The Step-by-Step Guide to a Maldives Vacation
The Maldives are world-famous as a vacation destination due to the stunning beauty of its crystal-clear waters, powder-white sand beaches, and breathtaking sunsets. On these uninhabited islands, you can find a collection of five-star resorts that will provide you with a vacation of a lifetime. Here's your chance to spend a few days on an island all to yourself.
Soothe your weary bones on untouched shores View playful dolphins from the bow of your chartered sailboat. Have you finally decided to give snorkeling a try? Some of the world's best scuba diving can be found in the Maldives.
There is something for everyone in the Maldives, whether it be rejuvenating spa treatments or top-tier outdoor activities. Listed below are some considerations to keep in mind as you put together the itinerary for your fantasy vacation.
Whence Come the Maldives
You can find the Maldives in the Arabian Sea, about 460 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. It consists of 1,200 islands and sandbanks, many of which are artificial, though only about 200 are permanently inhabited.Stock Photography by Sven Hansche com
Directions for Traveling to the Maldives
Unfortunately, due to the Maldives' relative remoteness relative to other continents, there are no direct flights available to any of the islands from the United States. That's not necessarily bad, but it does mean you'll need to do some advanced preparation for the best possible outcome.
A good flight is the first step in nearly every memorable vacation. Even though there aren't any nonstop flights from the U.S. S to the Maldives ensures a degree of privacy in a tropical paradise, but it also requires at least one connection before you can kick back and enjoy the sand and surf.
U S Velana International Airport is located on Hulhulé, in the North Malé Atoll, but getting there requires a stopover in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East. A ferry ride to Malé, the nation's capital, takes only a few minutes. From the airport, you can drive directly to your hotel thanks to the Sinamalé Bridge.
Colombo, Sri Lanka Airport (CMB) is a potential low-cost option for tourists. Less than two hours separate Colombo and Malé, and the price of the flight often outperforms that of flights from more distant airports.
If you've booked a stay at a resort, a representative will likely be waiting for you when you land at Velana International Airport, no matter how you got there. Now that's what I call service worthy of the highest rating possible.
However, a convoluted flight schedule is the last thing on anyone's mind when booking a vacation. If you'd like to book a flight as part of your trip, it's best to do so through a travel agency or Why sweat the small stuff when you can daydream about sand between your toes?Images: Photoestetica / Shutterstock com
Taking a Boat Trip Around the Islands
Keep in mind that there are more than a thousand inhabited and uninhabited islands in the Maldives. That makes it a great country for maritime exploration.
You can charter a dhoni, the traditional sailboat of the Malé Atoll, from the staff of your resort. This is the most exciting way to see islands both far from your home away from home and closer to home, but it will cost you a pretty penny (between $400 and 0 per day, according to Lonely Planet).
Taking a number of ferries from one island to another is a more cost-effective option. It's important to keep in mind that the national network of ferries is notorious for making last-minute changes to departure times and even canceling trips, so this mode of transportation is best suited to those with a flexible schedule.
Only islands with year-round populations typically have ferry service. You'll need to charter a speedboat to get to the deserted islands. Speedboat rides from Malé to more remote islands can cost anywhere from to $450, depending on the island chain.
Cruising as a mode of travel
A cruise to the Maldives, if you can spare the time, is an opportunity for personal growth on a grand scale. There aren't many major cruise lines that stop in Malé, and getting there usually takes a couple of weeks. For instance, Princess Cruises' one-month long voyage from Singapore to Cape Town includes stops in ten different ports, one of which is Malé.
If you like to travel to learn about new cultures, a cruise through the Indian Ocean is a great option. However, for some visitors the Maldives, a cruise falls far short of expectations. Local cruises, such as those offered by MV Yasawa Princess, are a good option if you only have a short amount of time in Maldives and can get there by other means.S Image courtesy of Borisov / Shutterstock com
Can you recommend a good time to visit the Maldives?
