Maldives on a Budget
An ultimate diving paradise, Rasdhoo is an inhabited island in the Maldives. Drifting 60 km west of the country's capital, Malé, Rasdhoo is the only inhabited island of a small natural atoll also known as Rasdu or Ross Atoll is located a few miles off North Ari Atoll. Spectacular marine life, vibrant reefs, warm waters and big fish encounters make Rasdhoo island a diving destination not to be missed.
Popularization of diving has caused a large number of budget accommodation, restaurants and dive shops to appear on the island. Built around the needs of divers, the island's comfort and convenience for diving guests is assured with fast, modern dive boats that reach more than 20 local dive sites in an average boat ride of just 15 minutes.
For non-divers, beautiful Rasdhoo island can offer a house reef snorkeling, relaxing on the white sandy beach and swimming in crystal clear lagoon, and many fun excursions with unique experiences that would suit you. Apart from the sandy beaches and hues of green and blue seas, being in Rasdhoo gives you a unique experiences of the Maldivian culture in great detail. Maldivian food, ways of dressing, fishing, sports, music, festivals and hospitality of Maldivians can be experienced only by staying in a local island.
So whether you are a young diver, a family, a full beginner, a solo diver, a couple or a group of experienced divers, Rasdhoo island invites you to come and dive and join the fun adventure!
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How to Get: Transfers
There are three ways to get to Rasdhoo island from Malé: a public ferryboat, public speedboat, private speedboat or seaplane can be arranged for which payment will be collected upon check-in. There is an ATM ( 24/7 ) and bank on Rasdhoo with 10,000 MVR maximum withdrawal limit + 100 MVR fee. Exchange rates are substandard, for instance USD/MVR rate is 15.00, so it's better to change money in Male. You can coordinate the traffic schedule and the transfer type in advance with the staff of your hotel (recommended), or check here
PUBLIC FERRY from Villingili terminal Malé. Notice: Public ferry might be cancelled due to unexpected bad weather. Schedule times are subject to delays due to unavoidable instances.
Mondays and Thursays, Malé – Rasdhoo departure 09:00, travel time 3 hours, Price: $4 (53 MVR) per person one way
Sundays and Wednesdays, Rasdhoo - Malé, departure 11:00, travel time 3 hours, Price: $4 per person
Also Rasdhoo is linked by ferry services with Ukulhas and Thoddoo. For those in no rush, this is a great budget option.
Download LOCAL INTER-ATOLL FERRY SCHEDULE .pdf.
PUBLIC SPEEDBOAT TRANSFER
The speed boat service is for the guests who would prefer a comfortable speedy mode of transportation. Normally it takes 1 hour 20 minutes to reach Rasdhoo from Male'. Advance booking is required for speedboat transfer. Tickets must be pre-booked through your guest house within 48 hours prior to departure from Rasdhoo.
Malé – Rasdhoo travel time – 1h 20min. Price: US$ 40 pax. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdayat, Departure at 16:00
Rasdhoo - Malé travel time – 1h 20min. Price: US$ 40 pax. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, Departure at 07:30
Resort speedboat: Every day through Kuramathi island resort. Cost is USD 85.00 person per way. – Malé To Rasdhoo- 15:45 – Rasdhoo to Malé - 08:00 Available upon request
SEAPLANE TRANSFER:Not a budget at all, if you choose this mode of transportation it gives you the advantage of witnessing breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the tiny pearl like islands. The air taxi will arrive at a very close by island from which the guest house transport service will pick up the guests. then, another journey of not more than ten minutes by speed boat will take you to your final destination. seaplanes operates only during day time ( 6:00hrs -15:00hrs). Seaplane ($260pp) takes 15 minutes.
An almost rounded island sits on the southern edge of Rasdhoo atoll and it's also the capital of the Alif Alif Atoll administrative division. The island is home to about 1,000 inhabitants, 600 of which are children. The village occupies the entire interior of the island with clean streets and extensive vegetation. There is a bank, mosque, hospital, post office, a mobile operator’s office, several minimarkets, cafes and restaurants, as well as souvenir and dive shops and a police on the island.
The beaches on the island are not so awesome to post to Instagram - Rasdhoo is diving island - nevertheless they are here. Please be aware that there are Maldivian government regulations regarding alcohol and dress code. However there is bikini beach on Rasdhoo, where you can wear bikini, sun tan and swim with the colourful fishes in the lovely and warm sea. The guesthouses provide sufficient beach towels and those located right on the beach also offer sunbeds. You can also bring a beach mat or buy one at one of the souvenir shops. The main bikini beach is located on the island's southern side and there are several private beaches like a nearby to Rasdhoo Atoll Residence.
The best snorkeling in Rasdhoo is on the tourist beach. Here you will find a large house reef on the outside of which abounds in marine life with sharks, rays, turtles and schools of colorful fish. The best time for snorkeling is at high tide. Do not forget about safety and strong currents.
