Maldives Travel Guide and Tips for First-Timers

Do you want to visit the Maldives Islands but don’t know where to start planning your trip? I have been through it! So to lend a hand, here I leave you our super travel guide to the Maldives Islands for free, where you will find all the information you need to organize your trip in a simple and entertaining way.

My aim with this comprehensive travel guide to the Maldives is to inspire you to make this travel dream come true, ensure the best possible value for money and encourage you to explore the Maldives in your own way. I made my first trip after spending several months backpacking in Thailand, and I realized that although the Maldives Islands are apparently an expensive and exclusive destination, they are also within reach of more limited budgets.

From my trip, I brought back incredible memories. Apart from enjoying paradisiacal beaches, I met wonderful people, discovered a little more about the culture of this country, about its gastronomy and its customs. If you also want to live this experience, this is my travel guide to the Maldives, a paradise lost in the Indian Ocean.

How to get to the Maldives as a tourist?

Many travel guide to the Maldives don’t reveal that this is one of the easiest countries to enter. The tourist visa is given to ANYONE, wherever he may be, upon arrival at any of the country’s international airports, usually the one in its capital, Male.

This visa is free and allows a stay of 30 days. The only requirements are to have a passport with at least six months of validity (although on the official website they say 1), a hotel reservation, a ticket to exit the country, and to be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to stay this time in the country (this was never asked of me anywhere).

Important: The Maldives immigration has the capacity to extend or shorten the tourists’ stay, so to speak.

Language and money in the Maldives

The official language of the Maldives is Divehi. But it is important to know, a good part of the population, especially those who work with tourism, speak English very well.

The official currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufia, but dollars are accepted almost everywhere, especially at the resorts.

If you stay at a resort, you will not need to change currencies when you are there, and it is possible to pay for everything with dollars or credit cards.

On the other hand, if you visit the local islands, as I did, you should take some local coins and dollars. For this, it is possible to withdraw local currencies at the airport and also on the local islands, as most of them already have ATM machines available.

Best Time to go to the Maldives

The best time to visit the Maldives is between the months of December to April, a period that comprises the driest time of the year.

Although the temperature is basically hot all year round due to the privileged location very close to the equator, the monsoon regime can be quite inconvenient in the Maldives, making the months of May to October not so attractive for tourism.

During these months, rainfall is usually quite high, and it’s good to know that the monsoon peaks in June. The amount of rain depends on the area you intend to visit, but during the monsoons, it is normal for it to rain every day and for a good part of the day.

Considering that this is a destination with a focus on beaches and nature, it is not worth taking a risk and going in months outside the dry season, even though the prices charged in resorts are much more attractive in the rainy months.

How many days to stay in the Maldives

Regarding the number of travel days dedicated to the Maldives, I consider it to be a very personal decision, especially with regard to costs.

However, my opinion is that it is worth planning at least seven days in the Maldives and, if possible, ten or more. If you are planning an economical trip to the Maldives, it is worth booking at least ten days to enjoy the best the country has to offer and visit at least two islands.

I stayed for 11 days, visited three different islands, and I can say that I would stay another week in peace. I can assure you that boredom is something you won’t feel there, as there is so much to see and do, and you can plan different activities every day.  

How to move around the Maldives

There are several forms of transport in the Maldives to reach the islands of interest, and it all depends on your time and financial availability.

Those staying in resorts generally choose to travel by hydroplane, and the ticket can be booked through the resorts or through the Maldivian airline, which offers short flights to get around the islands. These flights cost between 300 to 1000 dollars per person depending on the distance of the island from the capital and the luxury of the resort.

The resorts closer to Male, the country’s capital, offer fast boats as a means of transport between the airport and the hotel, and prices vary between 100 and 400 dollars per person.

If you’re planning to stay on local islands, it’s worth knowing that to get around the Maldives economically, you’ll have two options: ferry boats and speed boats. Both options are widely used by locals as means of transport between islands, and the choice between them will depend on the time available and the financial availability for your trip.

What to wear

This is very important, and I had to include it in this travel guide to the MaldivesThe local islands have Islam as their official religion, and it is forbidden to wear clothes that show a lot of body and clothes that show cleavage, but these restrictions do not apply to resorts, where it is possible to dress and behave as in any other country. 

