Maldives on a Budget
Hithadhoo is a district of Addu City in the Maldives. Located on the island of the same name, Hithadhoo the westernmost of Addu Atoll (previously known as Seenu Atoll) and it's undoubtedly one of the best budget tourist destinations in this region of the Maldives. With a wide choice of activity, white sand beaches, crystall clear waters and abundant marine life, the place attracts travelers from all over the world. Hithadhoo is the main administrative district of Addu City with Gan international airport, plently cheap hotels, guest houses and dining options. Hithadhoo is a perfect island iа you like water and land adventures, it is also great for beach holiday fans. The beaches are calm and relaxing, and the palm trees make the surroundings an exotic location for you budget vacation.
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How to Get: Transfers
Addu Atoll is a 75 minute flight south of Malé International Airport(VIA). Gan International airport is Addu City's main air gate. The airport is currently served by domestic carriers Maldivian and Flyme, as well as SriLankan. Private jets are also able to land and park at Gan due to its new international status. SriLankan Airlines operates daily between Colombo and Addu City. South African Airways flys weekly to Gan international airport from Johannesburg.
A cheaper and more adventurous way to get Addu City isa a cargo boat from Malé that's run through the atolls anchoring at some islands along the way. Although this jorney may take 2-3 days, it definitely lets you enjoy the beauty and interact with lively locals.
There are 3 banks in Addu atoll, Bank of Maldives, State bank of India and Maldives Islamic Bank. ATMs are available and you can usually withdraw cash from your credit cards. There are 2 post offices located in Gan and Hithadhoo.
Hithadhoo it is about 13.5 kilometers from the Gan International Airport. There are several ways you can reach your hotels in Hithadhoo island from the airport.
- By bus: There are local buses that you can take from the Gan International Airport to Hithadhoo. Travel time is about 25 minutes to reach this place by bus. The rates are also affordable in Bus.
- By taxi: You can also use taxi services from the GIA to this place. The rates are a bit higher than the local bus services, but taxi rides are very much comfortable.
The islands on the atoll's western side have been linked by a man-made causeway that links the islands of Hithadho, Maradhoo, Maradhoofeydhoo, Feydhoo and Gan, an extent of 14km. Getting around is fairly easy there. You can rent bicycles or scooters. Taxis are always available. Bus services and ferries are also regularly operated. It is also nice to walk around the island.
Hithadhoo is the second largest island in the Maldives with a surface area of 525.7 ha. It has a length of 6.8 km and a width of 1.8 km at its widest point. It is also the second largest inhabited island in Maldives with population about 12,000 residents. Because of their educational and intellectual background derived from their ancestors, the locals are a friendly, hospitable and peace loving people, at the same time reserved and in control of their emotions. In Addu old customs and Islamic traditions are respected, while allowing the necessary changes in lifestyle to be compatible with modern development. No one sleeps in the streets, or goes to bed hungry. In this sense, being a small atoll in a small nation has its blessings, for everyone knows each other and is willing to lend a hand. The livelihood is mainly based on Fisheries and tourism. Three tourist resorts, together with Gan international Airport and Hithadhoo Regional Port, operate in Addu City. Small scale agricultural farming exists and most people are employed by state and government institutions.
Hithadho island has a lush vegetation, mangroves and marshy taro fields which are unique throughout the islands of Maldives. The part of the island south of the town is lushly vegetated with palms and shrubs, whilst the northern end of the island consists of a partially stony, unreal scrubland, which can be explored only on narrow trails. These habitats are home to a various species of seabirds, fish and crustaceans. In addition, there is a huge population of fruit-bats and wild ducks, fowls and cats in the wild.
There are many types of indigenous tropical fruits and vegetables which is the basis of the local cuisine in the early days. Plantain, breadfruit, taro, yam, tapioca, cassava, mango, banana, guava, papaya, watermelon are some of the common locally grown produce.
Hithadhoo Town is marked by dusty roads, narrow lanes, leaning houses and dense vegetation. Island traffic is generally quite colourful, particularly when hundreds of island school children dressed in a multitude of differently coloured school uniforms are queueing up for the bus.
There is no official tourist beach on the island. Of course, you will find beaches near your guesthouse, but this is not the beach you should post on Instagram. In most places, the entrance to the water is rocky, so coral shoes will be just right.
But if you want to swim and sunbathe in a bikini, we recommend going to the north eastern tip of the island. It's about 20 minutes by bike from Hithadhoo's center. There are no amenities on the beach except shady trees. Here, in addition to white sand, you will also find a good house reef snorkeling.
Called as Koattey, these reef offers a great snorkeling that's safe for people of all ages. The reefs have a unique coral formation and abundant marine life. The house reef are easily accessible. The clear waters and the perfect temperatures make the snorkeling experience absolutely wonderful.
