Every glam vacationer should visit the Maldives at least once in their lifetime. But hurry… these stunning islands may not be around forever! Globetrotters visit the Maldives to basque under the sun and soak up the ultimate picture perfect beach paradise. But if you want to do more than sunbath and swim when vacationing here, this Maldives bucket list is for you. Jetset Bunny delves deeper so read on for the top things to do in the Maldives. From exploring Malé and mingling with locals to dolphin spotting, here is what we consider to be the top things to do in the Maldives, worthy of being on your Maldives Bucket List anyway.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do in the Maldives
The Maldives is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world with several affordable PADI dive centers. The Maldives is famous for its whale shark migration, stingrays,and sea turtles. The waters are crystal clear and offer extreme visibility. Choose various diving options to the reefs. A bonus about diving in the Maldives is that you do not even need a wetsuit as the water is so wonderfully warm.
The dolphin excursions in the Maldives are without a doubt one of the best things to do here. Just before sunset choose your lookout spot for pods of Dolphins. Watching dolphins leaping and playing is the most spectacular sight. Just maintain a respectable distance and let them flip and twirl at their own pace. Intruding too much into their territory and chasing them will spoil the show and scare them away.
Explore the Malé Fish Market
On the island of Malé to the west of Republican Square is the Malé fish market. Away from the glitz and glamour of the Maldives resorts, this is the best way to interact with the locals as they go about their daily lives. There are no set hours for the market but it’s best to visit during afternoons or early evenings because this is when most fishermen come with their catches. The most popular fish caught and sold here is tuna. Grab some fresh fish and vegetables and prepare an authentic Maldivian meal for yourself if the resort dining prices are putting a major dent in your budget.
If diving is not your cup of tea, another excellent option for you is snorkeling. The Maldives has such pristine reefs that you do not have to go particularly deep to have a great experience. You can snorkel with turtles and see them enjoy their lunch in the ocean. There’s always so many brightly colored, exotic sea creatures to observe when snorkeling prepare to lose track of time.
The Maldives have large settlements, and a large number of locals live and work on the island. If you are staying on a private island, ensure that you book an excursion to visit the nearby local communities. Since the Maldives has a strict Muslim culture, dress conservatively when on these islands.
Fly Over the Maldives
Seeing the different shades of the tropical ocean sparkling below you as you fly over them all is truly mesmerizing. Some resorts require a flight on a twin-engine float plane to reach them. The islands form a pattern in the sea with the deep ocean crashing into coral reefs and sandbars. An aerial view gives the real feel of how beautiful and isolated the Maldives islands really are so book a scenic flight over the archipelago because this is truly a sight for sore eyes.
Visit the National Museum, Malé
The National Museum in Male was a a gift from China, the building itself is not very pleasing to the eye however the treasures it contains inside is well worth your time. The museum houses a well-labeled collection of historical artifacts that help visitors understand the history of the islands. Unfortunately, in 2012, a mob of religious extremists broke into the museum protesting against the former president Nasheed and destroyed some of its most precious pieces of art for being ‘idols.’ Expect the security surrounding the museum these days to be quite strict.
Old Friday Mosque
This mosque is the oldest in the country dating back to 1656. This beautiful structure is made up of coral stones, and intricately chiseled with Quran verses. Non-Muslims need to get permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to see the Mosque from inside. However most of the staff belong to the ministry, so if you dress appropriately and don’t turn up during their prayer time, you may get lucky and be given permission on the spot.
Hit The Waves Surfing
The Maldives is a premier surfing destination and the Cinnamon Dhonveli, a top surf resort in the Maldives, is a magnet for surfers from all over the world. Take the opportunity to break free from the other vacationers and ride the waves. Although you need to be a professional to hit the waves, just watching the professional surfers head out and face the pipe is thrilling in itself. Some islands in the Maldives even provide surfing lessons for those who want to join the pros.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Another great way to enjoy the ocean is through paddle boarding. SUP or Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Maldives is incredible due to the calm, shallow waters surrounding most of the islands. Here you can safely paddle board in water so clean that you can see fish swimming below your board.
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Other than these top things to do in the Maldives, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible.
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