The sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the sea is clear and deliciously warm and laps gently against the white sandy beach. A soft breeze whispers “Welcome to the Budget Maldives Islands!”
Traditionally the Maldives Islands were the playground of the rich and famous. Popular Royals such as Prince William and Kate were frequent visitors, as were the fabulously wealthy Saudi Royals who took to renting out whole luxury resorts and often paying double or triple the price to have guests accommodated in different resorts. You wont get this type of guest on a Budget Maldives Island but you will get sun, sand and a clear blue sea.
Today the Maldives islands are undergoing a radical transformation and a new type of traveller is being tempted to soak up the rays, explore the oceans and have fun in the paradise Maldives Islands. The Government has now authorized the building of guest houses on islands previously inhabited solely by locals. This has lead to a rapid growth in cheaper more affordable accommodation on the Maldives Islands.
Top Tips for Budget Maldives Islands.
Budget Maldives Islands and Food.
Budget Maldives Islands are not a foodies paradise! Whilst the top Maldives resorts offer fine wines and haute cuisine, budget Maldives islands offer processed chicken sausages, sweet white processed bread and non-alcohol beer.
Every Maldives Island relies on food and water imports. Only fish, sea food and coco nuts are naturally in plentiful supply on the islands. Premium food and drink comes with a high price tag as it has to be imported. It’s not surprising then that the quality and variety of good food is distinctly lacking on Budget Maldives islands.
If you love food and you are faced with the choice of a continental breakfast or traditional Maldivian breakfast I recommend going for the local breakfast. A mix of desiccated coconut and tuna may not sound appetizing but it is in fact very tasty. Topped with a squeeze of lime and eaten with a soft roti it is quite delicious and infinitely more appetizing than processed chicken sausages served with egg and followed by sweet processed white bread and cheap jam.
Best Food Tip
Many of the cooking staff on Budget Maldives Islands come from Bangladesh. They are cheap labour and their knowledge of western style dishes is a little limited and they don’t always have the prime ingredients to work with. If in doubt order a curry. They are full of flavor with succulent chicken pieces served with rice and hot roti’s – Delicious. Definitely preferable to the spaghetti bolognaise which tastes like minced dog food.
Budget Maldives Islands and Alcohol.
There is an automatic ban on serving alcohol in any guest house or budget hotel constructed on an island also occupied by locals. The exception to this being hh which serves alcohol at the airport hotel.
Budget Maldives Islands and swimwear.
The Maldives Islands are subject to Muslim laws and as such speedo’s and bikinis are prohibited on public beaches. Break this rule and you could get into serious trouble with the police. The Maldives resort islands are completely different. They are privately owned islands and as such skimpy bikinis are perfectly okay as there are supposedly no other Muslims around to take offence at your exposed flesh. Also note kissing in public is not allowed!
Budget Islands, Hidden charges
There are 2 very important taxes you need to know about – Bed Tax $8 per person per night and Government tax and service charge 10%. Be warned suddenly your budget room turns into a very expensive room!
Top 3 Budget Maldives Islands
K. Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll
Maffushi, South Male Atoll
Hulhumale Island (Airport Island)
Main Street for Shops
Budget Maldives Island Guraidhoo
This Budget Maldives Island has a completely different feel to either Maffushi or Hulhumale. There are only 2 guest houses finished, others are under construction. We stayed at Dacha Maldives, which is a great little place. Despite being the epicenter for souvenir shops ranging from artworks, coral pieces and holiday clothing there is no holiday feel to this island, which remains very quiet and understated. There are a number of shops where you can stock up on little nik naks and of course food stuffs and soft drinks just in case you head off on an adventure to picnic island. This really is an island where living with the locals is 100% authentic so expect to hear the call to prayer everyday.
Take the ferry to Male from the airport. Once at male take a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal on the opposite side of Male. Take either the Government ferry or a private ferry. The government ferry costs 22 MVR and the private one is around the same price. The private ferries take less time than the government ones. Takes a couple of hours on the ferry and it’s the last stop.
Limited rooms available on this Budget Maldives Island. Prices from $45USD depending on season
There is a “bikini beach” you also get a great view of the lush nearby resort Islands.
Things to do
Snorkel: If you’re brave take a walk over to the coral reef and check out the baby sharks – you definitely need good wet shoes for this otherwise your feet will be cut severely.
Diving: Hire a boat and head off diving in the crystal clear waters or try a bit of snorkeling and swimming with the turtles.
