Maldives is a heavenly paradise that holds a breathtaking imagery of turquoise waters kissing a wide stretch of sky and touching palm-fringed powdery shores. Its underwater appeal is even more stunning, as the waters of Maldives are a vibrant home to colorful coral reefs, marine life, and other underwater treasures.

It’s easy to fall in love with this country, which has apparently met all the criteria of beauty.

Maldives, officially called Republic of the Maldives, owes its beauty to its location and archipelagic structure. It lies in the middle of the Indian Ocean and is entirely surrounded with water. It is made up of 26 atolls, which are collectively comprised of 1,190 coral islands. An aerial view of this archipelagic structure creates a captivating sight – a string of scattered tiny islands dotting a bed of ocean in a sharp shade of blue.

In a country literally made up of islands, it comes as no surprise that resorts here are located in islands that are completely their own. Presently, Maldives has around 90 island resorts offering world-class and luxurious services. Two hundred of the remaining islands are inhabited by the locals and therefore have more pronounced island life.

The country, with all its paradise-like characteristics, beckons visitors to come. And it doesn’t fall short, because Maldives is everything beach lovers, honeymooners, and all types of travelers look for in a dream destination. Its unsullied and exquisite beauty, coupled with unparalleled tranquility, sets the stage for a perfect vacation. Whatever you choose to do – whether you spend your time engaging in water sports or watch the setting sun disperse lovely colors onto the sky – expect to have an experience of a lifetime.

Maldives seems to proudly announce it has successfully emerged from the destruction of El Niño and the 2004 tsunami. The locals welcome every visitor with warmth and enthusiasm. In fact, if you wish to learn more about the Maldivian culture, you can spend time with them and they will gladly get into a conversation with you. English is a well-used language in this country, so communication will not be a problem. Even their official language, Dhivehi, has some English words.

Because the Indian Ocean used to be a trading route back in the old days, many travelers and traders set foot in Maldives, influencing different aspects of the island life. This made Maldivian culture a mishmash of foreign influences.

This mishmash, however, does not apply to religion. This country of 350,000 people follows only one faith – Islam – and no other. It is unlawful for Maldivians to practice any other religion. Those who do will not be considered Maldivian residents. Having one faith, at least to Maldivians, is a mark of oneness.

When visiting Maldives, there are two things to expect: One, Maldives is always picture-perfect, so bring your camera and videocam to document this massive beauty.

Incidentally, make sure to bring adapters for your camera and videocam. Electric sockets in Maldives deliver 230 to 240 volts; plugs with a flat blade, three round pins in a triangular arrangement, two parallel flat pins with ground pin, or two round pins are used.

The second thing to expect is that Maldives, although the smallest Asian country both in land area and population, promises and delivers big in every instance. Just pick an island of your dream, and upon arrival, believe your eyes when they tell you that you are now living the dream.