The Essential Travel Guide to the Maldives

Gorgeous beaches and underwater photography, check

Sitting placidly in the Indian Ocean, the 100-plus little islands of the Maldives host some of the world’s most luxurious resorts (um, there’s a private treehouse), international cuisine (smoked tuna with coconut for breakfast?) and of course, those postcard-worthy, ah-mazing beaches.

For good reason, sun seekers, honeymooners and underwater enthusiasts alike all converge in this totally seductive paradise. Lucky for you, we’ve teamed up with euphoria Calvin Klein and simplified our Maldives travel guide to just the very best, so you waste no time getting down to serenity.

A Pair & A Spare

What To Pack

With temps hovering around 86 degrees year-round--and the occasional downpour only slightly cooling things off--think easy, versatile and colorful attire. A fuchsia tunic that can function on the beach just as well as cocktails, a wide-brimmed hat and slip-on sandals are essentials for island hopping (go by speedboat to catch the ocean breeze). Don’t leave behind a bottle of euphoria Calvin Klein with notes of black orchid and persimmon that perfectly captures the Maldivian seductive spirit. And finally, an underwater camera. (Well worth the investment when you consider this.)

Where To Stay

You know all those envy-inducing, overwater bungalow pics on Instagram? Yep, that's the Maldives (well, also Bora Bora, but some of the best are in the Maldives.) The palm-thatched private villas at The Four Seasons offer total seclusion, which is great because you’re going to want to use that outdoor shower. Pick your poison (private terrace facing the sunrise or the sunset?), and then pick your other poison (champagne brunch in bed or a lunar-lit massage?). There’s no wrong answer here.

Four Seasons Maldvies at Kuda Huraa (starting at $1,350 per night)

What To Eat

If you ever grow tired of dining while gazing at the stunning sunset, you can take your dinner to new depths: As in, below sea level. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant sits just under the water’s surface (the world’s first) so you can nosh on a luxurious six-course dinner of elegant dishes like caviar blinis and Maldivian lobster Carpaccio, all with 180-degree views of the vibrant coral gardens.

Gangehi Island Resort

What To Do

It would be a shame to travel all this way, just sit around on a gorgeous stretch of beach. (OK, not that much of a shame.) At least once, put on your adventurer’s cap and charter a private boat to a dive spot for some world-class snorkeling. At the Ari Atoll, you’ll likely brush fins with sea turtles, manta rays and (maybe) a shark or two. Not really into the mermaid thing? Stay aboard and sip champagne while admiring the crystal clear lagoon from a drier vantage point.

Cruise Maldives (starting at $224 per person for half-day)