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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Maldives Travel Guide

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju
Maldives Islands is an archipelago comprising 1,190 low-lying coral islands scattered across the equator. Their pure white sands are fringed with green palms and surrounded by some of the clearest water in the world. Each resort sits on its own island, so it's important to pick the right place & also right time to visit Maldives. In this post, I will give all the information required, for planning a trip to the Maldives.



Best time to Visit?
  • Peak Season (Dec 1st - Jan 10th): Almost 50% hike in Hotel Prices compared to Low Season.
  • Moderate Season (Jan 10th - Apr 30th and Nov 1st - Dec 1st): 30% Hike in Hotel prices compared to Low Season.
  • Low Season (May 1st - Oct 31st): Best time to visit, as hotel prices are very low. Even though this season is termed as wet season, there will be sun for almost 6-8 hours in a day (may be more 8 hours). 

Travel Cost?
For 3 days and for two people, cost will be around INR 1,00,000 - INR 1,50,000 (Depends on Hotel & Season).
  • To & Fro Flight from Kochi : INR 12,000 - INR 20,000 per person.
  • Hotels: Average INR 20,000 - 40,000 per day (Double Occupancy).
  • Boat Transfers: INR 12,000 - INR 15,000 per peson round trip. (If applicable).
  • Sea Plane Transfers: INR 15,000 - INR 25,000 per person round trip (If applicable).
  • Activities Cost: INR 10,000 - INR 20,000 Per person.

Flight Details?
  • There are direct flights from Trivendrum, Kochi, Bangalore to Maldives (Male).
  • Spicejet offering the cheapest fares among all the operators.
  • Apart from Indian operators, International operators like Srilankan airline, Emirates offering connecting flights(Via Colombo) from many Indian cities to Male.  


Visa Details?
  • Visa On Arrival for Indian Citizens (No Visa Cost).
  • Should posses a Valid Passport for the duration of your stay is required by Indian nationals.
  • Confirmed reservation of the hotel or Name of the hotel where you are to stay.
  • Valid Tickets for Onward destination or confirmed return tickets.
  • Have enough funds to cover the expenses for duration of the stay in Maldives. (US$100 + $50 dollars per day) or a confirmation of reservation in a Tourist Resort 
  • Take printouts of Hotels details, reservation vouchers, return flight tickets.


Languages?

"divehi" is the main language in Maldives. But English is also widely spoken by the locals of Maldives.


Temperatures?
  • No one can able to predict the weather in Maldives. Even in wet season (May - November), there is sunlight almost throughout the day.
  • Daily temperature ranges from around 31C during the day to 23C at night. Being located on equator, Maldives receive lots of sunshine throughout the year.
  • The relatively high humidity is made tolerable by the gentle but steady sea breeze.
  • Maldives are not a Cyclone nor Typhoon region and there are no reports of such in the region known climate history.  
http://www.holiday-weather.com/maldives/averages/

Currency accepted in Maldives?
  • The currency of the Maldives is called the Rufiyah, which is linked to the dollar at around 12.75 Rufiyah to the dollar.
  • However, most resorts and many local islands will accept the USD (bring small denominations such as $1, $5 and $10) as payment. 
  • You won't find banks or ATM machines at resorts. 
  • Apart from tips, you don't need to carry cash. 

How to Select Resort in Maldives?

Things to consider while booking the resort:
  • Distance from Male: Depending on this, you will be transferred by boat or sea plane. Also transfers charges will depend on this. Always prefer staying in resorts near by Male( around 1 hour boat transfer time), otherwise you end-up spending too much time for airport transfers.
  • Budget: Of-course, this the first thing to be considered. Some resorts offer good deals during low season. 
  • Offering Fullboard/Halfboard: Always prefer Fullboard, which includes room price + all meals. Full-board don't includes alcohol. Keep in mind that, even in full-board, everything you buy at Island stores will be charged. Be prepared to shell out more money to buy water(approx 2USD per litre) even in Full-board. 
  • Fullboard Plus: Which includes Alcohol too.
  • Activities Offered: Some resorts include some activities as complimentary in Full-Board. 
  • How big is the resort
  • Food Options: Most of the resorts have different restaurants inside the Island. Prefer staying in resorts, that offers 
  • Resort Facilities: Check whether resorts has facilities like doctor, Dive center, 
  • Ocean reef: Check quality of the house reef - the coral reef around the resort island itself - and access to it.
  • Rooms: Water rooms or Land. Water villas are too costly.
  • TripAdvisor Ratings

How to book resort in Maldives?
  • Since most of the resorts don't have online booking facility, prefer booking through travel website like booking.com, expedia.com, cleartrip.com. While booking please check whether the price includes boat transfers or not.
  • If you are booking through resort website(offline), then you need to send filled Credit Card authorization form to the resort, only then you will be charged on your credit card. Otherwise, International bank transfer is also available.

Activities?

  • Activities offered differ from resort to resort. Please check the resort website for the available activities along with their prices.
  • Snorkeling, SCUBA diving, Cruise, Island Hopping, Male Island Visit, Sunset Cruise, Kayaking, catamaran ride, Fishing are the most common activities resorts offer.
  • Don't expect regular water sports like parasailing, Jet ski in Maldives. 

What to Carry?
  • Snorkeling equipment - Even though you can rent gear at resorts, but charges are high.
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30+ recommended), Mosquito repellent cream. 
  • Toiletries and Medical Supplies - too expensive if you want to buy at Island stores. 
  • Chocolates & cookies
  • While visiting Male or any other local island you are recommended to wear proper dress covering body parts. Sandals and sun glasses are a must.

What Not to Carry?
  • Alcohol - You will get alcohol in resorts, but getting alcohol into Maldives is restricted. 
  • Restricted to bring Maldives - pornography, pork and pork products, alcohol, idols for worship, bibles or any non-Islamic religious text is also illegal

Things to remember:
  • Make sure that your luggage are waterproof in case of tropical downpours when you arrive. Your luggage could well be in the open during the boat transfer.
  • If you would like to reach your resort on the same day by seaplane, please plan to arrive Maldives by 15:30 (LT). If you are unable to find an international flight which gets you here in your time, you could also spend a night in Male or Hulhumale and see what the local life is like.
  • The standard permissible weight in seaplane is 25 kg, which includes 20 kg of checked-in luggage and 5 kg of hand luggage per person.
  • Once you come out of airport terminal, all the resorts have stalls near the terminal entrance. You can go directly to them and inquire about the transfers.
  • Most of the resorts just mention about the boat transfer time, but don't mention that is this from Male airport or Gan International Airport (70 min flight from Male Airport).  

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju / Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, great place to visit before I die. Thanks for sharing

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  2. The waterproof luggage is one awesome point! I am visiting Maldives next month. I got pretty good discounts via some travel discount coupons. Your post has given me many valuable insights. Thanks a ton!

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  3. Wow! great blog regarding to travel in an affordable price. Thanks a lots for sharing this type of blog in which you briefly describe complete cost of travel. Now after your blog Cost Of Travel Comparison is an easy.

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  4. Maldives, one of the beautiful place and Best Villas and Apartments are there for staying.

    ReplyDelete

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