All Thing You Need to Know for First-timers
Updated Jul, 2021
Are you planning a trip to the Maldives and this is your first time on a holiday to the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the islands country? The chances are that the most travellers will answer yes! Also, We are sure you will have many questions about travel and local information about the Maldives.
Today, We get messages on a daily basis from people who are planning their first trip to Maldives. We figured it would be more practical and useful to have all these answers in one place - usual how, what, when, where and why questions that occur when traveling to The Maldives.
On this page, We have compiled frequently asked questions about a holiday to Maldives that are most often requested by tourists. Therefore if you are looking for Maldives FAQs and answers, keep reading this page.
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Yes! You must have a confirmed booking at a registered tourist facility.
Please remember that your entire holiday in the Maldives should be booked at the same hotel, except for transit purposes. You will also need a confirmed hotel booking for your tourist visa.
Tourist resorts, liveaboard vessels and hotels located on uninhabited islands are open for bookings starting from July 15, 2020. Guest houses and hotels located on inhabited islands will be open for bookings starting from August 1, 2020. However, guest houses and hotels located on inhabited islands will be allowed to accommodate transiting passengers waiting for domestic transfers under special permits. Transit arrangements can be made through the primary facility where the stay is booked.
Yes! From 1st of July 2020 the Maldives Immigration has reduced the passport validity requirement for tourist visa of minimum 6 months to just 1 month (30 days) from the arrival date.
Yes! Maldives will be providing a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival to all nationalities.
For your free 30-day on-arrival tourist visa, you have to provide:
- A confirmed hotel booking, sufficient funds and confirmed return ticket.
- Health Declaration Form x2
The Health Declaration Form (HDF) must be filled in and submitted by all visitors twice – 24 hours before your flight to the Maldives and once more before you depart from the Maldives.
You may submit the form electronically via Here
You will not be subject to any quarantine measures and will not be required to submit any medical test results for entry upon arrival to Maldives. However, travelers presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival will be subjected to a PCR test at the traveler’s cost. Additionally, local health authorities may conduct random testing, at no cost to travelers.
Effective from 26th July 2021, all tourists and other visitors (travelling for short-term and or, for official purposes and not subjected to 14 days quarantine) are required to have certificate of negative pre-entry PCR test result for COVID-19, issued not more than 96 hours prior to departure to Maldives, counting from the first port of embarkation en route to the Maldives. The PCR certificate should bear the name and address of the laboratory that preformed the testing, result of the test, date of testing as well as name and signature of the issuing officer.
The negative PCR result has to be submitted to Maldives Immigration via IMUGA (imuga.immigration.gov.mv), while filling the Traveler Health Declaration.
Tourism uthorities said mandating all tourists and short term visitors to produce a negative PCR certificate on arrival would ensure the “safety of all”.
However, the following travelers are exempt from pre-arrival PCR test requirements;
1. Citizens of Maldives
2. Valid Employment Approval or Work Visa holders
3. Holders of any other resident permit of Maldives
4. Flight crew arriving on General Declaration
5. Infants aged less than 1 year
The testing services are available in Maldives for tourists who require COVID-19 test results to return to their countries of origin or another destination.
Effective from April 20 2021, travellers arriving Maldives will not be required to produce a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate upon arrival and undergo mandatory quarantine if travellers have passed two weeks after full vaccination and they can demonstrate proof of a valid full vaccination certificate with an approved vaccine against Covid-19.
However, travellers arriving to the Maldives to work in the following places are required to present a negative PCR test result on arrival, even though two weeks have passed after completing their second dose of vaccination:
1. Health facilities
2. Daycare centres
4. Residential care services
Respect all social distancing requirements, and observe a self quarantine if COVID-19 symptoms appear during your stay in Maldives. Masks are required in all public settings, at the airport and during domestic transfers.
All physical distancing guidelines are clearly marked with visible distance information and floor markings in passenger terminals. Hand sanitisation and hygiene facilities are also available throughout the airport.
Since situation has affected worldwide, there is a limited number of flights available into Maldives main airport: Velana International Airport upon reopening. However, as the situation progresses, more scheduled flights are expected to add routes to Maldives. View Flight Schedule View Flight Schedule
Yes. Jets are allowed not just to the main airport, but to some of the regional airports as well. You can check with your desired tourist resort if they offer such facilities.
A your hotel's representative will be at the airport to assist you with the domestic flight or transfer to your hotel.
Yes, all tourist facilities will have access to medical services, well-managed stock of PPE and a COVID-19 safety manager.
Yes. From October the Maldives has extended ‘Split Stay’ for all types of tourist accommodation facilities, allowing tourists to now split their stay between resort, hotels, guesthouses and live aboard boats, with prior approval as per split-stay procedure and guideline by the Ministry of Tourism.
'Split Stay' has been introduced for tourists who wish to experience their holiday in more than one resort. Ministry of Tourism in constitution with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced split stays to encourage and allow tourists to experience more than one resort. Additionally, this would enable guests to have longer stays in the Maldives during their holidays.
Your hotel's staff can help you make special arrangements for any overnight transit stays. You will be allowed to stay in specifically chosen transit hotels, approved by the Health Protection Agency, to ensure your safety.
The Maldives authorities leave it to your discretion to decide whether or not to be tested before your departure. If you wish to take a COVID-19 test before your departure or any time during your stay, it can be arranged through your hotel representative.
