The Maldives
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About 350 miles west from the Southern most tip of India lie a group of more than thousand islands called the Maldives.  They are immense in size and spread, and are close to the Caribbean in this comparison.Their close proximity to the Equator makes them very warm indeed year round, and a boon to sun-seekers and sailors alike.  Here, surface and water temperatures hover around 27 degrees Celsius.  The sand is so whiteand "pure" on all the islands that it may be called virgin.  Only about 200 of these islands are inhabited by humans.  Although traditionally not well developed for sailing, the area is growing tremendously with about 200,000 tourists visiting each year. The wealth of marine ecology is so enormous as to satiate most diving and snorkeling apetites.  Coral formation is brilliant and colorful and a delight to the eye.  Sparkling, crystal clear waters make the reef surfing experience worth it.  Infact, the waters around the Maldives have invited the most enthusiastic divers of the world.  Untouched, unspoiled and unharmed in their natural beauty, these islands are a must for a vacationer who wants to get awayfrom the day to day grind of urban life. 

"Dhivehi" is spoken by the Maldivian people, although English is also a well understood second language. The climate is very pleasant most ofthe year, but Southwest monsoons can be heavy between June and August.