How to Visit The Maldives On A Budget
The Maldives are a cluster of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean that lay 250 miles south-west of India and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The islands are so picture perfect that even when you are there it is hard to believe it is real. The water is the perfect shade of teal and you can see your feet at the bottom even when you are standing up to your neck in the ocean. The sand is crystal white and the weather is tropically warm which makes for the ultimate island vacation. Only 185 of the Maldivian Islands are inhabited due to lack of land and the island nation is ranked as the third most endangered nation in the world due to climate change, which is creating rapid flooding. Mohamed Nashee, the islands former President has famously stated, “If carbon emissions continue were to stop today, the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years. If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years.”
Although climate conditions are not on their side, the Maldivian government is working hard to save their beautiful country. Now they are working on creating floating islands to save their country as well as trying to eliminate all of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2019.
The Maldives are paradise. With a huge growth in tourism the islands are housing more and more resorts. Over 100 of the 185 inhabited islands are resort islands, most of which only have one resort, which makes for the ultimate island holiday. Chances are, if you are visiting one of the private island resorts, you will have to take a flight on a Seaplane with Trans Maldivian Airways.
With such beautiful resorts you may think that in a trip to the Maldives would cost a fortune and while you can easily spend thousands on airfare and resorts there is a budget way to visit without sacrificing luxury.
Jeff and I visited this past April and didn’t break the bank. There is one island that houses the countries only airport, which is just a 10-minute ferry ride to Male, the nations capital. There are a few local islands that have plenty of budget hotels. The ferry from the airport to Male is less than $1 USD.
The island of Maafushi is a local island that is about an hour-long ferry ride from Male. There is one ferry to and from Maafushi everyday. You can call any of the hotels on Maafushi and they will gladly provide you with all the information you need to get there. The ferry to Maafushi leaves Male at 3pm everyday and a return ferry departs Maafushi to Male at 7am everyday. the ferry from Male to Maafushi is only $3 USD one way.
The Beachwood Hotel is a great place to stay on Maafushi and runs about $90 a night. It is the only hotel with a pool on the island and they have a small van to drive you to the ferry or even to the beach. Because the Maldives are a Muslim nation there is no alcohol allowed on local islands. If you stay at a resort they do serve alcohol, but with such beautiful beaches the absence of alcohol wasn’t missed. Also, because the country is so conservative, the beaches on the local islands are sectioned off so that tourist can enjoy the beach with privacy and feel free to wear swimsuits and bikinis.
Check out our review of The Beachwood Hotel!
The local people on Maafushi Island are extremely friendly and helpful. You can walk around the whole island in about 20 minutes and see a glimpse into the local lifestyle. The Beachwood hotel also offers night fishing with the locals and was a great way to experience life on an island. Jeff had so much fun he decided to go twice and even caught a barracuda! The next day the chef at our hotel cooked up one of the big fish for us and it tasted amazing!
Overall our trip was perfect and we can’t wait to go back and enjoy more of the island life. Without airfare our whole trip cost us way less than we had anticipated and it was worth every penny! Don’t miss out on a chance to see this beachy nation!
As a maturing women, Marina has dedicated her life to travel and new experiences. After working a 9-5 cubical lifestyle, Marina sold everything she owned, left her job and begun a new life with her boyfriend and travel companion, Jeff Johns. Together they relocated to Phuket, Thailand and founded Latitude 34 in which they seek to share their alternative lifestyle with the world.
Marina is a Visual Journalism graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography where she studied photography, videography and ultimately caught the travel bug. Through creating several international documentaries, Marina realized there was more to the world than work and wanted something more.