Travellers to the Maldives requiring a Covid-19 negative certificate for their home country or final destination can get FREE PCR tested in these resorts
The collection of 26 atolls in Maldives boasts some of the planet’s dreamiest islands, beaches, water and marine life. You can visit any one of the following resorts. Over 40 resorts among those will be open from 15th July. You can book any one of the resorts from the list
Please remember to practice good hygiene and hand washing throughout your trip.
We encourage all visitors to install the Maldives’ contact tracing app ‘TraceEkee’ (App Store / Play Store) before arrival into the country to help us ensure your safety and the safety of others as you enjoy your holiday.
General Maldives Questions
The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean consisting of a double chain of 26 atolls, orientated north-south, that lie about 700 kilometres (430 nm) south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres (250 nm) south-west of India.
The Maldives are known for their natural environment including the crystal clear ocean, white sand beaches, and abundant marine life. The weather of the Maldives is ideal for visitors to get engaged in water sports such as swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, water-skiing, fishing, windsurfing and kite boarding.
The Portuguese forcibly established themselves in Male from 1558 until their expulsion in 1573. In the 17th century the islands were a sultanate under the protection of the Dutch rulers of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and, after the British took possession of Ceylon in 1796, the islands became a British protectorate, a status formalized in 1887. In 1965 the Maldive Islands attained full political independence from the British, and in 1968 a new republic was inaugurated and the sultanate abolished. The last British troops left on March 29, 1976, the date thereafter celebrated in the Maldives as Independence Day. The Maldives became a member of the Commonwealth in 1982.
The Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, that stretch along a length of 871 kilometers north-south direction, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres (35,000 sq mi), only 298 square kilometers of that is dry land, making this one of the world's most dispersed countries.
It is also the planet's lowest country, with maximum and average natural ground levels of only 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) and 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, respectively. However, more than 80 per cent of the country's land is composed of coral islands that rise less than one metre above sea level. The reef is composed of coral debris and living coral. This acts as a natural barrier against the sea, forming lagoons.
Maldives waters are home to several ecosystems, but are most noted for their variety of colourful coral reefs, home to 1100 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins, 187 species of corals, 400 species of molluscs, and 83 species of echinoderms. Many crustacean species are there as well.
Yes, Maldives is probably one of the safest places in the world. The crime rate and incarceration rates are pretty low. However, petty thefts and robberies have become commonplace in the last few years, especially in the capital city Malé. Also, beware of the pickpockets in crowded areas. Refrain from flaunting expensive belongings that may catch unwanted eyes.
As for luxury resorts, being situated on the private islands makes the security of their guests a high priority for them. All of them have a well-laid security system. Nonetheless, it is advisable to lock your stuff in safe deposit boxes instead of lying unattended in your room while you leave to stroll outside your hotel.
Malé is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. With a population of 215,879 and an area of 8.30 square kilometres (3.20 sq mi), it is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city is geographically located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll (North Kaafu Atoll). Administratively, the city consists of a central island, an airport island, and two other islands governed by the Malé City Council.
The Maldives uses Rufiyaa (MVR) as the national currency. Rufiyaa notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. The midpoint of exchange rate is 100 rufiyaa per 6.50 US dollar and the rate is permitted to fluctuate within a ±20% band. Good news: Most resorts, hotels, shops and service providers accept cash or card payments with US Dollars (USD) and Euro (EUR)
The Maldives is 5 hours ahead of the GMT (GMT+5).
However, some resorts have permanently added 1 hour to Maldives Time to make the most out of the day light. Be sure to check with your resort to find the current local time on the island.
Maldivians speak Dhivehi. It is the National language, but English is widely used in commerce and education. People working in the tourism sector are competent in Italian, French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
Yes. There is no policy it varies from island to island it generally favours smokers. But some will have restricted areas (restaurants, rooms in particular).
It is an offence to import the following items into Maldives: explosives, weapons, firearms, ammunition and drugs, but in addition the importation of material deemed contrary to Islam such as pornography, pork and pork products, alcohol, idols for worship, bibles or any non-Islamic religious text is also illegal.
- Don’t sunbathe topless
- Don’t purchase or sell turtle shells and black corals, they are protected species in the Maldives.
- Don’t bring liquor or alcoholic products into the Maldives
- Don’t get involved in possession or consumption of narcotic drugs.
- Don’t smoke or consume food during the holy month of Ramadan in Malé.
- Do not litter the streets.
- Do not touch or pick corals when diving or snorkeling.
- Do not dispose plastic bags into the sea, it can be hazardous.
- Don’t hug or kiss in the public
- Do try Maldivian cuisines
- Do watch traditional and cultural 'bodu-beru' shows
- Do visit the local market and the fish market
- Do take a walk around Malé and snap lots of photos and selfies.
- Do remember to take off shoes before entering a Maldivian house.
- Do dress properly when visiting a Mosque or religious site.
- Do buy authentic Maldivian crafts
- Do visit an inhabited island to explore their traditional and cultural values and eat homemade savory and delights
- Do smile a lot.
- Do try and learn a few basic phrases in Dhivehi
Bringing alcohol is prohibited in the Maldives and those are held with Maldives Customs Authority until your departure. A wide selection of alcohol & spirits are available in tourist resorts, however, consumption of alcohol is forbidden in locals islands.
