Tips For Visiting The Maldives

The Maldives is an archipelagic nation located in the Indian Ocean, south-west of India and Sri Lanka and absolutely stunning.

It is made up of 26 atolls, each consisting of hundreds of islands, and has a total land area of just 298 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest countries in the world. The capital and largest city is Male, located in the Kaafu Atoll.

The main draw for visitors to the Maldives are the overwater bungalows set against the crystal clear waters. While this destination is similar to Bora Bora in that regard, they are not the same. 

There are some key differences between Maldives and Bora Bora that make them unique. 

tips for visiting the maldives

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Fast facts:

Maldives has a population of around 530,000 people, with the majority of the population living in Male.

The official language is Dhivehi, although English is widely spoken and is used as the language of government, education, and business.

Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives, accounting for around 28% of the country’s GDP. 

The Maldives is a Muslim country, and Islam is the official religion. Maldives has a unique cultural heritage that is influenced by its location and history. Traditional Maldivian music and dance, such as the bodu beru drumming, are an important part of the culture.

Tips for visiting the Maldives

Know before you go

Choose the right time to visit:

The Maldives is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is between November and April when the weather is dry and sunny.

However, visiting outside of those months doesn’t necessarily mean it will rain the entire trip. These are just guidelines for driest times versus wetter times. It can rain in the dry season as well – Maldives is a tropical destination and rain happens. 

One thing to note. if you are visiting during the holiday season in December, this is when prices really start to skyrocket and you can se full sell outs of resorts. 

If you are flexible about dates and want to save a little money, visiting during the off season could be more lucrative to you – but just know, it can rain. 


Maldives is a bucket list destination in a very remote area. The prices are going to reflect that. 

While you can absolutely visit the country on a budget, it will take some heavy planning. If you are leaning on a smaller budget, stay at an all-inclusive resort. Food prices run high and you do not want to be caught off guard by this. 

I share really amazing deals for the Maldives when they come up (and other destinations) in my weekly newsletter. I would recommend signing up if you are in the market for a deal and/or just want to keep up with my travels. 

Bring sunscreen:

The Maldives is located near the equator, which means the sun can be intense. Make sure to bring sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin.

I highly recommend using a reef safe sunscreen to protect the coral and marine life. 

Dress modestly:

The Maldives is a Muslim country, so it’s important to dress appropriately, especially when visiting local islands. Avoid wearing revealing clothing like shorts, tank tops, or bikinis when you’re not at a resort.

When you are at the resorts, things are different. People wear whatever they want. Just keep this in mind if you visit the Capital city Male or any local islands. 

Plan your transportation:

The Maldives is made up of over 1,000 islands, so it’s important to plan your transportation in advance. Most visitors arrive to their resort by seaplane or speedboat, or domestic flight which would also require a speedboat as well, in some cases.

Some resorts offer private transfers on their own aircraft like Soneva. 

You do not need to figure out how to book a seaplane or speedboat. When you book your resort, email them with your flight information and they will assist you. 

Most resorts will charge you for the transfer when you book your stay. Definitely pay attention when you are booking. 

There is not assigned seats on seaplanes, but you all board together (up to 15 passengers) and you board from the back of the plane. On the left side is five single seats in a row of five and on the left, 10 seats in a row of five. 

For the best view, sit in seat one on the window on either side. 

Try local food:

The Maldives has amazing cuisine that’s influenced by Indian, Sri Lankan, and Arabic flavors. Don’t miss out on trying local dishes like mas huni (a breakfast dish made with tuna and coconut) and garudhiya (a fish soup).

But if this is not your thing, you will not go hungry. The resorts are really good about offering a variety of options and catering to various allergies and dietary restrictions. 

tips for visiting the maldives

Just reach out and ask the resort for menus and ask about your allergy or dietary restrictions before booking, so you know what you can have. 

Explore the underwater world:

Maldives is famous for its crystal clear waters and beautiful marine life. Make sure to go snorkeling or diving to see colorful fish, coral reefs, and even manta rays and whale sharks.

Your resort can help you arrange these activities. 

Book activities in advance:

Maldives offers a wide range of activities like water sports, spa treatments, and excursions. To avoid disappointment, make sure to book these activities in advance, especially during peak season.

Contact your resort before arrival via email to schedule anything you would like to do. 

Things to do in the Maldives

The Maldives is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and abundant marine life, making it a popular destination for relaxation and water-based activities. Here are some things to do in the Maldives:

Snorkeling and diving:

The Maldives is home to some of the best diving spots in the world, with colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life, including manta rays, whale sharks, and turtles.

Most of the resorts have access to snorkeling around their property or off shore and diving. I would recommend confirming with your resort before booking just in case this is not available. 

Some resorts have better coral around them for easy access to snorkeling or dive spots. 

Underwater restaurants:

There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that there are a few underwater restaurants in the Maldives. The bad news is that you may not be able to get a table without being a guest of the resort. 

Check with the resort about dining there. For example – if you are in a  resort far away, you will need to pay for seaplane transfers, which may take you back to the airport and then onto the resort, and hen the same in reverse. 

It might just be easier to stay at a resort with an underwater restaurant if that is a bucket list item for you. 

Some of the resorts that offer this unique experience include: You and Me Maldives, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Anantara Kihavah Maldives. 

