Best tour I have ever had! Very well organised. Great tour guide – fun, knowledgeable and informative. Accommodation comfortable and service impeccable. Loved the local food and culture experiences. Highly recommend traveling with Secret Paradise.
Engage with the local community
Historical & Cultural Insight
Live the Island Life in Guraidhoo
Enrich your knowledge of the Maldives by joining us on our Maldives Cultural Break Tour Package. Staying on Gulhi in South Malé Atoll, explore this quiet, typical fishing island with sandy roads and palm trees. Discover locals going about their daily routine and make friends with a local family over a traditional local dinner in their home. Snorkel the aquamarine waters and encounter a myriad of marine life.
- From USD 899 per person based on double/twin share
- Available all year round
- Arrival on day midday by midday
- Velana International Airport (MLE)
- 4 days & 3 nights
- Minimum 1 person
- Maximum 8 people
WHAT ARE THE MALDIVES ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?
- Travelers must have a confirmed accommodation/tour booking.
- Travelers must have a passport or travel document valid for a minimum 30 days from date of entry to the Maldives.
- Travelers must have a return flight ticket.
- The online traveler declaration form IMUGA must be completed within the 96 hour period prior to arrival in country.
- 3 nights deluxe room guesthouse accommodation
- 3 breakfasts & 3 dinners
- Airport and domestic transfer assistance
- Public ferry transfers
- Male City Walking Tour
- Island tour and Hedika Experience
- House Reef Snorkeling Trip including equipment
- Maldivian Cooking Class
- Cultural experiences as described day three
- Beach Clean with community and kurumba
- Services of an English-speaking Secret Paradise guide
- All local tax ($3 green tax per person per night, 10% service charge, and 16% GST)
- International Flight
- Travel Insurance
What to bring
- All this together with full details on everything you need to know about travel within the Maldives will be provided in our welcome information pack.
- The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands.
- Subject to availability, day/evening visits to resorts can be arranged.
- Bikinis are not allowed to be worn on local island beaches; however, all of our guesthouses offer either private gardens or balconies and tourist beach areas for guests where bikini swimwear can be worn.
Explore the capital city and visit top landmarks.
Prepare Maldivian dishes with local ladies.
Be welcomed into the local island community
Make a positive impact by joining a beach clean
Delve into the amazing culture of the Maldives.
What to Expect
Arrive at Malé International Airport for the start of your Cultural Maldives Break Tour. Here you will be greeted by your guide who will accompany you on a walking tour of the capital city, providing opportunities to visit places of interest including the fish market, local market, President’s Palace, and Friday Mosque.
After lunch, transfer by speedboat to your island home on the local island of Gulhi, South Malé Atoll, just under one hour from Malé. View the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by whilst keeping your eyes open for dolphins!
Upon arrival you will have time to settle in before exploring Gulhi with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life. Stop by the harbour where fishermen may be bringing in their catch. Chat with children playing in the street and discover local fruit trees as you wander the narrow maze of sandy roads. Stop by a local cafe to sample traditional ‘hedika’ – Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea and end your stroll at the harbour to watch the sun go down setting the horizon aglow with colour!
Dinner this evening is spent with a local family — just don’t expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without a knife and fork!
Today immerse yourself in a cooking experience with local Maldivian ladies as they teach you how to prepare a traditional Maldivian dish. The Maldivian ladies will guide you through the steps of preparation, demonstrating how to skillfully grate fresh coconut using a traditional ‘Huni Gondi’. The ingredients reflect how Maldives cuisine is characterize by tuna in its many forms, locally grown coconut and chili.
This afternoon, accompanied by your guide, take a few steps from the beach into the ocean to explore the house-reef of Gulhi for an underwater encounter! Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems so learning how to snorkel responsibly can help minimize your impact on the marine environment and protect the delicate balance of marine life. They will also assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.
This morning we learn the local skill of repairing a joali. The joali has been used as relaxing chairs as long as Maldivian people have existed. At first glance the knotting looks difficult and hard work, but after learning it’s just a simple process of knotting using a single piece of rope rather than many different pieces as it would seem like.
An important way to show respect for any culture is to embrace cultural differences. This can be as simple as taking the time to learn a few key phrases or words in the local language. Even if you are unable to say them perfectly, your efforts will always be noted. Learn the alphabet and sounds and some key phrases with your tour leader who will also provide you with your name in Dhivehi!
Late afternoon spend time on the beach, giving back to the community that has welcomed us by supporting a clean beach. Our reward will be a refreshing fresh Kurumba (coconut water) followed by an ocean swim!
Fishing is the second largest industry in the Maldives after tourism and the Maldives has one of the most sustainable fishing industries. “Fishing is the lifeblood of our nation, it is inborn. From the soil on which we live, to the sea around us, it remains an integral part of our existence“. These words will always be in the fisherman heart. This evening there is the option to join the fishermen at the harbour and learn how to fish the traditional way with just a line.