With an average temperature of 30-degree celsius, the Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate with two dominating seasons. Deciding when to visit depends on what you'll like to do as both have their pros and cons. The weather in Maldives is mostly sunny and humid throughout the year, however tropical rain showers are expected from May to Octobe
The Maldives is an all year round travel destination with warm temperature and sunny days. You can enjoy the sunniest skies between December and April. The Maldives is drier during this time with less humidity and warmer temperatures. It's ideal weather for spending the day at the beach and soaking up the sun. But it's also the most expensive time of year to visit the islands, and while visibility is clearer the marine life is less plentiful.
The Maldives can boast medical and dental services, pharmacies, a large government hospital and many private clinics in the capital city, most of the resorts have resident doctors or nurses and has basic medical facilities available.
We know that a lot of things can happen from the time you book your holiday to the actual date so whenever you’re travelling, it would be a good precaution to have travel insurance. Most credit card companies have affordable options so feel free to call your bank to ask about those.
All travellers to Maldives must be in possession of a valid passport no less than 6 months of time prior to expiration and travel documents. Visitors with this documentation will be issued with tourist visas on arrival (VOA) for a period of 30 day, free of charge.
Maldives already has 14 airports, including five international airports. These include: the international airports from the Velaana International Airport, Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Gan International Airport, Villa International Airport, Maafaru International Airport, and domestic airports at Baa Dharavandhoo, Raa Ifuru, Th Thimarafushi, Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo, Gaaf Alif Kooddoo, Gaaf Dhaal Kaadedhoo, Laamu Kadhdhoo, Haa Dhaal Kulhudhuhfushi, and Gn. Fuvahmulah airport.
You will arrive to Velana International Airport (Male airport, MLE), the main airport in the Maldives. Major carriers such as Emirates, Qatar, Turkish Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and many other European carriers usually operate to the Male airport frequently.
Emirates, SriLankan Airlines, Saudia, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, Turkish Airlines, Air India, China Southern, Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot, Korean Air, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, Air Asia
Velana International Airport, better known as Malé (MLE) is the main airport of the Maldives. Located in the North Malé Atoll, the country's main transport hub stretches the only runway on the island of Hulhule, 10 minutes by boat from the capital of the Maldives. Linked by shedule direct flights to major cities of southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East Malé airport accepts Etihad Airways, Aeroflot, Air Asia,Emirates, Sri Lankan, Singapore Airlines, Bangkok airways and many others.
You can buy a SIM card from any operator (and you must) right at the Malé airport. The sales office is located in the so-called business center. After the exit the luggage claim area at once turn right and the both the offices of Dhiraagu and Ooreedoo will be on your right-hand side. Also, the operators' offices are on the inhabited islands, and even in the hotel it is not difficult to buy a sim card. The resort's staff actively (though not very legally) is engaged in their sale, from the room-boy you can buy and replenish vouchers (oddly enough at cost).
Each luxury resort takes major credit cards including Visa, Amex and MasterCard. A week holiday could easily run up a tab of over US$2000, so ensure your credit limit can stand it. Guesthouses also accept major credit cards, but do double-check this with yours before you travel. You will want to confirm with your hotel before you travel that your particular credit card is accepted, however most users of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will have no problem.
ATMs can be found easily in Male city and at the Velana International airport, and nearly all allow you to withdraw funds from international accounts. They're also now commonly found on inhabited islands, particularly the bigger ones. That said, in many cases there is only one ATM on each island, so it's never ideal to be reliant on them.
Be aware that there are restrictions on changing rufiyaa into foreign currency. If you take out cash in rufiyaa from an ATM, you won’t be able to change the remainder back into US dollars or any other foreign currency. Therefore if you need lots of local currency, exchange foreign cash for rufiyaa at a bank and keep the receipt to be allowed to change the remainder back at the airport.
The Maldives is a unique destination and is worth every penny there is obviously a huge investment to set up a high quality hotel on a tiny desert island in a remote location, everything needs to be imported, staff need to live on the island and water needs to be produced by desalination which has a very high cost most resorts have about the same number off staff as guests that it can accommodate all of this will make prices higher.
Exceedingly expensive, and becoming more so by the year. It is worth noting that there are a range of private island resorts some of which only billionaires need apply and others that actually offer great value you can get a week outside of high season May- November including flights from about USD1500 per person. Food and drinks prices at more reasonable resorts are equivalent or less than hotel prices in the USA, U.K., Bora Bora, Bali etc
In the Maldives US Dollar is like a second currency, you dont necessarily need to go bank to exchange as all resorts and many local shops accept USD. However the rate may vary, resorts mostly use the daily updated rates from Bank of Maldives. After USD, the second best currency to bring Maldives is Euro and Sterling Pounds which you can use at resorts or have to go bank to exchange.
Although you are free to enter or leave Maldives with cash amounting less than USD 30,000, it is better to carry as little as possible and use cards wherever possible. You might get robbed or pick-pocketed, so take precautions.
Yes, it is worth it. The most of travellers choose to go to the Maldives twice a year due to the amazing water and sea life, fantastic resorts, beautiful beaches and friendly professional staff. Also, you do not have to stay for many days You can combine your trip with a more budget destination nearby such as Sri Lanka. You get what you pay for though and resorts are self rated so a cheaper 5 star resort may feel like a 4 star resort but cannot believe a 5 star feels like a 3 star.
If you want to escape a high costs and the crowds, the best time to visit the Maldives is from May to November. While there is some rain, the storms move quickly and won't ruin an entire day. This period is also low season for the islands. Prices at resorts will be at their lowest and crowds to a minimum.
