8 Things to know before visiting Maldives in 2019
The tropical landscape, pristine white sand beaches, cobalt blue water, exotic resorts and the amazing underwater world make the Maldives a beach lovers paradise. No wonder, it attracts tourists from all over the world.
Maldives Location – the Maldives is a South Asian island country, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea – southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, The Maldives consists of 11,92 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, making it one of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries.
The capital city of Maldives – is Male. It’s also the most populated city.
The Local language – is Dhivehi. You will be able to communicate in English.
1. Best Season to Visit Maldives
The Maldives has a tropical climate all year round and ranges from 24-degree celsius to 33-degree Celsius with Sea temp around 28 degrees Celcius.
There are two dominating seasons: a dry season and wet season.
The Dry Season – lasts from December-April (little rain and lower humidity)
The Wet Season – lasts from May-November (characterized by stronger winds and rain)
The best time to travel to the Maldives – is from December – April and It’s the busiest and most expensive period.
2. Understanding Maldives Islands
Out of the nearly 11,92 islands within 26 different atolls, only about 200 are actually inhabited by people. The islands can be categorised into 4 groups
· The Uninhabited Islands
These are the untouched ones and nobody stays on these islands
· Islands Inhabited by locals
These are the islands where the locals stay and carry out their living hood. These islands do not allow tourist entries.
· 3 The locals Inhabited islands with guest houses
These are the ones where the locals stay and have their own guest houses which they rent out to the tourists.
Staying at a Local Island – What to Expect
Budget Accommodation –
Staying on these islands is relatively cheaper and less expensive making them the best option for those travelling to the Maldives on a strict budget.
Rules to Follow –
If you plan to stay at any of the guesthouses at local islands in the Maldives, there are a few extremely important and strictly enforced rules that you need to follow.
Since Maldives is a Muslim country, there is no alcohol available.
Homosexuality is illegal
Women are banned from wearing bathings suits or revealing clothes
Public displays of affection are against the law.
Even if you take a day trip to any local island, you’ll be expected to follow the local customs, particularly when concerning women’s attire.
So you definitely need to take care of all these pointers to avoid getting into any trouble.
· Private resort islands for tourists and staff
Private Resort Island means a resort on its own private island. Staying at these resorts would mean moving off to a remote island in the middle of nowhere, where you can find lots of privacy.
Staying at a Private Island Resort – What to Expect
Private resort islands are the most preferred choice when it comes to spending a vacation at the Maldives. There are around 130 private island resorts in the Maldives and here is what you can expect from them.
No Strict Rules
The local island rules do not apply to Private resort islands.
-You are free to wear whatever you want without any restrictions.
-You can have alcohol and
-Roam around freely with your partner at the beach.
The size of the island and its remoteness create unique isolation from the rest of the world.
The resorts are known for their amazing beach bungalows and overwater villas that offer beautiful views of the sand and the ocean. The number of bungalows and cottages depends on the size of the island and how commercialised it is.
There are bars, swimming pools, restaurant, outdoor discos and various entertainment programs that will keep you engaged while you soak in the pristine beauty all around.
While you soak in the sun during the daytime, nightlife at these resorts is in full swing – so there is never a dull moment!
Private resort islands are EXPENSIVE!
All the privacy and luxury comes with a price which is absolutely reasonable. We need to understand that these islands are owned by individuals who do their best to create the most favourable atmosphere to satisfy the tourists.
These islands get the supplies from the mainland via ship which costs a lot. Besides, maintaining a perfectly clean beach, the bottom without sharp dead corals, well-maintained alleys and a lot of greenery with no litter at all, requires attention, care and money and you get what you pay for.
3. How to Get to the Maldives
You first land at the Male International Airport. Depending on how far your private island resort is, you will be transferred to the island by seaplane, by a speedboat or by taking a domestic flight.
· Items banned from Entry
Before you even take a flight to Male you need to know about the items banned from entry. Because the The Maldives is a strictly Muslim country, there are specific bans on some items you may bring into the Maldives. To avoid any hassle or confusion at the airport, don’t carry pork products, alcohol, tobacco and any religious texts to the Maldives.
You don’t need any special vaccinations to travel to the Maldives.
The Maldives follows Visa-on-arrival policy. So, visitors to the Maldives do not need to apply for a visa pre-arrival, regardless of their country of origin. Just make sure you have a valid passport, proof of onward travel, and money to be self-sufficient while in the country.