Addu Atoll is the only area in the Maldives that was not affected by the 1998 global coral bleaching. Divers looking for large, colourful coral colonies of all species and forms will not be disappointed. Addu Atoll is internationally famous for its wreck dives, large manta rays, sharks, turtles and bigger fish in general, all throughout the year, as opposed to an abundance of smaller reef fish. Addu Atoll is one of the few places in the Maldives where giant manta rays, with wingspans of 5 metres plus, can be found throughout the year. The channels and outer reefs of this atoll are also home to a number of shark species, hawksbill and green turtles, and abundant schools of large fish.
You'll find the dive school at Equator Village on Gan island. The Diverland's team of PADI instructors offer fun diving trips and a full range of dive courses from the entry-level Open Water Diver certification up to professional Divemaster. Once here you will soon be enjoying some of the very best diving the Maldives has to offer.
Things to Do
Hithadhoo is suitable for those who are willing to explore the islands by a bicycle or a taxi. There’s lots of close activities you can rent bikes and explore the beautiful island. You can find some really nice spots there - white sandy beaches with cristal clear blue water and especially the snorkeling is awesome.
In addition to self-exploration of the island the staff organize activities for a very reasonable price - Nature Trip, Picnic island tour, Mangrove Canoe Trip, SCUBA diving, Water Sports, Snorkeling Boat Trip, Sunset & Dolphin Cruise, Big Game Fishing, Island Hopping and Addu Tour by Car. They are extremely friendly and ready to go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable. There is a nature park on Hithadhoo which is beautiful and also offers guided activities.
In any tourist place, one of the things that you can do is to go shopping. There are several marketplaces where you can go for shopping when on Hithadhoo, and also there are a few souvenir shops located in Gan where visitors can buy various items as mementos of their trip.
Addu is famous in the country for its vibrant and unique selection of authentic dishes created using fresh local produce. From the very unique blends of curry pastes to the coconut based sweet delicacies the variety is extensive and very diverse. Fish is the main source of protein and fresh locally caught tuna, wahoo, merlin, trevally and various reef fishes are commonly used. In addition, snacks are a big part of the food culture here and a huge variety of sweet and savory snacks are available year-round. Breadfruit chips, taro chips and spicy tuna flavoured chips are favourites among all the locals and visitors alike. In addition to local curries, flat bread, rice and side dishes the customers can also enjoy some international cuisines including Indian, Thai and Italian. Although there are numerous restaurants and cafés scattered around Hithadhoo and Addu City, a some guests prefer to eat in guest houses
Usually the breakfast buffet has lots of western options as well as an authentic Maldivian food (the mashuni is to die for). A some hotels are also close to lots of little shops and great local eats.
There are several restaurants on Hithadhoo that're serve excellent local food to the customers.
- The Suvadive café is a very popular place to eat here in Hithadhoo. This restaurant is known for its authentic local cuisines that they serve. The rates of the dishes are also quite reasonable. This place is a perfect one for you and your family.
- Fast food is another very popular place here in this island. This place serves quality western and Chinese cuisines to the people. The rates are very much affordable, and the ambiance is excellent.
- The food house is one of the popular places to eat here. They are known for their friendly staff and the foods which are the reasonable charge.
- Milano Food court is place to head iIf you are looking for a place for your family then this is the place that you need to check out. This is a family restaurant and is known for its delicacies that they serve.
- Cress Garden : The staffs of Cress Garden are very professional, and they are quite friendly. They serve some of the finest local dishes here. The rates are also very affordable. There is a parking space available here in this location.
Where to Stay
If you want an authentic maldivian experience we can highly recommend staying at the Pebbles Inn. The location is perfect close to all the best shops and restaurants. The staff is superb friendly and attentive, they provide a lot of nice activities and they did everything they could to guarantee you are having a good time there. The daily planned activities are flexible and seriously fun. Even in bad weather the staff'll able to smash your activity expectations again and again.
The hotel is super clean and well equipped, it has a lovely terrace where you can see the sunrise and sunset. The roomsa are fully air-conditioned. Double or twin sharing beds. En-suite Bathrooms with Hot and Cold water with rain shower, bath amenities, hair dryer and telephone. Rooms have wooden furnishings and are equipped with a variety of amenities that include a sitting area and a large balcony views of sea.
The Deluxe rooms are more spacious and have a wonderful balcony with a spectacular view of the sea. It's a perfect spot to enjoy the sun with complete privacy. The coziness of the room is flawless with design and furniture to cater for every comfort. Filled with all necessary amenities, the rooms ensure satisfaction and excellence.
All guest houses have Internet connections via terminals or Wi-Fi. 3G internet service via the mobile phone is available by using the local SIM cards.
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