Maldives is the picture of paradise. With luxury bungalows extending over turquoise waters, sandy beaches and pure nature, Maldives is a dream destination.
People expect to do nothing more here than sat in the sun, sip cocktails and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean, but this is not true. There are many things to do in Maldives.
There are two ways to visit Maldives:
- On a luxury resort which means a small island. The hotel will offer you a wide range of activities, but very expensive ones.
- On a local island. It won’t be so luxury but you will have many activities that you can choose from at very good prices and enjoy the local atmosphere.
Snorkel and find Nemo
We went for a half-day snorkeling tour with our hotel, Kaani Beach Hotel. We booked the tour one day in advance. It consisted of snorkeling at three reefs (Banana reef, Turtle Reef, and Biyadhoo Reef), a sandbank lunch, and a dolphin safari (aka Dolphin watching)! The reefs are on surface in the Maldives that you don’t have to go deep to see a lot!
We went snorkeling with sea turtles, colorful fish flocking together as they floated with the tides. We felt as if we were in our own giant aquarium.
Enjoy the dolphins
One of the great joys of the Maldives are its dolphins. We saw them every time on the sea.
Maldives ranks among the top five places on Earth for watching whales and dolphins. Over 20 different whale and dolphin species can be seen here. Compare this with the handful or less that are regularly seen at most other destinations and you will see why the Maldives is so attractive for whale and dolphin watchers.
Swim with the Sharks
There are over 26 different species of sharks in the Maldives. Some of these species are very rare and found in limited parts of the world. Scuba divers are attracted to the Whale Sharks that visit the Maldives during April and November annually. Enormous whale sharks might look scary but they are harmless to humans. Swimming with the magnificent and mighty sea creatures gives an experience that will last for a lifetime. Unfortunately we didn’t take that trip. It was not the season and we were risking not to see a thing.
But we did swim with sharks and although they were harmless, still got a huge impressions.
Get Lost on a Sandbank in the Middle of nowhere
Located in the midst of crystalline turquoise waters that blended into the azure blue sea. It felt surreal to sit on the pristine white sand and enjoy the gorgeous sea view.
Even though we saw some wild sea vegetation and a few small piles of rubbish scattered around, on the whole the sandbank was definitely a beautiful spot that we did not regret visiting.
Stand Up Paddle boarding
If you aren’t into surfing, paddle boarding is another great option.
The Maldives is great for stand up paddle boarding (SUP), because most islands are surrounded by calm shallow waters. You can paddle along in safe bays with water so clear you can see fish swimming right below your boards.
The Maldives has its own, laid-back tropical style. Expect sandy floors in thatch roofs overhead, turquoise lagoons, white sandy beaches and baby-blue skies.
Explore an Uninhabited Island
When in Maldives, the turquoise waters and sun-kissed beaches lure you to take a quest to some secluded islands. Untamed islands on this tropical sunbathed beaches and shorelines of the Indian Ocean. Take a tour to an uninhabited island possibly with a camping, beach barbeque. Build your own tropical paradise!
Get the Luxury Resort experience
If you’ve made it to the Maldives on a pretty tight budget, it means you had to skip the more expensive resorts, which feature one of the more notable and recognizable components of this multi-island paradise: the overwater villa. At the very least, you must plan a day trip to see one of these villas up close
You can simply choose your favorite resort island and book a day trip. Prices for day trips to resort islands in the Maldives range from US$60 to US$130, depending on the inclusions. The famous complete packages include a return transfer, buffet lunch or dinner, and all non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
You will leave your local island between 8 and 9am and be brought back between 5 and 6 pm, depending on your package.
We booked a one-day resort excursion to Island Resorts. We paid about 100 USD each which covered the entrance fee, transport fee, and even included a sumptuous buffet lunch as well as unlimited drinks (including alcohol). The tour was booked one day in advance. It was simply amazing.
Explore and Experience the Local Culture
We had our base camp in Maafushi which is a local island. Even though it is small it has a slow pace of life and many interesting attractions. The best attraction is of course the beautiful beaches. It was interesting to walk through the main street and experience the local culture. We saw various local convenience stores, hair salons, a football pitch, a police station, a clinic, a bank, a city council building, bistros and local homes. This was definitely a self-sufficient island.
There were many locals going about their daily activities. We realized that many of them liked to laze on chairs outside their homes. Maldives is an Islamic country, and we could definitely see strong Muslim influences everywhere. Even though Maafushi has a population of less than 3000, it still has two large Mosques.
Take a Fishing night
Experience fishing under the night sky using hand lines and raw fish as bait. It is an interesting experience.
Stroll on the Beach
This is one of the typical promotional photos about what to do in the Maldives. There is always a couple walking on a white sand beach surrounded by crystal blue waters. And, it is possible to do this. There was plenty of opportunity for strolling in soft white sands in the Maldives.
Enjoy a Romantic Sunset Dinner on the Beach
Although generally we are content with enjoying a cocktail on the beach for sunset, but why not to take the next step. A lovely table in the sand, surrounded by twinkle lights and a delicious dinner, certainly made for a romantic experience. It is one of the most romantic experience to have in Maldives.
Picnic on a remote island
With thousands of islands, this is probably something you can only easily do in the Maldives. Take a speedboat to a remote island in the middle of nowhere and have the entire island to yourself! It doesn’t get more exclusive than this.There is a certain liberation in not having to share a beach with anyone else.
Enjoy the local fruit or fresh juice
Many people like to try locally grown fruits and vegetables when they visit another country. Maldives is an exotic destination. So, you will often find Exotic Fruit on the menu. Fruits like: Banana, Watermelon, Papaya and Mango. Papayas are particularly commonplace in the Maldives so we went papaya crazy, having lots of it for breakfast, on the beach, for lunch and dinner.