Unless you are not diver & deep-sea angler, Maldives is perfect for a short stay instead of a long one. 4 to 5 days is usually sufficient if staying in one hotel and perhaps 7 days if 2 hotels. Opt for quality vacation rather than quantity when in the Maldives.
You can book a trip directly through the hotel or use online hotel reservation services such as: booking.com, agoda, expedia etc, or with a tour agent.
A valid passport, sun block, summer clothes, flip flops, and a underwater camera are all you need! With warm tropical weather throughout the year, it’s best to pack light cotton garments, linen wear, t-shirts and shorts for your Maldives holiday. There’s no need to bring heels definitely aren’t needed here since you won’t be wearing them once you’re at the resort. For footwear, flip flops and sandals will do just fine! Some of the essentials will include your swimsuits, trunks, sun screen and bikinis, everything you need to hit the beach to soak up the tropical sun. A pair of sunglasses and a hat will also come in handy. Fancy dinners may call for more than your swim wear so do pack a couple of casual clothes. Night time strolls along the beach may get a little nippy so bring a shawl or light jacket if you must.
When visiting local inhabited islands or the capital city of Male’, it is important to be mindful to dress conservatively as to respect the local culture and religious norms. Ladies are advised to cover their shoulders and thighs, and if visiting a mosque, it is customary to cover your hair as a show of respect.
Prices in the Maldives are not inclusive of 10% service charge and 12% GST (government tax). There is an additional USD 6 per person per night Green Tax for food and beverages, transfers and other resort facilities, such as the spa. Price is subject to change.
Tipping is not very common in Maldives. It is prohibited at the airport and discouraged at hotels and restaurants, as most have already added a 10% service charge to the bill. But you can tip at your own discretion.
Voltage in Maldives is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your location. Most of the rooms are equipped with UK 3-pin sockets. Continental European plugs will also fit. An adapter is recommended for using appliances you bring with you. Most major luxury hotels provide hair dryers and other amenities.
No, unfortunately, your furry little pals are not allowed in the Maldives. Prior permission and communication is required with your local agent in Maldives, dogs are only allowed in boats and liveaboards, it will not be allowed on land, except during arrival and departure at the airport.
The ultimate ‘flop and drop’ and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in total isolation and seclusion.
The first thing to keep in mind is where you are traveling from. The Maldives is more accessible from Europe and Africa than Bora Bora is, but if you are based in the United States then Bora Bora is the better option.
Although Bora Bora and Maldives experience different seasonality; both destinations can be visited year-round. Both places are a very luxurious, expensive choice for a honeymoon or family vacation. But, Bora Bora tends to be more expensive than the Maldives, especially when it comes to food and drinks. If you choose the Maldives you will experience some of the best marine life viewings, both above and below the water.
Bora Bora is famous for its luxury resorts, but there are not too many choices there. The Maldives has a bit more variety including similar luxury resorts that take up entire islands and have overwater bungalows, and there are more budget options available with several different price points. In general, you will find The Maldives to have more affordable accommodations.
Yes, it's illegal. The reason for that is because the seashells are needed by the very-much alive animals such as hermit crabs to live in, and the dead coral breaks down into the powder soft white sand that the Maldives is so famous for.
Drone use is completely banned acrossIn many areas of the Maldives (such as luxury resorts). Each resort has their own drone policy. However, most of the resorts allow drones on designated areas of the island due to privacy concerns. The resort will assist you find the most picturesque areas on the island for the perfect video shoot. Some resorts however do not encourage or has a no-drone policy.
Transfers to the Resorts & Islands
The unique location of this island nation means that to get your exclusive resort you will need to make a sea cruise or flight from airport. A domestic flight, speedboat or seaplane transfer – depending on where your resort is located – to get you out to your island paradise.
Island transfer time depends on the selected hotel. Speed boat transfers can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as 60 minutes. Seaplane transfers usually take from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Please refer to the hotel transfer detail page for more information.
Speed boat transfers operate 24 hours per day. These transfers will be arranged by the hotel based on your arrival/departure time.
Seaplanes operate from 6:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., 7 days per week. However, schedules vary depending on the arrival and departure times of all guests on that given day. You must arrive into Male before 3:30 p.m. in order to catch a same day Seaplane transfer. Seaplane Carriers are independent operators which provide the resort with schedules in the evening prior to arrival and departures. As such, all schedule timing are solely at the discretion of the seaplane management. Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage. Any excess thereof is subject to the additional fees to be paid direct to the seaplane operator. The Carrier does not guarantee to transport baggage on the same flight as the passengers and reserves the right to refuse carriage of out-sized items as well as restricted articles and dangerous goods.
After landing, immigration and customs formalities you will enter the arrival hall where resorts and tour operators have their own counters or representatives. If you have booked a seaplane directly through the hotel, show your voucher, or find your tour operator if you booked a tour.
After checking your documents, the resort airport representative will point you in the right direction, or they will personally transfer to the TMA registration desk. After registering and unloading your luggage, you will be invited to a minibus with air conditioning, which delivers passengers to the TMA terminal.
Most hotels will provide representatives, to greet you at the airport arrival hall. If this is not the case, please approach the hotel contact counter in the airport arrival hall.
It is approximately 50m walking distance from the airport arrival hall. The ferry pier for speed boat transfers is just outside the arrival hall.
Check-in for Seaplane transfers is located at the arrival hall. A shuttle bus will bring you to the Seaplane terminal. Travel time is approximately 10-15 minutes.
Available for those located relatively close to Male Airport, speedboat transfers are designed for transportation on short distances (usually up to 2 hours). On arrival, you will be greeted by Male airport representative who will escort you to jetty for that luxury speedboat transfer.
