Destination travel guide for Maldives
Maldives is an island nation of a total 1190 islands, formed in 26 natural atolls. Located in the Indian Ocean, south-west of Trivandrum, India and east-west of Sri Lanka (approximately 1 hour flight from Colombo or Trivandrum). The closest neighbors are India and SriLanka.
The Capital of the Maldives is Male' pronounced "Ma-ley". The population is about 70,000 and is home for almost one-forth of the total population of the country. This is the base for all the economic activities. The city also has a few places of historical interest.
Being one of the world's best holiday destination, most major carriers have regularly scheduled flights from top cities in different continents like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Malaysian Airlines, etc.
Most, if not all, sockets use standard UK 3 pin flat plugs. The electrical current is 220 – 240 volts. Resorts will usually have adaptors available but it would be good to notify ahead of time as well by informing your Destination Specialist.
Most 5* properties have free WiFi in public areas and in the accommodations. Other properties charge for it and have internet cards available for sale at the resort. Feel free to ask your Destination Specialist to verify for you.
It is illegal to bring alcohol into the country. Resorts have special permits to serve these beverages and most resorts have premium brands from all the over the world.
Being a tropical country with a fairly consistent climate the entire year, the water temperate is usually a balmy 28° – 30°C throughout. Perfect swimming temp any time of the year!
There isn’t a specific age being implemented at the resorts but as rule of thumb, since 18 year olds and above are considered adults, if the parents give their consent, they will be able to drink alcoholic beverages.
As much as possible, your resort will whisk you right away to their island as soon as you land but depending on the proximity of your chosen property there may be some waiting time involved.
Speedboat transfers are the best option for people who have no time to waste or are on shorter vacation days since they have their own transfers that can get you – depending on guest arrivals, there might be a wait time of 20 – 30 minutes, but that rarely happens.
Seaplane transfers may have a wait time of up to an hour depending on arrivals as well since they group guests going to certain atolls together based on their international flight arrival or departure.
Yes, generally it is 5kg for carry on and 20kg for checked-in luggage. No single bag should weigh more than 32kg. A fee of US$4++ will be charged for each extra kg above the allowable limit.
In some cases, your luggage may be bumped off due to luggage limitations on a certain flight and for safety purposes but rest assured that the seaplane carrier will deliver it via the next available flight.
No. Seaplanes only operate during daylight hours usually between 6am – 4pm. If your international flight arrives before/after the operating hours, you will need to stay overnight in a nearby hotel and get the earliest flight out the next day. Please make sure to coordinate with your Destination Specialist regarding your transfers.
There are 3 ways to get to your resort. A) speedboat transfer for nearby resorts mostly located in the South and North Male atoll, B) seaplane transfer for other outlying islands and C) domestic flight + speedboat transfer for resorts found at the southern or northern most part of the country.
In essence, yes, but only to very nearby islands for a local island tour or sandbank dining or picnics. Logistics wise, it won’t be very easy as the islands are very far from each other and it will be very expensive to hire private speedboats to go from one island to another.
Resorts have a lot of excursions available (complimentary or paid) for the adventure enthusiasts! You can visit a nearby local island so you can see their lives first hand and buy souvenirs while you’re at it, go on a sunset cruise or a dolphin cruise, go on guided snorkeling trips to the best reefs, go whale shark or wreck diving, go night or big game fishing, and more! Feel free to ask you Destination Specialist for a list of excursions and activities for the resort you are staying at so you can plan your holiday in advance.
A valid passport, sun block, summer clothes, flip flops, and a camera are all you need! There’s no need to bring shoes since you won’t be wearing them once you’re at the resort. Fancy dinners may call for more than your swim wear so do pack a couple of casual clothes. Night time strolls along the beach may get a little nippy so bring a shawl or light jacket if you must. But overall just remember that the Maldives is a tropical country and you are on an island getaway so kick off your shoes, bum under the sun, and have the holiday of your life!
We know that a lot of things can happen from the time you book your holiday to the actual date so whenever you’re travelling, it would be a good precaution to have travel insurance. Most credit card companies have affordable options so feel free to call your bank to ask about those.
No. The tap water is not potable. Bottled mineral water is commonly used for drinking and is available in all the stores.
