Maldives Travel Guide: For First Time Visitors


One destination, many worlds!

That’s the aptest one-liner a person can describe the Maldives with. 

There is no need for a separate spa treatment in this island nation as this country itself is a huge version of a 5-star spa where you are surrounded by multiple hues of blues all around you wherever you go. An archipelago of over 1190 islands, Maldives is a precious country that attracts millions of tourists from across the world. An amalgamation of luxury, peace, adventure, and nonstop entertainment, this country will really take your breath away. We are usually confused as to where to go for a vacation. However, if you end up choosing the Maldives you will be even more confused by the choices of places it has to offer its guests. It is really difficult to figure out from where to start your tour as there are innumerable sports activities, island tours, and even great hiking trails that go through villages where you get to interact with the native inhabitants. In simple words, there is nothing that can’t be done in this island paradise.

Check how Karteek & Divya’s planned their Maldives honeymoon in Coco Bodhu Hithi Resort.

A melting pot of art, culture, and religion; Maldives is the most sought-after destination for honeymooners, family vacationers, buddies get together, and many others. It has something or the other for everyone who comes to visit. 

Maldives is as fascinating under the ocean as it is above the land. There are millions of species of underwater species waiting to be explored. With an amazing range of watersports activities and endless opportunities, one can never get enough of the activities Maldives has to offer.

In this Maldives travel guide, you will be able to gain some insights into the most famous and also about a few lesser-known attractions of Maldives. By the end of this cumulative guide, you will be able to plan your own vacation as you will have gained the knowledge of where to go, what to do when to go, the procedures to be followed to go to the Maldives being an Indian citizen, etc. 

Let’s check it out!

Best time to visit the Maldives:

This is the first point all of us decide on when we want to travel to a place. 

  • What is the right season to go to that particular destination?
  • Will the climate suit us?

Based on the answers received for these questions your whole schedule and wardrobe for your vacation will be decided. 

So, what is the best time to visit the Maldives from India?

The climate in the Maldives is usually hot and humid. Hence the good time to visit the Maldives is between November and April. The climate at that time will be warm but tropical, with the average high being from  29°C to 31°C and average lows rarely falling below 24°C.

Once you have decided when to go book your tickets as the next step is to apply for your entry permit into the Maldives.

Maldives Visa for Indians:-

The foremost procedure one has to follow is applying for a visa whenever that person is stepping out of his country. However, for the Maldives, it is not necessary to apply for a visa. Maldives Visa is provided on arrival visa for all Indian citizens. You can get it directly at the Maldives airport at no cost. However, make sure that you have all the required documents ready beforehand to make this process as smooth as possible. 

The documents required for verification for a tourist visa are-

  • A valid passport with a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) with at least 6 months validity from the date of visa approval
  • A Pre-paid accommodation booking confirmation slip
  • 2 recent passport size photos complying with the Maldives Immigration passport photo standard.
  • Proof of sufficient bank balance to last for the intended period of stay in the Maldives. I.e about $50 to $100 for each day.
  • Confirmed onward/return tickets 
  • Completed disembarkation approval from the Maldives immigration office
  • Traveller Health Declaration (THD) must be filled and submitted within 24 hours prior to their travel
  • Medical vaccination certificate if applicable. Eg: Yellow Fever, Covid-19

Please note: The maximum number of days you get visa permission is for a 30 days post which you will be asked to return to his country. But if you want to extend your stay, you can apply for a renewal and get a max of 90 days extended stay. However, it is totally up to the immigration officers to grant you the total number of days you are permitted to stay. 

How much does it cost for a Maldives trip:

The cost to visit the Maldives depends on various factors such as 


  • Time of stay
  • Place of stay
  • Duration of stay and so on. 

For a 3 night visit a Maldives trip cost from India per person works out on an average to be:

  • Budgeted stay – approx INR 55,000 (including flights)
  • Resort stays – approx INR 90,000 (including flights)

The break up in INR(approx rates), and are as follows: 

    Airfare (Round trip)       approx. INR 21,000 per person (depending on the travel dates)
      Accommodation      Hotels –  Starting from INR 15,000 per person (including food & transfers)

   Resorts –  Starting from INR 30,000 per person (including food & transfers)

PS: Keep aside some amount for shopping and other expenses not included in the package. 

