A completely different side of the Maldives

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The Maldives are a magical place.This beautiful group of islands with beautiful coral reefs is paradise, especially for beach and water sports enthusiasts. It is located in the Indian Ocean, south of India and southwest of Sri Lanka. The Maldives has long been known as the ideal holiday destination where you mainly come to chill and relax on the beach at luxury resorts. This has changed in recent years. Where you were "formerly" bound to the uninhabited islands with only resorts, nowadays you can spend the night on the islands with the locals. 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, but now you can include a more local experience.

Backpacking in the Maldives is not something you immediately think of when planning a backpacking trip. Also not weird since you could not backpack in this beautiful country not so long ago. Since 2009 tourists can visit the local islands. This is also a lot better for the budget. You can travel by ferry between different islands and enjoy the most beautiful beaches in all of Asia  It is possible 
to stay on local islands of Maafushi, Thulusdhoo, Haa Dhaalu, Fuvahmulah, Gan and Guraidhoo. In April 2019 we spent around $ 60 per day (two people, 1 room) including breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Most places we ate were non-western restaurants and we only took the local ferries.

Of course the world under water is something you definitely have to see! There are more than enough places where you can take a wonderful dive. The Maldives are part of a volcanic ridge, which explains the enormous wealth of coral. 

Best time to visit

The Maldives has a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 30 degrees Celsius (86° Fahrenheit) during the day throughout the year. Because of the humidity it can feel very warm and sticky. The number of hours of sunshine and the sea temperature (28 °C / 82° F) is the same the whole year. Dry season is from half December until the half of April. Wet season is from May until the beginning of December. So if you want the best weather you can travel to the Maldives in the months December to April. During this period the sea is also the calmest which makes these months best suited for diving and snorkeling. March and April are the best months for diving or snorkeling because the sea is clearest. Click here for more climate details.

Where to stay  

On the island of Maafushi we recommend Kokaa Maafushi. This hotel features a restaurant, a shared lounge, a garden and a private beach in Maafushi. It is Located on the quiet side of Maafushi. For a day trip we received free snorkel gear, towels and life jackets. You can also borrow bicycles for free.It is an amazing gem and when we stayed here we paid only 60 us dollar per person for 2 nights. On booking.com they receive an average rating of 9.2.

On the island called  Dhiffushi you can find the pension called Crystal Dhiffushi. The staff of this place is so amazing it hard to put it in words. They treated us great and became almost like friends. They offer large and very clean rooms, as well as the bathroom. We had dinner for a couple of nights here and it was delicous and well priced. Also for the room we paid only 40 us dollar per person for 2 nights. On booking.com they get a well deserved rating of 9.6.

Eco travel

There’s little wonder why the Maldives and its inhabitants have started many eco-friendly initiatives. Environmental issues such as rising sea levels because of climate change and coral reef damage are threatening the nation’s 1,200 islands. Now, several resorts are hard at work to keep carbon emissions low like Baros Maldives. It might be hard to look past Baros Maldives’ breath taking over-the-water villas and blissful spa, but this beautiful property on Baros island is more than just a pretty facade. It engages in a big number of eco-friendly practices.

The property’s environmental initiatives include recycling and purifying water for garden irrigation; installing LED lights with lower energy consumption; the utilization of CFC-free air conditioning; the employment of a heat-exchange system to heat bath water; and the use of biodegradable cleaning products. Additionally, to promote the understanding of environmental issues, Baros offers awareness programs, including tours to local villages and uninhabited islands as well as diving and fishing expeditions. On booking.com this amazing resort gets an average rating of 9.4.

This article was last updated on December 17, 2020.