Hawaii of the East! Simply put.
A solitary group of islands in the middle of Indian Ocean, Maldives is so much more than just a honeymoon destination! Maldives is the perfect place to forget the mundane, reconnect with nature and experience the unmatched Asian hospitality. Every diver’s dream, Maldives offers a budding marine life, perfect diving water temperature, crystal clear blue water and breathtaking coral life.
While planning my trip, I was a little concerned, as would many first time visitors, about the duration of my stay. After all, we were talking about swim, snorkel, and sun, and how long could that possibly last? I ended up planning a 7 day trip and if you read on, you’d realize I made the most of it.
We stayed at Paradise Island Resorts, which is half an hour’s boat ride from the airport. The minute we stepped on the resort, we could feel the hospitality in the air! Warm towels, welcome drink, smiling and greeting faces all around, we knew we would be treated no less than the Queen of England!
Coming back to the activities, I would recommend :
For those in search of a relaxing activity, catamaran offers a refreshing change. You can have a captain, who will take you on a sailing trip, for snorkeling to a sandbank, to see dolphins or simply to enjoy a sunset.
The catamaran has all the latest navigational equipment to enable safe and pleasant sailing. You will get a chance to explore some of the best places.
PRICE: Starts from $39 US but it really depends on your resort
Diving in Maldives is one of the truly unforgettable impressions that you can enjoy on these islands.
Video credits: Paradise Island Resorts
For diving- You don’t need PADI certification – I am not certified! Your instructor will take you up to 12 meters, which is more than enough to see a lot of colorful marine life.
As a beginner in scuba diving, my instructor took me for house reef dive and I felt very safe and comfortable diving with him.” I dived once during which I had the chance to see numerous colorful fish, turtles, black tip sharks! (black tip shark are not dangerous) and many manta rays that were 2m long!
Few times, we got an opportunity to spot black tip shark, Manta Rays and star fish just on the beach. Isn’t it exciting?
If you want to dive deeper, but you are not certified, you should know that you can receive your PADI certificate in pretty much all the resorts in Maldives. Price varies, starting from about 200 USD.
Diving in the Maldives is an amazing experience that I’m sure you will never forget!
NOTE: You are not allowed to dive less than 2 days before your flight! As you have nitrogen in your blood. If you finished a dive and got in a plane the rapid climb in altitude would result in a drop in pressure similar to a rapid ascent while diving. So you would run the risk of getting the bends.
PRICE: Starts from $62 US but it really depends on your resort
Enjoy a beautiful sunset on a relaxing and romantic calm sea. Maldives always fuel up my love for beautiful sunsets.
The picture of Indian ocean and sky mirroring each other is something I can never get over. All sorts of colours, from hot pink, orange, to the turquoise. Its really something so hard to explain.
Isn’t it truly divine?
Who can snorkel in Maldives ? Everybody!
You can go for many options for snorkeling:
Option 1: Close-by House-Reef everywhere around the island in your resort.
Option 2: Huge blue lagoon everywhere around the island. This is extremely impressive for the eyes and a Dream for swimming but you will have to go on a snorkeling trip by boat.
Option 3: Dreamy Duo : a close-by house-reef + a wide Lagoon.
We went to Bandos resort by boat to snorkel. It was a great place to go for snorkel. You will see schools of tropical fish and maybe even more if you are lucky enough!
Just grab your snorkeling mask and go around the house reef of your resort!
Note: The snorkeling equipment was provided free of charge in few of the resorts, but you can also bring your own.
PRICE: Starts from $50 US and it really depends on your resort.
There are two sides of Maldives: local and luxurious. If you are curious about the lives that the real Maldivians have, you should take an island hopping tour! During the tour, you will get a chance to interact with some locals and get to know how they live, what they eat, where they go to school. We were lucky to be invited by the locals for a taste of their local cuisines.
If you want to get to know the local culture, you should go for Island Hopping.
I was really amazed to know that they build their houses from a cement-like powder made of shells apparently. I got to know that they use dead coral to make their walls as well. You will also be impressed by street art.
The truth is, staying in a luxury resort will never give you a full understanding of how real life is in the Maldives! It was cool to catch a glimpse of the real Maldivian daily life.
