The Insider’s Travel Guide to Maldives
Hi newlyweds! Considering Maldives for your honeymoon destination? You will be surprised that this dream like destination is no longer only for the rich and fancy to enjoy. It now caters to budget travelers too! Read on to find out how to find out how to travel to Maldives on a budget! In this guide, we give you the inside scoop about Maldives, our honeymoon experience, plus insider tips that you would not find anywhere else! Everything you need to know about honeymooning in Maldives is right here.
Ask anyone where is the perfect honeymoon destination and you can be sure Maldives will pop up pretty often. As one of the undefeated champions when it comes to honeymoon destinations, Maldives unparalleled beauty is thanks to its white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, floating villas and blue lagoons. This paradise on earth is perfect for a couples looking forward to a laidback and relaxing vacation, much deserved after the hectic wedding preparations. I absolutely love how we can walk metres out toward the ocean and I find myself only knee deep in the waters!
- The Background Story
- Climate & Time Difference
- Currency, Language & People
- Male, The Capital City
- Airport, Transportation & Communications
- Types of Accommodation in Maldives
- Activities & Excursions in Maldives
- Planning Resources
The Background Story
Located southwest of Sri Lanka, on the equator in the Indian Ocean lies 1,190 coral islands that form an archipelago of 26 major atolls (categorised into 20 atolls for administrative purposes). Out of which is 202 inhabited islands, 100 exclusive island resorts and several local islands. Local islands are your secret to unlocking budget travel in Maldives!
Climate & Time Difference
The best time to visit the Maldives is from December to April during the drier season so the rain does not wash away your beach plans. The Maldives has a tropical climate with varying temperatures throughout the year averaging 25-30 degrees Celsius. In this paradise, rainfall does not tend to last too long but the wetter months are May, July, September, and November. January is the coolest month with average temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius. The time difference in the Maldives is GMT+5 hours.
Currency, Language and People
The local currency is Maldivian rufiyaa, but USD is commonly used on the resort islands. Generally if you are paying for taxi or ferry rides, it is cheaper to use Maldivian rufiyaa as they will round up to the nearest dollar for USD. Major credit cards like American Express, Visa, Mastercard, JCB are accepted in most resorts, hotels, restaurants and major shops so you do not have to worry about being “cashless”. The national language is Dhivehi but english is widely and commonly spoken in Maldives so you should not face a problem. Maldivians are esteemed around the world for their hospitality towards guests, so look forward to a friendly getaway. Maldivians observe the religion of Islam, so it is advisable to dress conservatively when around local islands like Male or Maafushi. Tank tops, shirts, shorts, flip flops are okay, just nothing too revealing like bikini tops. There are no restrictions on resort islands so you can dress as you wish!
Male, The Capital City
Male is the capital city of Maldives where the government seats. One of the most densely populated cities of the world, it serves as the financial and commercial capital of the country. There is not much to see and do at Male for tourists, so I would not suggest staying here. Though if you are planning to, there are a couple of city hotels to consider.
- Top 10 City Hotels in Male, Maldives (coming soon)
Airport, Transportation & Communications
The main airport (Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE)) is located near the capital Male (10 minutes by boat) on Hulhule Island in the North Male Atoll. It is currently the only airport in Maldives that offers international flights. If you are traveling to Maldives from other countries, Male will be your gateway to the country. From Singapore, it takes about 5-6 hours to fly to the airport. At the airport, there are several booths where you will find hotel representatives that will assist and facilitate your transfer to the resort island. If your island is further you might need to take a domestic flight or sea plane. Otherwise, you can take a ferry (USD1) to Male, and cab (fixed rate of USD2-3) to the Villingili Ferry Terminal where you can take a public ferry or speedboat to your respective island. Do note that if you are taking the public ferry, the timings are fixed and only once a day so be sure not to miss it. When reaching Male Airport, you can get the SIM card for local calls or data roaming from either Dhiraagu or Ooredoo, which are the telco networks of Male. Most resorts provide WiFi services to their guests so you would want to check. The other way to reach Maldives is on a sea journey with the International Cruise Operators to Maldives.
