Maldives, oh Maldives! You're a paradise on earth with your aquamarine waters, sandy white beaches, and amazing marine biodiversity ? A trip to the Maldives is a must for every self-declared traveller!
Although the Maldives is known for ultra-luxurious resorts with sky-high prices, there are plenty of ways you can experience your ultimate Maldivian with some adjustments. This itinerary has been prepared to cover most of the Maldivian highlights for a 4 days 3 nights trip under RM3000 ?
Disclaimer: Prices are based on the searches for the travelling period of August 2019. Prices converted from USD are based on the exchange rate of 16 July 2019, where USD 1 : RM4.11
Flights to the Maldives
To make the most out of your trip to the Maldives, we suggest you take the earliest flight out as possible. There are plenty of airlines that fly directly from Kuala Lumpur into Maldives but
#HHWT tip: Remember to check websites such as Expedia, SkyScanner and Cheapflights! You might even find a better deal than us ?
Getting to Maafushi Island
Airport to Male (10 minutes)
Once you've arrived at the airport, you'll be greeted by a staff from the Crystal Sands Beach Hotel who will guide you to the jetty where you'll be taking a 10-15 minute boat trip to Male.
Public every which departs frequently and costs USD1 (RM4.10). The daily public ferry timetable is as follows:
- 6am - 2am: every 10 minutes (we suggest to take this one as it is closest to the flight arrival time)
- 2.30am - 4am: every 30 minutes
- 4am - 6am - every 15 minutes
Price: Free if you are staying at Crystal Sands Beach Hotel
Male to Maafushi (1.5 hours)
Upon arrival in Male, you'll have plenty of time to make your way to the jetty since the ferry only departs at 3pm. If you're travelling light, why not take advantage of the extra time and explore nearby areas? And if you're not travelling light you could find a place to have a rest while waiting for your next transportation. It's interesting to note that although the Maldives are known for their stunning pristine white beaches and beautiful resorts, Male, on the other hand, is a fully developed town on its own with high rise buildings!
We suggest being at the jetty about 45 minutes before the departure time in case there's a queue to purchase tickets. The ferry schedule from Male to Maafushi is as follows:
- Monday 3pm
- Tuesday 10am & 3pm
- Wednesday 3pm
- Thursday 10am & 3pm
- Friday - No public ferry service
- Saturday 3pm
- Sunday 10am & 3pm
Price: Free if you are staying at Crystal Sands Beach Hotel
Crystal Sands Beach Hotel at Maafushi
Enjoy your stay in the beautiful rooms of Crystal Sands Beach Hotel. The resort is located nearby the drop-off jetty where the hotel staff will greet you and help with the luggage so it's super convenient for you. Sleep in comfort and style in fully air-conditioned rooms equipped with plenty of amenities such as free wifi (yay!), complimentary coffee and tea, a flat-screen TV, and a safety deposit box ?
#HHWT tip: If you upgrade to an Ocean View room, you'll get to enjoy amazing views of the beach and sea all day long from your room!
One of the great things about this hotel is that it's located by the beach so you can easily enjoy the sea view and sea breeze from the hotel itself ?
The hotel provides complimentary breakfast daily so you'll be energized and ready to conquer all the activities you have planned for! As for lunch and dinner, Maafushi Island is pretty small so you can easily walk from one end to another, and unlike the usual one-resort-per-island that the Maldives is usually known for, you have the option of trying out plenty of food options, tour operators and meeting new friends. That's the beauty of Maafushi!
#HHWT tip: The hotel provides 1.5 litres of drinking water in your room. Bring a water bottle with you and use that water throughout the trip to minimize expenditure on beverages while you're out.
Price per night: starts from RM232 on Agoda
Address: Mirihi Magu Road, Maafushi 08090, Maldives
Contact: +960 779-0660
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Price for 3 nights: RM696
[P.S. Want to check out other resorts in the Maldives? Here are 10 gorgeous resorts (from RM210) in the Maldives for the best affordable beach holiday!]
Note on activities: Many tours operate only with a minimum of 6 pax. Even after booking with them, they may cancel on you if they don’t meet the minimum quota. If you encounter this, try your luck by booking the tours at other hotels. Many hotels in Maafushi offer similar tour packages, so you should be able to hop on one of the tours!
#HHWT tip: Check multiple tour/activities operators before signing up. Many of them provide similar activities with just a few USD difference. But once you add up the differences across multiple tours or activities, it could add up to a significant amount, especially once we convert it back to our local currency.
Note on food: The Maldives is a Muslim majority country. Alcohol and pork are strictly prohibited on islands that have a local population (such as Maafushi) and most of its eateries are Halal and Muslim-owned.
