5.0
| 9 reviews

Island Hopping Adventure in the Real Maldives

7 nights
Easy

Relax into authentic island life on this marine adventure in South Ari Atoll, paddling and snorkelling in protected tropical waters

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with certified, English-speaking local guide

Hotel & Guesthouse

7 nights in locally owned hotels and guesthouses

Meals

All breakfasts, 1 picnic, 5 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and boat transfers between islands

Equipment

All snorkelling, kayaking and SUP equipment

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 14 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

5.0
| 9 reviews
Fantastic Trip.
March 2024
Jamie M.
Fantastic Trip.
March 2024
Jamie M.
Fantastic Trip.
March 2024
Jamie M.
Fantastic Trip.
March 2024
Jamie M.
Fantastic Trip.
March 2024
Jamie M.
Absolutely incredible
March 2024
Victoria P.
Absolutely incredible
March 2024
Victoria P.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
March 2024
Amy M.
An amazing trip, thank you!
January 2024
Aisling A.
An amazing trip, thank you!
January 2024
Aisling A.
An amazing trip, thank you!
January 2024
Aisling A.
An amazing trip, thank you!
January 2024
Aisling A.
Amazing Maldives
January 2024
Alan C.
Amazing Maldives
January 2024
Alan C.
Amazing Maldives
January 2024
Alan C.
Amazing Maldives
January 2024
Alan C.
Amazing Maldives
January 2024
Alan C.
Underwater view of a person snorkelling with a turtle, Maldives.

Explore an incredible marine world teeming with life – swim with whale sharks and snorkel kaleidoscopic reefs

Hike, kayak and SUP your way around these pristine tropical islands, discovering dazzling sandbanks and beaches

Uncover the real Maldives by hanging out with local islanders and participating in marine conservation projects

Kick back and make the most of this Indian Ocean paradise with beach barbecues and sunset sailing trips

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to the Maldives!

Touch down at the airport in Male and get straight into the action – soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the Maldives' capital, walking through local markets, Sultan Park and the Friday Mosque. Grab some lunch before boarding the scheduled afternoon speedboat for an exhilarating two-hour journey across the Indian Ocean to the tiny colourful island of Dhangethi. Keep your eyes open for dolphins and get the first glimpse of the vast archipelago. Arrive at your guesthouse, where you'll have time to settle in before enjoying sunset from the beach – maybe even jump in the water for your first swim.

Day 2

Kaleidoscopic reefs and Maldivian life

Snorkelling

3hrs

After breakfast, set off by boat for some guided snorkelling along the nearby reefs, which are teeming with marine life such as sharks, manta rays and turtles. Your guide will provide a briefing on responsible snorkelling and act as your ‘spotter’, pointing out incredible creatures that may not have caught your eye. Back in Dhangethi, join your local guide as the afternoon cools down to explore this tiny island on foot. Immerse yourself in the daily life of the island: visit the local mosque, learn how the local dhoni boats are built and meet the women of the community, busy with evening meal preparations. Stop at a local café for a quintessentially Maldivian experience – evening tea accompanied by hedhikaa (fried snacks).

Day 3

Another day in paradise

Sandbank and turquoise water in the Maldives.

Wild Swimming

3hrs

Hop on a speedboat and travel to an untouched sandbank emerging from crystal blue waters, where you'll spend a few relaxed hours swimming, snorkelling and soaking up the sunshine. Later, you'll return to Dhangethi where the remainder of the day is free, giving you the chance to participate in optional watersports – including diving. If you do not already hold your PADI diving certification, you can choose to take your first steps by booking a Discover Scuba Dive experience – see the FAQ below on budgeting for extra activities. Come nightfall, you'll enjoy a beach barbecue under the stars, and maybe try some traditional dancing to the beat of the bodu beru, a typical Maldivian drum!

