When you think of the most beautiful clear blue waters, stretches of white sand, the Caribbean may come to mind. Nope, I am talking about the incomparable islands of the Maldives. The island country, South of Sri Lanka, is comprised of 1200 islands. Overwater bungalows are most often associated with this tropical paradise. Shortly after my engagement, my then fiancé and I found a very reasonable flight to the Maldives from NYC for $628, which was a steal! Flights to the Maldives can easily run over one thousand dollars. If you’re thinking about planning your dream vacation to the Maldives, here are a few tips to get the most bang for your buck!
- Will the resort require an additional flight on a seaplane or can you arrive via a speedboat? The cost between the two can be drastically more. The resort we stayed at, Cinnamon Dhonveli, required a speedboat transfer which took about 25 minutes and was $300 RT. A seaplane flight may cost anywhere from $400-700 RT. Depending on the time of your arrival in Malé, you may need to spend a night in the capital because your resort transfer via speedboat or sea plane might only operate during certain hours. We arrived late at night and spent the night in a quaint hotel not far from the airport; where we had the fortune of trying delicious Sri Lankan food the first time. Malé is the capital of the Maldives but each resort has its own island.
- Do most resorts have all-inclusive options? Our resort had all-inclusive and a la carte options. We decided to do all-inclusive because it was one less thing we have to budget for once we arrived. All inclusive options are not offered at every resort; it may be more common for a resort to only have breakfast included.
- What are some ways to avoid the high price tag of the resorts? There are local islands which have reasonable guest houses/hotels where the beaches are just as beautiful. However, because the Maldives is a Muslim country, alcohol is not allowed on the local islands. Alcohol is readily available at the resorts because they are privately owned.
- What activities are available on most resorts? Each resort may offer different activities and excursions but there are a few activities which tend to be available on most islands. Our resort offered surfing lessons, paddle boarding, scuba diving, tennis, badminton, jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boating, etc. We took advantage of paddle boarding and scuba diving. Some of the activities were rather expensive so keep that in mind.
- Are overwater bungalows worth it? Hands down the answer is YES!!! The price of overwater bungalows varies from each resort. At Cinnamon Dhonveli, the price of an overwater bungalow was less than $300 per night whereas other resorts may charge $500 or more. Because we were celebrating our honeymoon, the first two nights we were upgraded to the luxury overwater bungalows which were amazing.
I will admit the flight to the Maldives was definitely long but worth every minute. We flew from NYC to Guangzhou China, (15 hour flight), then an additional 4 hour flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka and a final 1.5 hour flight to Male, Maldives. I’d recommend at least a one week stay. Soak up the sun and have fun in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Maldives.