Giving Back opportunities

Engage with the local community

Environmental Awareness

Combine insights into local life and the environment, with snorkeling and relaxation

The best way to experience the natural beauty of the Maldives and gain an insight into the culture and tradition of Maldivian life is to travel to an inhabited island. Our 7-night tour provides the opportunity to combine local life, with environment awareness, popular excursions, watersports, and a little relaxation.

Accompanied by your Secret Paradise guide, travel to four local islands in South Malé Atoll; Hulhumale, Guraidhoo, Maafushi, and Gulhi. Appreciate the culture, scenery, and people with the opportunity to get involved in local environmental projects.

Trip Details

Trip Details

Price

  • Scheduled group tour:  USD 1149 per person
  • No single supplement charged on scheduled tour
  • Private tour: From USD 1475 per person based on double/twin share

Availability

  • Scheduled group tours depart every Sunday.
  • Private tours can depart on any day. Contact us to confirm availability.

Start

  • Check-in available on day one from midday
  • Early check-in available subject to availability

Meeting point

  • Velana International Airport (MLE)

Duration

  • 8 days & 7 nights

Group size

  • Scheduled group tours 1-8 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.

Included

  • 7 night Standard Deluxe room guesthouse accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, and 1 picnic lunch
  • Airport assistance
  • Return transfer by public ferry
  • Island tours & hedhika experience
  • Snorkeling, sandbank, and dolphin cruise
  • Snorkeling tour and guided house reef snorkeling inclusive of equipment
  • Beach Clean, Seagrass and Coral Nursery Visit
  • Malé City Walking tour
  • Secret Paradise guide
  • Local tax ($3 green tax per person per night, 10% service charge, and 16% GST)

Not included

  • 6 Lunches
  • International Flights
  • 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.

Important note

  • The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands.
  • Subject to availability,  visits to resorts can be arranged.
  • Bikinis are also 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.

Carbon Footprint

1660Kg of CO₂e – average carbon emission per person
Find our more about our Carbon Management here

Highlights

Visit 4 local islands Hulhumale, Guraidhoo, Maafushi, and Gulhi.

Learn how to protect the biodiversity of the Maldives and contribute to local projects.

Appreciate the beaches and lagoons by snorkeling, sandbanks, and breathtaking sunsets.

Discover how the local dhoni boat is built and perhaps learn the art of the Boduberu dance.

Stay in guest houses and visit local homes to share meals and stories with the family.

Spot sea life like turtles, colorful fish, sharks, and dolphins.

Get a tour of the Maldives’ capital city, Malé.

What to Expect

Arrive at Malé International Airport for the start of your South Malé Island Hopping Tour. Here you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your guesthouse on Hulhumale. Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical urban paradise.

For guests arriving before 5.00 pm, there is an option to join your guide beachside for coffee, a very popular daily activity for Maldivians, and a chance to gain your first insight into the local side of this island paradise.

On the morning of day two, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city before transferring by local ferry to the local island of Guraidhoo, South Malé. Visit the fish market and local market, President’s Palace, Sultan Park, and Friday Mosque. Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the waterfront before boarding the afternoon ferry. Upon arrival, you will have time to settle in before either relaxing on the rooftop at the guesthouse or on the local beach to watch the sun go down.

The Maldives is rich in marine life but unfortunately, our marine life is under threat because of activities carried out by us humans. Following dinner at your guesthouse, 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 travel by speedboat to two of the best nearby reefs. The coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by diverse marine life and are teaming with colourful fish and corals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks and rays you never know what may be in the blue! Your tour leader will provide a 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 assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.

As the afternoon cools down accompanied by your tour leader time is spent exploring Guraidhoo with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life including a visit to the Mosque. Visit the harbour, maybe there will be fishermen with their catch. Watch children playing in the street. Discover local fruit trees as you wander the narrow maze of sandy roads. Finally, stop by a local cafe to sample traditional ‘hedika’ – Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea.

