Maldives travel series serves as a complete trip guide for those curious travellers who like to know everything about their destination before they go, We know these are testing times for avid travellers due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; but with improving situation and travel gradually opening-up, here’s all the travel positivity.
Our Maldives travel series covers everything that you’d want to know before planning your trip to the Islands nation. For more read-bits on Maldives, search for Maldives on our website using the search feature on the top right corner. Consider adding us to your home screen on mobile, that way it’ll be easier for us to connect, exchange travel ideas & information about various destinations around the world; plus you can save our content for offline reading, using this service.
What’s Covered Inside This Post
- Maldives: Is it worth your time & money? AND, Is Maldives is Safe to visit?
- Traveling to Maldives: Best Month, Best Season, Cheapest Month
- Should You Plan With Local Tour Operator Or Independent
- How much does it cost to vacation in Maldives?
- Traveling To Maldives Without A Tour Operator / Independent Itinerary
- General Expenses List Of Various Tourist Engagements In Maldives
- Important Resources To Plan Your Travel
Maldives Trip: Is It Worth Your Time & Money?
The short answer to this question is, Absolutely YES!
With the majority of Maldives land at just 1 meter above the sea-level, it is expected that the country will completely disappear from the face of the Earth by the end of 21st century; this is due to the rising global sea-levels, but sadly there’s no turning back now.
For the better part of the last century, the country is facing the wrath of global warming and global climate change. The consequences are so severe that today, Maldives is fighting hard to guard its cultural heritage and extremely sensitive ecology, at the same time attracting global tourists.
Maldives is a beach lover’s delight; known worldwide for its stunning white sand & clear blue water beaches. This small island country attracts tourists from all across the world and is particularly famous for the exceptional experience it provides to those who travel here.
Those travellers who are lucky enough to visit this beautiful country will surely speak volumes about its incredible beauty, peaceful people, fascinating culture and their once in a life-time exceptional experience; all this in the middle of the ocean. BACK TO TOP
Is Maldives Safe For Tourists?
Since, tourism serves as the main source of revenue to the Government and people of Maldives, the travel industry in Maldives is decently organized and well-structured.
Maldivian Government has set-up a dedicated Tourist Police Service, to help tourists with the any issues that you might encounter during your visit to Maldives. Dedicated Tourist Police helpline contact number is 1478. BACK TO TOP
What Is The Best Month To Travel To Maldives?
Maldives is a delightful destination for European travellers during December to April, while its absolute chilly in Europe, Maldives enjoys its monsoon season with light rains and relatively low humidity during this period. Generally, December to April is the peak tourist season when resorts & hotels operate at full capacity; tourists usually start flocking in around Christmas, onwards.
Prices of almost everything that a tourist engages in, are higher than usual during the Christmas – New Year’s week. Period from May to November is usually the low season with fewer tourists and low prices, except in August when a number of Italian travellers make their way to the island during the Italian holiday week. The weather during this period is generally rainy with frequent rain storms and high humidity levels.
You can expect high humidity and warm days in Maldives with an average year round temperature between 23oC to 31oC (i.e. 73oF to 87oF). BACK TO TOP
Best Time For Scuba Diving & Surfing In Maldives
Visibility is better on the eastern side of the atolls than the western side during December to April and vice-versa during the period from May to November; this is mainly due to changes in the current flows. As such life on the reef is better visible from the side which has better visibility, depending on the time that you travel. This information will be useful in making the choice of resort for your stay. Diving may be restricted during heavy rains and high tides, otherwise, diving is good all throughout the year. The surfing season in Maldives is generally from March to October, this is also the time when resort prices are low. BACK TO TOP
Try To Avoid Traveling To Maldives During This Time Of The Year
Apart from beaches, if you are interested in spending some time in the urban areas like Male or on other islands then you should consider avoiding travel to Maldives during Ramadan (also called Ramazan) month as the majority of the local shops & restaurants are closed for the better part of the day during this period. Ramadan month falls generally in the first half of the year; exact dates vary from year to year. BACK TO TOP
Should You Plan With Local Tour Operator Or Independent
It is generally advised for travellers to come on a package tour (organized by tour operator) to Maldives instead of scheduling fully independent trip, this ensures that you get the best value for the money, hassle-free arrangements according to the planned itinerary and it also entitles you to preferential treatment in your activities; all organized by the package tour operator.
However, this doesn’t mean that independent tours are not possible at all; they are just not as cost efficient and convenient as the fully organized tour. It is just set-up this way by the Maldivian government as it offers equal opportunity and becomes sustainable for everyone associated with the travel industry in Maldives to benefit from its booming tourist counts.
The government has allowed locals to open their own guesthouse and restaurants to cater to tourists. Earlier travellers were limited to staying at resort islands, whereas now tourists can choose to stay at any of these local guest-houses on any local island. This has given a sudden rise in the number of homestays, hotels, and guesthouses that have popped up.
