There are plenty of tropical destinations out there, but none quite like the Maldives. South of Sri Lanka, the archipelago is one of the most isolated places in the Indian Ocean. Famous for overwater villas, coconut-infused dishes, and dreamy blue waters, the country is likely responsible for a few dog-eared pages in your favorite travel magazine.
Like any oceanic destination, the things to do in Maldives center around water -- cruising, snorkeling, and just being a beach bum are some of the top activities for travelers. But the country takes every attraction to a whole new level, with the marine life more diverse and the resorts more private (some occupying entire islands themselves) than that of your typical tropical getaway.
If you’re overdue for a new adventure, set your sights on a tour of Maldives. Situated in an ideal location and wielding its own brand of island culture, this remote south Asian country is not to be missed.
Sitting serenely in the Indian Ocean, Maldives makes for a wonderful boating destination. Travelers will hop aboard their vessel and cruise through the pristine waters of the archipelago, pausing to swim or explore islands. From authentic meals to cozy cabins, everything you need can be found on board. However, don’t let that stop you from venturing ashore to taste local cuisine straight from the source.
If you consider yourself to be an adventurous traveler, Maldives is a dream spot for underwater exploration. The country’s coral reefs attract scuba divers and snorkelers from the around the globe. Tours will shuttle you from atoll to atoll, where you can navigate marine habitats in unspoiled waters. Take in the cheerful reef landscape and be on the lookout for unique sea life, like manta rays.
For those willing to splurge on a luxury getaway, look no further than the Maldives. From the comforts of an overwater villa or other fancy accommodations, you can kick back in the sun, dine on fresh seafood, or book a day trip out on the water. The country’s numerous tropical experiences make it a natural backdrop for unplugging from the world and treating yourself to a top-tier tour.
Planning Your Trip
Planning an overseas trip can be stressful, but these tips will guide you in mapping out the perfect Maldives getaway.
Best Time to Visit Maldives
You should book your Maldives tour for sometime from November to April. With monsoon season occupying the other months, this time of the year is ideal for catching clear skies, vital for making the most of the country’s plentiful outdoor activities. As popular travel periods tend to yield higher tour prices, cost-minded travelers should aim to visit just outside the tourist season.
What to Look for in a Tour to Maldives
In a place as serene as the Maldives, it would be easy to let your trip slip away without leaving the beach. But no matter what type of tour you opt for -- cruise, adventure, luxury, or something else -- be sure to pick one that encourages you to temporarily part with the sand. Whether it’s island hopping, scuba diving, or tasting garudhiya, pick a tour that exposes you to the full range of experiences in Maldives.
Typical Tour Cost
Maldives tours that are one week or more in length typically start in the low thousands, while shorter trips will be priced in the high hundreds. When selecting a tour, be mindful of the amenities that are included. Double check which meals or snacks are folded into the fees, and save money by opting for shared accommodation versus having your own private hotel room.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
As the Maldives is a warm destination year-round, it’s safe to say you can pack your summer wardrobe no matter when you visit. If you intend to snorkel or scuba dive, bring as much gear as you can fit, like a mask and snorkel. While your accommodation or tour operator will have items to rent, it’s more cost-effective to bring your own, especially if you plan on taking part in these activities for multiple days.
Other Tips for Travel in Maldives
Transportation in the Maldives is a unique experience. When you arrive in the country, you’ll be flying into the capital city of Malé. From there, you’ll take a boat or seaplane to your accommodation, as most of the resorts are on the other islands. Boating it is by far the cheaper option, but if you can afford it, flying will be quicker and more convenient.
Health & Safety
Other than staying current with your routine shots, the CDC advises that travelers to the Maldives get vaccinated for typhoid and hepatitis A. In some conditions, your doctor may recommend hepatitis B or proof of yellow fever vaccination as well. Additionally, bring plenty of motion sickness pills if you tend to feel queasy on planes or boats.
The U.S. Department of State has given the Maldives a travel advisory of 2, citing civil unrest in certain regions and suggesting that visitors be more alert than usual. Most risks exist in the bustling streets of Malé or the island of Maafushi, the latter of which is home to both a prison and beach. Otherwise, Maldives is generally a safe place to tour, especially once you’re settled in your remote island resort.