- Top 10 Cruises to Maldives (coming soon)
Types of Accommodation in Maldives
Luxury Resort Islands
In Maldives you can choose to stay on luxury resort islands, where the entire island is solely occupied by a resort. These resorts usually have all your meals, food and amenities available. These resorts usually have a schedule of activities and excursions available as well so you do not have to worry about having nothing to do. Though the entire point of honeymooning in Maldives is just to simply lay back, relax and enjoy your new phase of life as newlyweds! If you are a romantic couple looking to escape from the city buzz to slow down the pace of life, opt for luxury resorts where you can totally relax in the privacy of your own beach and enjoy each other’s company.
- Top 10 Reasons to Stay at a Luxury Resort in Maldives (coming soon)
- Top 10 Luxury Resorts in Maldives (coming soon)
Guest Houses & Boutique Hotels on Local Islands
For the longest time, Maldives had a reputation for being a honeymoon destination for the rich. It’s pristine waters, diamond sand beaches and luxurious lifestyles were for couples with deep pockets to enjoy. But that’s no longer the case! In recent years, local tourism has picked up in Maldives and has since opened affordable tourism and more options for budget travelers. In addition, more airlines (such as Tiger Airways) are opening up routes to Maldives. We snagged a great deal last year and got tickets for $250 per pax! Apart from resort islands for luxury travel, you can now find cheaper accommodation at guest houses and boutique hotels on local islands like Maafushi. Most of them are recently built so they are very modern and clean. M and I have been to Maldives twice, both times we went to Maafushi island and we are absolutely in love with the island and experience. Being on a local island not only guarantees a cheaper cost of travel, but you get to immerse yourself in their culture and interact with the locals. On top of that, every day on this island is a new adventure. You can find plenty of excursions arranged by the boutique hotels on the island. The first time we went to Maafushi we did day excursions such as dolphin watching, night fishing, island hopping. The second time we decided to do resort hopping. Both experiences were nothing short of amazing. Everyone is like a community on this island, we love it!
- Top 10 Reasons to Stay at a Local Island in Maldives (coming soon)
- Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Maldives (coming soon)
If you are active type of couple who are always itching for adventure and love getting to know new people, head over to the local island as it will be a real treat.
Though not a common option, another way is to embark on a journey on a liveaboard (ship) that will take you across the islands of Maldives. This method of accommodation can leave you to freely explore the natural wonders of the island, including the uninhabited islands. Designed to provide ultimate luxury and unrestricted access to water sports, you still get to relax in comfortable rooms and modern amenities as well. I would not recommend this for the seasick though!
Activities & Excursions
Snorkeling, Diving & Water Sports
Housing one of the most exclusive and spectacular underwater life, snorkeling and scuba diving are very popular in Maldives. Watersports are also available on both resort and local islands so look forward to jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and more.
- Top 10 Diving Spots in Maldives (coming soon)
- Top 10 Snorkeling Spots in Maldives (coming soon)
Day & Night Excursions
Day and night excursions include visits for dolphin cruises, turtle reefs, manta point, fishing and island hopping. You can even enjoy picnics on uninhabited sand banks in the middle of the ocean! One thing to note is that most resorts commonly cancel their excursions for lack of interest and sports facilities are underused. I guess if you are headed to a luxury resort, all you want to do is lie on the sand beach and relax!
If you are staying on a local island like Maafushi, I would highly recommend Resort Hopping, where you visit another resort by speedboat and get to spend the entire day (9am – 5pm) there. For our honeymoon M and I visited a total of 4 resorts over 7 days in Maldives! It was an incredible experience. Not only did we get to relax and enjoy the modern luxurious facilities and private beaches of the various resorts, each day was a new experience at a different resort. There was no room for boredom at all! Not to mention, we got to enjoy all the luxury resorts at a fraction of the price.
- For resort hopping from the local island, you can request to start the trip earlier and return later for a longer stay at the resort and the locals will usually help you out if it’s no trouble.
- The speedboats charge by per pax, and is cheaper with more people on the boat. Find a resort / excursion that other couples are going to as well to reduce your transport cost.
- Email the resort / hotel prior to your trip and ask for their activities and excursion list and prices. It will help you with your planning!
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started on planning our Honeymoon to Maldives! Use the guides/tools below to help you.m
Have a safe trip! If you need help with planning your honeymoon, or anything else at all, feel free to drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.