Explore the island (2 hours)
- If you took the 3pm jetty from Male to the island, that probably means you'll arrive at Maafushi in the evening. Although this doesn't leave you with much time to engage in any daytime activities, you can still take your time and explore Maafushi! Although the island is small, there's plenty to explore.
- Unlike many other islands on the Maldives, Maafushi Island is a mixture of local villages and resorts for tourists. Immerse yourself into the local culture by exploring the town - check out the local scene such as the home architecture, the local food stalls (you might want to take note on those that look tasty so you can try them in your own time) and even talk to some of the locals too!
- Since the island is small, you can easily walk from one beach to another. Some of the notable beaches to check out are Bikini Beach (just a few steps away from the hotel), Public Beach, Water sports Beach and Coral Beach.
- On days that you have time, you can easily drop by any of these beaches to relax or have a snorkel by the shore!
Dinner at RAHA Restaurant & Lounge (2 hours)
- Enjoy a splendid Mediterranean and Arabian dinner with views of the ocean from Raha's rooftop dining area ?
- The food at Raha is known for its freshness and quality which is rich in Mediterranean and Arabian flavours!
- P.S. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset too!
Price: Averages at RM50/meal
Address: Gulfaam Villa, Miskiy Magu Road, Maafushi, Maldives
Opening hours: 7am - 10am, 12pm - 2.30pm & 5pm - 10pm daily
Contact: +960 789-4027
Chill by the beach and watch the sunset
- After a good meal, there's nothing better than a leisurely stroll to ease the full stomach ?
- And with Maafushi's magnificent sunset, you'll definitely enjoy your walk more than usual. Enjoy the sceneries and take your time before heading back to the accommodation for a good night's rest for the next day.
[P.S. Planning for a vacation closer to home? Here are 10 breathtaking Indonesian resorts from your dream getaway!]
Half-day excursion (5-6 hours), includes:
This suggested package includes snorkelling at 2 locations, dolphin watching, a boat ride around the Lagoon of Rihiveli, and a visit to the sandbank ? You could always book these separately if you prefer though the prices may change accordingly.
Snorkelling (2 locations - Manta Point and Turtle Reef)
- You cannot visit the Maldives and not enjoy the pristine crystal clear waters! After all, the Maldives is known for their world-class diving and snorkelling spots. The tour will take you to two snorkelling points which are filled with beautiful corals and colourful fishes.
- Amazingly enough, turtles are also a common sighting when snorkelling in the Maldives! You might just meet a new friend underwater ?
- Another creature that is commonly spotted in the Maldives is the Spinner Dolphins ?
- Your tour boat will take you to areas where the dolphins are commonly spotted for a chance to see these beautiful creatures.
- If you're one of the lucky ones, the moment when you spot a pod of dolphins swimming your way will make your jaw drop in amazement with their speed and swiftness through the water!
Enjoy a boat ride through the turquoise lagoon of Rihiveli
- Relax in the boat as you take a boat tour around the beautiful lagoon of Rihiveli. The small island is a unique place as it boasts picturesque sandy white beaches surrounded by crystal clear aquamarine water.
- Don't worry if you don't get to stop here, your next stop will be just as mesmerizing ?
Visit the picturesque sandbank
- On the way back to Maafushi, you'll stop by the super picturesque sandbank. Sandbanks are landforms consisting of a sand bar in shallow water. These formations are fairly common in the Maldives and are usually favourites for tourist to drop by for a few hours to experience having a 'private island' or even just to leisurely have a picnic.
- The tour operator will drop you there for a while so be prepared with your waterproof camera to take your best shots! With clear blue skies, sandy white beaches and turquoise sea water as your background, each and every snap will be perfect ?
Price: USD72 / RM295 on Viator
Lunch at FineBake by Suzy (1.5 hours)
- After a day of exploring, you'll need to refuel with some tasty food. Enjoy everything from local Maldivian and Western.
- The eatery is also known for its delicious desserts! If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to opt for one of their delicious cakes or brownies instead ?
Price: Averages at RM18/meal
Address: Maafushi, Maldives
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm & 8pm - 10pm daily
Contact: +960 973-2799
Believe us, after a day of snorkelling, and exploring beautiful Maldivian sceneries for half a day under the sun, you'll want a good nap to re-energize yourself ?
If you still have some energy to burn off, you can easily request for some snorkelling equipment and snorkel by the shores of Maafushi. With the amazing biodiversity in the Maldives, you can easily spot plenty of marine life such as sharks, turtles and rays ?
Dinner at Hot Bite (1.5 hours)
- Make your way for a tasty dinner at Hot Bite. Enjoy delicious western delights such as pizzas, burgers, steaks to local delights such as fried rice, grilled fish, and noodles ?
