The Maldives, a tropical paradise nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, is a dream destination for many travellers. Comprising 26 atolls and over 1,000 islands, this island nation is renowned for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, abundant marine life, and luxurious overwater villas. The Maldives offers the perfect escape for honeymooners, adventure-seekers, and those simply looking to unwind in a serene and breathtakingly beautiful setting.

As you prepare for your once-in-a-lifetime journey to this idyllic destination, it’s essential to plan and gather information to make the most of your Maldives experience. In this post, we have compiled 11 tips that cover the best time to visit, cultural etiquette, budget considerations, and more. These tips will help you navigate the unique aspects of the Maldives, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty and rich culture of this island paradise.

No time to read now? No problem, save a pin to your Pinterest board for later!

11 Things to Know Before Visiting the Maldives

  • Visit during the dry season
  • Resorts on private islands
  • Whale shark spotting
  • Arrival at Velana International Airport
  • Currency and payments
  • Dress modestly on local islands
  • Alcohol restrictions
  • Tipping etiquette
  • Electrical sockets and adapters
  • Use reef-safe sunscreen
  • Maldives on a budget
  • Before you leave for the Maldives

Where to Stay in the Maldives 

There are so many great places to stay in the Maldives. Whether you choose to visit a local island or one of the more luxurious resorts. 

We stayed at the Mercure Maldives Koodoo Resort and honestly think about how amazing it was every day. (We also got engaged here making it even more special).

The Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is an exclusive and luxurious adults only resort located on Kooddoo Island in the Maldives. Situated on the Indian Ocean, it is a perfect destination for those looking for a tropical paradise getaway with nothing but relaxation. This is exactly why we booked to stay here.

From its stunning beaches to its luxurious villas, this resort delivers a unique experience and one you won’t be forgetting in a hurry. The resort’s facilities include a spa, fitness center, restaurants, and bars, as well as a variety of activities to enjoy.

The hospitality is exceptional at the Mercure Maldives, as well as the amenities, and activities at the resort. It is no wonder why the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is one of the most sought-after resorts in the Maldives.

There are also many great places to stay on the local islands in the Maldives and we absolutely loved Thulusdhoo, enjoying two different accommodations during our stay on the island.

We stayed at Batuta Maldives Surf View and Akiri Surf Residence.

Both of these accommodations were in great locations on the island and the staff were so friendly and accommodating.

1. Visit during the dry season

The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season, which falls between November and April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and warm, with temperatures ranging from 25°C (77°F) to 32°C (89°F). The dry season is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities like snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing. Keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so booking accommodations and flights well in advance is highly recommended. It is also more expensive to visit during the peak season so it is worth keeping that in mind.

2. Resorts on private islands

One unique aspect of the Maldives is that most resorts are situated on their own private island. This means that each resort offers an exclusive and secluded experience, allowing you to truly unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Maldives. Transportation between islands can be limited and expensive so this is worth keeping in mind if you want to stay at a resort. Plan your stay accordingly and choose a resort that offers the activities and amenities you desire.

3. Whale shark spotting

The Maldives is a fantastic destination for spotting whale sharks year-round, especially in the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll (Southern Ari Atoll). These gentle giants can be seen feeding on plankton near the surface, making for an unforgettable snorkeling or diving experience. Be sure to book a guided tour with a reputable operator to ensure a responsible and eco-friendly encounter with these magnificent creatures. 

Aside from swimming with these gentle giants, the snorkelling and scuba diving all across the country is fantastic. We spent time on each of the different islands that we visited and saw everything from sharks, to stingrays, to dolphins, and even turtles. Snorkelling is definitely one of the top things to do in the Maldives due to the wide range fo sealife.

4. Arrival at Velana International Airport

To reach the Maldives, you’ll need to fly into Velana International Airport, located on Hulhulé Island next to the capital island of Male. Also known as Male International Airport. From there, you’ll typically take a speedboat, domestic flight, or seaplane to your resort island. Make sure to coordinate your transfers with your resort, as they can often arrange transportation for you. 

If you are visiting Male, you can take a boat over to the main area in Male if you are having a stop over there. Be aware that there is an army alarm that goes off at 8am, we mistook this for a tsunami alarm and had a little half asleep panic after our late arrival the night before. 

5. Currency and payments

The local currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), but US dollars are widely accepted at resorts and tourist establishments. It’s a good idea to carry some local currency for use on local islands or for tipping. Credit cards are also accepted at most resorts, but it’s wise to carry some cash as a backup.

