Of course it’s great to visit the Maldives to lie around doing absolutely nothing for a week, but what about the people who actually want to get out and do something?
Being an island nation, you’re never too far from water. The Maldives is home to some of the best reefs in the world, and also offers plenty of other interesting water-based activities.
Here were our top 5 favorite activities to do in the Maldives:
1. GO ON SAFARI
Whether it’s a diving safari or a snorkel safari is completely up to you– but just go on one. We chose to do a snorkel safari since due to unexpected health issues, I had to cut any diving out of our trip, but snorkeling was still really great.
We were taken out by boat, where we jumped off and landed in an amazing reef. We then snorkeled along with our marine biologist guide for about 45 minutes, who would stop to point out and talk about all the cool things we saw. Besides seeing lots of colorful fish and coral, these are also the best opportunities to see manta rays, eagle rays, sharks, turtles and dolphin.
2. TAKE A SUNSET CRUISE
Even though it was raining on and off during our trip, each night we were still presented with a beautiful sunset. While they’re great to watch sitting on the beach, be sure to try a different perspective like on a boat.
Many resorts offer sunset cruises, which will take you out into the middle of nowhere to enjoy unspoiled views of the sun setting over the ocean. An added bonus? Most cruises also give you complimentary champagne to sip on as the sun sets and there is a high chance you’ll see some dolphins along the way. Romantic? You better believe it!
3. GET A RELAXING OVER WATER MASSAGE
I’d take a relaxing massage any day. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite activities to try in every country I visit. I’ve had a lot of great massages abroad, I did travel in Thailand after all, but having a massage in an over water pavilion takes the cake.
We actually had two massage while we were there. Our first one was inside the spa in a normal massage room, which was good… but our second one in the over-water pavilion? Lying in an open air hut, watching the crystal-clear, blue water, while listening to the waves crash against the shore only added to an already relaxing experience. Forget listening to fake ocean sounds on a CD– this doesn’t even compare.
4. SAIL TO A LOCAL ISLAND
The capital Male’ is the most populous city in the Maldives; however, the majority of the overall population lives in smaller islands. Although I do realize this sort of thing won’t interest everyone, but visiting a local island was an interesting and eye-opening experience.
During our stay we were able to visit the island of Rasdhoo. This island is the capital of the Alif Alif Atoll, with a population around 1,000 people– with almost half of that being children under the age of 16. The island was only 500 meters long, and could be walked in about 7 minutes. The buildings, the streets, everything was very basic. Walking around we saw that dirt floors were the norm, and that fresh water storage and garbage disposal were major issues. The garbage had a horrible smell and piled up on parts of the beach, waiting for that night’s burning.
The main stream of income for these people is fishing. And as we were waiting on the pier for our boat to take us back to the resort, all the locals waited with us, except they were waiting for the local fishermen to return with what would probably be their dinner for that night.
5. PLAY WITH PHYTOPLANKTON
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen those ridiculously awesome photos of bioluminesce phytoplankton from Vaadhoo, if not go and check it out now. Although the Maldives isn’t the only place where this natural phenomenon occurs, it does occur here closer to shore more frequently.
We saw glowing phytoplankton every night of our stay, but let me tell you it’s one of the hardest things to photograph since you’re in the pitch black. We spent a long time playing with it, running up and down the shore trying to ignite a reaction. While we never had quite the concentration of blue like in those photos, we would get overly excited each time a wave brought in more specs of shimmering blue.
WHICH ACTIVITY WOULD YOU WANT TO TRY?
Disclaimer: We received complimentary tours and excursions from Kuramathi and Kurumba. As always, all opinions are my own.