A frequently asked question is “Are the Maldives worth it?” Between the time it takes to get there and the amount of money it can take. Is it even worth it?
- Getting to the Maldives
- Is it worth the nearly 24 hours of travel?
- Can you entertain yourself in the Maldives?
- Is it worth the money?
- Honest opinion of the Maldives
Getting to the Maldives
Getting to the Maldives is no easy feat, especially from the United States. It takes around 24 hours of travel from the US to get to the Maldives. From the US:
- Qatar is a frequent layover spot, which is a 12.5 hour flight from New York City
- Our layover in Qatar was 8 hours long 😵
- From Qatar, you fly to the capital, Malé, which is just under a 5 hour flight
- From Malé you can either take a seaplane (which is a bit quicker) or take a domestic flight from Malé to an island closer to your resort (about 30-40 minute flight) with a speed boat transfer after (about 40 minutes to ours)
- All of this timing will depend on the proximity of the resort to Malé, obviously
Are the Maldives worth it due to the travel time?
To travel ALL that way, the destination better be immaculate and WORTHY. So is it? Yes, and here is why:
- Blue, clear waters can be found in many places around the world. However, there aren’t many places where the water is SO clear without ANY seaweed. With every beach being a part of an atoll, there is not much besides a sandy, corral-filled ocean bottom and clear water. This makes for as clear and beautiful water by the beach and the bungalows as it is if you jump off a boat in the middle of the ocean (which is often times not the case!)
- The marine life is phenomenal. The Maldives is home to an EXTRAORDINARILY diverse marine life along its reefs. Even the “house reefs” at most of the resorts have an abundance of tropical fish and sharks to see (even from the decks of the bungalows due to the CLARITY of the water).
- The privacy and seclusion. Most resorts reside on an island all to THEMSELVES. One island; one resort. Meaning you aren’t fighting crowds. At times, it feels like you have your own private island 😍
- The simplicity and lack of stress. You don’t have to find transportation anywhere. Excursions leave from your dock. The whole island is usually walkable in 20-30 minutes. And, bonus, the walk-ways are sand. Shoes are optional 😍
Can you keep yourself entertained in The Maldives?
Another question that comes up a lot is if the Maldives are boring? Is there enough to do on an island that is SO secluded and away from civility?
The Maldives have some of the most clear, breathtaking waters PLUS some of the best coral and marine life in the world. With that being said, a large portion of the best things to do in the Maldives includes seeing the underwater world! Aside from reading a book on some of the most pristine beaches in the world, cocktail in hand, here are some of the things we enjoyed the most while in the Maldives:
1. Sea Turtle Snorkel
I don’t know what it is about sea turtles that facinates me, but I love to see them! Snorkeling with sea turtles in the Maldives doesn’t mean you see one or two. There is a HOT BED of coral perfect for sea turtles where you will see SO MANY of them. I would say we saw at least 20 sea turtles, different sizes, swimming along the bank, swimming up to the top of the water, etc.
2. Snorkel with Manta Rays
We actually did this TWICE. There is nothing like seeing large, beautiful marine life swimming in the wild! However, finding manta rays to snorkel with isn’t as easy at the sea turtles. It takes some patience and even took us two tries to be able to swim up close with a manta ray (first time we saw one from a pretty far distance). Seeing them is definitely worth the work though 😍
3. Dolphin Cruise
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. Dolphin cruises are something you can do at nearly every beach destination, so expectations were low. However, this dolphin cruise had at least 50-100 dolphins! They swam at the boat, they were popping up in clusters in different waves, one jumped up and spun. It was like no other dolphin experience I have had!
4. Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Stand up paddle boarding is always a good time. Plus, doing it in the bluest waters is amazing; the water is so clear you can get a great view of the house reef from the board! So, grab your goggles and your GoPro because you’ll likely see a baby black-tipped reef shark or Dory 😍
5. Sunset cruise
Sunsets are really great from anywhere in the Maldives, but a great way to see one is to take a sunset cruise. These are often affordable or even complimentary (ours was). Keep an eye out for dolphins, we saw several on this cruise, just not as close-up as our actual dolphin cruise.
Other Things to do
Most resorts offer even more than just these! Clear paddle boats, jet skiing, tennis, scuba diving, night snorkeling, parasailing; the resorts really do a good job of trying to keep you entertained!
How many Days are needed?
In order to justify flying across the world and to make the Maldives worth it, you need to stay at least 7 days.
If you plan to do excursions, they typically take up at least half a day. So, if you want to do excursions, but still have time to sit, relax and enjoy the beaches, you need to allot enough days for both. We did an excursion probably 5 out of the 7 days we were there and never felt “bored.” Visiting more than one island is also an option!
However, with that being said, unless you plan to island hop, I wouldn’t do too many more days than 7 either. I’ve seen people spend 2 weeks+ in the Maldives, and I truly don’t know how you would fill up all of that time.
Are the Maldives Worth it due to the Money?
The BIG question. The Maldives are definitely a luxury vacation spot that is often-times priced out of an “average” person’s vacation price-range. We paid a little over $4,700 for our 7 night stay in the Maldives (more on that pricing here!), so although we went to the Maldives, it was on more of a Mexico price-tag 🙃.
I like staying in a luxury place as much as the next person, but I am not keen on dropping loads of dollars to do it. I am NOT one to pay $10,000 on a vacation unless I am up close and personal with a Giraffe in the Serengeti for a month; just can’t justify it.
If you are a luxury traveler looking for a phenomenal place to spend all your money, Maldives are absolutely a great option. Or, if you have been saving up for an epic trip for something special like a honeymoon or anniversary and have prepared to spend quite a bit, then sure! However, if you have a set budget to spend on travel and don’t find a good, affordable deal in the Maldives, then it isn’t worth it. I’d recommend finding a more affordable option to stretch out your travel budget!
The Maldives CAN be worth it: for the right price!
The Maldives lived up to the hype in every way possible. If the travel time is what may be holding you back, don’t let it. The travel time is worth it! Plus, the flight from Malé to the smaller island was one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. The water and the little islands from above are just like the pictures you see splattered on the internet.
Also, with every path on the islands being covered in sand and having limited rooms on the islands, the crowds are minimal, making it truly feel like paradise island. If you are looking to get AWAY, I truly don’t think there is anywhere else like it in the world!
However, to really make the Maldives worth it, make sure you do your research and find a good deal before you go! As mentioned before, here are some tips to try to get to the amazing Maldives without breaking the bank!