Day 4

The natural paradise of Dhigurah

Kayaking

2hrs

Hiking

3hrs · 6km

Let the speedboat take you to your next island: Dhigurah. The name translates to ‘long island’ because this island has the longest beach of the atoll (and one of the longest in the Maldives). Head out in kayaks to explore the huge turquoise lagoon, stopping to swim and snorkel along the way – you're likely to spot rare sea turtles, fish (of which there are over a thousand species), corals, starfish, molluscs and if you're lucky, you may even encounter some manta rays. This afternoon, swap the beach for the jungle and enjoy an exploration of the evergreen forest which covers two-thirds of the island. Be ready to get hot and sweaty as this is equatorial territory, but your reward will be a beautiful sunset and a refreshing dip in the ocean.

Day 5

Swim with whale sharks

This morning you'll head out in search of the ocean’s largest fish: the magnificent whale shark. Dhigurah is considered a year-round whale shark paradise – one of the best places in the world to see them, it's part of the South Ari Marine Protected Area. Over 350 individuals have been recorded in the region, but there are likely many more than that. The only way to find them is by going out on the boat and looking! If you are lucky you may see two or three sharks in half an hour, or maybe you'll see only one the whole time you're out searching, but the unpredictability all adds to the excitement. If you spot the whale sharks, you'll will have the opportunity to snorkel alongside these enormous creatures, a truly magical experience. Back on the island, kick back with a fresh kurumba (coconut water) or take a sunset swim in the ocean.

Day 6

SUP, sand and sunset sailing

Stand Up Paddleboarding

2hrs

Sailing

2hrs

If you were unlucky and didn't encounter a whale shark yesterday, there is a discounted rate offer if you choose to try again this morning. Otherwise, you'll head out in the protected lagoon to master your balance skills on an SUP, paddleboarding along the idyllic beaches and pristine waters that fringe Dhigurah. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish – perhaps kayak, snorkel or walk to the spit of sand at the island's tip. Before dinner, you'll head out by boat for a sunset cruise to enjoy the brilliant hues of the sinking sun as it dips below the horizon. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, as they are often seen at dusk.

Day 7

Snorkel the coral nursery of Villimale

Snorkelling

1hr

You'll rise early this morning to catch the 06:30 scheduled speedboat back to Male. From there, you'll head to Villimale by ferry for a tour of the island, led by some inspirational guides from 'Save the Beach Maldives' – a local NGO who are educating people on Maldivian ecosystems and the conservation challenges arising from coastal development in small island states. You'll also get the chance to snorkel above a coral nursery with conservationists, actively contributing to their ambitious reef project. You'll check in to your guesthouse in Hulhumale mid-afternoon, with time to freshen up and relax before joining your fellow adventurers for a farewell dinner.

Day 8

Farewell, paradise

Underwater shot of a sea turtle among coral.

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Unless you're extending your trip, your host will transfer you to Male International Airport in time for your flight home.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Maldivian dishes spread on palm leaves on the beach, Maldives.

Traditional Maldivian food usually involves fish (particularly tuna), chilli and coconuts. White rice and roshi (a flour-based flatbread) are also staple items. You'll get the chance to taste some delicious local specialities, as well as the typical evening tea called hedhikaa, which includes strong black or milk tea with savoury fried snacks. Lunches are not included but these will be readily available in the restaurants or cafés of the guesthouses, which often serve Western food too. On the smaller islands local supermarkets/convenience stores may have limited items, so if there is something particular you are going to want, we would encourage you to bring it with you. Be prepared for perhaps a little more repetition of meals than you would be used to back home.

Please note: Maldivians, as Muslims, are prohibited by law from consuming alcohol. This means that there is a restriction on the availability of alcohol, even in Male. Please do not bring alcohol through the airport, as it will be confiscated and returned to you when you depart. Visits to private resorts to purchase alcohol can be arranged, however, this is subject to authorisation, based on occupancy at the resort, and an entrance fee and transfer charge will apply.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for but it is worth noting that over 95% of these products would be imported. Fruit and vegetables, whilst available, are limited and given that fish is a key component of the local diet, you will find your vegetarian or vegan diet quite limited.

What is the accommodation like?

Antares Dhangethi Guesthouse beach, Maldives, source: Secret Paradise
Dhangethi

You'll spend the first three nights in Dhangethi, an authentic local island untouched by mass tourism, dominated by exotic tropical flora, fringed with turquoise waters, and home to a maze of narrow streets and colourful houses. You'll stay at the locally owned guesthouse Antares Dhangethi, located just a few steps from the white sands. Accommodation will be in twin-share rooms equipped with air conditioning, free WiFi and a private bathroom. The restaurant serves delicious local and Western cuisine, as well as snacks and drinks.

