I have done many tours literally around the world, but this tour was one of the best tours I’ve ever had, and here’s why: They truly care about the environment. My guide Archie was honest, on time, responsive, educated, and genuinely passionate about preserving the Maldives. He was perfect for the job
Engage with the locals
Escape to the beautiful island paradise of the Maldives and indulge in the ultimate island-hopping adventure. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the Maldives. Stroll along white sandy beaches, encounter turtles, whale sharks and a host of tropical marine life. Participate in traditional activities including cooking and local games. Lose yourself in natural surroundings and learn about the importance of marine and environment conservation in the truly unique and breathtaking central atolls of the Maldives.
- From USD 1999 per person
- Private tours – contact us to confirm availability
- Arrival on day 1 by midday
- Velana International Airport (MLE)
- 8 days & 7 nights
- Minimum 2 person
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.
- 7 Night standart deluxe room accommodation including breakfast
- 7 Dinners
- 1 Picnic lunch
- Airport and domestic transfer assistance
- Inter-Island transfer by public ferry
- Island tours and Hedika Experience
- Visit to Rinbudhoo including two way transfer
- SUP or kayak rental
- 2 Snorkeling tour including equipment
- Whale Shark Safari Snorkeling tour including equipment
- Cultural experiences –cooking class and bashi playing
- Optional beach clean
- Services of Secret Paradise Tour Leader
- Local Tax (10% service charge, 16% GST and $3 Green tax per person per night)
- 7 Lunches
- Domestic Transfer Male to Dhaalu Atoll
- Domestic Transfer Thaa Atoll to Male
- 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.
- The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands.
- Bikinis are not allowed to be worn on local island beaches; however, all of our guesthouses offer either private gardens, balconies or tourist beach areas for guests where bikini swimwear can be worn.
1825Kg of CO₂e – average carbon emission per person
Find our more about our Carbon Management here
Visit the island Rinbudhoo famous for jewelry making
Kayak to a deserted island for a traditional picnic lunch
Snorkel marine rich tropical waters
Join in with local environmental conservation activities
A chance to snorkel alongside whale sharks and gather data
What to Expect
Upon arrival at Male International Airport you will be greeted by your tour leader and transferred by public speedboat or domestic flight to the island of , in the central atoll of Dhaalu. This small fishing island with a population of 600 is an island that can still be classed as remote.
Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical paradise for a sunset swim before dinner.
The Maldives is rich in marine life but unfortunately, our marine life is under threat because of activities carried out by us humans. Over a coffee your tour leader will highlight the harmful practices that are pushing the balance in the ecosystem and what we can do to limit the impact.
Following breakfast depart on a speedboat for an exciting snorkeling safari, there will be the opportunity to encounter turtles and reef sharks, as well as a multitude of colourful fish. Your tour leader 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. Your tour leader will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water. 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, spend time exploring the island with your tour leader. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about the local way of life, including a visit to the Mosque. Visit the harbor and learn how the common wooden boat known locally as a ‘dhoni’ is built, look out for the local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day! Stop by a local cafe to sample traditional hedhika – Maldivian savory and sweet treats served with black tea.
Following breakfast, travel by boat to Rinbudhoo known as the Jewellers island. People of Rinbudhoo are among the most skilled silver and goldsmiths in the Maldives. The art of jewelry making goes back to ancient times on this island. Mostly working from home, jewelers here make traditional items like fattaru-bae, long gold necklaces worn at special occasions, and fattaru, a kind of silver belt, but also modern pieces that appeal to contemporary tastes.
A tour of the island is a tale of artistry as you wander between a collection of street murals, Local artists, including our very own guide, Shark were given the freedom to paint whatever inspired them, resulting in detailed scenes of Maldivian folklore, reflections of Rinbudhoo’s artisanal history, and lifelike portrayals of the country’s natural environment.
The local ladies will demonstrate how to make mashuni and roshi. There will be an opportunity for you to test your skills at making both as well as tasting the end results for lunch!