Speedboats operate 24 hours per day and transfers are priced between $25-80USD per person dependent on the distance to be traveled.. These transfers will be arranged by the hotel based on your arrival/departure time.
No. Seaplanes only operate during daylight hours usually between 6am – 4pm. Please make sure to coordinate with your Destination Specialist regarding your transfers.
If your international flight arrives before/after the operating hours, you will be required to stay overnight in Male and get the earliest flight out the next day. We recommend booking a hotel within close proximity to the airport.
Domestic flight may be required to travel from Male international airport to a local airport located next to the island you have chosen. Domestic airplane Operate 24 hours per day. All Transfer will be combine and schedule Transfer according to you international Arrival and departure flight. Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage. It is not advisable to book air tickets online on airline websites, as the ticket price will be at least twice as expensive.
Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage. It is not advisable to book air tickets online on airline websites, as the ticket price will be at least twice as expensive.
Arrival/departure date and time are required to ensure proper scheduling of transfers to and from the resort, for all guests.
If you don’t have your flight details at the time of the booking, please contact your hotel Customer Support , no later than 3 days prior to your arrival in order to ensure transfers to and from the hotel are properly arranged.
As the Maldives is an island nation, seaplanes and speed boats serve as taxis to your destination. Without this service, getting to your hotel is not possible.
Please note: these island transfers are coordinated by your hotel. All costs associated with this transfer service will be payable to the hotel at either check-in or check-out.
Please contact your hotel Customer Support, 48 hours prior to your check-in date. All island transportation will be arranged as per your arrival time at the airport.
If the city hotel you book does not include airport transfers, there is a ferry located at the pier just outside the arrival hall. The trip costs USD 1.00 and takes approximately 15 minutes. Taxis are available once you arrive but most hotels are within walking distance from the arrival point. Alternatively, if the hotel provides transfers, their representative will meet you at the airport.
In the arrival hall of Male Airport, you may proceed to the contact counter of your hotel for further assistance. If there is no designated contact counter for your hotel, please call Booking/Agoda/Expedia Customer Support. The phone number is listed on your hotel voucher.
All resort transfers are roundtrip. Please ensure that both arrival and departure flight details are noted on your booking to ensure that your hotel arranges your transfers accordingly.
When the sad time comes for you to leave an island, the staff will inform you of your transfer times one day prior to your departure date. Once the Seaplane Company or the Domestic Airline finalises the timings, a resort's staff will deliver a departure letter to your villa.
As much as possible, your resort will whisk you right away to their island as soon as you land but depending on the proximity of your chosen property there may be some waiting time involved. Speedboat transfers are the best option for people who have no time to waste or are on shorter vacation days since they have their own transfers that can get you – depending on guest arrivals, there might be a wait time of 20 – 30 minutes, but that rarely happens. Seaplane transfers may have a wait time of up to an hour depending on arrivals as well since they group guests going to certain atolls together based on their international flight arrival or departure.
Room & Stay
A resort island is a private island that contains accomodation, restaurants, spa, tourist attractions, and its amenities. All the Maldives resorts are self-contained. Everything needed is brought in from the outside world, and in the vast majority of cases there is nothing on the island apart from the resort. Maldives is considered to have the best island resorts, which have become famous among the top celebrities and travellers around the world. 'Luxury getaway' is the term to best describe the Maldives.
Your first and main thing is to choose atoll and hotel - according to your preferences, whether it's a honeymoon, diving, snorkling or family vacation. One major factor in choosing a resort is its distance from the Male airport, and from local attractions. Given that in the Maldives 'one private island - one resort' the wrong choice can spoil you the full experience. If you’re first time im Maldives and unsure about your upcoming trip, this section will put you at ease.
The most luxurious hotels in the Maldives take full advantage of the fact that they are perfectly located in one of the world's most beautiful destination, which is visually stunning with crystal clear waters, white beaches and abundant marine life. All these 5-star resorts offer award-winning restaurants, exceptional service and superb facilities and spectacular surroundings suitable for honeymooners, families, beach lovers and divers. But note that at more economically priced properties, the sun, sand and sea are pretty much the same as at the high-end ones.
Any of these romantic resorts in Maldives can serve as the perfect backdrop to your honeymoon or romantic getaway on the island. This resorts usually offer more space and a greater sense of privacy compared to regular resort rooms, making them ideal choices for lovebirds looking for some quality time together.
Nothing says luxury travel quite like a trip to the Maldives and it’s little wonder that the A-list seem to flock to these islands on the daily. If you really want to travel like the rich and famous, booking an over-water villa with pool is an absolute must. So out of all the islands, where do the Rich and Famous Go in the Maldives? Good news is that we have a list below that consists of 10 best resorts where You are sure to spot one of your favorite A-lister!
The Maldives is sprinkled with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But an experienced visitor knows that the best of them do not have clear borderline. The following islands, all have clean, white, fine as flour sand, beautifully embracing the round "emerald" of tropical vegetation. And all because their beaches remained untouched.
Surprisingly, for such a romantic destination as Maldives, adult-only hotels are very rare. In fact, any resort is suitable for couples and only ones is devoted to holiday without children. But which an island without children is the best and with good diving, surfing and snorkeling in the Maldives? We have compiled a list of 10 fantastic resorts where you probably rarely meet any family, at least in certain resort areas.
