Maldives Tour on a Budget

Bestseller!

Private Guided Tour

A Maldives Experience Without Resort Prices

Our short stay holidays allow a mix of cultural experiences, beach and ocean activities, as well as plenty of time for relaxation because surely that is what holidays are all about! Chill out on perfect beaches, paddleboard around the lagoon, and explore the rich reef life on guided tours. Contribute to ongoing coral reef rehabilitation and waste management projects and immerse yourself in local life. With a variety of cafes and restaurants, Maafushi provides the ideal destination to meet locals and tourists alike and discover the Maldives on a budget.

Trip Details

Trip Details

Price

  • USD 899 per person based on double/twin share
  • Single supplement: USD 200
  • Child (2 -11 years): USD 399

Availability

Available all year round


Start

Arrival on day 1 by midday


Meeting point

Velana International Airport (MLE)


Duration

5 days & 4 nights


Group size

Minimum 1 – No maximum for private bookings


Participation requirements

At present all guests staying on local islands are required to take a PCR prior to departure.


Included

  • 4 nights standard guesthouse accommodation
  • 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 3 dinners
  • Airport and domestic transfer assistance
  • Return transfer by speedboat
  • Island tours and hedhika experience
  • Snorkeling trips
  • Sandbank visit and dolphin cruise
  • Malé city tour
  • Services of an English-speaking Secret Paradise guide
  • All local tax ($3 green tax per person per night, 10% service charge, and 12% GST)

Not included

Meals not listed under included


What to bring

Full details will be provided in our welcome information pack


Important note

  • 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.
  • Some activities may be subject to change due to Maldives safe tourism guidelines.

Highlights

Snorkel on some of the area’s best reefs and see rays, sharks, and turtles.

Taste Maldivian cuisine freshly prepared by a local family.

Enjoy a picnic lunch on an idyllic sandbank in the Indian Ocean.

Discover the quiet island of Gulhi and relax on the beautiful beach.

Explore famous landmarks and off the beaten path secrets in Malé.

Enjoy a magical dinner on the beach under the stars.

Learn how the locals maintain the biodiversity of the Maldives and protect marine life.

What to Expect

Arrive at Malé International Airport for the start of your Short Stay Maafushi Tour. Here you will be greeted by your guide who will assist you with your speedboat transfer to your local island in South Malé Atoll. During the 40-minute journey across the Indian Ocean to Maafushi, view the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by, keeping your eyes open for dolphins or sit inside and chat with the locals.

Upon arrival at your guesthouse, you will have time to settle in before exploring the island with your guide to get yourself acquainted with the layout and to observe local life in the Maldives. Try tasty traditional hedhika – Maldivian savory and sweet snacks served with black tea at a local cafe.

Following breakfast, hop aboard a boat to enjoy a 90-minute guided snorkeling trip to nearby reefs to discover the underwater world of the Maldives. Your guide will provide a safety briefing and highlight how to protect the reefs by being a responsible snorkeler, they will also act as your ‘spotter’ 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.

This afternoon join Maafushi Eco Dive and discover the story of Renee’s Coral Garden. On route to the coral nursery, snorkel the seagrass beds with your guide and discover their importance to the ecosystem.

This evening, enjoy the unique experience of eating dinner with a local family allowing you real access to Maldives home life. Around the table, you can share your thoughts about the cooking process, learn more about the Maldives, or you could learn some useful words that you can use during the remainder of your holiday. In the traditional way, we finish our evening on the beachfront for coffee under the stars!

Following breakfast, you will be taken by speedboat to an idyllic sandbank just a short distance from Maafushi. Here you have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, or just lie back and relax. Enjoy a picnic lunch before we head off to snorkel in search of turtles. The soft corals available on this reef usually mean it’s lunchtime all the time for turtles! On the return journey to Maafushi, cruise the Indian Ocean on the look out for dolphins. This evening, dinner will be served on the beach under the stars, a truly magical experience!

Following an early breakfast, we take a short journey to the quiet local island of Gulhi where your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Visit the boatyard to stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets, and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut) watching the comings and goings at the harbor. Ready for relaxation? You can head to the bikini beach or for the more energetic, join your guide for a final snorkeling opportunity on the house reef of Gulhi.

Following breakfast, transfer by speedboat to Malé, where, accompanied by your guide, you will discover the history of the capital city and visit historical sites including Hukuru Miskiiy – Old Friday Mosque, The Grand Friday Mosque, and Sultan Park. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore Malé, enjoy lunch, buy souvenirs or just watch the world go by from a local coffee house. Transfer to Velana International Airport or your onward destination.

Stingray Beach

Accommodation for the trip

A local-style guesthouse with a beautiful coconut palm-shaded outdoor living area and 8 comfortably furnished rooms. Located on the quieter side of the island. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.

We have handpicked the best guesthouses throughout the Maldives to provide you the greatest experience while enjoying your Short Stay Maafushi 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.

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A turtle swims underwater next to an island
A woman paddles in the shallows of clear blue water
A couple hug in front of their boat for the cruise