Dhigurah

You'll spend another three nights in Dhigurah. Located in the South Ari atoll it's one of the most picturesque locations in the Maldives with its long beach, protected lagoon and pristine sandbar. You'll stay at the stylish beach hotel TME Retreats Dhigurah. All rooms are twin-share and come with free WiFi, air conditioning, TV and tea/coffee facilities. The hotel also has a great in-house restaurant.

Hulhumale

Your final night will be spent in Hulhumale, a suburban island just a 10-minute drive away from Male International Airport. Here you'll stay at Newtown Inn, a comfortable guesthouse offering modern, air-conditioned rooms on a twin-share basis with free WiFi, TV and private bathrooms.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

This trip has been rated as Easy

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 aim of this trip is to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Maldives. An introductory briefing will be provided for snorkelling, kayaking and SUPing – the only requirement is that you must be comfortable in the water and able to swim.

The hot, humid weather can be challenging to adapt to, so plenty of free time has been built into the itinerary to allow you to rest and avoid too many hours of sun exposure. However, if you are feeling energetic there are plenty of options to fill your day, including extra kayaking, snorkelling or other water-based activities such as diving.

What will I need to carry?

Your main luggage will be transported for you and can be left at the accommodation so for the activities you'll only need to carry a small daypack (or drybag for the water-based activities).

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 more rain than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower but it's very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even for a full 24 hours. There is usually more wind during this season, but this helps keep the temperatures at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

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. As the islands are situated so close to the equator it is possible to get sunburn even on a cloudy day, so sunscreen should be applied as a matter of course.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Male Velana International Airport

10:00 on Day 1

Ends

Male Velana International Airport

Any time on Day 8

Transfers

On Day 1 your host will collect you from Velana International Airport in Male. Most international flights land in the morning and if you wish to join the scheduled city tour with your guide and group, please book a flight which lands in Male before 10:00. Your scheduled speedboat to Dhangethi will depart Male at 16:00, so even if you don't join the city tour, you'll need to arrive by 12:00 at the latest to allow enough time to make the scheduled onward journey by boat. Alternatively, if the schedules don't fit the itinerary planned on Day 1, we recommend you consider arriving one day prior to the start of the trip. On the last day of the trip, your host will return you to the airport in time for your onward flight. Free transfers are included any time you choose to depart on Day 8.

If you wish to arrive before the trip start date or stay longer at the end, your host can arrange private airport transfers and pre/post-trip accommodation. See Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are direct flights to Male International Airport from London Heathrow with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, as well as direct routes from other airports across Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

All equipment for kayaking, SUPing and snorkelling.

Although snorkelling gear is included/available for Days 2 and 7, we strongly recommend that you bring your own mask and snorkel – not only for better comfort, but you'll also be able to use them during your free time throughout the itinerary.

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Overnight duffel bag or luggage
  • Daypack (20 litres)
  • Drybag for all water-based activities

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight, casual, non-synthetic clothing (cottons and natural fibres are best) which appropriately cover the body when in company of the local communities. For more detail, see clothing section in the FAQs.
  • Cool footwear (flip flops/sandals are best)
  • Trainers
  • Swimwear – rash vests or t-shirts are recommended for snorkelling, to avoid sunburn
  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Underwear and socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in

OTHER

  • Sea sickness tablets or wristbands
  • Universal travel plug adapter (the Maldives uses mostly UK 3-pin style sockets)
  • Camera and/or underwater camera
  • Powerbank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Plenty of high-factor, reef-friendly sunscreen (pack more than you would for a normal beach holiday), aftersun lotion and personal hygiene products. Check out this blog for more information.
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc). Please note that tampons in particular are not readily available outside of the capital.
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Dive certification card and log book, if you intend to participate in SCUBA diving.
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1.5 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Additional Night in Hulhumale Twin/Double/Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Hulhumale Twin/Double/Single Room

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Jan-Apr/Aug-Oct 2024) From...

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Jan-Apr/Aug-Oct 2024) From...