6. Dress modestly on local islands

As a Muslim country, it’s important to respect the local culture and dress modestly when visiting local islands and Male. Women should cover their shoulders and knees, while men should wear shorts that reach the knee. Swimwear is acceptable at resort islands, where the dress code is more relaxed and on the local islands you will find an area called “bikini beach” that you can sunbathe in your swimwear on.

No time to read now? No worries!

Save on Pinterest to read later!

7. Alcohol restrictions

Alcohol is prohibited on local islands due to Islamic customs, but it is available at resort islands and on liveaboard boats. If you plan to spend time on a local island or in Male, be prepared for a to not drink alcohol whilst you are there. However, most resorts offer a wide selection of alcoholic beverages to enjoy during your stay.

8. Tipping etiquette

Tipping is not mandatory in the Maldives, but it is appreciated. You can tip around 10% of the bill at restaurants or give a small amount to the staff at the end of your stay. Keep in mind that some resorts may include a service charge on your bill, so tipping may not be necessary in those cases.

9. Electrical sockets and adapters

The Maldives uses Type D and Type G electrical sockets, so make sure to bring the appropriate adapters if your devices have different plugs. Type D sockets are primarily used in India, while Type G sockets are common in the United Kingdom. It’s a good idea to carry a universal adapter to ensure you can charge your devices during your stay. We use this adapter so that we always have the right plug for where we are staying.

10. Use reef-safe sunscreen

The Maldives is home to delicate coral ecosystems, so it’s essential to use reef-safe sunscreen to protect marine life. Avoid sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, as they can harm coral reefs and other marine species. Instead, opt for mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are considered safer for the environment.

11. Visiting the Maldives on a budget

Contrary to popular belief, the Maldives can be visited on a budget. Alongside luxury resorts, there are affordable guesthouses and hotels on local islands, which offer a more authentic experience and cost-effective options. Staying on a local island allows you to immerse yourself in Maldivian culture while enjoying the stunning natural beauty of the archipelago.

We stayed on Thulusdhoo when we visited the Maldives which was a short ferry journey from Male and had the most stunning beaches and friendly locals. 

Before You Leave for the Maldives

Before you set off on your way to the Maldives, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip to the Maldives. All of this is discussed in detail below.

How to Get to the Maldives

When you arrive in the Maldives, you will arrive by flying into Male airport. From here, you will need to take a taxi or a boat to the centre of Male or a boat or seaplane out to the island where you are staying.

What to Pack for Your Trip to the Maldives

Given the climate of the Maldives in general, packing for this trip is relatively straightforward. The temperature in the Maldives averages around 28 degrees c.

When it comes to the weather, the Maldives is a tropical country meaning it has two seasons: wet season and dry season. During your visit to the Maldives, it may rain, and if you happen to visit during the wet season, it will rain a lot. Make sure you pack a waterproof or a poncho for your days out adventuring to avoid getting too drenched.

As a general rule for packing for the Maldives, it is best to think “layers”. Pack a few light layers of clothing, including a jumper and a waterproof, and wear as many layers as you want according to the weather.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the Maldives, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Photography Equipment

Main Photography CameraSony A7v Mirrorless Camera and  Sony A7iii Mirrorless Camera

MicrophoneShure VP83 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Main LensTamron 17-28mm f/2.8

Zoom LensTamron 70-180mm f/2.8

Camera TripodZOMEI Z669C Camera Tripod

Gorilla PodJOBY JB01507-BWW GorillaPod

Action CameraGoPro Hero 9 Black and Insta 360 One RS

Drone CameraDJI Mavic Pro 3

Camera BagWandrd PRVKE 41L and The Nest by Tropicfeel

Phone TripodManfrotto MKPIXICLAMP-BK, Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clamp

Sturdy Phone Tripod & Selfie StickATUMTEK 61″ Selfie Stick Tripod, Sturdy Phone Tripod Stand with Wireless Remote

Hard DrivesLaCie Rugged Mini, 5TB, 2.5″, Portable External Hard Drive

SSDSanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Portable NVMe SSD

Travel AdapterWorldwide Travel Adapter Universal Travel Plug with 4 USB Ports+Universal AC Socket

mercure maldives

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Maldives

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, our tips for things you should know before visiting the Maldives. We can’t recommend booking a trip here enough, you will have the experience of a lifetime.If you are visiting this incredible resort and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience.

Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

This article may contain affiliate links that provide us with a small income. For more information read our Affiliate page.

Pin it for later!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.