks, lagoons and coral atolls that beg for picnicking and snorkeling. Guests completing the swim from The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort receive a certificate of their achievement.
4. Make a difference with the mantas.
Between June and October, plankton levels are at their peak, attracting mantas that snack on the tiny organisms. The Manta-on-Call program at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru will spot ’em, and you’ll hop on a speedboat to get a closer look. You’ll also be smack-dab in the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, where you can help the Reefscapers team rebuild coral-reef flats.
5. Have an underwater massage.
It’s tough to top an oceanfront massage, but a treatment below sea level pulls it off. LIME Spa, at Per Aquum Huvafen Fushi, is home to the world’s first underwater spa. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, indulge in creative treatments include Champagne & Truffles, where skin is caressed with champagne, silk, diamonds, black truffles and gold. Afterward, an ice-cube facial comes with views of passing dolphins.