What to know for a trip to the Maldives

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. There white beach and turquoise water of the 1.190 islands that compose it are well impressed in the imagination of anyone and represent the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation under the sun, in an idyllic little corner of the earth.

These are places very popular with tourists from all over the world who every year visit the splendid Maldivian atolls, where there are luxury resorts, hotels and various renowned tourist facilities (in particular in Maafushi and Thulusdhoo). Here's what to know if you're planning a trip to the Maldives!



Index

  1. Best time
  2. Required documents
  3. How many days
  4. How to dress and what to bring
  5. To see
  6. Getting around
  7. What to book in advance
  8. Accomodation
  9. Where to eat
  10. How much
  11. How to pay
  12. Safety
  13. Useful advice and rules of conduct
  14. User questions and comments

Best time

The best period coincides with the dry season which runs from December to April. Although the humidity rate in these areas is high all year round, during this season the rains are less frequent and do not last long (especially between February and March). Average temperatures range from 26 ° (min) to 31 ° C (max) and the sea temperature stabilizes between 28-29 ° C.

Required documents

Travelers who intend to enter the country must be equipped with Electronic passport with a residual validity of six months, this includes the booklet equipped with microprocessor and travel visa valid for thirty days, which is issued directly upon arrival at the airport.
If you are traveling independently (without tour operators) to obtain a visa a confirmed reservation must be presented at the hotel where you will stay.

Not compulsory, but highly recommended, is the stipulation of ahealth insurance before departure, considering that the only hospitals operating in these countries are located in the capital Male, therefore waiting times in case of emergency could be very long.



How many days

  • Minimum travel time: at least 10 days
  • Recommended duration of the trip: at least 15 days

How to dress and what to bring

In your suitcase prefer comfortable and cotton clothing, fifths t-shirts, shorts, dresses, swimwear.
Among accessories for the beach there are sunglasses and hats, to protect yourself from the sun's rays, and sunscreen is extremely useful. Masks and snorkels can be made available at the resort, so it's worth inquiring.
Only one pair of closed shoes and then flip flops and sandals are sufficient as footwear.
A stock up on essential drugs, such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, supplements, disinfectants and creams for any burns, finally, will make you leave safer.

To see

For those traveling to the Maldives for the first time, a stop of a few hours in the capital Male, a city that, alongside its skyscrapers, has preserved the large local fish markets and traditional customs and traditions. One of the most dynamic islands in the archipelago, it is Maafushi, one hour by ferry from the capital and from Hulhulè airport. Here you will find beaches reserved only for tourists and spectacular diving spots along the Vadhoo Kandu channel.
Other interesting destinations are in North Male, such as Thulusdohoo, ideal for surfing and touring Himmafushi. Splendid atolls are also those of Lhaviyani of Noonu, where there are very few luxurious resorts.

A second time in these islands can be dedicated to less touristy places and further away from the capital, such as the atoll of Haa Dhaalu, with capital the island of Kuludhuduffushi, where you will not find the resorts, but a more authentic and peaceful contact with nature and the locals, the atoll of Haa Alifu, with capital Dhidhdhoo, also to visit the islands of Hoarafushi, Kelaa, all in the name of relaxation, finally the atolls of Raa of Baa.



  • If you are visiting the destination for the first time: Maafushi, Vadhoo Kandu channel, Thulusdohoo, Himmafushi, Lhaviyani and Noonu.
  • If you are returning to the destination: Haa Dhaalu, Kuludhuduffushi, Haa Alifu, Dhidhdhoo, Hoarafushi, Kelaa, Raa, and Baa

Getting around

Inside the capital Male you can move us walking, or for longer trips in taxi, whose fixed rate is € 1,50.
To reach the neighboring atolls it is possible to travel in seaplane, the fastest and most comfortable way, whose prices are high but on the other hand the view of the islands is breathtaking (starting from € 500,00), the two companies that deal with this service are Maldivian Air Taxi e Trans Maldivian Airway, or with i local flights, considering that some islands have small airports, the two main airlines are there Maldivian and Flyme (costs start from € 370,00 and increase as the distance of the atolls increases).
Another alternative, certainly cheaper and suitable for reaching the atolls about 2 hours from Malè, are the Ferries, whose ticket costs about € 40,00, or i dhoni, very characteristic local boats, with tickets starting from € 35,00.

What to book in advance

First check if yours passport is valid, because the renewal procedure can take up to 4/6 weeks.
To take advantage of any offer or package it must be booked well in advance on volo - Compare prices starting from € 288,00 -
Upon boarding and upon arrival on the island, the accommodation reservation where you will spend the night during your holiday, so it is advisable to book the accommodation facility well in advance - Hotels and b & b from € 65,00 per room -.

Between tours to book in advance we recommend the walking tours for the capital Male, the packages that include snorkeling and half-day excursions in the various islands, is the case of the atoll of Ari, near which it is possible to spot the hammerhead shark and the whale shark.
Very interesting are the excursions to the sandbanks, the strips of sand that emerge in the middle of the ocean, like those near Dhiffushi.



Accomodation

In the main tourist islands it is possible to stay in resort of various kinds, from the most affordable ones (around € 400,00 per night) to the most luxurious ones (a night can cost € 3.000 and in some particular islands even much more).
Another accommodation alternative that has been gaining momentum in recent times is that of Guest House, or rather private homes of Maldivians that can sometimes be spartan, but in many cases are well organized. In fact, the Guest Houses often offer packages that include, in addition to accommodation, meals and excursions to be carried out throughout the stay (from € 128,00 per night). In these cases it is recommended to be very respectful of the customs of the premises, especially from a religious point of view.

Where to eat

The cuisine is mainly based on dishes from fish, especially tuna, e rice, enriched with spices, especially curry, and coconuts.
The typical drink that accompanies meals is raa, which is a kind of sweet palm wine.
In the atolls you will often eat in the restaurants of the resorts or in the tourist villages, where you can also find international cuisine, but to try the local specialties it is advisable to go to the restaurants of the capital, the teashops, also making a stop at the cafes known as hotaa.

How much

  • Cost of flights and travel: from € 1.100,00 A / R
  • Cost of accommodation: indicatively from € 1.000,00 per week
  • Minimum daily budget for meals and attractions: € 80,00

How to pay

The official currency of the Maldives is the Rufiyaa (Maldivian Rufia), € 1,00 = 16,85 rufiyaa.
However the most widely used currency is the US dollar, especially in resorts and hotels, where you can also pay by credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express) and, in recent years, some tourist facilities are also starting to accept the euro.
It pays to arrive in the country with dollars US and change a certain amount into rufiyaa at the airport, especially if you plan to visit the fishermen's islands (the international airport is located on the island of Hulhule).

Safety

In recent years the country has been shaken by some political demonstrations, which are currently sporadic and are concentrated in the capital Male, so the authorities advise against approaching any gatherings, even peaceful ones.
For the rest, the security situation in the most touristic areas does not raise significant concerns, as can be seen from the Maldives section on the Farnesina website.

Useful advice and rules of conduct

  1. Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public between sunrise and sunset, especially outside the tourist resorts, especially during the Ramadan period (remember that this is a Muslim country).
  2. Do not dive below thirty meters deep and do not carry out underwater fishing, they are prohibited.
  3. Cover your shoulders and legs when visiting the islands inhabited by locals, especially places of worship.
  4. Travel / health insurance: recommended.


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