Scuba Diving is one of the best way to explore the beauty of Maldives under water. Thilas, kandus, wrecks and coral reefs near Rasdhoo are filled with different species of coral and marine creature. There are four dive centers on the island that offer a friendly and professional service, a fun diving trips to world-class dive sites as well as standard PADI and SSI courses from open water to dive master and technical diving. Experienced divers will also find challenging dives with many types of sharks including Hammerheads, mantas, turtles, rays, napoleons, barracuda, trevally and tuna as well as many of the smaller, but no less interesting inhabitants of the reef. The nearest decompression chamber is located at Kuramathi Resort.
Manta Point (Block), Madivaru Corner, Hammerheads Point, Rasdhoo Channel are sites must dive! If you dream to spot manta rays - best time to dive is peak mantas season (November to April). Whale sharks are rare in Rasdhoo atoll and you have to be lucky to see one, but you never know! There are hawksbill and green turtles in Rasdhoo Atoll and they are seen frequently, and sometimes even nest on the nearby islands.
Things to Do
Between diving and the bikini beach there is a lot to do and see in Rasdhoo. Rasdhoo Dive and Water Sports provides non and motorized water activities including jet skii, katamaran, sup, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kayakin, banana ride and more. Also, many hotels have fitness centers and offer spa services, including yoga.
The coral reefs of the Maldives are home to an abundant of marine life. Fantastic snorkeling can be enjoyed many spots around Rasdhoo. A most popular place to snorkel is at Madivaru, the picnic island just east of Rasdhoo. A snorkeling guide accompanies snorkelers to point out interesting species and look after the safety of snorkelers. Costs for the snorkeling trips from $50.
Sand bank aka Picnic island trip is the beautiful island of Madivaru or the sandbank next to Madivaru. An ideal for sunbathing, swimming and a superb selfies these islands are perfect choice. Expect to spend your day at the white sandy beach of a beautiful lagoon with variety of fishes and turtles. Costs $20 (Half-Day) $40 (Full-day)
Night fishing is one of the most enjoyable activities in the evening, whether you are a professional fisher or just for fun. Night fishing followed by a barbecue is something you should not miss. Price $38 ~ $69. If you want to go fishing like a pro you can try Big Game Fishing. Enjoy the beautiful sun rise over the ocean and therapeutic sound of the waves in the boat while you enjoy rush of adrenaline pump through your body when you have a speedy fish on the other end of your line. Experiencing it, is a must to be on your bucket list.
Also on offer is a romantic shark/ sting ray feeding, sunset cruise, dolphin safaris, island hopping and much more - it all depends on your imagination and the thickness of your wallet.
Although staying on a local island is great idea and with the lovely accomodation in Rasdhoo very affordable for those people looking for cheap Maldives holidays, some travelers still want a slice of luxury while in the Maldives. From Rasdhoo you can arrange day trips to nearby luxury resorts: Kuramathi Maldives and Veligandu Island Resort & Spa.
As for food, we recommend taking breakfast + dinner. Each guest house has its own restaurant tuned to Western tastes and also BBQ facilities on each site. Highly qualified and experienced chefs cook really tasty and in the menu of many restaurants there are dishes of European, Asian and local cusine including fresh seafood. Food is realy delicious, you can just tell them one meal in advance what you want and it will be ready on the table at the time you want! Enjoy continental and a wide range of Maldivian breakfast that would leave you wanting for more with a delight smile. Upon request a some guest houses arrange your breakfirst rightaway to your room. Dinners in some hotels are served in a buffet style. There is a choice of rice, pasta, vegetables, steaks and grilled fish. The portions are always huge and food is very tasty.
A some dining places have a beach front location where you can eat your meals less than 10 metres from the waves softly breaking on the white sandy beach below your bare feet. Rasdhoo Island Inn's restaurant offers this pure luxury for you to enjoy at your leisure.
As for outdoor dining, there are a handful of local cafes in the village. Coffee Ole in the village is cozy place to drink a good cup of coffee. Menu is somehow limited to about a dozen of options and service too slow. Facing the ferry jetty, Palm Shadow is very simple cafe with overcooked food. Coconut Garden is a small roadside restaurant with good food and cheap prices. However, owners cheat with total bill prices, which kills all the impression.
Where to Stay
Today (2019), Rasdhoo has more than 20 hotels and guest houses is, so you will have a great budget options to stay on the island. Guest's reviews are mostly positive. All guest houses are actually new, with a beautiful well-groomed green area, spacious modern and clean rooms well equipped with with air conditioning, comfortable beds, some have TVs and high speed wireless internet. The design and architecture of some guest houses have been described by some of the guests as "the best or some of the best in the Maldives". Guests will be sure to feel like home at the tastefully decorated, bright and modern decor. Many hotels have good value for money, given the friendly and responsive service. In general, Rasdhoo is popular with many and the guests are dreaming to come back here more than once! Check out our 10 best Guest Houses in Rasdhoo
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