I went to Addu for my third dive holiday with Secret Paradise. If you are looking to spend your time and money having an adventure then I cannot recommend this island enough. Secret Paradise took care of everything for me, I would not travel in the Maldives without them.
Engage with the local community
Historical & Cultural Insight
Uncover Addu Atoll, the heart-shaped gem in the Maldives deep south
A blend of natural wonders, unique culture, rich history and modern development, make our Addu Uncovered Tour the ideal choice for travelers who are seeking a unique experience, enjoy exploration and want to discover the Maldives beyond the beach.
Discover Addu Atoll, the heart-shaped gem of the Maldives, nestled at the southernmost tip of the archipelago. Unlike the atolls that stretch to the north, Addu does not offer the idyllic white sand beaches the Maldives is famous for but this captivating atoll boasts so much more.
Lying just a few degrees south of the equator, the islands offer many surprises. Lush green tropical forests, including mangroves and marshy taro fields. A rich ecosystem supports a diverse range of wildlife, such as seabirds, fish, crustaceans, fruit bats, and various bird species, including the symbolic white terns that only graces the skies of Addu. In the waters surrounding these islands snorkelers and scuba divers can enjoy vibrant coral reefs, encounter manta rays and sharks and discover the biggest shipwreck in Maldives, the British Loyalty Wreck.
Addu Atoll presents a distinct character that sets it apart from other Maldivian atolls. Feel welcomed by the warmth and hospitality of Adduans and enjoy the remoteness of the islands, knowing that the next landfall is 300 miles further south!
- USD 1599 per person based on double/twin share
- Available all year-round
- Male International Airport
- 5 days & 4 nights
- Additional nights can be added upon request
- Minimum 2 person per booking
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.
- 4 Night Standard room accommodation including breakfast
- 4 Dinners
- Airport and domestic transfer assistance
- Return transfer by scheduled domestic flight
- Airport and domestic transfer assistance
- Return public ferry transfer including bicycle fee
- Island tours and hedikaa experience
- Addu Nature Park including return transfer, entrance fee, activities described & picnic lunch
- Snorkeling safari including equipment
- Complimentary use of bicycles
- Services of English Speaking Secret Paradise Tour Leader
- All Local Tax (10% service charge, 16% GST and $3 Green tax per person per night)
- Lunch on 5 days
- 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 only available within the confines of the hotel included in this tour and is not generally available on local islands.
- Bikinis are allowed to be worn within the confines of the hotel. Outside of the hotel all guests are requested to dress with modesty in mind.
1450Kg of CO₂e – average carbon emission per person
Find our more about our Carbon Management here
Cross the equator by air.
Snorkel & kayak at Addu Nature Park.
Taking the ferry to explore Hulhumeedhoo by cycle.
Visit Mathikilhi Eco Garden.
Explore the oldest cemetery in the Maldives.
Discover Gan’s connection with the British RAF.
What to Expect
Upon arrival at Male International Airport you will be greeted by your Tour Leader and transferred by domestic flight to the Gan International Airport, in the southern atoll of Addu, meaning you also get to cross the Equator!
Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this southern gem, take a swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean or just explore the facilities of the hotel before dinner.
Today we travel by vehicle to the tip of the western string of islands to visit Addu Nature Park. The park encompasses the Eydhigali Kilhi wetlands and the UNESCO protected Koattey area, a sanctuary of biodiversity showcasing the wonders of the Maldives natural environment. Koattey actually means “fortress” in Dhivehi and lives up to its name by serving as a haven for almost 30 bird species, including migratory birds, as well as various species of mangroves.
Eydhigali Kilhi is one of the largest wetlands in the Maldives, renowned for its abundant water bird population. Bird enthusiasts will be delighted by the presence of birds such as the eastern grey heron, the endemic Maldivian pond heron, the little egret, and the white tern, which can be observed throughout the year.
During our visit we will join one of the Park Rangers for a guided nature tour through the park. They will share tales of the historical strategic importance of the area, uncover hidden clues to the past in the undergrowth and point out unique flora and fauna. Following a picnic lunch, kayak an area known as Bedhi, famous for its beautiful red mangroves, baby stingrays and sharks and finally snorkel in search of turtles, lobsters, clams, and sponges. It is claimed that the reef is also home to a few elusive seahorses so be sure to keep your eyes open!
The Maldives is rich in marine life but unfortunately, our marine life is no longer safe because of activities carried out by us humans. Following dinner over a coffee your tour leader will highlight the harmful practices that are pushing the balance in the eco system and what we can do to limit the impact.
Following breakfast, we depart by boat for an underwater encounter. Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ during the experience, pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. They will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.
Discover coral reefs that are teeming with fish and marine-life. Keep your eyes open for turtles and sharks. Whilst never a guarantee we may be lucky enough to encounter manta rays which can be sighted year round in the atoll. Addu is the only place in the Maldives that is home to full-sized adult Mantas, with wingspans stretching an incredible 5 meters. A Maldives Manta Conservation Programme (MMCP) initiative was launched in 2022 to establish a local base in Addu to lead an in-depth assessment of the current trends and health status of this regional manta population, a project Secret Paradise is a principal supporter of.
Late afternoon as the heat of the day diminishes, spend time exploring Gan on foot with your Tour Leader to learn more of the history of the area and its connection with the British. Particular sites of interest include the old cinema and monuments of remembrance. We finish our walk by sampling traditional ‘hedika’ – Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea at a local cafe.
Today we start our day of exploration cycling to Feydhoo from where we take a public ferry across the atoll to Hulhumeedhoo. Although Hulhumeedhoo is geographically one island, it is divided into two administrative areas – Meedhoo and Hulhudhoo. Meedhoo is one of the oldest populated islands in the Maldives and is also home to remnants of the Second World War and even centuries-old ancient relics.
We wind our way along sandy lanes to visit Kogannu Cemetery, the oldest and largest cemetery in the country, home to many mosques and tombs of antiquity. The cemetery, which is over 900 years old, has more than 1500 tombstones and seven small mosques of which only four remain. Koagannu also has one of the largest and tallest coral grave markers in the country. The local islanders believe that the tombstone dates back to the 18th century.
Continuing our ride, we head to the atoll’s farmland and in particular to Zuvaan Dhanduveriya, described as ‘one of the most ambitious farms in Maldives’. Experimental plants are grown via various techniques such as grafting and there are mature dragon fruit trees and crops of grapes and passionfruit.
We complete our tour at Mathikilhi Eco Garden. This area used to be abundant in freshwater lakes, the largest of these lakes being the “Fenfila Koaru” located in the center of the wetland. The common lake sedge that has spread abundantly over the years has left the area covered with a lush green carpet. The last lake was saved by locals from being turned into a wetland to form this tranquil area of natural beauty.
This morning is free for you to relax at the property reclined on a sun lounger on the beach or on the poolside before we transfer by domestic flight to Male International Airport or your onward destination arriving by 16:00.
There is the option to add on our 3-Night Fuvahmulah Experience, extend your stay at Equator Village or transfer on to a stay at either South Palm Resort or Canareef Resort.
On this tour keeping the history of Addu in mind, we stay at Equator Village Maldives, which is built on what used to be the British Royal Air Force Sergeant’s Mess. This area of Addu was originally established as a military base for the Royal Navy in WW2 and in 1942, the Royal Air Force made its base on the islands. The old colonial buildings still stand and have been converted to provide simple, yet comfortable accommodation, set within a tropical garden where native species and frangipani thrive on manicured lawns. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, AC, ceiling fans, complimentary Wi-Fi, water, tea and coffee. There is a swimming pool, a small beach area and access to a house reef.
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.