Best Maldives tourist places:-

This is a tough one to decide. 

Picking a destination for the vacation in itself is hard enough but making an itinerary for a vacation and especially to a place like the Maldives is even harder. However, we have tried our level best to collate and draft all the Maldives tourist attraction places in the Maldives and have classified them based on the purpose they serve.

1.  Places of worship:

  • Huluru Miskiiy or the Old Friday Mosque:  Dating back to 1658 the oldest mosque in the Maldives, Huluru Miskiiy, is constructed using coral stone. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the beautifully engraved scriptures from Quran on the wooden beam in the ceiling, the fine lacquered interiors, and wood carvings add to its stunning architecture.
  • Grand Friday Mosque: The biggest mosque in the Maldives, Grand Friday Mosque built in white marble and a Golden dome is a must-visit for tourists. 5000 people can worship at a time in the main prayer hall which has stunning chandeliers, intricately carved wooden panels, and doors.

  • Kuruhinna Tharaagandu: On Kaashidhoo island lies the remains of a Buddhist monastery that flourished during the 7th and 8th Centuries. The remains of the dwellings of monks, water holes, cowrie shells reveal that this site was once where Buddhism thrived.

  • Medhu Ziyarat: The tomb of the famous Persian, Abdul Barakat Yusuf, who is responsible for converting a Non-Islamic nation to an Islamic nation  is one of the top places to visit in the Maldives

2. Islands of Maldives

With over 1000 islands, you are spoilt for choices. Each island is unique in its own way and has so much to offer. The location from the airport, accommodation, food, facilities, and activities should be kept in mind while selecting the island you would like to visit. 

Must Read: 25 Islands in Maldives

Here’s a brief of some of the popular islands:-

  • Male: You will fall in love with the capital city with its beautiful beaches, various sightseeing places like the Friday mosque, Tsunami Monument, National Museum, a lot of underwater activities and great food
  • Kandolhu: The talcum powder-like sands, coral reefs, crystal clear waters, snorkeling, sunset cruise and stay at the exquisite villas facing the ocean make this an ideal choice for romantics.
  • Biyadhoo: For a relaxed atmosphere amidst lush green vegetation as also snorkeling, scuba diving alongside white tip sharks at Maaya Thila or Manta Rays at Manta Point, and canoe paddling, this is one of the best places in the Maldives for a honeymoon.
  • Kuramathi: If you are in for some adventure along with some couple times,  the island invites you to the infinity pools, water sports, spa for couples, and of course the world-famous overwater villas.
  • Niyama Private Islands: Ideal for family holidays. There are activities for children of all ages and you can chill relaxing in the family-sized pools
  •  Milaidhoo: A small island in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, rich in marine life. Each villa with the traditional Maldivian thatched roof, an overwater restaurant shaped like a Dhoni serving local cuisines attract tourists from afar.
  • Hulhumale Island: An extension of Male,  this man-made island has retained its old-world charm along with modernization. Home to the Golden domed mosque, the white sand beaches, and azure blue waters beckons you to this island where you can explore the local markets, go on a wildlife safari, diving and snorkeling.
  • Alimatha Islands: One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Maldives for its white sandy beaches, rich marine life, windsurfing, and canoeing, the island is home to the world-famous dive site Miyaru Kandu.  You can even go hiking to explore the island 
  • Maafushi Islands: One of the inhabited islands in the Maldives that will throw an insight into the culture of the people. Walk on the streets, visit the markets, lounge in the hammocks, and swim with wild dolphins at one of the most affordable of all the islands.
  •  Vadhoo Islands: Known as the Sea of Stars, this magical island comes alive at night. One of the greatest Maldives attractions, the Bioluminescence phenomenon observed in the sea waters at night when the sea planktons and microorganisms here emit a blue glow at night,  is an unmissable amazing experience.  

