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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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MALDIVES TRAVEL GUIDE

Strung out along the equator in the Indian Ocean are the 26 atolls that make up the tiny country of Maldives. Brilliant white sands, azure blue seas, tropical palms, sun and surf, the Maldives is an ideal destination to lie back, sip a drink and tan a delightful bronze.

 

The Maldives was for the most part unknown to tourists until the early 1970s. Just 189 of the islands are home to its 515,696 inhabitants. The other islands are used entirely for economic functions, of that tourism and agriculture are dominant.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Malé
  • Currency: Rufiyaa (MVR)
  • Area: 300 km²
  • Population: 515 696 (2018)
  • Language: Dhivehi is the native language, English is widely spoken
  • Religion:Sunni Muslim
  • Electricity: 240 V, 50 Hz (European or British plugs)

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POSTS ON MALDIVES

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT MALDIVES

The Maldives has two main seasons: the dry season and the monsoon season.

  • The dry season, also known as the "tourist season," runs from November to April. This is the most popular time to visit the Maldives as the weather is sunny and dry, with little to no rain. The sea is also calm, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
  • The monsoon season runs from May to October. This is the rainy season and is characterized by heavy rainfall and strong winds. The seas are rougher during this time, and it is not as favorable for water activities. However, it could be a great time for surfers.

The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April, during the dry season. The weather is sunny and dry, and the sea is calm, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The monsoon season, which runs from May to October, brings heavy rains and strong winds, making it less favorable for water activities.

BEST TIME FOR:

The Maldives is an idyllic beach destination and it's always hot enough for the beach. Just note that from May to October it's the wet monsoon season! You will enjoy much better beach weather from November to April.

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MALDIVES TRAVEL COSTS

he cost of traveling to the Maldives can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the time of year, the type of accommodation, and the activities you plan to do.

  • Airfare to the Maldives can be relatively expensive, with round-trip tickets from the United States typically costing around $1,000 or more.
  • Accommodation in the Maldives can range from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts. Prices for guesthouses can start as low as $50 per night, while prices for resorts can range from $300 to $1,000 or more per night.
  • Food and activities in the Maldives can also add to the cost of your trip. Eating out at restaurants can be relatively expensive, and activities such as snorkeling, diving, and island-hopping can also add up.

Here is a sample breakdown of costs for a one-week trip to the Maldives:

  • Airfare: $1,000 or more (depending on where you are flying from and the time of year)
  • Accommodation: $50 to $150 per night for a budget guesthouse, $300 to $1,000 or more per night for a luxury resort
  • Food: $20 to $40 per day for budget meals, $40 to $100 or more per day for more expensive meals
  • Excursions and activities: $50 to $100 per person for a snorkeling or diving trip, $100 to $150 per person for an island-hopping trip,
  • Transportation: $20 to $50 per person for a ferry ride, $50 to $100 per person for a seaplane ride.

In general, a budget-friendly trip to the Maldives could cost around $1,500 to $2,000 per person for a week, while a luxury trip could cost $4,000 to $6,000 or more per person for a week.

 

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR MALDIVES

Here are some travel tips for a trip to the Maldives:

  • Plan ahead: The Maldives is a popular tourist destination and accommodations can fill up quickly, especially during the peak tourist season. Plan your trip well in advance to ensure you get the best deals and your preferred accommodation.
  • Pack for the weather: The Maldives has a tropical climate, so pack light, comfortable clothing and plenty of sunscreen. Bring a waterproof bag for your electronics and documents as well.
  • Get a local SIM card: If you want to stay connected during your trip, purchase a local SIM card for your phone. This will save you from expensive roaming charges.
  • Take advantage of the island-hopping opportunities: The Maldives is made up of many small islands, and island-hopping is a great way to explore the different parts of the country.
  • Be mindful of the culture: The Maldives is an Islamic country, so be mindful of the local customs and dress modestly when not on the beach.
  • Respect the marine life: The Maldives is home to a rich marine ecosystem, so it's important to be mindful of the environment and avoid activities that can harm the coral reefs or the marine life.
  • Be prepared for the cost: The Maldives is a luxury destination, and costs can add up quickly. Be prepared for high prices for food, activities, and transportation.
  • Make the most of your time: With the high cost of travel and accommodation, it's best to make the most of your time in the Maldives, so plan your activities and excursions in advance.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF MALDIVES

The Maldives is made up of 26 atolls, which are groups of islands. These atolls can be divided into three main regions: the North Atolls, the South Atolls, and the Central Atolls.

  1. North Atolls: The North Atolls are known for their crystal clear waters, rich marine life, and excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. The highlight of this region is the Baa Atoll, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and home to the famous Hanifaru Bay, a protected marine area known for its large congregations of manta rays and whale sharks.
  2. South Atolls: The South Atolls are known for their beautiful beaches and excellent surf spots. The highlight of this region is the Malé Atoll, which is home to the capital city of Malé and many luxury resorts.
  3. Central Atolls: The Central Atolls are known for their rich marine life and excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. The highlight of this region is the Ari Atoll, which is home to many famous dive sites, such as the Maaya Thila and the Kudarah Thila, which are known for their large schools of fish and beautiful coral gardens.

