This post was last updated on February 1st, 2020 at 02:49 pm
The Maldives has long been known as the ideal holiday destination where you mainly come to relax on the beach. This has changed in recent years. Where you were “formerly” bound to the uninhabited islands with only luxury resorts, nowadays you can spend the night on the islands where the locals sleep.
This allows you to discover a completely different side of the Maldives. The clear blue sea in combination with the white beaches is still there. However, you can now choose to alternate relaxing with a visit to the locals.
Maldives Travel Information
When you travel to the Maldives, it is good to know where you will end up. We have looked up some information for you about the locals, setting a budget, food and drinks, the best time to visit the Maldives, and much more. Do you want to know more but it is not listed here? All necessary Maldives travel information can be read here, including:
Backpacking in the Maldives
Backpacking in the Maldives is not something you immediately think of when planning a backpacking trip which isn’t strange since you could not even backpack in this beautiful country until recently. The government was trying to preserve the local life and prevented much tourism from happening. You were bound to private islands with resorts which is not something for the average backpacker.
Fortunately, that has changed. Because since 2009 tourists can also come to the local islands and mingle with the locals. This is not only fun to do, but also a lot cheaper. You can travel by ferry between different islands and enjoy the most beautiful beaches in all of Asia (we would know ;)).
TIP – More information about Backpacking in the Maldives can be found here.
Maafushi is one of the local islands where you can spend the night. We were able to stay here in 2016 for around $50 a day (2 people).
From here you can book day trips to other islands, beautiful beaches, and resorts! You can find more information on our Maafushi page.
Best Time to Visit the Maldives
If you want the best weather you should travel to the Maldives in the months of December to April. During this period the sea is the calmest and it has the least amount of rain. These months are best suited for diving and snorkeling.
March and April are the best months for diving or snorkeling because the sea is clearest. The climate in the Maldives can be distinguished into two monsoon periods.
TIP – You can read more about this on the Best time to visit the Maldives page.
Budget for the Maldives
Until a few years ago, the Maldives was only suitable for people with a large bag of money. You could only stay in resorts far away from the locals. Fortunately, this has changed in recent years. Since 2009 it has been possible to stay on the local islands of Maafushi, Thulusdhoo, Haa Dhaalu, Fuvahmulah, Gan, and Guraidhoo.
In March 2016 we spent around $50 per day (two people, 1 room) including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks.
You can also choose to sleep in hostels and guesthouses here, making a stay in the Maldives a lot cheaper.
We always recommend taking some cash with you. American Dollars are easily available at the airport and you can pay with it in the Maldives. There are NO ATMs on the local islands.
TIP – More information about setting a budget can be found on our Budget for the Maldives page.
Maldives Visa Requirements
As soon as you arrive in the Maldives, most people can receive a free visa for 30 days. This visa can be extended once to a maximum of 90 days. Keep in mind that you must have a valid passport when you leave the Maldives.
Because you can get a visa at the border, it has little added value to arrange a visa online.
TIP – More information about the visa requirements can be found on our Visa for the Maldives page.
One of the most annoying things that can happen is getting sick while traveling. Unfortunately, we have experience with it. There are quite a few travelers who save costs by not getting vaccinated. However, we do not recommend this! There are no compulsory vaccinations for the Maldives, however, the following vaccinations are recommended;
- DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio)
- Hepatitis A + B
- MMR (only if you have not had measles or a measles vaccination)
- Yellow fever is only mandatory if you have been in a yellow fever country seven days before entering the Maldives.
TIP – More info can be found on our Vaccinations for the Maldives page.
Food and Drinks in the Maldives
Hot food in the Maldives is not very varied but it is very tasty! At the resorts you can choose from the most luxurious meals, but on local islands the choice is more limited. They mainly eat fish and especially tuna. Fish curry and roti are traditional dishes in the Maldives, often combined with ground coconut.
TIP – You can find more information about Food and drinks in the Maldives here.
Transportation in the Maldives
The Maldives consists of many small islands. The means of transport here is, therefore, the boat. You do not use buses, scooters, trains or cars here. You can choose from the local ferries that take you from one island to the other for a few dollars or speedboats that quickly cost a few hundred dollars.
TIP – On our Transport in the Maldives page we explain everything to you in detail.
Are you missing some information? Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask us anything you want to know!