3.  Nature Parks of Maldives:

  • Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve: Consisting of 76 inhabited and uninhabited islands, this Reserve is rich in Biodiversity. Baa Atoll has some unique species of flora and fauna such as the Coral reef, mangroves, Seagrass beds. Declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, conservation of marine and economic diversity has transformed it into a famous attraction worldwide.
  • Addu Nature Park: Located at the southern end of the Hithadhoo islands, this park is rich in greenery. The wetlands with the mangroves, cycling routes through the lush green forests, canoeing in the bay are some of the unforgettable experiences you should capture for posterity.

4. Underwater Experiences:

  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Swim with the sea turtles and shoal of fishes and explore the rich underwater world of Maldives. The shallow reefs and crystal clear water makes snorkeling a must-do activity in the Maldives. Dive at Mushimas Mingili Thila, Banana Reef, Lankan Beyru, HP reef, Alia Wreck, and many more famous sites for spotting Manta rays, barracudas, whitetip sharks, Eagle rays, and many more marine life. 
  • Whale submarine: A 45-minute journey in the largest tourist submarine in the world that can carry 50 passengers to a depth of 150 m below the sea. One of the best things to do in the Maldives, each seat has a window through which you can see the coral reef and exotic  marine life such as manta rays and reef sharks in the depth of the ocean
  • Maldives Victory Wreck: For an unforgettable diving experience dive near Hulhule, where the wreck of a Merchant ship Maldives Victory lies submerged in water covered with corals and sponges. You can explore the wheelhouse, deck, and cabin.
  • Banana Reef: Reef so named since it is in the shape of a banana, is the oldest reef renowned all over the world. One of the most popular diving sites in the Maldives, Banana Reef is famous for its overhangs, caves, cliffs, and has its own share of rich marine life.
  • Shark Safari: For an extraordinary day, swim with the huge Whale sharks which are abundant in the Maldives, especially in the South Ari Atoll. Though huge, the Whale sharks are gentle. Go Scuba diving or Snorkelling to have an unparalleled experience of not only encountering whale sharks but also Manta rays, Sea turtles, dolphins.
  •  Dolphin cruise at Gili Lankanfushi: Embark on a  30 minute morning or evening cruise to watch the Spinner Dolphins, the tri-colored dolphins famously found in abundance in the Maldives. The dolphins are so named because they spin laterally in the air and dive in the sea and if you are lucky you can even watch them spin. Do not miss this unique experience.

Other must-see places: 

  • Utheemu Ganduvaru: In the north of Maldives is one of the most revered sites of historical importance, Utheemu Ganduvaru or Utheemu Palace, as is famously known. The hero who liberated the Maldives from the Portuguese, Sultan Mohamed Thankurufaan,  is supposed to have stayed here.  
  • National Museum: A must for history lovers, the three-storeyed building in Sultan’s Park displays armaments and household wares which are over 1000 years old, Royal throne, Jewellery, the country’s first gramophone,  telephone, and many historical artifacts. The 6m-long skeleton of the very rare Longman’s Beaked Whale is its trump card.
  • Overwater Villas: Enjoy a romantic stay perched above water in an Overwater luxurious villa while watching the rich marine life through glass floors while you relax. Walk on the jetty and spot the wildlife in the water, swim in the warm seawater, and gaze at the stars through retractable roofs. The best place in the Maldives for a honeymoon.
  • Sunset Cruise on traditional Dhonis: Enjoy the colorful sunset while sitting on the top deck of a Dhoni (wooden boats) with a glass in hand as you cruise around overwater villas and inhabited islands
  • Parakiting: a fun ride where you wear a parachute and are towed behind a boat. As the boat gathers speed you are lifted into the air, giving a feeling of flying like a bird and you can catch the spectacular views from above.

  • Ride a helicopter: As it is not possible to cover the entire group of islands opt for a spectacular view of this beautiful country from high above riding a helicopter. The white sand, blue azure water, green swaying palms, the orange and pink sunset is a sight to behold. 

