- Get in the water!
Whether scuba diving, or snorkeling, I recommend spending a majority of your time in the Maldives wet. The pristine turquoise waters is what draws people from all over the world to this island paradise, and it’s where you should spend most, if not all, your time while in the Maldives. Especially if you love observing marine life: the visibility is insane so bring your own snorkel or rent one from your resort and you’ll be amazed at all of the different colorful fish and coral you’ll see.
- Take a sunset catamaran cruise.
Renting a catamaran to cruise around the island of Hulhumale at sunset was the best decision I made in the Maldives. It was my favorite activity and the best of all my Maldivian memories. The view was incredible, the company was unbeatable, and the fact that we spotted an entire pod of dolphins after only fifteen minutes made the entire thing feel almost too good to be true. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and one I’ll be trying to replicate for the rest of my life.
- Try the local cuisine.
Maldivian food definitely centers around fish and coconut – similar to many island nations – and yet it’s unlike any I’ve ever tried. My favorite dish was also the dish I felt I was least likely to enjoy: it was a mixture of coconut roti (a sort of thicker, Asian-style tortilla), mashuni (shredded, dried tuna), and dhiyaa hakuru (similar to honey). Trust me, I know it sounds like a weird and almost disgusting mixture to anyone with a more Western palette, but I couldn’t stop mareveling, even as I was eating it, at how delicious it was! Don’t leave the Maldives without giving it a chance.
- Spend time on the local islands.
Most people come to the Maldives and only ever spend time on one of the many resort islands. While the resorts are some of the best in the world, and the islands themselves are breath-taking, you get no real understanding of what life is like for local Maldivians. There are a number of local islands you can visit, but the easiest and most accessible are Male and Hulhumale. Of the two Hulhumale is the more beautiful, but Male is still worth the visit just to see what it looks like when you cram almost 200,00 people onto an island that is only 2.2 sq miles – it’s pretty interesting to say the least. If you do spend some time on Hulhumale (and you should) be sure to stay at the Island Beach House Hotel. It has the friendliest, most welcoming staff; An amazing cook for their on-site restaurant; And unbeatable views of the entire island and the ocean from their rooftop.
Whether on a stay at one of the top resorts, on a room with a butler, on an over-water villa, on a spa treatment, on a catamaran cruise, or anything else your heart desires, let yourself splurge at least once during your stay in the Maldives. It’ll make your trip unforgettable, and let’s be honest… you deserve it! Plus, I really do believe that there isn’t anywhere better in the world to spend more money than you usually would, because in the Maldives, it’s unlikely you’ll regret it. Everything you can do and everywhere you stay in this beautiful island paradise is worth every penny.
My recommendations for a resort to stay at:
If you’re going with your sweetheart: Cocoon resort is the best place to stay. Few children and families and a higher price make this resort perfect for those looking for a luxurious, romantic getaway. From your first step onto the seaplane (the only way to reach the island from the airport) to the moment you leave you’ll be sure to feel as if you’re being spoiled. The staff at Cocoon are there to make sure that your trip is just as you always imagined, and will go out of their way to fulfill any request you might have from a sunset dinner on the beach, to a special celebration of an anniversary or birthday.
For those who want a luxurious Maldivian vacation without having to pay a luxury price: Summer Island Resort is the perfect choice. This resort offers all the same luxury amenities as the pricier resorts in the Maldives, but at a much more reasonable price. The water is just as turquoise and clear. The marine life is just as varied. And from the spa to the restaurants, the over-water villas and the variety of watersport activities they offer, you’ll be sure to have the ideal island paradise vacation you’ve always dreamed of.