Chances are you fell in love with the Maldives after scrolling through Instagram. The private villas, white-sand beaches, and gorgeous sunsets make the South Asian island nation a popular vacation destination, especially among honeymooners. From exploring the depths of the sea to relaxing at island spas, the Maldives is a tropical paradise, that’s super isolated, and you have to visit this destination at least once. Here’s everything you need to know before your Maldives vacation.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit the Maldives are from November to April. While the island nation is sunny all year round, there is a dry and wet season. This is also the busiest time of year, so hotels are expensive. May to October is the rainy season and it’s popular with surfers because the waves are bigger and the swells are better.
How to Get Around
Walking is the best way to get around the island. Malé, the capital, is about 2.2 square miles, so whichever resort you stay at will be walkable. Island-hopping is possible, but the ferry network isn’t extensive. If you’re traveling by yacht, you’ll have an easier time island-hopping.
Where to Stay
Adaaran Prestige Water Villas All Inclusive
This 5-star hotel located in Raa Atoll is an all-inclusive and there’s a private beach and full-service spa. The water villas with sun decks and private jacuzzies set the hotel apart from other resorts. There are also four amazing restaurants located at the resort.
Anantara Veli Maldives Resort
Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, a 5-star hotel located in Anantara Veli, is one of the few adults-only resorts in the Maldives. The resort has three restaurants, a dive center that offers scuba and surf lessons and diving safaris, an infinity pool, an open-air cinema, and a spa.
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
Located at Veligandu Island, North Ari Atoll, this 4.5-star resort has a full-service spa and two restaurants, one of which has all-you-can-eat buffet-style meals. There are five different villas to choose between, each of which offers private spaces with premium amenities.
What to Do
It wouldn’t be a Maldives vacation if you didn’t get some beach time in and when it comes to beaches, the island nation delivers with white sands and turquoise water. Many resorts have their own private stretches of sand and some even have beaches. While there are public beaches on some of the Maldivian islands, you must be covered because wearing revealing clothing is illegal. There are few beaches where visitors can wear typical bathing suits.
While Malé is one of the world’s smallest capitals at just 2.2 square miles, it’s filled with attractions including Republic Square, The National Museum, and Sultan Park. Republic Square has the nations’ largest Maldivian flag and is a popular meeting spot among locals and The National Museum has coins, regal objects, jewelry, and thrones. Sultan Park is great for kids and it features playgrounds, greenery, fountains, and sculptures.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The Maldives is known for its clear water and marine life, making it a fantastic spot for scuba diving and snorkeling. Many of the resorts have reefs that visitors can swim to from the beach and some offer snorkeling excursions. Get ready to see tons of fish and sea life while on your water adventures.
What to Eat
It comes as no surprise that fish is a staple in this island nation. Tuna is the most popular and it can be prepared sundried, cured, smoked, or cooked. It’s also in many of the local dishes like tuna curries, bajiya (a savory pastry), and rihaakuru (a thick brown paste) used to flavor many dishes. Other popular fishes are wahoo, scad, and mahi-mahi.
When it comes to curries Maldives has ones with fish, chicken, or vegetables. One of the nation’s signature dishes is mas riha which consists of tuna, coconut milk, chilies, and peppers served with rice or flatbread.
This coconut and sweet cassava cake literally melts in your mouth and it’s loved by locals and travelers alike. It’s specially made during Ramadan and its ingredients include coconut, sugar, and jasmine flower water.