Maldives tourist paradise with 1.192 coral islands, famous for its luxurious resorts, is the most romantic and most expensive honeymoon spot in the world. Blue and clear sea water can see fish swimming at the bottom, the color of the sea changing during the day, sometimes transparent, sometimes light yellow, purple and red when the sun goes down. Maldives is the dream destination of many travel followers around the world. Get the best travel tips in this latest Maldives travel guide, make sure you have a convenient journey to fully experience the best things in this island nation. So, when is the best time to visit Maldives, how to get to Maldives, what to do in Maldives…? Let’s check it out our Maldives travel blog (Maldives blog, Maldives budget travel blog, Maldives trip blog) with the fullest Maldives travel guide (Maldives visitor guide) for a wonderful trip to Maldives on a budget for the first time with Living Nomads below.
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- Where to stay in Maldives? — 8 best budget & best affordable Maldives resorts you should stay
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Overview of Maldives
Maldives is a country with nearly 1.200 large and small coral islands formed in South India, in the Indian Ocean. Among them, about 200 islands are inhabited by locals. This country is a collection of many very small islands quite far apart and slightly fuzzy because of the relatively low altitude. The size of most islands is only 200-500m in length.
In the Maldives there are two types of islands: One are normal islands inhabited like the Male capital or the islands that travelers are often come such as Maafushi, Guraidhoo, Fulidhoo; The second is the Resort islands only for tourists, which is also the main industry in the Maldives.
If referring to truly “Maldives Tourism”, that means, you should only fly to this island nation, choose a resort to stay in a few nights and fly back. It is the best way to enjoy this real paradise. Or if you good financial conditions, more time, you can stay in more than 1 resort to experience because each resort has a different style.
Tourism is a key industry for economic development in this country. That’s why Maldives waives visas for all travelers of all nationalities within 30 days. However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
Today, there are many ways for you to experience and explore Maldives, including those with low budgets. With an amount of only about $900 you can also come here, stay in the local islands but not necessarily stay in the resorts.
Maldives travel guide: Some useful notes when traveling to Maldives
According to our Maldives travel guide, visas will be issued directly at Male airport. You need to present the round trip airfares, a credit card to prove your finance and your hotel or resort booking vouchers.
The currency in the Maldives is Rupiah (USD1 = 15 Rupiah). However, the USD is also very popularly used in the Maldives. When you exchange currency, remember to keep the invoice so you can convert it back into the USD at the same rates.
Maldives is a Muslim country. Therefore, the following things must be especially cautious: prohibit bringing alcoholic drinks, prohibit bringing pork and depraved cultural products into this country. At the resort, tourists can wear a swimsuit but absolutely not nude. When walking outside, you should focus on dress discreetly, do not wear tight-fitting tops, two strings, shoulder or pants, short skirts on your knees to respect the local culture.
Discreet clothing that both help you to protect the sun and respect the local religion.
The sea level in Maldives is not too deep, many shallow places can be seen the bottom but when participating in sea activities such as kayaking, snorkeling or diving, you still have to comply with safety principles such as life jackets, wearing fake legs, oxygen tanks … to ensure safety.
The weather in Maldives is quite hot, it is sunny during the day, so when you go swimming, go for a walk, don’t forget to apply a layer of sunscreen, use sunglasses, hats or parasol.
The built-in underwater camera or waterproof case for the camera, the phone will be great for you to record the best images while swimming or diving under the clear turquoise water. You can buy these products at the resort but the price is quite “expensive”, so it is better to prepare in advance.
The greeting way of people in Maldives is very interesting. If they love you, they will greet you by grabbing their fists or hitting them on the other side in a very innocent and friendly way. Don’t be surprised if you receive it that way!
The Maldives is the most flat country in the world with an average height of only about 2.3 meters above sea level. Due to global warming, the sea level is rising, in the Maldives it has increased by 20 cm in the last century. According to scientists, many of the Maldives’ islands will sink completely in the next 20 years. So what are you waiting for, but come to this paradise right away.
Note: Hotels and resorts often do not offer transfer service to pick you up if you landing in Male at night. Of course, that time also is hard to check in. You will have to overnight in Male capital, wait for morning. So, choosing the departure time and landing time to make your journey smooth, the most convenient also need to consult and consider carefully.
Maldives travel blog: When is the best time to visit?
Maldives is located in a tropical climate area. The year-round heat background is extremely high, rarely falling below 25 degrees Celsius. The weather in the Maldives is also deeply affected by the sea so even with the high heat of the sun, there is no drought or discomfort. In general, you can go to the Maldives at any time.
You should note in the Maldives travel guide, the rainy season in the Maldives lasts from June to October due to the operation of the Southwest wind. However, Madives still welcomed the guests so much. No matter how heavy the rain is, the Maldives Sea is still blue, quiet, not big waves. Tourists still enjoy swimming and participating in coral diving activities. If you don’t like the rain, choose visit Maldives in the remaining months.
Maldives travel blog: How to get to Maldives?
Vietnam currently has no direct flights to Maldives. Your flight journey must have at least 1 stop. You still have to transit in a third country. The third country here can be Malaysia, Singapore, and to reach this heaven almost have to fly all day long. Some of the following airlines have flights to Maldives that you can choose from: Bangkok Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines …
All international flights to Maldives must land at Velana International Airport. The airport is an island called Hulhumale, separated from the capital island of Male which takes 10 minutes by public ferry or can take a taxi because they have built a bridge to connect the capital and the airport. On Hulhumale Island, besides the airport, also has a part of the artificial island where concentrates on hotels and motels and can travel to and from the airport by car.