Tip: You can buy souvenirs from the local island shop. These shops are much more cheaper than resort shops.
PRICE: Around $85 US but prices varies from one resort to another
Shark season in Maldives: January to March
To see just one shark is impressive but imagine a large school swarming around you – it’s an adventure like no other! And in Maldives, this dream can become a reality. So, do not miss on this incredible opportunity while you are there!
We were very lucky to see more than 50 dolphins passing by.
Keep your eyes open for flying fish, manta rays and whale sharks too!
NOTE: You can also do dolphin tour during sunset.
PRICE: $50 US and it varies from resort to resort.
The sea remains an integral part of the existence of the Maldivian nation and if you want to learn the ancient art of traditional Maldivian fishing, you should take this tour!
I had no idea about fishing before going to the tour. So, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any clue. Crew will explain you the trick. A line and some bait are all you need to enjoy the sunset fishing experience. Catch one if you can, and chef of your resort will be delighted to prepare it to your liking. The excursion takes about 2-3 hours.
I caught six Red Snappers and many dead corals! But I particularly loved sitting there on the boat in the middle of Indian Ocean, just staring at those countless stars and the beautiful full moon…
PRICE: Around $50 US and it varies from resort to resort
Isn’t it cool to cut out from the whole world, and have an island all to yourself?
You can take some snorkeling gear and swim around the island, read a book, chase the crabs around the tiny strip of land or simply relax and connect with nature!
PRICE: Around $200 US and it really depends on your resort
Diving in Maldives is an activity many people put on their bucket list, but if you are not comfortable to dive, you may feel you are missing out. There is a solution – going 45m below the surface of the crystal clear Indian Ocean in a submarine! Operating out of the capital of the Maldives, Male, these submarine dives bring to life a breath-taking world that non-divers can also enjoy.
There are lights on the outside of the submarine which allows for greater visibility of the sea life. To draw fish towards the peepholes, the submarine is accompanied by an underwater diver who feeds the fish, attracting them towards you.
Half way through the excursion, you change seats to the other side of the submarine, so you can enjoy a different perspective. This is a great family activity. Children absolutely love it – they feel safe and no skill is needed.
PRICE: Around $110 US and it really depends on your resort
Ever dreamed of flying above a tropical island?
Paragliding is a sensational activity for spectacular aerial views and memorable holidays. It was an exhilarating experience! The ascend is lightning fast, within 10 seconds you’re 100m up in the air.
When you’re up there its a lot like you’re looking out of an airplane. But here the only thing you’ll feel are your feet dangling in the air and your heart beating wildly. It gives you a beautiful aerial view of the resort and the surrounding islands. Wait, islands? The islands are so far apart the only one you be able to see is the island they call Lankanfinolhu.
PRICE: Around $89 US and it really depends on your resort
Did you think of taking a tour not from a resort, but TO a resort?
If you’ve made it to the Maldives on a pretty tight budget, it might be possible that you had to skip the more expensive resorts, which feature one of the more notable and recognizable components of this multi-island paradise: the over-water villa.
You should know that you can still indulge the luxury of a private exclusive resort. How?
Many resorts offer some day tours during which you can enjoy all the facilities of the place (pools, bars, nice clean beaches, chaise longs etc.). You will leave your island between 8 and 9 am and be brought back between 8 and 10 pm, depending on your package.
PRICE: About $150 US and it really depends on your resort
Tucked away at the other end of the island is the Araamu Spa which offers massages, ayurvedic therapies, facials and natural healing body treatments. You can also take private yoga sessions on the pavilion that overlooks the ocean. Isn’t it fantastic?
Sure, laying on the beach is nice, but it gets boring after a couple of days, so taking these tours will allow you to experience even more of these gorgeous islands.
Your trip will be really memorable with all these activities- talk to locals, dive, snorkel, or fishing. There are plenty of tours conducted by every resort.
I hope my blog helped you plan your activities for your vacation in the Maldives!
Which one would you say is a MUST do out of these 11?
Are you planning to visit Maldives? or Have you visited Maldives already? or you plan to go to some other group of islands like Hawaii or Bora Bora? What are your thoughts? I am looking forward for your questions in the comments section.
Photo Credits: Paradise Island Resort and Aditya Baraya