Following an early breakfast on day 4, say goodbye to Gulhi and transfer by morning speedboat to Velana International Airport arriving by 10:00.
This family-run property has fifteen rooms and the most perfect roof terrace to relax and watch the sunset from. 10 tastefully decorated rooms have an authentic style by using coconut timber. It is just a few minute’s walk from the sandy shores of Gulhi Island.
Rooms are designed with cross ventilation and double glazing to achieve energy efficiency. There is a lovely garden courtyard lush with palms and a 360-degree roof terrace. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, flat-screen satellite TV, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.
We have handpicked the best guesthouses throughout the Maldives to provide you with the greatest experience while enjoying your Maldives Culture tour package. Personally selected to provide a balance of comfort, good service, local atmosphere and value for money. In each, you can be assured of a warm welcome and know that your holiday money is contributing directly to the local economy and increasing local employment
We require a minimum number of 6 persons for cruises to operate.
There is no minimum number for any of our land based tours.
Accommodation is offered on a twin/double room share basis.
If you are a single traveler and prefer a private single room to yourself throughout the tour/cruise, this can be arranged. A single supplement is charged on all our multi day tours except the following:
Yes, we can assist with organising pre and post tour accommodation, including a transit night in the capital area or a longer independent stay on a local island or resort island.
Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather patterns are changing and historical data is becoming less reliable as an indication of what to expect. With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a really bad time to visit the Maldives. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season (northeast monsoon) from January to March and the wet season (southwest monsoon) from mid-May to November. ‘Wet season’ doesn’t mean it rains all the time, but during this period there is a higher probability of rain. However, in today’s world we do experience rain even during the ‘dry’ season.
More detailed weather information can be found here
The Maldives are a Muslim nation, therefore care needs to be taken regarding dress on small islands and in local communities.
While it is acceptable for men to wear t-shirts and shorts/swim shorts, women should avoid causing offence by maintaining a more conservative approach. T-shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulders, loose shorts that cover the thighs, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders are advised.
All the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, but women should NOT wear swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, sandbank, private tourist bikini beach (available on all islands you’ll stay on) or on board our cruises and snorkeling boats. Your tour leader will advise when and where this is possible.
No previous experience is needed for any of the included activities – just an average level of fitness and a sense of adventure. The activities aren’t strenuous, the only requirement is that you must be able to climb a ladder to exit the water, be comfortable in the water and be able to swim to participate in snorkeling activities.
We strongly recommend you bring along your own mask and snorkel wherever possible. Not only will you be assured the mask fits your face properly (making it more comfortable and less likely to leak), it’s also more hygienic. A mask and snorkel are small and light, so they should take up very little space in your suitcase! Due to the ocean current and wind conditions in the Maldives, the use of fins is essential for almost all snorkelling and these are included in all snorkelling activities we provide on tour. However, if you want to ensure a perfect fit, you are always welcome to bring your own.
On board our cruises we can cater to most diets providing we are advised at time of booking. If there is something particularly you eat within your diet that you can’t live without we would encourage you to pack some and be prepared for perhaps more repetition of meals than you would be used to back home. For further clarification drop us a message.
Note to support our sustainable approach to cruises we do not offer beef products on board.
When traveling on land based tours properties can cater for vegan and vegetarian diets but it is worth noting in regard to food on local islands, over 95% of products are imported and then from Male they are transferred once or twice a week to outer islands.
Fruit and vegetables whilst available can be limited and they do not form part of the traditional Maldivian diet in the way you may be used to back home with your 5 a day! Given that tuna is a key component of our diet as vegetarians you will find your diet quite limited in comparison to what you are used to, even a potato curry is likely to have dried tuna added. On local islands you can’t just pop out to the supermarket and what you may see in the convenience store one week is not seen again for months!
Maldivians, as Muslims, are prohibited by law from consuming alcohol; hence there is a total restriction on alcohol being available on inhabited local islands, this includes the capital Male. Please do not bring alcohol through the airport as it will be confiscated and returned to you at time of departure.
Alcoholic beverages are available on our cruise itineraries and are purchased on board. Payment is required in USD cash or local currency to the boat captain.
When staying on local islands, visits to tourist resorts and bar boats in certain areas can be arranged.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our multi day tours. You need to be covered for medical expenses abroad, including any emergency transportation costs to the nearest hospital and any emergency repatriation that may be required due to illness/injury. We recommend your insurance covers flight delays, missing flight connections and lost/delayed luggage.
Hear From Our Previous Guests
They were always on time, very quick to reply to questions and went above and beyond to make sure we were well taken care of.
We thoroughly enjoyed our short visit to the Maldives, the 2 highlights being having one of the most wonderful guides and the family dinner in Guiradhoo. In my now almost 25 years of “world-hopping” I think as well as my mother, that Kamey is by far one of the most knowledgeable, courteous, and dedicated guides we’ve ever had; he is one of your most precious assets convey him our warmest thanks.