Unlike Southeast Asia and Europe, Maldives remains to be a relatively new tourist destination. For this reason, flights to Maldives remain relatively expensive and less frequent. Besides, cheap accommodations are relatively hard to come by.
While Maldives is indeed picturesque, putting it on top of the bucket list of a lot of avid travelers, there is unfortunately little information on trips to Maldives from the US. That why I decided to make a primer on traveling to Maldives
Maldives has gained popularity as a tropical paradise. Not only is it known for its pristine beaches and perfect location for watersports such as surfing and snorkeling, but it is also popular for being a diver’s paradise given its extensive reefs and diverse underwater life.
Malé, the capital of Maldives, has a thriving restaurant scene, featuring a variety of cuisines from all over the world. The local cuisine, meanwhile, is heavily influenced by Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine.
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the US to Maldives so you would have to fly to the islands via flights from Asian countries. Malé International Airport, the main airport in Maldives, operates flights from most major airports from neighboring countries like Singapore, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In term of travel time and price, however, the best route you could take from the US to Maldives is that from New York to Dubai, then fly again to Maldives. Alternatively, you can also take a flight from LA to Malaysia. You can check either Kayak or SkyScanner to find cheap flights from the US to Maldives.
Fares for Sri Lankan and AirAsia flights from one of their hubs in Asia to Maldives are around $100-$130. Flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Bangkok, meanwhile, usually cost around $300.
Despite the fact that the lack of direct flights from the US to Maldives makes traveling to the islands a little difficult, the upside is that there are minimal travel requirements for entering the country.
All you would need to visit Maldives is a valid passport. The tourist visa is required, but you can easily get one at the airport upon your arrival in Maldives. You will get a free 30-day visa on arrival if you have a valid travel document, a ticket out, and proof of sufficient funds.
Besides, there are no currency restrictions for entering or exiting the country. You can see the full travel directives issued by the US Embassy here.
Your experience in Maldives is not complete unless you visit the assortment of islands in the country. Fortunately, local transport is quite cheap, with local ferries costing around $2-$4 only. The downside is that ferries run on a rather infrequent schedule, so make sure to check their timetable.
However, if you want to visit resort islands in Maldives, then you would have to rent a speedboat as local ferries don’t go to the resort islands. Speedboats can be quite pricey, though, usually averaging at $200-$280 per person. Seaplanes are another option, but they are more expensive at $500 per person.
Most of the resorts in Maldives offer a variety of accommodation types at varying price range, most of which are quite pricey compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts. Notwithstanding this, they are certainly your most convenient option, especially if you intend to stay in just one resort.
However, if you want to save on your accommodation expenses, then you’re the best bet are guesthouses. Although you will not find very cheap dorm rooms or apartment rentals in Maldives, the guesthouses are still significantly cheaper than the resort accommodations, with price ranging from $30-$60 a night.
To check for guesthouses, you can go on AirBnb or Guesthouses in Maldives.
Note however that Maldives is a strict Muslim country. That said, tourists are prohibited strictly from bringing materials deemed contrary to Islam, such as pork and alcohol, to the country.
Note that there is also a strict dress code on the local islands. For both males and females, it is mandatory to have the shoulders and thighs covered at all times, even when on the beach. See-through clothing is also prohibited on the islands.
Maldives is undoubtedly a must-see destination for both travel enthusiasts and first-time travelers. This beautiful tropical destination has a lot to offer, both concerning breathtaking scenery and overall vacation experience.
However, unlike its Asian counterparts, Maldives remain relatively new to the tourism industry, making it quite expensive. The lack of information on vacationing in Maldives also makes trips to the country quite intimidating for a lot of tourists.
I sure hope that this article has helped you get a picture of what it’s like to visit Maldives. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.