The Maldives is a tropical South Asian nation in the Indian Ocean.
Made up of over 1,000 coral islands, it is rich with beaches, blue lagoons, warm waters, and aquatic life, making it a dream vacation.
Snorkeling, diving, swimming, or just relaxing and taking in the views are some of the many things you can do here.
With lodging that ranges from budget hotels to luxury resorts, it can accommodate a variety of budgets. There are many things to do and see here.
This Maldives travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
- Power voltage is 230 V at 50 Hz.
- Maldives’s currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa and 1 Rufiyaa is equal to 0.065 USD.
- You can check up to date exchange rates at XE Currency Converter.
- The best way to get around the Maldives is on foot.
- You do not need a tourist visa to enter, just a passport that will be valid for 6 months after your stay. When you arrive in the Maldives, you will be issued a free visa that is good for 30 days.
- Dhiraagu or Ooredoo are the two mobile providers and a 30-day SIM card can be purchased through either of these networks. You can purchase a SIM card at the airport or local shops, though local shops at the Maldives sometimes have better deals.
- As the official religion is Islam, make sure to respect the culture by wearing modest clothing. Women should avoid bringing clothes that do not cover shoulders and thighs (except for swimsuits).
- The Maldives has a general sales tax rate of 6%, with an increased rate of 12% for tourist services.
Budget – You can find some cheaper budget hotels at around 800 to 1,500 Rufiyaas per night. These hotels come with private single or double rooms, beach access, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast.
Mid Range – For mid-range hotels, expect to pay between 1,600 to 2,450 Rufiyaas a night and enjoy rooms with city or beach views, outdoor pools, and flat-screen TVs inside of the rooms. Certain hotels like the LVIS Boutique also come with complimentary airport pickup.
High End – Luxury villas and resorts can range from 3,000 to 80,000 Rufiyaas a night.
Take in the best of Maldives with top of the line restaurants, stocked minibars and coffee makers in each guest room, private outdoor pools, open-air fitness centers, spas and massage services, and great 24-hour hospitality.
Certain resorts, like the Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives, even comes with its own waterslide. The most expensive luxury villas, like the Park Hyatt, Cinnamon Dhonveli and Cinnamon Hakura Hura are even set on their own private island.
Check out our favorite booking platforms Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Air B&B for the best deals on accommodation.
Food: Maldivian food is influenced by Indian cuisine and favors coconuts, fish, and starches as their three main staples.
Mas Riha (fish curry with white rice), samosas (fried pastry filled with vegetables, potatoes, and lentils), and thelui mas (spicy fried fish, such as octopus or swordfish) are popular dishes.
The Maldives comes with a number of cafes and restaurants where you can dive in to taste authentic Maldivian cuisine.
The capital city of Malé also has its own popular fish market.
Getting to the Maldives: The Velana International Airport is the main place to fly into and is roughly 3 miles from the capital city of Malé
From there, you will take a boat or floatplane to your resort located on one of the many island.
Flights: You can check for the best flights to the Maldives on Skyscanner.
Boats: : Ferries are a great way to travel between islands. They cost just 30-75 Rufiyaas per trip depending on distance and are available every day except Fridays.
Sea Planes: Another option is seaplanes, which can get you anywhere in the Maldives within roughly 90 minutes. Seaplane fares are around 3,500 to 7,000 Rufiyaas depending on the distance.
Buses: Buses are a cheap way to get around the larger islands and can cost just 3 Rufiyaas. However, bus service is only available for select routes.
A bus shuttle from the airport to Hulhulmale is available every half hour for just 20 Rufiyaas.
Taxi: Taxi rides are available and cost just 20 Rufiyaas, with the fare increasing to 30 Rufiyaas after 11 PM.
You can also compare prices here
Places to Stay
Cinnamon Dhonveli – Luxury Over the Water Bungalows resort targetted to couples. Private island with white sand beaches and calm shallow waters.
Cinnamon Hakura Hura a private resort on a private island. Much larger than Dhonveli. It is family-friendly. There are over the water bungalows as well as on land. Bars, pools, restaurants.
The Maldives is a Muslim nation. Even though you are traveling there for fun in the sun, respect the culture and dress modestly when off the resort.
- Sunscreen (preferably biodegradable): Protect your skin from the beautiful sun with some sunscreen. If you can, go with a biodegradable option, as regular sunscreen can be damaging to the coral reefs.
- Lightweight, Modest Clothing: With the temperature rarely going below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, lightweight clothes will keep you comfortable during your stay.
- Make sure to adhere to the dress code by bringing clothes that cover shoulders and thighs, particularly when in Malé.
- Sarong: This is an excellent piece of clothing to use in a pinch to cover up and use as a headscarf, skirt or even to cover the shoulders.
- Swimsuit: With so many beaches and waters to explore, make sure to bring a swimsuit with you. Two-piece bathing suits for women are acceptable.
- Snorkeling gear: The water is pristine in the Maldives, if you like snorkeling, bring your own mask to explore the reef.
See our packing tips: packing tips
When to Go
Though the weather is sunny throughout the year, November through April is the dry season for the Maldives and is the most popular time to visit.
May to October is the wet season, with an average rainfall of 5-10 inches per month.
June and July are the months with the lowest rainfall during the wet season, on average.
The wet season is a popular time for surfers, as there are bigger waves in the water due to the higher winds. This is also the time where you might find slightly better deals on hotels.
Throughout the year, the average temperature is in the mid-80s Fahrenheit.
Things to Do
- Scuba Diving – The Maldives has some of the best scuba diving locations on earth. With sharks, sea turtles and every other fish in the sea.
- Surfing – There’s a great surf location for professionals off the Cinnamon Island of Hakura Hura. If you are an avid surfer, this is the place to go.
- Take an island tour to experience the culture of local islands and see what island life is like.
What not to Miss
- Stay in an over the water bungalow. It’s heavenly to stay in luxury on a bungalow standing over blue water.
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.
We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation.
Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
World Nomads Insurance: When traveling you should always have travel insurance. We do.