The Maldives is a place where most honeymooners go due to its romantic ambiance, blue calm waters, white sandy beaches and the best overwater bungalows, but family travel is increasingly on the upswing. The paradise islands is becoming more and more popular for families, even those with babies and toddlers, wanting island-living at its best, year round sunshine, warm water, watersports, top dive sites and a safe environment. The Maldives is reinventing itself as a family destination – and now's the time to go. Read More
Pros: The beach villas give you direct access to the beach. Some beach villas have private garden meaning extra privacy. Some beach villas have outdoor bathrooms in walled gardens and private pools making it more romantic. Easy access to all island facilities yet still quite secluded. You can move your sun bed around depending on the movement of the sun
Cons: Having a private garden can cause obstructed views. other guests can walk past your beach making it less private. However if you have your own garden then it will help prevent this. You might be able to hear unwanted noises from people passing by your villa or from the resort’s bars and restaurants
Pros: Tend to be quite private. You can enjoy uninterrupted views of the sea. Some people feel water villas are more romantic. Some water villas have glass-panelled floors, which means you can watch the sea life beneath you. There is direct access to the sea and house reef snorkeling. You can relax on your own personal lounge deck with a pool and sun beds. Some water villas have a small artificial sand beach on the sun deck.
Cons: Water villas can be a long way from the resort’s main facilities such as the restaurants and bars. They can be poorly lit at night. Your personal lounge deck might not be facing the sun and therefore might be in the shade half the time. At low tides the water beneath you can be too shallow to get into the ocean or see the sealife beneath you. The steps leading into the ocean can be made out of steel making them slippery to climb in and out of the water. In most cases, for safety reasons, accommodation with small children is prohibited in water villas.
If you are having trouble deciding on whether to opt for a luxurious beach villa or a magnificent water villa then you have come to the right place. Whether you are looking for an overwater bungalow surrounded by crystal clear blue water or an exclusive beach villa with pool in a luxury Maldives resorts, we can help you find the right accommodation option for your desires and budget. Read More
In the Maldives the reefs form when corals grow in shallow water as fringing reefs close to the smaller islands. The corals will continue to push upward and outward well after the volcanic island is completely submerged. Over time, a lagoon forms between the corals and the sinking island and a house reef forms around the lagoon.
The lagoon forms over the volcanic crater or caldera while the higher rim remains above water or at shallow depths that permit the coral to grow and form the reefs. Eventually, the island is completely submerged and only the lagoon and ring of corals remains. Read More
Overwater Lagoon Villa differs from Overwater Ocean Villa in its location. The first are in the area of the lagoon (facing the inside of the atoll) where usually more calm seas and more fine sand, and also Lagoon Villas are better for swimming because the lagoon is deeper.
Overwater Ocean Villas are face to the open ocean (outside the atoll). Here usually surf, a lot of coral (including broken coral) which makes it difficult to swim especially at low tide.
Dress as you wish on the island. "No shoes, no news" reflects the very casual atmosphere of the Maldives. In the Bars, Restaurants, and Reception, women are requested to cover up over a bathing suit (top and bottom) and men to at least wear a T-shirt (not sleeveless) and Bermuda style shorts. Women & men visiting a local island should cover their shoulders and thighs and not wear anything transparent. Public nudity is prohibited.
WiFi in the Maldives is available in almost all hotels and resort islands. Not infrequently the Internet is only available in the lobby area, in bars and restaurants, and a considerable fee is charged for using wifi (about $ 20 per day). As an alternative, rooms can have wired internet with laptops. The same can be said about some inhabited islands, where tourism is a relatively new phenomenon for the Maldives, and the infrastructure is still developing. Read More
Food & Drink
All tap water in each Maldives' hotel is desalted, and is produced at its own cleaning station at each resort. This means that it is potable. A some resorts, place a sign next to the sinks saying “not drinking”, possibly in an attempt to sell more bottled water. In fact, you can drink it.
Nearly all resorts supply purified drinking water to their guests for free – some cheaper resorts make you pay for it, though. Either way, it’s a far better option.
Legally, if you're 18 and not a Muslim, you can buy and drink alcohol. However since the Maldives are an Islamic nation, alcohol is effectively banned for the local population.
However, nearly all resorts and liveaboard boats are licensed to serve alcohol, usually with a steep markup. The expatriate liquor permit which used to allow expats to buy alcohol for their own consumption has been removed. The only place near Malé, aside from resorts, where people can drink alcohol is at the Hulhule Island Hotel, commonly known as HIH or the airport hotel
These terms refer to your meal plan. "Full Board" refers to breakfast, lunch and dinner. "Half Board" refers to breakfast and dinner, only. The hotel will specify as to whether drinks are included. Most meals at the resorts are in buffet style.
A delectable array of dining experiences awaits at Maldives resorts. Just please inform your Destination Specialist of your specific allergies so these can be communicated to the resort ahead of time and they can make special arrangements for you if your condition calls for it. Most 5* resorts will have no issue with requests such as these.Read More
The some of the Maldives resorts offer vegetarian and vegan menu items at their restaurants. As the Maldives is a Muslim country, halal meals are readily available, such as in Soneva Fushi that is the only resort in the Maldives to have a kosher kitchen. Read More
EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES
The house reef is that area close to the island's vertical drop off where the coral begins to aggregate in a kind of coral garden teeming with marine life and colorful fish. The shallow water enclosed by the house reef also serves as a large natural swimming pool and protects swimmers from the ocean waves and strong tidal currents outside the reef. Read More
Depending on the resort, snorkelling can wait for you on the threshold of your villa, close to the beaches of this island, or in the lagoon. In the reef channels are cut through which you can reach the drop-off. If you feel like a fish in the water, safely pack your equipment, consisting of a mask, a pair of fins, tubes and, according to the circumstances (physical condition, age, currents), a life jacket. Discover, explore, dive, practice breathing!