Although the Maldives enjoy year-round warmth, there is a brief rainy season, from around May to October. Despite the fact that the Maldives can be pricey even in the best of circumstances, if you're trying to save money, you might want to schedule your trip for that time frame. Monsoon season is a great time to go snorkeling or scuba diving because the rain typically only lasts a few hours and there is a wider variety of marine life to observe.
If you want your vacation to look like a postcard, complete with blue skies and sunshine, then plan it between November and April.
Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, begins in May or June (exact dates vary year to year because they are based on the lunar Islamic calendar) and some tourists avoid visiting the Maldives during this time out of respect for the country's religious practices. If you're staying at a resort, you probably won't notice any changes, but if you want to mingle with the locals, you should know that most restaurants will be closed until sunset on the day of the celebration.stock image by icemanphotos / shutterstock com
How About Some Information on Tourist Attractions in the Maldives?
As we've already established, a trip to the Maldives is not cheap. It's definitely worth it, but you need to organize your excursions in advance to get the most out of your time there. In order to enjoy the best beaches and avoid breaking the country's strict laws, you should stay on one of the resort islands.
Having a Blast at the Beach
In the Maldives, most visitors stay in resorts the whole time. If you're the kind of traveler who likes to take it easy and take in the scenery, the Maldives should be at the top of your list for a relaxing getaway.
You should keep in mind that it's simple to spend a lot of money quickly. You should look for an all-inclusive deal because some hotels charge as much as for a bottle of water. If you plan on imbibing, check to see if alcoholic beverages are included in your package (or be prepared to pay much more than you would in the United States).To illustrate: Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock com
Recreational Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The islands in the Maldives are surrounded by stunning coral reefs teeming with marine life, making them ideal for snorkeling. Some resorts also provide opportunities for scuba diving; the Laamu Atoll, for example, has scuba courses for divers of all skill levels. Make sure to reserve your room ahead of time, especially if you plan on traveling between November and April, the height of the tourist season.
The water in the Maldives has been demineralized during the desalination process, so don't expect the same level of electrolytes that you would in American tap water. You can purchase rehydration salt packets at the airport pharmacy or at some resorts before setting out on an active excursion.photographs by gg-foto / Shutterstock com
Learn More About Malé
While the Maldives' beaches are the main draw for tourists, the nation's capital, Male, provides an interesting cultural diversion. The Old Friday Mosque in Malé is the oldest mosque in the Maldives. It was constructed in 1658, welcomes non-Muslims, and is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture. While many of the museum's pre-Islamic artifacts were destroyed in the 2012 protests, the National Museum in Malé still houses a number of fascinating cultural displays.
The Salt Café in Malé's market area is the perfect place to refuel after a day of sightseeing. It's the perfect place to sit back and plan your next adventure while enjoying fresh seafood and a wide selection of dishes with a Western influence.
Points to Remember
Be respectful of Maldivian law and tradition during your stay on any inhabited island. This includes a ban on boozy beverages, public displays of affection, and less-restrictive attire (no bathing suits, for example). Some tourists may experience culture shock because these regulations are not in place on vacation islands; therefore, it is important to be well prepared.
It's important to note that while the Maldives has relatively lax visa regulations (you can stay for 30 days without a visa), the country's constitution is based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Don't bring any booze and anticipate a thorough bag check. Most resorts across the country sell alcohol, albeit at a steep premium.
Also, "indecent" photography is illegal in the Maldives, so customs officials may seize even photos that seem tame by U.S. standards. S norms (like those found in romance novels or bikini photos). Keep in mind that you won't be able to bring any seashells, coral, or sand with you when you leave the Maldives, so plan accordingly if you want to bring any souvenirs back with you.
Making arrangements for a trip to the Maldives may not be simple, but the rewards are well worth the hassle. If you do your research on hotels, paying special attention to the prices of meals and drinks, you can have the island vacation of a lifetime while still sticking to your budget.
No matter how much money tourists spend, they almost always agree that the experience was well worth it. The cost of paradise is unquantifiable, after all.
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