The Maldives is nothing short of a paradise! Glistening turquoise blue water, golden sand where you can lay for hours, an uninterrupted view of the horizon, most importantly, peace & quiet. But there's a cost to holiday in paradise, because of which it was never on my travel list! Not until recently. Want to do a budget holiday in Maldives? Then you are at the right place. In this blog, I'll share all that you need to know to plan the cheapest holiday to Maldives. Enjoy the same crystal blue water & the sunset just 1/4th the price (or less!). Lets' get into the details and answer the burning questions- How to do the Maldives on a budget!
Best time to visit Maldives
The best time to visit Maldives is definitely between the months of November to April. While the Maldives is sunny all year round one can witness rain showers if visited between May to October & hence should be avoided. Although if you are a surfer the waves are great during the month of May to October.A lot of people ask me what is the cheapest month to go to Maldives? My answer - absolutely anytime! While the rates are a bit low in the offseason but the rain can ruin your experience. If I could holiday in Maldives on a budget even in the peak tourist season of January, so can you! Read on to find more about Maldives holiday on a budget.
How to plan your budget trip to Maldives
When planning a trip to Maldives we all think of the private resort islands with their exotic water villas. These can cost some of us an arm and a leg! So if your goal is to go on a budget holiday to Maldives steer away from the private islands. Instead, look for local islands! Yes, there are many beyond Male. 20 local islands to be precise.
If the above is new information to you - you are welcome! Because this solves half your concerts regarding Maldives budget holiday packages. According to my research below is the list of the top 5 budget islands to visit in Maldives:
Rasdhoo: This is where I went for my Maldives budget holiday. It's a cozy little island with a couple of cafes, restaurants and quite a few places to stay in Maldives on a budget. Rasdhoo also has a beautiful house reef from where you can spot sharks & stingrays among other aquatic life. A great place to stay if you are in Maldives for a scuba diving holiday. It is also a great choice for a budget family holiday in Maldives. Speed boat runs every day from Male.
Ukulhas: A popular choice among tourists Ukulhas has a very long bikini beach to relax at. The house reef is a little swim away and is blessed with turtles. You can also visit a nearby sandbank when holidaying in Ukulhas. The range of accommodation can be on a higher side as compared to other local islands. Speed boat runs every day from Male.
Thoddoo: This island is great if your idea is to laze around the bech since it offers two huge stretches to choose from. The beach here is regarded as one of the most beautiful among the local islands. While the house reef is a bit of a swim away from the shore it offers a wide variety of aquatic life.
Fulidhoo: Has a wide range of accommodations to choose from and each offering the best of Maldivian experience. There's a long beach with a beautiful house reef with easy sightings of stingrays. A great island for your dive trip.
Dharavandhoo: This one is relatively more expensive than the other local islands in Maldives. But if you want to visit the famous dive sites of Hanifaru Bay & Dharavandhoo Thila then you have got to come here. With high marine biodiversity, UNESCO's only biosphere reserve in the Maldives is heaven for scuba diving in Maldives. The best way to get here is via a domestic flight or a speed boat.
Things to do in Maldives on a budget
Although my trip to Rasdhoo Maldives was primarily to scuba dive, it turned out there is lots to do here. Listing down top activities to do while you are in Rasdhoo, Maldives.
Scuba diving: Has to be number one on my list! Rasdhoo is home to some great dive sites that Maldives has to offer. It is great to spot white tip sharks, nurse sharks, blacktip sharks, turtles, eagle rays, moray eels, stingrays & even manta rays. The coral life is extremely beautiful too. There are a couple of wreck dive sites for beginners and can be a great way to start your diving journey. I dived with Drop Dive, reach out to me on my Instagram if you need a reference.
Snorkelling: With a beautiful house reef of Rasdhoo, this has to be on your list! Snorkel off the bikini beach and you will surely spot some sharks and stingrays apart from schools of beautiful batfish & tunas!
Visit the Sandbank: A beautiful place to relax, snorkel, have a picnic, take a tonne of photos! Sandbanks are pretty much magical, just a piece of land in the middle of the ocean with no trees around.
Dolphin Cruise: Hop on a dolphin cruise to see these playful beings. You will see hoards of them swimming towards the boat almost as if they are racing. It's not allowed to swim with them nor touch them, so be wary of this when you go on such a cruise.
Water sports: You can rent a jet ski, kayak, SUP from one of the water sports centres.
Maldives Budget Holiday Package:
For my budget holiday in Maldives I choose to stay in Rasdoo, in this section I'll share a breakdown of the cost that I incurred during my 5 nights and 6 days trip to Maldives. This will help you plan your budget holiday package to Maldives.
Cost Internal transport in Maldives: Reaching Rasdhoo is pretty easy & cheap. Hop on to a speedboat from outside Male airport that gets you directly to Rasdhoo. It costs $35 one way per person and takes roughly 70 mins to reach. The speed boat runs every day at 4:00 PM. Either ask your point of contact at Rasdhoo to keep you updated on the timing or download the app called followme to keep a track of the speed boat.
Cost of food in Maldives: Rasdhoo has a couple of restaurants and cafes to choose from. And eating out isn't very expensive. My average cost per meal was $10 for a meal at most places. For a juice or a coffee, you'd end up spending $5. If you are a vegetarian/vegan do specify that you don't eat eggs. All the cafes were kind enough to customise some dishes for me.
Best place to stay in Maldives on a budget: There are plenty of comfortable & clean accommodations to choose from. The range starts from $75 on twin sharing -this includes breakfast & all taxes. Again if you have any food allergy or dietary preference do specify that. I stayed with white coral, definitely recommend them.
Cost of other activities in Maldives: The cost of scuba diving here may vary if you plan to do a course & which institute you choose - PADI/SSI. For a fun dive expect to pay $60 per dive, this can go down if you take a dive package of more than 5 dives. Snorkelling in the house reef is free if you have your snorkel gear, you can also rent one from one of the dive centres. A trip to the sandbank will cost $25 both ways, dolphin cruise costs $45 per person.
The total cost of my 5 Nights & 6 Days long trip was $925. If you ask me, it's a steal deal to experience this paradise at that cost.
So, can you do Maldives on a budget? Of course, you can! Hope my blog answers most of your questions about how to go plan a budget holiday to Maldives. If there's something I missed comment below & ask away! You can also reach out to me on my Instagram.
If you are interested in a Scuba Diving holiday, do check out my guide to Thailand.
This guide was first published on Of Miles & Musings
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