Maldives is definitely a paradise on Earth! I just returned from this exotic country and I have madly deeply fallen in love with it. Be it people or be it the blue clear ocean, I loved everything about this country. The capital city Male is the largest and busy city in Maldives.
I traveled solo to this heaven and unlike the notion that Maldives is all about couples and honeymoon, I really had a great time as a solo traveler. People went out of their way to help me out and take care of me. I really had a fabulous time here.
How to get there?
Velana International Airport is the biggest airport in the city of Male. There are frequent flights between Velana and India. Air India and Indigo airline providers offer flight tickets for as cheap as INR 15000.
Note: There are around 12 airports in Maldives.
Stay & Getting to the resort island
Maldives has many resort islands. I strongly believe that if you are in an exotic location like Maldives, then you got to experience staying at an exotic resort island. But these resort islands are expensive. I found a way of staying at one of these resort islands without shelling a bomb of USD 1200 per night. Read my detailed blog post here. In a nutshell, I stayed at Ellaidhoo Resort by Cinnamon for two nights I was there.
The only way to get to these resort islands are either by sea plane or by speedboat. The speedboat is not included in the stay package. For me it was an additional cost of USD 202. There are counters set up for each resort island at the Male airport, and the resort time the speed boat or the seaplane based on the flight arrival time. This means one can be transferred to the resort island on the same day as the arrival date. This needs to be discussed with the resort staff during booking.
At Male, I stayed at Nap Corner in Flamingo, Male for two nights. It is very similar to a dorm and the cost for one night is USD 25. It is a great stay for short period of time.
Currency exchange & ATM
There are many money changers in Artificial beach area in Male city. It is a bit hard to convert INR into USD/Maldivian Rufiyaa. Not all money changers accept INR.
There are plenty of ATMs at the airport as well as around the city, so there is no stress about carrying cash around.
Note: Almost all of them including the taxi drivers accept USD.
Local SIM card
The local SIM card for 4 GB (7 days) is USD 15 and 20 GB (7 days) is USD 20.
Generally resort islands have plenty of activities to do. Ranging from lawn tennis to table tennis, the resort had it all.
But Maldives is all about water and the ocean. So, water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving are a must. I dived three times at North Ari Atoll and still craved for more dives. Read my detailed posts about diving in House Reef and the Manta Ray Exploration.
- Flights return = INR 15539 = USD 216.48
- Ellaidhoo Resort Water bungalow = INR 22352 = USD 311.39
- Ellaidhoo Resort Standard = INR 10167 = USD 141.64
- Nap Corner for two nights = USD 50
- 3 dives = USD 162
- Equipment hire = USD 48
- Boat = USD 45
- Speedboat = USD 202
- Taxi = Maldivian Rufiyaa 220 = USD 14.28
- Taxi = USD 5
- Food Thai restaurant = Maldivian Rufiyaa 340 = USD 22.06
- Resort Food = USD 100
- Groceries = Maldivian Rufiyaa 500 = USD 32.45
Total expenses = USD 1350.3