As the afternoon cools down before returning to Maaenboodhoo, ladies from the island will show you how to play Bashi – an ancient game played exclusively by women. A woman is facing backwards to the opposite team, stands with her back to the net and serves a tennis ball over her head backwards. On the other side of the net, a team of girls try to catch the tennis ball.
Today we voyage from Dhaalu Atoll to Thaa Atoll. We first take a slow boat to Kudahavadhoo Island which is the capital island of Dhaalu Atoll with a population of around 3,000 It is best known for its architectural importance due to the presence of mysterious mounds called ‘hawittas’. These mounds are believed to pre-date the Islamic period and are actually ruins of excavated Buddhist temples. There are also the preserved remains of an ancient mosque with coral-stone carvings and signs of excellent ancient masonry.
After lunch we jump aboard the public ferry to cruise to the top of Thaa Atoll when we jump off at Buruni. There will be time to explore this small untouched island famous for the classical romance story, Dhonhiyala and Ali Fulhu, today you can visit the historical places like the “Kamana beach” and the fields of “Koamas” where much of the story took place.
Our final stage of travel will be by speedboat south through Thaa to our overnight destination of Gaadhiffushi a small pretty island which retains its local feel with all single story buildings. Here we will be welcomed with a refreshing local kurumba drink.
Today you paddle by SUP or kayak to an uninhabited island to experience your own Robinson Crusoe moment. You will be coached on how to paddle and maneuver the kayak before heading off. We paddle our way alongside tropical fish and over coral reefs, to the sandy shores. As you step onto its shores, you will feel like an intrepid explorer, discovering a place that feels like it belongs only to you. The island’s beaches will invite you to wander and explore their hidden corners. Experience ‘majja’, a traditional Maldivian beach picnic and time to relax and sunbathe before returning to Gaadhiffushi .
Before we return to Gaadhiffushi we spend time completing an island clean. The act of cleaning is a powerful reminder of the importance of responsible tourism and environmental stewardship. Your reward will be a refreshing ocean swim!
After breakfast, travel by speedboat west across the atoll to Thimerafushi. A developing island, now home to the atoll’s domestic airport, Thimerfushi was once reliant on fishing and remnants of this industry can be seen on the island. Today a more modern fish processing factory is in place.
This afternoon we will snorkel close to Thimarafushi where there is a ‘young’ shipwreck to explore at about 5-8 metres. Wrecks like the coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by diverse marine life and are teeming with colorful 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 introduce you to the work of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program. Gain an insight into their environmental monitoring and whale shark studies, preparing you for our whale shark safari!
There is only one way to spot whale sharks and that’s the old fashioned way of being out on the boat and looking! So we head out in search of the ocean’s largest fish. We may see 2 sharks in half an hour or maybe only one for the whole time we are searching, (sometimes we may be unlucky and not encounter, but there is always another holiday!) The unpredictability all adds to the excitement! When we do spot them, following the whale shark code of conduct we will snorkel alongside them. A truly magical experience.
Together we will collate all data and encounters and input to the MWSRP database, as well as identifying the individual sharks or other megafauna such as manta rays we may see while we snorkel. All encounters will feature on MWSRP online portal as well as contributing to the Big Fish Network.
After breakfast transfer back to Male international airport by public speedboat or domestic flight which is where the tour ends.
Your Trip Accommodation
Rindali Maldives, Maaenboodhoo, Dhaalu Atoll
Rindali has 7 rooms including a family room, a dining area, shared lounge with sand under foot and a private garden and beach area. All rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, AC ceiling fan, tea/coffee making facilities.
Bambukeyho, Gaadhiffushi, Thaa Atoll
The 8 rooms at Bambukeyho are modest, clean and are all situated at ground floor level around a private inner courtyard. All rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, AC ceiling fan, tea/coffee making facilities.
Stay Mikado, Thimarafushi, Thaa Atoll
Stay Mikado offers deluxe, spacious accommodation across three floors. There are 12 standard rooms, 2 family suites and a roof terrace with a TV lounge area. All rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, AC ceiling fan, tea/coffee making facilities.
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.