Maldives travel guide: Getting around Maldives
Talking about getting around when traveling to Maldives, means traveling between islands on the ocean. Because in addition to the Hulhumale airport island and Male capital are have cars, taxis, and motorbikes, the remaining islands are very small and do not have these means of transport. Moreover, in one of your package trip, you almost always travel between islands. Some vehicles travel between islands:
A type of canoe, boat has many different sizes depending on the luxury, carrying 10-20 people. This is the means that resorts use to transport their pre-booked guests. The price set by the resort is usually around several hundred dollars per round trip, depending on the luxury of the resort and the distance traveling. The cheap and convenient experience to traveling between local islands is you can rent boat from the hotel / guesthouse, or speedboat from the transport companies.
Sitting on the seaplane you will see the whole view of Maldives, the beautiful islands below. However, Seaplane is not owned by resorts, but it is managed and operated by Trans Maldivian. Seaplane prices range from $300 to thousand dollars per round trip.
A small boat is the main means of the people of Maldives, traveling between the local islands, the cost is also the cheapest (usually a few dollars per trip) but will not be used to travel to private islands and resorts.
Maldives budget travel blog: Where to stay?
Here we will come to the most important part for a Maldives trip, which is the selection of hotels / resorts. A trip to Maldives, is very different from trips to other countries like Singapore, Korea, Japan or Europe, where you have to plan to visit the sightseeing sites. Going to the Maldives is mainly a vacation, it can also be called a little discovery with some people, but the main feature of the Maldives has always been a luxury tourist country for the rich people. Of course they go to Maldives to stay at the resorts.
Accommodation in Maldives has 2 main types, one is small hotels in local islands, and the other is luxury resorts (accounting for 90% in this island nation).
Group of local islands: These are the islands where local people live, compared to the total number of islands in the Maldives, the local island accounts for a small part, only about 10-20 islands. The hotels here are also very affordable, only $50-200/night. Of course it is cheap compared to the resorts, but it is still expensive compared to other countries. A hotel of $100/night is just a simple small room with no special things.
Group of resort islands: In Maldives, each resort is a small island, and this group accounts the majority of the total islands in the Maldives. The cost of traveling to and staying at these resorts is of course from expensive to super expensive.
In Maldives there are more than 100 resorts large and small, also divided into many grades depending on the level of luxury. Can be listed as follows:
3-4 star resort
These are the lowest luxury resorts, 3-4 star standard (mostly 4 stars). These resorts also have a full range of services, rooms are also diverse but not too beautiful, affordable. Average room rates range from $200-500/night, dining cost around $20-50/meal, traveling by speedboat about $100-200/round trip. One of the most beautiful resorts in this 4-star line is Olhuveli Beach & Spa, Kuramathi Maldives, Fun Island Resort & Spa.
Some resorts with 5-star standards, are quite good, beautiful in light style and are suitable for those who want to experience a little more advanced than 4 stars. Room rates averaged $400-700/night, eating and drinking about $50-100/meal. Traveling by speedboat for about $200/round trip or $300-500 by seaplane per round trip. The most beautiful 5-star resorts like Sun Aqua Vilu Reef, Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Veli, Sheraton Full Moon Resort, Amilla Fushi.
Luxury 5-star resort
If the normal resorts have made you “Wow, wow” when you arrive, these resorts are ranked 5* Luxury you will really feel like coming to another world. Blue and clear water, sea villas with super beautiful private pools. Average room rates range from $600-1000/night, eating about $100-150/meal, traveling by seaplane about $500-700/round trip. The most luxurious 5-star resorts like The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Niyama Private Islands, Conrad Rangali Island Maldives.
Super-luxury 5-star resort
The resorts come to this level, maybe I don’t know how to describe them, you should come and feel for yourself. Because it’s a different world, a different life and experiences you probably won’t be have at anywhere in the world. Super high-class 5-star resort can be mentioned such as Anantara Kihavah, Soneva Jani, Soneva Fushi.
Below are some best hotels, resorts with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives
Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives is a luxurious resort with the best services of the Maldives. Resort with over 164 rooms of different types, especially villas built on the sea. It also organizes sea sports activities, 2 large swimming pools, super beautiful beaches and serves fresh local dishes. Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives is also the recommended place for sweet honeymooners. A 4-star resort with room rates from $163/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Just 10 minutes away from Male Airport, Bandos Maldives is an ideal resort for those who are passionate about diving. The location of the resort is also home to the most beautiful coral reefs. This resort has won many great awards for diving service with professional, friendly, multilingual staff. A 4-star resort with room rates from $124/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Noovilu Suites Maldives
The hotel has 7 neat and clean rooms, one of the smart choices if you want to save money for the stay. Noovilu Suites Maldives is located near the city center, on the beautiful Mahibadhoo island, so you can easily find basic services as well as experience the cultural characteristics of the local people. From Noovilu Suites Maldives, you are only need minutes away to reach the sea. A guest house with room rates from $56/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort
This is a luxury resort located at Gaafu Alifu atoll. Resort also has an enchanting collection of coastal villas with full swimming pools, spas, massage therapies and is particularly suitable for romantic couples. Hotel Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort has 2 accents as a classy Johari restaurant for spectacular sunset views on the sea and a 5-star PADI diving center with the best equipment for you to freely explore the natural color reefs. A 5-star luxury resort with room rates from $744/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Mala Maldives Dhangethi