Optional Private Room Upgrade (May-Jul 2024) From...

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (May-Jul 2024) From...

Jamie M.(March 2024)
Fantastic Trip.
Fantastic Trip.
Fantastic Trip.
Fantastic Trip.
Fantastic Trip.
Fantastic Trip.

Absolutely fantastic trip. Would recommend it to anybody. Zaff was a brilliant tour guide.

Highlights were swimming with a Whale Shark and Manta Rays. The Mantas weren't part of the itinerary, but you're given the opportunity to go if you want to, I think it was about $50 or so.

Victoria P.(March 2024)
Absolutely incredible
Absolutely incredible
Absolutely incredible

Amazing trip! The water is clearer than any I've ever experienced! Swimming with whale sharks, turtles, rays and every fish you could imagine was just incredible! Take 50% DEET spray as the mosquitoes are relentless!

Amy M.(March 2024)
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise
Once in a lifetime adventure in paradise

What an adventure! We had a brilliant time in the Maldives, guided by our wonderful local guide UB who brought the place to life with his own experiences and knowledge. Particular highlights for us were the lunch at a village home (organised via the Womens' Development group on the island), the sunset cruise with dolphins, and the snorkelling /diving is second to none. We had whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, and every kind of fish...incredible place.

Alex J.(February 2024)
I booked this on my

I booked this on my own very last minute with about 2 days to spare but the MBA Team were fantastic about squeezing me in- thank you!

I'm so glad I did: the group was fun and the guide (Zaff) was excellent - not just on the snorkeling and exploring but also on Maldives history and culture. Swimming with Mantras was a highlight for me but the whole experience is highly recommended ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Aisling A.(January 2024)
An amazing trip, thank you!
An amazing trip, thank you!
An amazing trip, thank you!
An amazing trip, thank you!
An amazing trip, thank you!

This trip surpassed all of my expectations. We spent a fantastic week seeing lots of wonderful wildlife, eating tasty food and learning about local culture. Our guide Zaff was amazing, always going above and beyond to make sure everyone was happy, and he went into each activity with so much enthusiasm that we enjoyed everything even more (somehow!)

It was great to learn about the Maldives as a country and to get stuck into island life. I’d 100% recommend this trip to anyone.

Anna C.(January 2024)
A wonderful trip, everything I

A wonderful trip, everything I expected and more. The snorkelling was amazing and the mix of local islands, culture and activities perfect. Zaff our guide went over and above from the start and really made the trip. The highlights were snorkelling with Manta Rays and sunsets on beach with the whole group. I would have stayed an extra week if I could.

Alan C.(January 2024)
Amazing Maldives
Amazing Maldives
Amazing Maldives
Amazing Maldives
Amazing Maldives
Amazing Maldives

An amazing trip with some great people. Zaff our guide was enthusiastic, fun-loving and friendly, but knowledgable too. He was also very keen to please and keep everyone happy. The mix of islands was great and the snorkelling can't be beaten. We didn't manage to find a Whale Shark but we did have a cool encounter with some Manta Rays and plenty of other sharks, a turtle, Eagle Rays and Fruit Bats

Visiting various islands provided plenty of variety and interest. A great way to see the Real Maldives. We tagged two nights at a resort onto the beginning of our trip too which was a nice contrast to the local islands and highly recommended

Steven(October 2023)

An amazing trip - really well hosted and executed- a fine time indeed- highlights included swimming with a whale shark and lunch on a sandbar ( after swimming around it) - go for it.

Rachel(October 2023)

Fantastic trip - a wonderful warm welcoming country. The diving and snorkelling were amazing, the people were fabulous, our local guide was really great and everything was truly memorable. I’d go again tomorrow..

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 956kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

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 aim of this trip is to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Maldives. An introductory briefing will be provided for snorkelling, kayaking and SUPing – the only requirement is that you must be comfortable in the water and able to swim.

The hot, humid weather can be challenging to adapt to, so plenty of free time has been built into the itinerary to allow you to rest and avoid too many hours of sun exposure. However, if you are feeling energetic there are plenty of options to fill your day, including extra kayaking, snorkelling or other water-based activities such as diving.