If you are taking maintenance medication, we suggest that you bring them to be safe. There are 2 major hospitals in Male for emergencies and most over the counter medicines are easily found within the city.
Almost all resorts have in-house or on-call general physicians to address minor health concerns.
There are no special health requirements required to enter the Maldives unless if you are arriving from a Central African or South American country where yellow fever is endemic. In which case, you will be required to present an international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever.
You may check the CDC map here if you are required to present or not: http://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/maps/
No, it will not be. Just please inform your Destination Specialist of your specific allergies so these can be communicated to the resort ahead of time and they can make special arrangements for you if your condition calls for it.
Almost all the resorts have a wide variety of vegetarian options on their menu but, as of this writing, only Atmosphere Kanifushi has a standalone, dedicated special restaurant called “Just Veg” for vegetarian guests.
Although the Maldives is a Muslim country and a lot of Muslims work at the resorts, not all food are prepared halal since majority of them are exported from non-halal slaughterhouses. The best thing to do is to inform your Destination Specialist about your special requirement so they can pass the information to the resort and the resort can prepare. Most 5* resorts will have no issue with requests such as these. Note that it would be better to be on ala carte meals since buffet meals will be very difficult to control.
The Maldives is a melting pot of international cuisines! Most resorts have main restaurants that offer different cuisines from major countries and theme nights within the week for variety. Some properties have world-class specialty restaurants of the most popular cuisines such as Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, European, and more!
At OV Holidays, all our packages include meals for convenience and to maximize value for our discerning clients. Majority of the packages we quote are on breakfast only (unless it’s an all-inclusive property) but feel free to ask your Destination Specialist for other meal plans such as half board (breakfast & dinner) or full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) to find out which meal plan works best for your preference and budget.
Ooredoo and Dhiraagu, the local telecom companies, have stalls outside the arrival area – between the international and domestic terminals. You can get a data sim for 2-3 USD then you just add an internet package to it.
There are private lounges available for a fee. You may find detailed information here: http://www.macl.aero/plus/P_LOUNGES/8
Also, if you are travelling via seaplane, most 5* resorts have free private lounges for their guests.
No, there is no free WiFi at the airport. However, there are private lounges at the airport that have WiFi access along with other services.
No, unfortunately, there is no business center at the airport but private lounges offer fax services and have internet access.
You will be met by our airport representative, holding a board with your name on it, at the arrival area. They will then assist you with your luggage and take you to your resort transfer area. They will be waiting for you on your departure as well.
No. You will be issued a free 30-day tourist visa upon arrival for all nationalities as long as you have the following: - valid passport, roundtrip ticket, booking confirmation letter or funds enough to cover your expenses.
Yes, we want you to have a hassle-free vacation so we have included all transfers in our packages for your convenience.
Dhivehi is the national language of the country but English is widely used and understood. Shops and most establishments will have local script with English translations written.
Definitely. All major credit cards are accepted in the Maldives. It’s possible to have a cashless holiday in your resort since all your incidentals are tallied at the end of your trip and paid using your credit card.
Unfortunately, traveler’s cheques are NOT accepted at any bank or resort in the Maldives.
ATMs are only found on the main island of Male and on-site at the airport. ATMs are not found outside Male. If you expect to use your ATM card in Male, make sure to call your bank beforehand and put a travel alert on it so it doesn’t get blocked.
Upon arrival at the airport, there is a local bank that can exchange your currency to USD. Most resorts are also capable of exchanging your currency. However, not all foreign currencies are accepted, please check the link for the complete list: http://www.bankofmaldives.com.mv/exchange-rates
The local currency in the Maldives is called Rufiyaa (Rf) but almost all tourist establishments accept US Dollars. USD is also the most used currency at the resorts so there’s really no need to convert to Rufiyaa plus converting unused local currency before you leave may just take up your time.
The dry months of December to April are the best period for sun-lovers and beach bunnies. Take note that this is peak season for the resorts so prices will be relatively higher.
The months of May to November are considered low season due to the southwestern monsoon but you will get the best rates. Take note that this period will be cloudier with higher chances of rainfall but better visibility for divers, water clarity for snorkelers, and best waves for surfers.
The Maldives is +5 from GMT. Some resorts follow a local “island time” though to maximize the daylight.