As I told you before, Maldives is divided into two categories: Resort Islands and Local Islands. Resort Islands are where all the beautiful over water villas are, while local islands are for local residents but recently, locals have started to venture into the hospitality industry, as more and more hotels/guesthouses are built to cater for tourism. This actually helps the local economy as they use to only rely on fishing as their primary source of income.
We choose to stay in a local island, Maafushi, is fairly affordable and from here we booked many trips and excursions.
We had a day trip to Fihalohohi Island resort and we were so please about it that we decided to book a second day trip to a resort. This time we choose to go to Rihiveli Island.
The island is situated at the South of the South Male Atoll at 49 Kilometers away from airport and is close to many channels and outside reefs. Dolphins as well as other pelagic fish can be found directly in front of the island as well as on most of the dive sites around the island.
We payed 90 USD/ per person (40 USD speed boat and 50 USD for one day resort pass that included the lunch).
Rihiveli is considered one of the last remaining “original” island, away from tourist crowds that continued to preserve its nature, serenity and friendliness of the island since 1983.
You will be touched by the unspoiled beauty of what used to be the Maldives. In an essential comfort, you will return to nature and be able to enjoy the layback attitude of your island.
The place is relatively small with only 48 bungalows, and definitely feels like the peaceful haven it was designed to be. Each bungalow has its own hammock and beach chairs, and you’re provided with gigantic lush beach towels.
It felt deserted and the other bungalows were spaced far enough out that it felt like we had the place to ourselves. The first thing you’ll notice when you get to Rihiveli is that the place is beautiful, everything about it is beautiful. The water is clean and clear and warm, the sand is somehow magically always freshly raked, and each bungalow is simple yet luxurious enough.
We took shoes off when we arrived on the island and walk down the narrow sandy path that flows through the middle of the island. Here there are no concrete paths, no central hub of restaurants, reception, bars and swimming pool just simply the nature.
We were so amazed about it.
The island has also a very interesting history.
The original French owner saved some Maldivian soldiers in a shipwreck and as a thank you, he was granted a resort license for 10 years by the Maldivian government.
The concept of Rihiveli is meant to be entirely eco-friendly, and everything is designed to respect the local environment.
Unique to its surroundings within the lagoon are also the two virgin islands of Sunrise and the Birds, both about 400- metre radius and easily accessible on foot or by canoe.
It was low tide when we arrived, so it was a delight to walk till one of the island and once we arrived there it was an incredible experience just to have the entire island for yourself.