The Maldives is an island nation located between the Arabian and Laccadive seas, approximately 500 miles southwest. It is popular in its seclusion. It’s a quiet place for a honeymoon, and The Island Spas are the perfect place to relax and unwind. Its sea attracts adventurers seeking to explore the ocean’s depths on a scuba diving and snorkelling excursion.
A visit to the Maldivian capital, Malé, makes all the difference! The hotels in this region are out of the ordinary, from underwater hotels to overwater private bungalows to exceptionally aesthetic resorts. However, going to and staying in the Maldives is quite a challenge. You will have loads of patience, as there are no direct flights from the United States and plenty of cash.
Maldives Travel Tips
Best Time to Visit Maldives
The island nation is always warm and sunny all year round. However, there is a dry season and a wet, rainy season. Visiting in each season requires some pros and cons. But the best time to tour the Maldives is from November to April. The best weather in the Maldives between November and April is the best weather with precipitation and warm temperatures. Unfortunately, the period between November and April is the busiest time. This is because there are such high room rates at resorts. However, this place is so secluded that each resort is on its island, so it is not as crowded as other destinations.
The islands see between 5 and 10 inches of precipitation and often strong winds from May to October, and it is considered the rainy season. At this time, you are likely going to find better deals though, the term “deal” is relative, as the Maldives is a high-cost location year-round. You will enjoy surfing at this time of year. Because the waves are more prominent and there are better swells for surfing during these months.
A trip to the Maldives is pretty pricey. So be expectant to spend more than you usually spend on a budget. The Maldives is unlike other travel destinations such as Mexico or Asia, where you may get by spending less than $50 to $100 a day. However, there are some ways to save, howbeit not as in other destinations.
Maldives: Choose Your Flights Wisely
Due to the high cost of airfare from the United States, combining a vacation here with one in the Middle East or Europe is advisable. So you can catch a direct flight to the Maldives at a less ridiculous price. Another way is to consider getting a travel credit card and using airline and hotel loyalty points to book a vacation.
Select Accommodations Carefully
There are no “budget” hotels in the Maldives, so you don’t get disappointed. Instead, the low-end resorts are pretty high. But if you want to economise, you have to avoid the luxury resorts and settle for the more affordable guest houses, inns or vacation rentals on local islands. Some accommodation bills at these lodging options even include meals.
Desalinated Tap Water
Before getting to your hotel, stop by at Malé and stock up in bottled water. Of course, you wouldn’t want to drink tap water. Although treated, the water is just fine for showering and brushing teeth. However, be aware that bottled water can be pretty expensive at resorts.
It’s A Hot Island
The Maldives islands are situated close to the equator, which explains why the temperatures are warm year-round, and the sun is intense. So come along with your sunscreen and apply a liberal amount to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
Islamic Tradition in Maldives
The Maldives is a strict Muslim nation. So there are plenty of mosques and little or no alcohol outside the resorts.
Culture and Custom in the Maldives
The Maldives has been an Islamic nation since the 12th century has a rich heritage. There are lots of Mosques in the capital of Malé. The men and women dress in very conservative attire. If you intend to see a mosque, you should wear Muslim clothing to dress accordingly. Some mosques, however, do not allow non-Muslims in. Be respectful and lower your voice when you come across people praying, and be sure not to walk in front of them. However, these religious practices are not done in the resorts, but during Ramadan, local restaurants close in the daytime to observe the fast.
In public, it is prohibited to display affections, such as kissing or hand-holding. Alcohol consumption is also banned, although it can be consumed on resort islands. People are expected to cover up adequately, and homosexuality is against the law.
Food in the Maldives
Food in the Maldives comprises mainly of the region’s available local ingredients, including seafood, coconut and starches. A few fishes mostly on menus are Tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi. Some other options include samosas and spicy fried fish. But, of course, you can expect more if you’re staying at a high-end resort.
