With unparalleled luxury, spell-binding white sandy beaches and a captivating underwater world, the Maldives is a summer island paradise. Here are some essential pointers when you finally decide to visit this paradise nation-
A pre-arrival visa is not needed to enter the Maldives, and a thirty-day visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities. Travellers need to make sure that their passport has at least six months of validity. The immigration department can also check whether you have a valid ticket out of the Maldives and your hotel vouchers.
Visitors can not bring liquor to this island paradise. You have to leave any beer, spirits or wine with customs at the airport if you bought them from a duty-free shop on your way to the Maldives. Tourists are, however, allowed to take it back while on their return journey from the Maldives. You cannot buy and drink alcohol on a local inhabited island since the Maldives is an Islamic nation.
The vast majority of the population in the Maldives are Sunni Muslim by ethnicity. Alcohol and pork are forbidden on local islands. If you stay near a mosque, you may hear calls to prayer throughout the day. Do not expose too much skin on local islands, and keep in mind to avoid public displays of affection. It is recommended to refrain from wearing bikini/skimpy clothes unless you're on a dedicated bikini beach, and it is essential to respect the Maldives' local culture.
The temperature hovers at about 28-30 degrees Celsius on most days, and the climate is tropical. The Maldives witness rainfall from April to October, particularly from June to August during the monsoon season. Resort prices tend to be more expensive during these months, and the country has a heavy influx of travellers during these months.
Suppose your hotel is a few hours ahead of Male's time; no need to be surprised. The resorts want to make the most of sunlight hours, and as a result, the resorts have their own "island time". Though you learn to forget about time altogether in this country, it isn't easy to get used to for the first few days.
The Maldivian government has strict policies on collecting seashells, coral and tortoise shells. Hermit crabs play a considerable role in controlling the sand fly population, and shells end up being homes for them. Tourists are therefore discouraged from doing the same.
Given the remote location of the islands, you would expect somewhat patchy internet connectivity. However, it is not horrific at all. You can get a SIM card from the airport for a minute fee, and you will get mobile data according to the telecom operator's plan. If you stay at a private resort, the wifi should be relatively stable and available in your room and all the common areas. We recommend buying SIM cards At The Airport itself.
Since Maldives is a Muslim country, there are a few fundamental rules that exist. One of them is that women are barred from wearing a bikini or revealing clothing except on a bikini beach. There are no pork products supplied to the country. Public displays of affection, including quick kisses, are against the law and couples are discouraged from doing the same.
Every Resort is on its island in the Maldives. You will be around the same people all the time as most of the islands are extremely small. You are essentially on the same small square of sand for the entirety of your vacation unless you take a day trip. There are no malls, movie theatres, food, drink, and entertainment options outside of your Resort, so be sure to research your digs well.
The ferries will be your most significant barrier if you want to visit several islands while you're in the Maldives. Ferries do not run on Fridays and typically run every other day to each atoll's main island. There are also inter-atoll ferries, but their timetables are not online and have to be coordinated locally.
The local currency is Rufiyaa (MVR), but you can pay everything in US dollars. 1 USD = 15 Rufiyaa (MSR). Great attention to dollars bills because they are extremely strict. The bills have to look new. Otherwise, it is not accepted. However, it's still a good idea to bring some extra cash. Banks or ATMs do not exist in some islands. Tourists can make payment with a card at the hotel, but it is not recommended. The hotels usually charge a 3.5%-5% commission.
Opting for an all-inclusive deal can be quite expensive when you are out on the beaches or enjoying water sports in the Maldives. A half-board plan can be a great choice with access to A-la-carte restaurants. Read the fine-prints, and before choosing a deal, make sure there are drinks and unique delights included with your plan. Also, check if any activities or excursions are offered and whether there is a kid-friendly menu available if you have kids with you. Checking these things in advance will make your vacation more comfortable.
One of the essential tips is to look out for the extra costs involved in your vacation. The rapidly increasing cost for the imported food and drinks at the luxury resorts has a 10% service cost and 8% service tax, which can burn a hole in your pocket. Read the fine print on taxes on equipment rentals and spa sessions along with the public price on menus. You may offer additional tips as a gesture of appreciation, though it is not mandatory.
Dollars are widely accepted everywhere in the Maldives, although Maldivian Rufiyaa is the national currency. Most of the shops have things labelled in USD, apart from the local islands. Keeping cash is also essential as there is a need to purchase odds and ends, though credit cards are used widely in the country.
Try not to disregard the Maldives' conservative culture, which is still prevalent in the local islands. Practice modesty and wear bikinis or skin-tight clothing only when at the resort islands. Some "bikini beaches" on the local islands are specially meant for tourists to visit. Many resorts in the Maldives also have a "No Drone" policy to foster their guests' privacy, and violating these could land you in serious trouble. We recommend you to check with your Resort if they allow you to fly drones on the island.
Glance into the deep blue all around, and you will witness firsthand why the Maldives is a favourite destination for vacationers from around the globe. Escape to the epitome of what you would imagine as an exotic island getaway. The Maldives delivers not only a luxurious getaway but an experiential vacation.