This evening while you listen to the sound of the waves enjoy a Maldives style beach BBQ under the stars.

Start early on day four to transfer by local ferry to the local island of Maafushi, just 20 minutes away, where after checking into the guesthouse you will be able to enjoy a relaxed breakfast before exploring the island to get yourself acquainted with the layout and uncover the best spots to take lunch or enjoy a refreshing juice with a view. Your tour leader will explain the history of local island tourism including the positive and negative impacts on the islands and local communities

This afternoon, with your tour leader discover the story of Renee’s Coral Garden and why coral rehabilitation projects are important in the Maldives. On route to the coral rehabilitation site snorkel the seagrass beds with your guide and discover their importance to the Maldives ecosystem. Despite being one of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet, sea grass is considered unsightly, and is often deliberately removed. Your Tour Leader will help you understand the importance of sea grass and why we call it the hero of underwater protection.

After dinner at a local café, your Tour Leader will introduce you to the work of the Olive Ridley project. Providing an insight into their environmental monitoring and turtle studies preparing you for our turtle snorkeling tomorrow!

Following breakfast we head out on the ocean once again! You will be taken by speedboat to an idyllic sandbank just a short distance from Maafushi. Maldives sandbanks are a natural wonder that epitomizes the breathtaking beauty of this tropical paradise. Picture a pristine stretch of glistening white sand emerging from the crystal-clear turquoise waters, forming a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Here you have the opportunity to swim, snorkel or just lie back and relax. A picnic lunch will be served before we head off to snorkel in search of turtles. The soft corals available on this reef usually mean its lunchtime all the time for turtles! Before entering the water your tour leader will share the turtle snorkeling code of conduct, ensuring the experience is memorable for both you and the turtle.

On the return journey to Maafushi cruise the Indian Ocean and hopefully spot dolphins. Your tour leader and crew familiar with the habits and behavior of dolphins will keep a keen lookout for any signs of these graceful creatures. They will share stories about the different species of dolphins found in the region, their social dynamics, and the role they play in the ecosystem. It’s an educational and enriching experience that will deepen your appreciation for these incredible marine creatures.

Following an early breakfast on day six, we take a short speedboat journey to the quiet local island of Gulhi. Once checked in to your guesthouse, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Visit the boat yard 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).

Over your refreshment your tour leader will inspire and educate on how plastic is being dealt with in the Maldives and the work being done by Parley of the Oceans. We all know the impact we face every day dealing with plastic, in fact plastic is now a huge part of people’s life. The Maldives is no different and faces a huge challenge in dealing with daily waste and plastic.

Ready for relaxation you can choose to head to the bikini beach or for the more energetic join your tour leader for a snorkeling opportunity on the house reef of Gulhi. As the afternoon cools down there is the option to spend time on the beach, giving back to the community that has welcomed us by supporting a beach clean. Our reward will be a refreshing ocean swim!

Dinner this evening is prepared by a local family, just don’t expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without the aid of a knife and fork!

Free time  to make the most of your final day in paradise.

 

On day 8, following breakfast you are transferred back to Malé by ferry, arriving at Velana airport (MLE) by 10:00.

Your Trip Accommodations

Planktons Beach
Located on the beach road this property has 10 modern, well-appointed, deluxe rooms. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, flat-screen satellite TV, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.

Ocean Retreat & Spa

Ocean Retreat & Spa features an in-house restaurant, a spa and a sun terrace overlooking the picturesque views of the stunning lagoon. Consisting of 17 spacious guest rooms offering city or sea view. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.

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

Tropic Tree
10 tastefully decorated rooms have an authentic style by using coconut timber. It’s 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 the greatest experience while enjoying your Maldives South Malé Island Hopping tour. 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.

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Three woman do the peace sign on a tropical sandbank
Three snorkelers pose for a photo
A woman takes a photo of the beach