At the Velana International Airport (MLE) on the island of Hulhule’, someone from your hotel or resort will likely be present to escort you to the island where you will be staying. A ferry, a seaplane, a speedboat or a combination of the three will get you to reach your final destination. This may be added to the cost of your hotel stay. You can get around the city on foot, by boat or by air during your visit.
By Foot: The best way to see the Maldives is to walk. The Maldives is about 2.2 square miles. And hotels or resorts have proximity to anywhere within the city. So you can take a stroll.
By Boat: You can get around by boat too. Reasonably-priced public ferries are available, and they cost 77-154 MVR ($5-10 USD) depending on the route. If you are going to see a more distant island far away from Malé, you’ll need to ferry across. Although you may have to stay overnight on an island along the way as the ferries do not run regularly. During weekends also most ferries do not run. However, such far islands can be assessed by private boat or plane. Private speedboats are pretty expensive. From around 385-540 MVR ($25-35 USD) per person. Schedule your trip well using the ferry schedule.
By Air: Getting around by air is very expensive. Going by air from Malé to other islands will cost about 7,000 MVR ($350). If on a budget, do not fly.
What To Do In The Maldives
Go to a spa
Treat yourself to a beautiful day of pampering. You can squeeze out the little cash and give yourself a treat even on a budget. However, the cost is a bit high, about 1,000 MVR ($65) for a 30-minute massage. Moreover, some hotels with a spa offer discounts for early morning/late evening.
You can go Fishing
You can decide to go fishing. Rent poles, bait from hotels and guesthouses. Get a guide for about 775 MVR ($50). In the Maldives, you can also experience the best game fishing in the world. The fee is around 3,000 MVR ($200) for a half-day shared charter.
Treat your Eyes to the View at the National Art Gallery
The art gallery is not a permanent establishment. To visit, be sure to check the website before time because if there is no visiting exhibition on display, the space will be empty. However, the temporary exhibitions at the gallery are worth a visit. The collections range from traditional paintings and local textiles to international modern artists.
Have a Glimpse of the Male Fish Market in Maldives
The Maldivians are typically fishermen. Watch the haggling and bargaining at this fish market to understand what they are saying. Then, buy a fish and cook it at your guesthouse for dinner.
Snorkel in the Baa Atoll Maldives
The Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, It is a 1,200-square-kilometer space full of whale sharks and manta rays. Take some time on a clear day and see them swarming below the surface. Baa Atoll is just a five-minute boat ride from Dharavandhoo Island. Additionally, visiting the area is under strict observation. It is just an 80 person capacity, so the ecosystem is not disturbed. The entrance fee is 310 MVR ($20), which provides you with a guide and 45 minutes in the water.
Dive the Maldive Victory
After a shipwreck in 1981, the site has become a fantastic place for diving. Experienced divers come here to enjoy this spot. Strong currents below this enormous wreck make it a challenging dive site. There are different kinds of coral, fish, and sponges below; thus, this incredible place is accessible all year round.
Have a Feel of the Sandbank
You can arrange a private trip to any of the hundred different banks dotted around the islands for 775 MVR ($50) a person. Tours last from 2-3 hours.
Most accommodation in the Maldives are guesthouses and small hotels. Small hotel option for when on a budget. You can stay in these hotels if you want to save money: Book your flights and hotels here.
- Dream Inn (Thulusdhoo)
- Cokes Beaches (Thulusdhoo)
- Hanifaru Stay (Kendhoo)
Maldives Budgeting Tips
- Come along with enough cash.
- Come along with your reusable water bottle.
- Be careful about the ferry you board. Private ferries are very expensive for someone on a budget.
- Please take note of all-inclusive packages and take advantage of them.
Packing for Your Trip to Maldives
- A pair of jeans or khaki trousers
- A pair of shorts
- A bathing suit
- T-shirts as much as you like
- A long-sleeved T-shirt
- Small Medical Kit for emergencies
- One light cardigan