Marta Marinelli, raised in Italy’s serene Prosecco Hills, dreamt of global adventures, inspired by her father's travel stories. Her passion evolved into a career, backed by a decade of studies including degrees in international tourism and destination management. She’s worked in the adventure travel sector since 2012, living in Italy, the UK, and now sunny Portugal.

Over twenty years, Marta has explored over 55 countries, visiting remote areas like Ghana, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Haiti and Nepal’s Upper Mustang region. As a Senior Adventure Expansion Manager at Much Better Adventures, she focuses on creating life-changing experiences, ranging from multi-activity adventures, challenging treks to ultimate adventures in iconic places. She loves the challenge of finding the best local adventure hosts around the world, collaborating on adventures that offer genuine immersion, pushing beyond the beaten path and working on exclusive itineraries that challenge your comfort zone.

What makes her tick? Enabling people to live adventure-rich lives while positively impacting and empowering local communities around the world, generating sustainable opportunities for both the host, guides, community, and the environment.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

USD $30-$40 for the week

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

The tap water in the Maldives is not always friendly on the stomach and therefore it's not safe drink, especially on the smaller islands where infrastructure is lacking. Filtered water refill stations are available in Male and Dhangethi, but access to these is not always guaranteed. For this reason, we recommend that you bring your own refillable water bottle and a water purification system (tablets or a UV handheld device, such as a Steripen). Please find more info here. Alternatively, your guide may recommend that 5L bottles of water are purchased and used to fill reusable water bottles. In this case, these bottles will all be returned to Male and handed over to a trusted local recycling project run by Parley.

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 more rain than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower but it's very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even for a full 24 hours. There is usually more wind during this season, but this helps keep the temperatures at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

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. As the islands are situated so close to the equator it is possible to get sunburn even on a cloudy day, so sunscreen should be applied as a matter of course.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Your local host will do their best to operate the itinerary as communicated, however, for your safety and comfort some changes may be required based on the weather and or sea conditions. All boat transfers are operated by independent companies and although they operate at scheduled times, services can occasionally get delayed or cancelled at short notice due to weather conditions, public holidays or mechanical failure. In the event of a cancellation, your guide will make alternative arrangements and reschedule any of the inclusions whenever possible.

In the unlikely event of significant itinerary changes which involve substantial extra costs (such as extra nights in hotels etc.), this would need to be borne by the customer to be claimed back via your travel insurance.

Ramadan will take place from 28th February to 31 March 2025. Ramadan is an Islamic festival where all Maldivians do not eat or drink during daylight hours. While this is a really interesting time to travel, you can expect some business hours will be shortened, and local cafes or restaurants will generally not open during daylight hours. Possibly the timings of local ferry and speedboat transfer services will change too. Activities for local people tend to be limited during the day and the nights are very active with family gatherings and lots of different foods being sold and consumed. However, in hotel restaurants and tourist areas food and drink are served as normal and Ramadan will not affect the inclusions on your trip. Your guide will adjust the timings of your itinerary if necessary. Although there are no restrictions for non-Muslims during Ramadan, it is respectful to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public areas during daylight hours.

High temperatures and ever-present sunshine mean that locals and visitors alike prefer dressing in lightweight materials. Cotton t-shirts, skirts and shorts with sandals or flip-flops are the best options for staying cool.

Please note that the Maldives are a Muslim nation, therefore care needs to be taken regarding dress on small islands and in local communities. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear t-shirts and shorts/swimshorts, 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. Whilst the islands you'll visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, women should NOT wear swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, sandbank, private tourist bikini beach (available on all islands you'll stay on) or snorkelling/dive boats. Your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is common practice for both local women and female visitors to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash vest with shorts or leggings.

When visiting the home of a local family or where you may have access to mosques, shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect for local customs.

Whilst snorkelling equipment is included on this trip, we would advise bringing along your own mask and snorkel where 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. However, if you want to ensure a perfect fit, you are always welcome to bring your own.

It's advisable to exchange a small amount (around $50) at the exchange desk in the airport. Please note that it is not possible to exchange currency to USD, only to MVR. MVR can only be exchanged back to the original currency prior to your departure if you have a receipt for an arrival exchange from the Bank of Maldives exchange counter in the airport.