Snorkeling boat trip – house reef, sunset cruise, sandbank picnic, night fishing, spot dolphins or whale sharks, visit a deserted island
Please note there is no fishing allowed on the resort reef in the Maldives. For fishing excursions please contact your villa host or visit Reception.
Snorkeling and scuba diving in the warm, turquoise waters are some of the most popular activities in the Maldives, in fact the Maldives is renowned for it. All kinds of other watersports including canoeing, sailing, deep sea fishing and water skiing are also very common. You can charter a yacht, perhaps with a captain and chef, to sail among the islands or go sunset fishing. Read More
The Maldives is home to 26 different species of shark, although most of these live in deeper water, and you would not usually see snorkelling. Some species of reef sharks and nurse sharks can be seen on house reef and snorkel trips, however, these do not pose a danger to humans.
Maldives Scuba Diving FAQ
Visas are issued on arrival. Most travelers are issued with 30 day visas. All tourists are required to have a passport with a minimum of thirty days validity from the date of departure, onward or return airline tickets or funds to purchase tickets & sufficient funds to cover their expenses during their stay.
If you are a certified diver you must bring your diving license and your log book as well. All divers need to provide a medical certificate issued within the last year.r
Almost every island шт the Maldives has a house reef, access to which you can get immersed right from the beach. These reefs attract divers of all levels, offering simple scuba diving or snorkelling at any time.
There are 3 important words we think you should know when enjoying your dives in the Maldives.
Thila, Giri and Faru are three different examples of reef structures, and among them divers can always find sites that have calmer conditions and are better suited for beginners, as well as more advanced areas that are more exposed to currents.Read More
There are 5 major streams working the maldivian indian ocean, by two monsoon seasons, and the moon positions. The South west monsoon, from approxemately end of may to mid, end of november, whitch is wet and stormy weather. North east monsoon, from november to may, brings clear warm water and mostly sunny weather, and mainly stronger currents.
Diving in the Maldives is open throughout the year, but the recommended months for liveaboards are from November to May. If you wish to arrive at another time, then it may be more difficult to find a departure date that will satisfy your wishes.
YIn addition to luxurious comfort, choosing a liveaboard has the great advantage of not being restricted to dive sites within only a few kilometers from your hotel. The most beautiful sites are often very far from each other. Between dives, the boat will travel the distance required to take you to the next famous site! During trips, you will also have the time to enjoy all the pleasures of a cruise, the activities and service offered by the crew.
YES. We strongly recommend that each guest purchase comprehensive accident, medical, personal liability, missed departure, legal expenses, and loss of passport, baggage & trip cancellation & interruption insurance when space is reserved. Trip insurance will protect you from financial disappointment in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent the vessel from making its scheduled trip. We also recommend diving accident insurance
It is advisable but not necessary. The Maldives liveaboars have all necessary equipment for rent onboard. The most packages include tank, weights and belt only and the cruise price does not include the cost of any rental equipment. You may wish to pack your regulator, dive computer, mask and fins, wetsuit, bcd, light, and bathing suit, change of clothes & essential items in your carry-on bag, just in case.
Please note that diving computer is mandatory and diving without a dive computer is not allowed on board in the Maldives.
If You want to rent scuba diving equipment from the boat operator it is necessary to do so in advance. Therefore, you must select what equipment you will need at the time of booking. Prices are displayed for informational purposes only, as equipment rented must be paid for on board.
The most of boats can provide for both connections, so no need to bring adapters
In most cases for the Maldives, you will usually be required to have done approximately 50 dives and obtained recognized diving certification. Although there are exceptions. Some liveaboards have a team of experienced dive professionals, who are used to leading groups of mixed abilities and different levels of experience. Groups are divided according to their skills to ensure maximum enjoyment for all divers.
As this will depend on the dive sites visited, please verify the experience required under the description of the liveaboard route you have chosen.
Most diver schools recommend 24 hours before flying, therefore for your safety the liveaboard operators in the Maldives require you to have 24 hours clear before flying.
Usually, once you have collected your luggage, you will be met at the airport by a representative of your boat who will help you to find the transfer to your live-aboard. The staff will also ask for your airline ticket so that your return flight details can be reconfirmed. Next the team will transfer you by dhoni vessel directly to the boat (15 - 20 minutes).
Yes, providing you prove you're a diver. The team may require you to do a check dive or scuba review before your arrival or on your first day depending on your level, how many dives you think you have and when your last dive was.
Controlled substances & illegal drugs are strictly prohibited aboard. Do not even dream of sneaking pot, illicit pills or any controlled substance onto this boat. While the team provides dive briefings prior to dives & limit the diving to no-decompression sport diving, each diver is responsible for his or her individual profile consistent with the standards & limitations of his or her certifying organization.
Between 31-33% enriched air fills are normally available to all certified Nitrox divers for an additional charge. The Nitrox offer, however, does not extend the range beyond the prescribed limits of 60 minute duration and the 30 meter depth. If you are not Nitrox certified, You can take the course.
Visibility depends on current and sea onditions. On a typical tour, expect 100 foot (30m) plus visibility on some dives while on other dives they range 60 - 80 foot.