  • Dhadimagi Kilhi: The second largest freshwater lake at Fuvahmulah, surrounded by greenery all around and not only famous for boating and swimming but also for fishing. The calm clean water is also used for medicinal purposes.
  • Bioluminescent Beach: At Vaadhoo Island, the sea is filled with microorganisms and sea planktons which emits a blue glow that is visible at night. This Bioluminescent phenomenon makes the beach glow and the beach has earned the name Sea of Stars. An amazing experience and a must-visit place of Maldives for awesome memories.

  • Dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: Lunch or dinner at the world’s first undersea restaurant built 5 m below water is an amazing experience. Located at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, enjoy a blend of local and western cuisine with a 180-degree panoramic view of the coral gardens through glass panels.

  • SEA Underwater Restaurant: Located at Kihavah Huravalhi Island, the underwater restaurant has the world’s first underwater wine cellar. Savor the finest Lobster Salad and Chocolate Bomb while watching the colorful marine life encircling you all around. 
  • Shopping in the Maldives: To carry home memories of your visit, shop at the local markets for the beautiful miniature dhonis, footwear, textiles, sarongs, and many more. The Chaandhanee Magu, Majeedhee Magu,  STO center, are some of the places to buy souvenirs to give to people back home.

Must Read: 15 Exciting Water Sports in Maldives

Maldives Travel Tips:-

The most popular destination for honeymooners and families, Maldives, a paradise on earth beckons you. For one of its kind holidays, plan a visit to this exotic country and carry home some beautiful memories.

Here are a few Maldives trip tips which you need to keep in mind and follow in order to have a worry-free and great vacation. Given it is an international vacation, Maldives honeymoon tips will guide you to be extra careful on what you are taking with you, where you are staying, how you are going, and more.

  1. Ensure that your Passport is valid for six months from the date of departure. 
  2. Keep your prescribed medicines always handy. And also a small first aid kit
  3. Keep all Maldavian emergency contacts handy
  4. Always be aware of your surrounding and be updated with the local news
  5. Always hire a certified guide from an established tour operator
  6. Don’t forget to leave a soft copy of all the documents you are keeping with a family member or a friend so that you can retrieve them if anything goes wrong
  7. Dress modestly since the Maldives is a conservative country. Women are not supposed to expose their arms and legs. Always carry Sarong and a scarf.  Men should not wear shorts. However, you are permitted to wear clothes of your choice in the resorts.
  8. Do not carry prohibitory items such as alcohol and other prohibitory items.
  9. Leave your footwear outside the Place of Worship. Do not enter a mosque or a guest’s house wearing your footwear.
  10. Carry sunscreen lotion wherever you go to protect your skin as the temperature in the Maldives is generally high due to the country lying on the Equatorial belt. Carry a hat too.
  11.  Pack your swimwear as you will be snorkeling or swimming in the ocean 
  12.  The Maldives is quite expensive so do not forget to carry enough money
  13.  Do not forget your camera, preferably waterproof,  to capture memorable moments
  14. Plan your holiday well in advance to get early bird prizes since the Maldives is expensive.
  15. The most important Maldives honeymoon tips are to book the tickets in your maiden names since the change of name in your passport will take time and delay your holiday
  16. One of the tips for the Maldives honeymoon is to inform your resort well in advance. You may be in for some surprise offers.
  17. Check out how far your resort is from the airport. Since airport transfer is very expensive and hotels do not include this in the package. If hotels are booked near Male, then transfer by speed boat which is reasonably charged. However, if the accommodation is far from Male then transfer by the only Seaplane which sometimes is more than the cost of your flight.

Hope this brief Maldives travel guide helped you gain some knowledge on what you can expect and how to go about planning your vacation in the Maldives. The Maldives, with its diverse culture, thrilling watersports, and spectacular tourist places will definitely please every kind of traveler. From exploring thriving Maldivian culture to diving deep into the colorful and wondrous marine life, there are “n” number of unique things to do in the Maldives. 

Do give us a ring if you need any further details or help regarding planning your Maldives holiday. We are at your service!