Surfing: If you love to surf, take a board and head off in the boat and hit the waves. Surf boards come equipped with a “Go Pro” holder for all you enthusiastic photographers.
Island hopping: for a change of atmosphere take the cheap government ferry over to Maffushi, or pack a lunch and bikini and head off to a true desert island for a picnic. If your feeling rich take a trip to a resort for the day and indulge in one of their packages.
Boat hire/excursions start from $40USD
No Alcohol but it is very easy to get to a nearby private resort. Entrance fee to the resorts is obligatory and starts from $25 upto $100
With just 2 guest houses and one café dining out is not really an option. Having said that Peaches café did serve an awesome curry.
We recommend Dacha Maldives. It’s a friendly atmosphere and all excursions can be arranged such as snorkeling, diving and surfing.
home from home lounge with cable
BOOK DACHA MALDIVES HERE AND GET THE BEST RATE
Budget Maldives Island: Maffushi
This is a tiny island, you can literally stand in the middle of the island and see both shores. It was the first island to explode with guest houses and budget hotels and so has a number to choose from. It has a bit more of a holiday feel to it than the other two islands.
Take the ferry to Male from the airport. Once at male take a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal on the opposite side of Male. Take either the Government ferry or a private ferry. The government ferry costs 22 MVR and the private one is around the same price. Takes a couple of hours on the ferry and then you’re there.
There are many budget hotels and guest houses to choose from you can get good deals with prices from $25 a night depending on season. Watch out for the additional taxes on low priced rooms!
Restaurants Beach Side
budget hotel Maldives Island
It has a couple of small white sandy beaches where you can laze the day away wearing your best bikini or speedo’s. There are a few beach side guesthouses/budget hotels and these offer the use of sunbeds if you eat and drink at their restaurant.
There is no alcohol on the island. You cannot take duty free onto the island. It will be confiscated at the airport (you will be able to get it on your flight out). If you want to get a drink of beer it’s a case of taking a boat excursion to a nearby Maldives Resort. Excursions start from $40USD. You will be charged an entrance fee to the resort and allowed to use their facilities. Entrance fees start from $25 USD.
There are limited options for eating out, if your expecting romantic beachside cafes and cosy fine dining restaurants you will be sadly disappointed. Expect to eat out at another guest house or another hotel offering basically the same food choices as your own guest house.
Things to Do
Dive packages, snorkeling and water sports are the main attractions, some can be done on the island others require a boat excursion. You are assured of warm waters and generally very good visibility for snorkeling and diving. Take wet dive shoes as the sandy beach has many pockets of sharp coral which can cause painful cuts. Some guest houses and budget hotels include dive packages, if not included there are dive schools on the island who will readily supply them prices start from $25USD per trip.
Island Hopping: A government ferry runs from Maffushi to Guraidhoo timings are limited but the price is cheap. Take a speedboat to other islands if your feeling rich, or take an excusion on a slow boat to a nearby resort or picinic island.
Budget Maldives island: Hulhumale (Airport) Island.
Hulhumale Island is definitely more built up than the other budget Maldives islands. It’s home to many of the expats based in the Maldives Islands and it is the only Budget Maldives island with a hotel that is allowed to serve alcohol.
The international airport is located on the island of hh so you don’t need to leave the island unless you want to. The taxi to your hotel is relatively inexpensive as it really is a short journey.
In terms of price it is the most expensive of the 3 islands. Owing to the presence of the airport the island has a captive market and so the guest houses/hotels can basically charge what they like for accommodation and food. Prices can be considerably more expensive than the other 2 budget Maldives islands.
The island does have a public beach which is free to use.
BE WARNED, it is not a bikini beach! Whilst some tourists do go in swimwear strictly speaking it is not allowed and you should wear Tshirts and shorts in the sea. Remember you are in a Muslim country that expects women to cover up in public. It is a criminal offence to show off parts of your body so just be careful.
Food and Drink
The good news is the airport hotel does have a bar with real alcohol, it’s a bit on the pricey side but then that’s to be expected. They offer day packages where you can safely wear your bikini and use their pool and other facilities.
Things to do
Island Hopping; take a short ferry ride to Male and explore the capital for a couple of hours or take another ferry to explore Marfushi and Guraidhoo cost per ticket on the government ferry is 22.00MVR.
Dive or surfing excursions: Take the ferry across to Male and head off to surf or book dive packages.
Your Budget Maldives Getaway Starts Here