5D5N in the Dream Paradise of the Maldives for just under SGD1000
The Maldives does hold the impression that it is an exorbitant tourist destination to be in, what with SGD1000 per night resort rooms at the overwater villas.
That was my initial conception of the Maldives until I discovered that flights to the Maldives can go as low as SGD200. A quick search on Airbnb convinced me further that visiting the Maldives on a budget is actually possible when nights can go as low as SGD50! Can you believe it?
Even with a budget of under SGD1000, I was still able to fulfill my dream of visiting an overwater villa, dive in the open waters, and witness the aquamarine colours of the Indian Ocean. So how did I spend under SGD1000 for a 5D5N trip?
Here’s a breakdown of the individual cost in the Maldives:
Flights Singapore-Male return on Tigerair
Transport (local bus, local ferry)
Accommodation for 5 nights
Local Tours (half day, full day, water sports, diving)
Starts from SGD50
Flights to Maldives
With the recent Singapore-Male route by Tigerair, flights to the Maldives now only cost the same price as you would pay to neighboring cities like Bali or Boracay, for anywhere from SGD200 to SGD450.
Transport in Maldives
A local ferry costs USD0.60/ SGD 0.90 from the airport to Male city. This is a 10-minute ride. Alternatively, a speedboat, which takes only 3 minutes to cover the same distance, is USD1.60/ SGD 2.30.
Taxi in Male is a standard fare of USD 1.60/SGD2.30 per trip, regardless of distance.
To get from Male to Maafushi, you can take a local ferry for USD1.40/ SGD2. This is a 1.5-hour ride. Speedboat prices between these 2 islands vary from USD75 to USD20, depending on the number of people on board. The more they are ferrying, the cheaper it gets. This is a 30-minute ride. If you are taking the normal ferries, be there about an hour before the actual departure. They refuse entry when the boat is full.
Accommodation in Maldives
We stayed in Airbnbs when we were in the Male city. In Maafushi, we stayed at Kaani Village and Spa for SGD93 per night. We liked how our room faces the small stretch of the pool, such that when you open your room door, you can dive right into the pool!
Velana Hotel is another hotel we’d recommend in Maafushi. It faces the opposite end of the more touristy beach, but on the plus side, you get to stay away from the crowd. Rooms are rather modern and newly furnished since they are only 1 years old. We particularly liked that they have indoor, outdoor garden and outdoor beach dining options. We were recommended by a local to try their dinner menu out, and were impressed not just by the plating, but also the taste of the food!
A typical Maldivian dish is short eaten. A short eat is a bite-sized snack that you see displayed in most stalls. They can be sweet or savory and are mostly filled with coconut. This includes small triangular sandwiches, toast or eggs.
Each short eats costs approximately USD0.30/SGD0.50.
Main dishes from local eateries in Male can cost as little as USD4/SGD6. For this price, you can get rice with chicken, or fried noodles with assorted meat.
Even at Maafushi, a decent buffet dinner goes at USD13/SGD19. We recommend having it at Arena Beach Hotel. It is one of the most patronized dining options at Maafushi and was one of few who offered more varied dishes.
Alcohol is prohibited in local islands.
Restaurants impose a 10% GST and 6% service charge on food. These taxes vary depending on the restaurant. Tipping is not common practice in the Maldives.
Our tour prices are based on the hotels at Maafushi.
Half day tours, either to snorkel, fish or visit a sand bank begins at USD35/SGD51. Beginner’s diving costs USD70/SGD102. Yes! You can dive without a cert. If you are a certified diver, each dives are slightly lesser. Resort visit prices begin from USD25/SGD36. Snorkeling is free – simply borrow the snorkeling equipment from your hotel.
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