· Flight to Male
Most visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital Malé. The airport is served by flights to and from India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Istanbul, and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as charters from Europe. British Airways offers direct flights to the Maldives around 2–3 times per week.
4. Maldives Airport Arrival Guide
Following Maldives airport arrival guide will help you in a hassle-free entry into the country.
· Currency / ATM
Maldivian currency is Rufiyaa(MVR), but tourists can pay in dollars and by credit cards. You will find ATM and currency exchange counters at the airport itself but you may not need local currency.
· Immigration Formalities
The moment you land at the airport, you will walk straight towards the immigration desk where you will find tourists already lined up. Pick up
Maldives immigration arrival cards available at the entrance of the room and fill in the required information before queuing up. 1 card for each tourist.
Present the card to the officer at the desk and get the visa stamped on your passports – that is valid for 30 days.
Next, you will have to go through customs clearance – which basically means scanning of the handbags that you are carrying.
· How to Get to your Resort / Hotel from Male Airport
On walking down further, you will come across a number of counters representing a particular resort with a hotel representative. Locate your Private Island Resort counter and present your booking confirmation.
Now, depending on how far your resort is from Male International Airport, the representative will transfer you to the island by either a seaplane, by a speedboat or by taking a domestic flight.
5. What to Expect in the Maldives
The Maldives is a land of dreams. It’s difficult to pen down its beauty in words we will still try our best.
· Stunning Views
The white-sand beaches, the various shades of blue that make up the shallows and depths of the surrounding water, the stunning view from your luxury villa as the sun rises and sunsets over the Indian Ocean are the wonders that will leave you awestruck.
· Tropical Climate
The Maldives has a tropical climate all year round and ranges from 24-degree celsius to 33-degree celsius. If you are a water baby, then taking a dip in the ocean will be a bliss. With Sea temperature around 28-degree celsius, you can swim in the ocean for hours
· Frequent Sightings
The frequent sightings of baby sharks, colourful fishes and even stingrays near the shallow lagoon come as a pleasant surprise and an amazing experience. Besides, you will always find seagulls either flying over or taking a gentle stroll along the shoreline.
Most of the resorts offer a variety of food options to choose from especially for non-vegetarians. However, if you don’t eat non-vegetarian food, then it will be best to not book a full-board/half-board meal plan due to limited Vegetarian foods options.
· Water Activities
The Maldives boasts a number of water activities, both underwater (such as snorkelling and diving) and in water (such as water motorcycle, boating, surfing, sailing and more) Private island resorts charge a huge amount for each activity. So be prepared.
(1) Skin Rashes
Skin rashes might be a concern while venturing into the ocean – that totally depends upon physical contact with some algae or corals. So it’s good to wear skinsuit.
Most of the corals in the region are now dead. So it might be really difficult to get a sighting of thriving live corals, especially during snorkelling. However, you will for sure come across a number of colourful fishes in all sizes swimming around you.
It’s recommended to carry your own snorkel gears – not only because of hygiene reasons but to also save a good amount of money since most of the resorts rent out snorkel gears for a huge price. The choice is yours.
The Maldives has some amazing diving sites where one can explore the underwater world. These are usually very high priced. So, just ask about the packages from your resort desk.
6. Payment at the Resorts
Banks or ATMs do not exist in some islands. Payment with the card can be made at the resorts. However, It’s’ a good idea to bring some extra cash as well.
How Expensive is the Maldives
One can travel to the Maldives on a strict budget by staying in a guesthouse at any local island or can spend lavishly by picking accommodation at a private island resort. The cost will further add up with the number of excursions, water sports, food & beverages etc.
7. Things to Carry
Life jacket(if you think you need it)
Soft breezy clothes
A mini first-aid kit
8. Departures – Things to Watch out for
Transfers from resorts back to Male airport are generally organized with an extra window of time for the purpose of preventing you to miss your flight. Transfers can be at Sunrise even if your International flight is much later in the afternoon.
Similarly, if your departure flight is late in the night, you might have to leave your resort in the afternoon and stay several hours at the airport.
All transfers are confirmed one night before your departure. Resorts receive the final list after 8:00 pm. So check the resort desk a night before.
With the above information in mind opt for the best possible choice for your Maldives Trip and plan it accordingly. We tried to cover all the important information in this video. However, if you think we have missed any vital information, please feel free to share it in the comments section of the video. It will be of great help to fellow tourists.