The US Dollar is generally accepted as legal tender. All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at resorts, hotels and shops. On smaller islands, it is usually only hotels, guesthouses, shops and larger restaurants which accept credit cards, and cash is generally preferred. Small restaurants, cafes and activity providers will generally request payment in cash. Most restaurants and shops will accept USD in payment, but will provide change in local currency.

It is impossible to say exactly what you will need during your island visits as this varies depending on personal preference, the number of extra optional activities you choose and any souvenirs you may like to purchase. While on the islands, approximate prices are as follows:

  • Snack lunch: $5 – $10
  • Evening meal in guesthouse or local restaurant: $10 – $25
  • Tea/coffee: $1 for Nescafe, to $5 for barista-style coffee
  • Soft drinks: $1.50
  • Water 1.5L: $0.50
  • General excursions: from $25 – $100 per person
  • Watersports: from $10 per person for 60-minute non-motorised rentals

Optional activities in Dhangethi:

  • Discover Scuba Dive: $85 per person, including equipment
  • Certified Dive: $70 per person, including equipment and tax
  • Night Snorkelling: $60 per person, including equipment

Optional activities in Dhigurah:

  • Discover Scuba Dive – two dives: $180 per person, including equipment
  • Certified Dive: $100 per person, including equipment
  • Two-hour Guided Snorkel: $60 per person, including equipment

*rates for services provided locally and payable direct to the provider remain subject to change.

Yes, free WiFi is available at all the guesthouses. However, this is an island nation where cabling is laid along the sea bed and there is only one antenna per island, so you should not expect the signal strength and speed of the internet to be at the level you are accustomed to back home. Weather can also impact the quality of the connection at times.

Your guide will provide a full briefing on responsible snorkelling prior to your trip. As a general rule, fish, ray or shark feeding should be avoided. It is harmful to marine life, to the ecosystem, and potentially to the people in the water (whether it be snorkellers, swimmers, or divers). Hand-feeding marine life promotes a behaviour called conditioning, where the animals learn to associate humans with food. When fish start to anticipate meal times with humans, it interferes with their natural feeding cycles. As a result of behavioural conditioning through fish feeding, unprovoked marine animals may attack (bite) humans, thinking they will receive food or mistaking fingers and other body parts for food.

Please also make sure you do not touch corals or marine life. Simply touching animals or coral can be as damaging in the long run as intentionally killing or catching them. Many animals, including turtles, rays and many species of sharks, can become vulnerable to harmful bacteria through human contact, leaving them susceptible to disease.

Unfortunately, like many coral reefs around the world, the Maldives reefs have been impacted by bleaching. However, there is still an abundance of marine life and in areas not subject to high levels of reclamation and development (which adds stress to the reef's rejuvenation) there is positive evidence of coral rehabilitation. The impact of bleaching varies from atoll to atoll, therefore you may observe great corals in one location but poor ones in another. Your local host is involved in a number of coral reef projects with NGOs, including Coral Doctors, Save the Beach and Maafushi Eco Dive, who support coral planting in areas where the reefs have been significantly impacted.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

Private trip

Got questions? We've got answers

Our friendly and expert team is on hand to help you choose one of our adventures. So if you want answers to questions like "Who else is going?" or anything else about this trip – please get in touch.

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Guaranteed to run

All our trips are now guaranteed to run. Once you’ve booked your spot you can immediately make your travel arrangements, no uncertainty, no hanging about (excludes 'request to book' departures). Full details

Flexible payments

Secure your spot with the minimum deposit and pay off the remaining balance in as many instalments as you like, with no interest or fees. Full details

Happiness Guarantee

We’re so confident you’ll have an amazing time we’ll put our money on it. Full details

Full financial protection

To give you complete peace of mind we’re backed by ABTOT, ABTA and ATOL memberships. Full details

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We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with over 900 verified trip reviews averaging 4.8/5.

Connect before you go

You'll be invited to join a WhatsApp group to get to know each other before your big adventure together. Full details

DEPARTURE DATES

November 2024

Sunday • 17th November 2024

to Sunday • 24th November 2024
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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