Explore the Maldives, arguably the closest place to paradise with its over-the-ocean bungalows, luxurious experience, and top-service. There’s more than just a relaxing vacation to expect when you travel to Maldives. There’s adventure, culture, and charm on the other islands to experience.
1. Experience City Life on Malé
The place to visit in Malé: Old Friday Mosque (from 1656!)
Many travelers usually bypass Maldives’s capital, Malé, to get to their resort or hotel as soon as possible after a long flight. But those who do visit other islands highly recommend visiting Malé and see the “real” Maldives away from the guest-congested island resorts. Denser than you can imagine and buzzing with activity, visitors can feel the city’s heartbeat as they explore the quirky island full of tall colorful buildings, cafes, and shops.
2. Experience Nature on Nautilus
The place to visit in Nautilus: The Nautilus Maldives
Just 30 minutes away from the airport via seaplane, travelers can see the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which attracts the largest manta-ray population in the world. From June to November, you can watch zooplankton arrives in hundreds and observe them floating around. Besides nature, Nautilus also offers a private resort of 26 all-suite and beach and ocean houses where guests can feel as if they’re on their own island.
3. Experience on a Budget on Maafushi
The places to stay: Maafushi guest house rentals
Considering that the minimum amount to stay at a Maldives resort is $350 per night and can reach over $4000 a night, not everyone can afford a luxurious vacation on the coveted islands. But Maafushi is one of the islands that budget travelers can consider.
Though there’s no resort or hotel on the island, visitors can enjoy the recovered life on Maafushi after the tragic 2004 tsunami. There are still beautiful beaches with palm trees and the crystal blue ocean that you can visit when you rent one of the local guesthouses. Enjoy quiet island life and frequent the cute coffee shops along the shore.
4. Experience Luxury on Kuredu
The place to visit: Kuredu Island Resort and Spa
On the other end of the budget, the self-appointed jewel of the Lhaviyani Atoll, Kuredu, offers an all-inclusive experience as one of the most popular islands with its ubiquitous rows of over-the-water bungalows. Considered the most advanced SCUBA and snorkeling travel destinations, visitors can swim with the fishes (in the good way) and admire ocean life. And, rising above the status quo, Kuredu also has a 9-hole golf course!
5. Experience Hidden Indulgences on Kunfunadhoo Island
The place to visit: Soneva Fushi
Now, for the ultimate, fairy-tale, paradise experience, Kunfunadhoo Island has it all. If you are lucky enough to afford a visit ($28000!) to this island, you won’t be disappointed. The thatched timber entrance is hidden by groves of coconut palm trees. Guests can relax on cocktail decks on stilts above the jungle and appreciate the sounds of ocean waves and sea breeze. Visitors have access to infinity pools, swim up bars, and even an opportunity for a romantic dinner on a private sandbank!