Relax on the beach:

The Maldives is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with white sands and crystal-clear waters. Many resorts have their own private beaches for guests to enjoy.

You will have no shortage of beach time in the Maldives. If you love the beach, you have found the perfect vacation spot. 

Spa treatments:

Maldives is known for its luxury resorts, many of which offer spa treatments such as massages, facials, and body treatments.

Some of the resorts even have unique spas in buildings over the water and when you peek through the massage table, the floor is glass so that you can see the fish swim by. 

Water sports:

Many resorts offer a variety of water sports, such as kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing.

Please check with whichever resort you plan to stay at before booking so you can confirm what they offer. Not all resorts are the same. 

Floating breakfasts:

This iconic experience that is plastered all over social media is one you won’t soon forget. 

One thing to note, not all resorts offer this. You will first want to confirm if your resort offers this and then if you book a room without a pool, if you still have access for the experience elsewhere. 

As an example, when I stayed at Heritance Aarah, there is two pontoons of rooms and one side is rooms with pools and the other without. However, there is an adults only infinity edge pool that they do floating breakfasts in for people without pools at certain times during the morning. 

This is for a fee – but a fun experience. 

Island hopping:

The Maldives is made up of over 1,000 islands, each with its own unique charm. Some resorts offer island hopping tours to explore different islands.

Alternatively, split your time between multiple resorts. No two resorts are the same even though they look visually similar. This will give you access to different restaurants, amenities, rooms, etc. 

Sunset cruises:

Take a sunset cruise on a traditional Maldivian dhoni boat and enjoy the beautiful sunset views over the ocean.

Visit local villages:

Get a glimpse of local life by visiting a local island and exploring the markets, mosques, and traditional houses.

You will need to confirm your resort offers this as you can’t just get a boat and leave. You would need to have a tour the resort arranges or pay for a private boat if they offer it. 


The Maldives has a long history of fishing, and many resorts offer fishing excursions, including night fishing trips.

Sandbar visits and picnics

This is such a fun experience, but it is not available at all resorts. You need to check with the resort you plan to stay at to see if this is an excursions offered. 

Cultural experiences:

Learn about Maldivian culture by attending traditional dance and music performances or visiting museums and historical sites.

Outdoor cinema:

This is another unique feature only available at some resorts. 

If you have spent time on social media, I believe Soneva Jani has the most shared outdoor cinema. 

You will need to do some research to see all the resorts that offer this and make sure you are staying there on an evening that it is operating. 

How to pick a resort in the Maldives

Picking a resort in the Maldives can be overwhelming because there are so many beautiful properties to choose from. Maldives has over 150 resorts, many of which are located on their own private islands.

Here are some tips to help you narrow down your options:

Decide on your budget:

The Maldives has a wide range of resorts, from affordable guesthouses to luxury overwater bungalows. Decide on your budget before you start your search to help you filter your options.

Your budget will 100% determine where you are staying and help you narrow down options. 

Please keep in mind that there are not many all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives, but if you are working on a strict budget, this is your best bet.

I have seen meals over $300-500+ per person for one dinner. Now these are specialty meals, but food can add up very fast, so can drinks. 

Pick a room category:

For many people, going to the Maldives is getting the overwater bungalows.

However, many resorts also offer land villas. For most properties, the land villas are less expensive, but some of them are more and that is usually because of the space they offer and bedroom count. 

tips for visiting the maldives

If you are traveling with more than one other person, check room restrictions for occupancy. The last thing you want to happen is to show up and have to buy an additional room or find out there are no more rooms. 

In general, there is a pretty strict policy on number of people per room and this can change resort to resort. 

Make sure when you are booking you also put in the ages of your kids correctly. I see many resorts allow kids in the room rate or package up to 12 years old. Children under certain ages also pay less for a seaplane transfer. 

You just want to double check these items so you are not caught off guard. 

Choose your location:

The Maldives is made up of over 1,000 islands, so it’s important to choose a location that suits your needs.

If you want to be close to Male airport, look for resorts in the North or South Male Atoll. If you want a more secluded experience, look for resorts in the more remote atolls.

tips for visiting the maldives

Can you fly on a small seaplane?

This is arguably the most asked question I get or pushback from people who want to visit, stating they could not get on a 15 person plane. 

Sharing my experience here, I was terrified to get on a seaplane and now I love them. Unequivocally, I think this was my favorite thing to do in the Maldives!

However, I know this is not for everyone. There are plenty of resorts that offer speedboat transfers and/or domestic flight transfers. 

You will need to check with the resort as some only offer seaplane transfers due to their location.

Consider your interests:

Think about what activities you want to do during your stay, whether it’s diving, snorkeling, spa treatments, or just relaxing on the beach. Look for resorts that offer the activities you’re interested in.

Look at reviews:

Before you book a resort, read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of what to expect. Websites like TripAdvisor and can be helpful for this.

Check the inclusions:

Make sure to check what’s included in the resort package, such as meals, activities, and transfers. Some resorts may offer all-inclusive packages, while others may charge extra for certain activities or amenities.

Contact the resort:

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the resort directly. They may be able to provide more information about their property or offer suggestions based on your interests.

Remember, the Maldives is all about relaxation and enjoying the beautiful surroundings, so choose a resort that suits your needs and preferences.

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tips for visiting the maldives


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