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The Republic of Maldives is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean which together constitute the smallest country in Asia - both in terms of population and land area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the planet's lowest country. It is also the country with the world's lowest natural highpoint, being a mere 2.4 metres (7ft 10) above sea level - there will be no mountain climbing here.

The green traveler will be very pleased to hear that there are a number of eco-tours available on the islands, all with the unifying agenda to protect these low fragile land masses for future generations. Holidays4me.com offers the ecotourist the chance to tailor make their own itinerary for their stay, with the company organizing it from there. You can enjoy the stunning deserted beaches, a relaxing day at the spa, and even swim with whales and manta rays. Ecotourism is one of their main concerns, and so everything is done with the marine environment and ecology always at the forefront of their excursions.

Another fine establishment is the luxury Spirit of Maldives Eco Resort. This is a hotel chain that works in harmony with the surrounding lands of the Maldives. It actively promotes conservation and cultural projects, whilst simultaneously priding itself on not compromising the paradisiacal experience that only the Maldives can offer its guests.

The initiatives include: include coral cleaning and regeneration initiatives, responsible waste management, water conservation, energy initiatives (reflected in the design and build of the accommodation), marine biology programs and environmental lectures for guests, and excellent community projects are in place to empower the islanders with knowledge of the eco system that will help future generations to come.

Without doubt, the ecotourist can take a trip out to the fragile lands of the Maldives and keep their conscience intact.

Phot by A.M.F. photo