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Maldives Itinerary

Before talking about an itinerary for the Maldives, I first need to talk about whether it is worth it to go to the Maldives. So here are the pros and cons of making the trip:

Cons:

  1. Long plane trip: It took us 22 hours to get there – 19 of those hours were spent in airplanes.
  2. Small land masses with little elevation: I really like hiking. Well, that’s impossible in the Maldives because the highest land elevation on the over 1,000 islands is about 20 feet above sea level and the largest island is about 1 square mile. You will start hiking in circles reeeaaaally quickly if you’re out for a hike.
  3. Seeing the sights: If you want to see a lot of different places, well, you’re also out of luck; you would need a water plane to do that, so it’s really not feasible to do so. Each island is a resort, so you will get very acquainted with that island and resort. Sure, you could take a boat to a nearby island, but the nearby islands are either very small and uninhabited (cool to go to but there’s not a lot to do when you get there), other resorts, or an island where the locals live and not designed for tourism.
  4. Internet: If you need good internet, maybe call ahead to your resort to check. I was surprised to find that our resort had extremely slow internet (we’re talking late 1990’s dial-up speeds).

In spite of those cons, I am very, very glad we made the trip. For us, it was well worth it.

Pros:

  1. The beaches: We have been to beaches in Brazil, Israel, Aruba, Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Greece, South Africa, and the U.S. (Hawaii included). None were as good as the beaches in the Maldives. First, the Maldivian beaches are more beautiful: white warm sand (that doesn’t burn your feet) ends in gentle waves of clear, warm, light turquoise blue water. The water is 84 degrees Fahrenheit and clear enough that you can see the bottom even up to about 6 feet deep. We saw innumerable fish, stingrays, and small sharks casually swimming by us. The islands are also made from coral reefs that grew to the surface and then accumulated sand on them, so the islands are all circled by beautiful coral that gradually descends into the sea, so you can wade and snorkel quite far from shore without getting into deep water.
  2. The landscape: On your seaplane ride to your resort, you will see the world how you have likely never seen it – you will see literally hundreds of small islands surrounded by light blue waters and dark blue and green coral reefs that have nearly reached the surface. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen — maybe the most beautiful or one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
  3. Bugs: There are virtually no bugs and no mosquitoes – something I really, really appreciated (especially as compared to Jamaica where you are the all-you-can-eat buffet for the mosquitoes).
  4. Water excursions: If you like to snorkel, scuba dive, or do other water excursions, then I can’t think of a better place. In every other place I have been, you drive or take a taxi somewhere, rent equipment, use it for a while, return it, etc. In short, doing excursions and the like is usually a hassle and involves wasted time. In contrast, on the islands in the Maldives your resort includes everything you would want to do. You just walk down to the dock, ask for some snorkeling gear, and you can jump in the water immediately and start exploring the amazing reefs and their wildlife that surround your island. Then you can keep that gear for the duration of your stay. There is literally no hassle involved and no wasted time, so excursions could not be any more convenient. If you love the water, this is the place to be.
  5. Safety: It is ridiculously safe. You’re on a small island that is the entire resort. You never have to worry about leaving your things, wonder if someone is trying to con you, etc. It makes it easier to relax that you don’t have to worry at any time about your surroundings.
  6. Easy: You really don’t have to think about anything. There’s no calling taxis, no Uber rides, no looking up reviews for restaurants and trying to get good dinner reservations, etc. It can be fun to plan out what and where you’ll go on a vacation, but, in this case, it was really nice and extremely relaxing to not have to plan anything. Great food was amply provided, and all the excursions are a 5 minute walk away. Deciding what you want to do that day is a very quick conversation: “Yeah, let’s go eat breakfast, have coffee at the beach and read, then go snorkeling, have lunch, maybe play ping pong or pool at the leisure house, go on a jet ski ride, have dinner, watch the sunset on a cruise, talk together and look at the stars on the beach, and go to sleep.” And then do relatively the same thing the next day. Like I said, incredibly easy and very relaxing.

So, let’s say you’ve read this far, and you’re interested in going to the Maldives. Congrats! I think you’ll be very happy with that decision.

View from the seaplane on our way to the island resort

Here’s what to do when you’re there:

  1. Water Villa: You can get a hotel room on land anywhere, so definitely get a water villa in the Maldives (that’s what we did when we stayed at the Kudafushi Resort). The water villa was incredible, and while just sitting on our villa’s deck we could see amazing ocean wildlife — hundreds of fish jumping out of the water at the same time to escape larger fish below, stingrays, a few small sharks, etc. You have instant access to the ocean and can jump directly in the ocean any time you want from your hotel room’s deck. And it feels so good to hear ocean waves all night long.
  2. Snorkeling: You just grab a snorkel and go. You’re right there on a beach that has a magnificent coral reef.
  3. Scuba Diving: It was our first time, we were not great at it, but our guide was awesome. It was amazing and just an incredible experience to see the world completely differently, to be able to exist below water for 30 minutes. We saw fish of all sizes and colors, beautiful coral, and a chill sea turtle which we got so close to we could have touched. Even if you’ve never gone scuba diving, I encourage you to try it out – it’s really easy if you have a great guide.
  4. Jet skiing: Also our first time jet skiing, and we loved it.
  5. Other Excursions: There are a ton of other adventures to be had (day cruises, sunset cruises, paddle boarding, etc.)
  6. Read: Not sure if it’s worth flying there just to read, but I did finish more books on this vacation than on any other. Life is just so simple, peaceful, and picturesque that it made for great reading, thinking, and writing.

It was an incredible experience to go. I relaxed and grew in my appreciation for how large and how beautiful the world is and what a gift it is to be alive. I think you will love it too. If you go, let me know how it was for you! I’d love to hear about it.

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