Currents can vary from really gentle to extremely strong. The moon phase, seasonal changes and incoming or outgoing currents have a big impact on current strength. Many dive sites are transformed by medium-plus currents giving You lots of encounters with sharks, trevallies and schooling reef fish. Therefore, a good level of fitness is needed to enjoy the best action.
In the Maldives water temperatures do not vary also. It is between 26°C -29°Cs (79˚- 84F˚)
A 3mm wetsuit is fine in tropical waters but some divers use a 5mm suit if doing more than one dive a day.
Pelagic species are abundant there. Encounters with many manta rays, whale sharks, nurse sharks and all the marine wildlife in the Maldives make every dive a genuine experience. The proof is that more than 80% of people who have dived in the Maldives go back.
Mantas are sighted year-round in cleaning stations. Sometimes they are sighted in great swirling schools day after day. The best time for schooling mantas is June to October. Whale sharks are sighted on 70% of the liveaboard tours throughout the year.
There are many wrecks, but most of them are sunken for diving purpose.
Maximum dive time is 60 minutes or 50 bar (700 PSI) unless otherwise indicated by the dive team during the briefing.
The maximum depth for diving in the Maldives is 30 metres with an equally qualified buddy. Your maximum diving depth will be dependent on your level of training and experience.
You can do 2 to 3 dives per day. Generally, night dives are also scheduled, which are spectacular in the Maldives with a wide variety of fish life and nurse sharks.
Normally the crew has 3 Padi Certified Guides on board each boat.
Several diving specialty courses are offered on the Maldives liveaboards, but it is necessary to give at least one month notice to team in advance of your charter date to ensure that an instructor will have the time available & that all required paperwork is complete. Payment for instruction will only be accepted on board, not in advance.
If you’re a complete non-diver, then also most of the best Maldives Liveaboard trips will have plenty of water activities to keep you busy. Snorkeling and islands visits depending on the schedule of the boat. Snorkelling can be taken from the dhoni boat when an instructor or guide is on board to observe or unless the snorkeller is accompanied in the water by a certified diver. However, this option is subject to availability from the Liveaboard operator. The most common water activities for the non-divers also include canoeing, dolphin watching, and shark feeding.
The liveaboard's teams are extremely environmentally aware and asks that you refrain from taking knives or gloves when you dive. Do not touch, ride, feed, catch or harass anything you find underwater.
Do not come back on the boat with less than 50 bar in your tank, ascend or descend very close to the reef or ascend or descend down the mooring line.
No solo diving, no decompression diving, use good buoyancy control when using cameras. And that means everybody all have a great dive.
If you have a tendency toward seasickness we strongly urge you to bring some sort of over-the-counter motion sickness medication or consult your doctor about prescription brands, such as the trans-dermal patch. Chewable ginger tablets or capsules of powdered ginger are very effective.
The liveaboard crews are trained in first aid & diving accident management. The boats are equipped with a complete first aid kit & a high capacity oxygen system. The nearest decompression chamber is under the management of Bandos Resort & is close to Male, with monitoring by DAN network. We highly recommend that all guests carry valid DAN insurance, purchased prior to the trip.
The meals on board are usually buffet style with a variety of Asian and International dishes to suit everyone.
Maldivian food is traditionally a bit spicy, fish is available on board, mostly frozen with a few fresh catches along the way.
For any special dietary requests, such as vegetarian or any allergies, please inform your operator prior to arrival.
Liveaboard's selection includes fruit juices, soft drinks, plenty of iced water, tea & coffee, & a limited selection of beer & wine & spirits. Fresh milk may not be available, although UHT long life milk is provided on board. Herbal teas are not always available. For your safety, it's recommend that the consumption of any alcoholic beverage be delayed until your dive day is complete.
Depends what level you are, how many dives you've got and when you last dived.
For safety reasons, the most liveaboards advise divers to follow their agency recommendation, many agencies recommend a Scuba Review if it has been longer than six months since your last dive.
You can do a Scuba Review at any liveaboard, this a one-day refresher with a bit of pool, bit of theory and a dive at local/sheltered dive site and an experienced guides will give advice and feedback to ensure you get the very best experience from your trip.
Usually the liveaboards source items locally, therefore items such as, but not limited to, wholemeal pastas or flour, gluten free products or soya substitutes are not typically available. Certain special dietary & beverage requests may not be available on a consistent basis in the Maldives due to the remote nature of this location & its Muslim people.
Maldives liveaboards offer itineraries encompassing the world-class dive sites of North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, Rasdhoo and many more, including remote atolls in the far north and south where you'd be hard-pressed to see another liveaboards.
Generally, yes, but that depends on the boat operator. Each one has their own rules and discounts. Please refer to you chosen liveaboard's detailed page in order to learn more.
Details about what is included and not included in the price can be found on each boat's descriptive page. Please refer to the respective boat's page for more information. Generally, prices includes nights on the boat, meals, about 3 dives per day and taxes. Scuba diving rental equipment is not included and must be paid on board. International flights are not included. For domestic flights, please read the detailed description of what is included and not included on the boat's page.
All the Maldives liveaboards are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet is available when a mobile signal is present, usually only nearby or in port. Upload/download is very limited, therefore we ask guests to refrain from transferring large files. Signal strength can vary, which can result in intermittent and/or slow connections, depending on the local mobile provider. If you are a high level internet user, we advise that you purchase a local data SIM at Male airport upon arrival.
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