Keep in mind that the Maldives is a tiny country and you can travel to any of the regions relatively easily, so you can decide based on your interests and activities you would like to do.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN MALDIVES

When visiting Maldives, some popular activities include:

  • Relaxing on the white sandy beaches and swimming in the crystal clear waters.
  • Snorkeling or diving to see the vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
  • Taking a boat tour to explore the nearby islands and lagoons.
  • Visiting a local fishing village to learn about Maldivian culture and traditions.
  • Going on a sunset cruise to see the beautiful colors of the sky.
  • Enjoying water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing, and kite surfing.
  • Visiting a spa for a traditional Maldivian massage.
  • Exploring the capital city of Male and visiting the historical sites such as the 17th century Hukuru Miskiy mosque.

It's also worth noting that Maldives is a Muslim country, so visitors should be mindful of local customs and dress modestly when visiting public places.

WHAT TO EAT IN MALDIVES

When visiting Maldives, you should definitely try some of the local cuisine which is mostly composed of seafood. Some popular Maldivian dishes include:

  • Garudhiya: A traditional Maldivian soup made with fish and coconut milk.
  • Mas huni: A local breakfast dish consisting of grated coconut mixed with smoked fish and onions.
  • Bambukeylu hiti: A traditional Maldivian bread made with coconut and rice flour.
  • Roshi: A Maldivian flatbread made with wheat flour and coconut milk.
  • Maldivian curries: The Maldives has a variety of different curries, with fish, chicken or vegetables, often served with rice.
  • Tuna and other seafood: The Maldives is known for its fresh seafood and tuna is a staple in Maldivian cuisine.
  • Hedhika: A sweet and savory snack made from fish and coconut.
  • Dhonkeyo kajuru: a type of tuna and onion salad.

You can also find international cuisine in Maldives, but I recommend trying the local dishes to experience the true taste of Maldives.

LGBTQ IN MALDIVES

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WHERE TO STAY IN MALDIVES

When visiting the Maldives for the first time, it's essential to choose the right area to stay based on your preferences and interests. Here are some areas of the Maldives you should consider:


Where To Stay In the North Male Atoll:

This area is close to Male, the capital city, and is easily accessible from Velana International Airport. It offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts and budget-friendly guesthouses. North Male Atoll is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and proximity to popular dive sites.

  • Baros Maldives: This luxury resort offers overwater villas and beachfront suites surrounded by crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. It features multiple restaurants, a spa, and various water sports activities.

  • Bandos Maldives: Situated on a private island, Bandos Maldives offers comfortable rooms and villas, a diving center, and a range of recreational facilities. It's ideal for families and couples looking for a relaxed beach vacation.


Where To Stay In the South Male Atoll:

Similar to North Male Atoll, South Male Atoll is conveniently located near the airport and offers a variety of accommodation options. It's known for its beautiful beaches, excellent snorkeling and diving spots, and laid-back atmosphere.

  • COMO Cocoa Island: This luxury resort offers overwater villas inspired by traditional Maldivian dhoni boats, as well as a spa, yoga pavilion, and gourmet restaurant serving fresh seafood.

  • Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives: Nestled on a private island, Taj Exotica offers luxury villas overlooking the Indian Ocean, a spa, multiple dining options, and water sports facilities.


Where To Stay in the Ari Atoll:

Ari Atoll is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Maldives, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life. It's a great choice for snorkeling, diving, and water sports enthusiasts. Ari Atoll is home to several luxury resorts, as well as budget-friendly guesthouses.

  • Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: This iconic resort offers luxurious overwater villas, an underwater restaurant, a spa, and a variety of recreational activities, including diving, snorkeling, and sunset cruises.

  • LUX South Ari Atoll*: Situated on Dhidhoofinolhu Island, this resort offers stylish villas, a spa, multiple restaurants, and a range of water sports and land-based activities.


Where To Stay In the Baa Atoll:

Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its rich biodiversity and stunning natural beauty. It's an excellent choice for travelers interested in eco-tourism and marine conservation. Baa Atoll is home to luxury resorts offering overwater villas, as well as budget-friendly options.

  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru: Located within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this luxury resort offers overwater villas and beachfront bungalows, as well as a marine research center, spa, and multiple dining options.

  • Soneva Fushi: This eco-friendly resort offers spacious villas with private pools, a spa, organic gardens, and a variety of recreational activities, including snorkeling, diving, and sunset dolphin cruises.


Where To Stay In the Lhaviyani Atoll:

Lhaviyani Atoll is less developed compared to other atolls in the Maldives, offering a more peaceful and secluded experience. It's known for its beautiful beaches, colorful coral reefs, and excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. Lhaviyani Atoll is home to several luxury resorts and boutique hotels.

  • Hurawalhi Island Resort: This adults-only resort offers luxury overwater villas, an underwater restaurant, a spa, and a range of water sports activities, including snorkeling, diving, and sailing.

  • Kuredu Island Resort & Spa: Situated on a private island, Kuredu offers a variety of accommodation options, multiple restaurants, a spa, and a range of recreational facilities, including a golf course, tennis courts, and dive center.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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VISA SERVICES

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FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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