What to wear in resorts

For women who will visit Resorts in the Maldives, I suggest taking light, long and short dresses, charming beach gowns, shorts, skirts, light blouses with long sleeves, and of course beach clothes.

Dismiss high heels, excessive makeup, and excessive concern for your appearance. Take it in your suitcase, relaxation, and lightness.

For men visiting Resorts, it is worth taking light shorts, t-shirts, shirts for more elegant dinners, light fabric pants, and of course beach clothes. Also, don’t forget your beach hat and sunscreen.

What to wear on the local island 

For men, shorts and t-shirts are the best options to pack. Avoid tank tops and walking the islands without a shirt or with shirts with transparent fabric.

Attention is primarily focused on women, which is why I recommend that you pack baggy shorts, knee-length or long dresses, baggy skirts at knee-length or long, looser t-shirts and blouses.

Avoid transparencies, necklines, and short clothes at all costs. If the outfit leaves the shoulder exposed, cover yourself with a scarf and do not walk around in a bikini or with your lap exposed outside the bikini areas.

Where to stay in the Maldives

Lodging in the Maldives is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country, and whoever has never dreamed of staying in one of those bungalows on top of the turquoise blue water should throw the first stone in their life!

And no wonder, because the structure of the Maldives resorts is really impressive and different from all other travel experiences in the world. Whether for honeymoons or family travel, there are plenty of sensational resorts in the Maldives.

Staying in resorts in the Maldives

If you plan to stay in hotels, schedule a budget of $50 to $300 a night in sand villas and $120 to $500 a night in overwater bungalows. It’s not cheap, but those who visit say it’s worth every penny, and to do your research, you can click here.

It’s worth splitting your stay in more than one resort (and therefore more than one island) if you plan to stay a week or more.

If possible, try to combine resorts on the same atoll or at least the same region of the Maldives to make it easier to move between them. However, it is normal to have to return to Male and from there take transport to the other island when planning to visit more destinations in the Maldives.

Accommodation in Local islands

The Maldives resorts are amazing. However, it is important to tell you that the Maldives is not just about resorts and that it is possible to explore the country and make a SENSATIONAL trip there, staying in local islands and simple and charming guesthouses.

For this type of trip, expect to pay between $60 to $200 a night. As earlier said, there are about 1200 islands in the Maldives, among which at least 40 are local islands with infrastructure for tourism. And as hard as it is to believe, most of these islands are super paradise and with super crystal clear water!

Travel Tips to the Maldives

  • When you look for the accommodation, look at the small print carefully, and check what is included or not in the price. This is because the transfer from the island airport to the accommodation is not usually included. Sometimes the transfer can be more expensive than the accommodation!
  • Book an all-inclusive resort, as I indicated in the previous tip, transfers are very expensive, and if you need to move to another island to buy in the supermarket or eat in a restaurant, in the long run, it will be terribly expensive.
  • If you are going to snorkel, bring your goggles, snorkel, and fins. Even though you will be given at the hotel and say that they have cleaned it, don’t trust it!
  • Wear some booties even if it seems that the beaches are all sand. If you go deep into the water, there is usually coral that can cut you.
  • Buy everything you need and put it in your suitcase. If you need to buy something, you will surely have to change the island, and as I have already told you, the transfer between the islands is very expensive.
  • Bring a lot of protective burning. The Maldives sun is very strong.
  • Finally, I could say that the Maldives is like “the Canary Islands of India.” If you place them on a map, you will see that it is as-is. And what does it mean? Well, they share many customs, and among them, the most remarkable one I could say is that they hardly understand food without spices. You are warned! They add spicy seasoning to everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.

Therefore, if you don’t like spicy, one of the travel tips to the Maldives to keep in mind when is that before each meal, you emphasize 70 times that you want “zero spice” in the food. Repeat it until they laugh because they will do what they are used to.


I hope that that this travel guide to the Maldives will help plan your trip. There are many beautiful things to see in the Maldives. And if you like paradisiacal beaches, abundant marine life, and tranquility, you can be sure that the Maldives will be a perfect destination for you, whether traveling alone, with small children, with friends, or even in a sporty style trip.