However, it must be noted that these local guest-houses are often seasonal and most of them are not operational during off seasons. A special permit is required to visit these non-resort islands and outer atolls which are outside the government designated tourist zone. BACK TO TOP
Generally day trip permits are easily granted for visit to some non-resort islands. If you are staying in a resort-island and wish to go around to see other non-resort islands then you’ll be happy to know that most resorts are authorised to organize “Island Hopping” day-trips. You must ask your tour operator to include this in your package, it’s worth your time & money. BACK TO TOP
How much does it cost to vacation in Maldives?
Is Maldives expensive to visit? To answer these typical question, we’ll first like to tell you how much does it actually cost on an average to tour Maldives. These may vary from traveller to traveller, but will help you plan your approximate budget for the trip.
On an average a typical traveller from United States spends as low as USD 1500$ to as high as USD 4000$ for a 7-day trip to Maldives, excluding airfares. The cost actually depends on how you choose to travel and in which season do you choose to travel, a Maldivian trip can be categorized into 3 types: a budget trip – where you’ll choose to stay on non-resort islands and travel around in local ferry instead of speed boats & sea-planes; a mid-range trip – where you’ll choose to stay on a resort island but in a non-luxury resort & travel around in ferry and speed boats; and finally a luxury trip – for which Maldives is famous, where you’ll have the option to choose your stay from the most exquisite sea villas & over the ocean bungalows and a sea plane as your primary transportation for sight-seeing.
Maldives is an expensive tourist destination; having said that, even if you manage to secure a cheap deal on return flights and accommodation, chances are that you might end up spending as much or even more on food, beverages, transportation and other touristy activities. This is the reason why you won’t find many backpackers in Maldives; it’s simply not a budget friendly cheap tourist destination.
The best option would be to book an all inclusive coordinated package from a registered Maldivian tour operator which generally covers everything except your shopping expenses and extra alcoholic beverages (which may or may not be included in your package, depending on your tour operator).
Note: Alcoholic beverages are not widely available across Maldives; being a Islamic country. Though alcohol is easily accessible at Resort Islands where they have special exemption permits. BACK TO TOP
Traveling To Maldives Without A Tour Operator / Independent Itinerary
Tourism is the main source of revenue for the Government and the people of Maldives; this system of packaged tour operators is encouraged by the government so that equal opportunities are provided to various sectors associated with the travel industry. In Maldives, you’ll feel welcomed and warmly accepted as a guest when you are organized through a tour operator as opposed to an independent traveller.
Independent travel to Maldives can be challenging and you’ll often find yourself amongst the rare few, who’ll have a hard time explaining to the resort staff that you don’t have a tour operator. In addition, tour operators are generally offered discounts by resorts, transportation companies, scuba diving organizers, ferry operators and others; these discounts are not accessible to independent travellers and this may burn a huge hole in your pocket when you’ll have to pay whatever amount is quoted to you (without discount). BACK TO TOP
Caution For Independent Travellers
As mentioned above, off late budget travelling is catching-up; which gives tourists a choice, however this may not turn out to be as cheap as in other Asian countries. Moreover, you’ll have to coordinate your travel arrangements between islands; which may not be a convenient experience as ferry’s and speed boat services between islands are usually infrequent. Flying between islands is not cheap either, sometimes a single way flight in a sea-plane from Male to surrounding Atolls may be as high as USD 350 onwards. BACK TO INDEX
General Expenses List Of Various Tourist Engagements In Maldives
|Inexpensive Meal In Local Restaurant||4 $|
|Pint Of Beer||5 $|
|Luxury Villa / Sea Bungalow||900 $ / night onwards (Vary From Season To Season)|
|Mid-Range Resort Room||250 $ / night onwards (Vary From Season To Season)|
|Budget Stay||25 $ To 100 $ / night|
|Airbnb||Available On Most Islands|
|Traveling By Local Ferry In Between Islands||1 $ to 5 $ For A One-way Trip|
|Traveling By Speed Boat||150 $ to 180 $ / ride onwards|
|Traveling By Sea Plane In Between Islands||350 $ / ride onwards (Vary From Season To Season)|
|Scuba Diving Tour Day Excursion||100 $ to 150 $ / tour day (Vary From Season To Season)|
Important Resources To Plan Your Travel
Maldives has only one International Airport: Velana International Airport located in it’s capital, Male (Pronounced as Ma_Ley). The airport is operated by Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).
Immigration, Customs & Airport Information
Here is the link to the official website of Velana International Airport, here you’ll find all information on:
- Immigration & Customs Formalities
- Airport Facilities & Services
- Tourist Information Desk At The Airport
- Getting to and from the airport to your intended destination
- Latest updates & guidelines, travel restriction (if any)
Tourist Police Service
Maldivian Government has set-up a dedicated Tourist Police Service, to help tourists with the any issues that you might encounter during your visit to Maldives. Dedicated Tourist Police helpline contact number is 1478 (it comes under the special number category with dedicated multiple lines connectivity).
Maldives grants tourist visa for all nationalities on arrival. As such, a tourist does not require pre-approval for the visa. However, the person must satisfy the basic entry requirements to get immigration clearance upon arrival. For more information on tourist visa visit official website of Maldives Immigration Department. BACK TO TOP
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