Price: Averages at RM20/meal
Address: Ziyaaraiy Magu Road, Maafushi 08090, Maldives
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday 8.30am - 12.30am, Friday 1.30pm - 12.30am, Saturday 8.30am - 12am
Contact: +960 998-9921
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[P.S. Planning a vacation for the upcoming long weekend? Here's the perfect 4D3N Langkawi-Koh Lipe itinerary for your next long weekend getaway!]
We've included 2 main highlights in day 3 where you could for snorkelling with whale sharks OR try out scuba diving ?The price we've included in the final amount is scuba diving since it's slightly more expensive. If you would like to try both, you could change the itinerary to fit Scuba Diving on Day 2 after lunch. Though do note that the final amount would increase too.
Option 1: Swim with whale sharks (7 hours)
- Tick off a bucket list goal by snorkelling with gentle giants in the ocean! Luckily for us, whale sharks are a common sighting in specific parts of the Maldives because the travel from Maafushi to the area of whale shark sightings takes around 2 hours.
- The entire trip would take approximately 7 hours, but 3 hours are dedicated solely for you to enjoy your time swimming with the magnificent whale sharks. It will definitely be an experience to remember ?
Price: USD80 / RM328 at Maafushivaru
#HHWT tip: If you're prone to motion sickness, remember to bring some medication!
Option 2: Scuba diving (2 - 3 hours)
- An alternative way to spend the morning is by learning how to scuba dive! For first-timer's, most dive operators will have an 'Introduction to Scuba Diving course' where you will learn the basics of scuba diving and experience one scuba diving session guided by an instructor.
- Learn how to set up the equipment and techniques of proper diving before heading into the water.
- Once you're in the water, you'll be amazed at the things you can experience underwater such as feeling like an astronaut in space because the water will keep you buoyant!
Price: USD95 or RM389 at Maafushivaru
Late lunch at Harbour Cafe (1.5 hours)
- Savour plenty of delights such as pasta, noodles, steak, and salads ? With the variety available, you'll leave the place with a satisfied tummy.
- And remember to try their famous fried ice cream for dessert too!
Price: Averages at RM19/meal
Address: Aabaadhee Hingun Road, Maafushi, Maldives
Opening hours: 6.30am - 11pm daily
Contact: +960 777-1187
Snorkel by the shores of Maafushi
- Take advantage of Maafushi's amazing beach and water life by taking a nice snorkel around the area. With the amazing biodiversity in the Maldives, you'll never know what you'll see. Turtles? Manta Rays? Sharks? The list is endless!
- And the best part? It's free of charge ?
Dinner at Arena Beach Hotel Buffet (2 hours)
- Enjoy an amazing buffet dinner by the beach and with unlimited choices of delights to savour from such as grilled fish, pasta, and grilled meat!
- With the beach atmosphere and live music playing, it'll be the perfect dinner for your final night in this heavenly destination ?
Price: USD 12 / RM50 per person for the dinner buffet
Address: Ziyaaraiy Magu, Maafushi 08090, Maldives
Contact: +960 793-3231
Website | Facebook | Instagram
[P.S. Are you considering Thailand too? Here are 10 stunning overwater villas in Thailand for your next vacay!]
Kayak (1 hour)
- Take it easy on your last day by having an easy kayak over crystal clear water.
- Slowly kayak over calm waters and enjoy the view of the Maldivian coral life or white sands from the top instead this time ?
Price: USD 15/ RM61.50 per hour at Maafushivaru
P.S. Do remember that for transportation back to Male and Velana International Airport you'll need to pay for the ferry fees of USD4 and USD1 respectively.
- Flights - RM1068
- Accommodation - RM696
- Breakfasts - Free
- Transportation to and from Male & Velana International Aiport - RM32.4
- Dinner at RAHA Restaurant & Lounge - RM50
- Snorkelling, dolphin watching, Lagoon of Rihiveli & Sandbank tour - RM295
- Lunch at FineBake by Suzy - RM18
- Dinner at Hot Bite - RM20
- Snorkelling with Whale Sharks (RM328) OR Scuba Diving for first-timers - RM389
- Lunch at Harbour Cafe - RM19
- Snorkel at Maafushi - Free
- Dinner at Arena Beach Hotel - RM50
- Kayak - RM61.5
TOTAL COST: RM2698.40 - there's even a balance of RM101.6 which you can use for some pesky add-ons that might come up, and shopping ?
And there you have it, the ultimate Maldivian getaway without breaking the bank (too much)! It's time call up your travel buddies, pack up your sunnies and sun hats and make your way to paradise on earth ?