The Maldives, with its stunning white-sand beaches and clear, blue water, is often considered the holiday of a lifetime. Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a nation of over 1,200 islands. Its oceans contain some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world, with abundant marine life like manta rays, turtles, sharks, and even the world’s largest fish, the whale shark.
Every resort in the Maldives is essentially its own private island. There are over 100 resorts to choose from, with more being developed every year. Visitors to the Maldives fly into Velana International Airport, located in Male, the capital city. Depending on which atoll your resort is located in, you can either take a speedboat, a seaplane, or a domestic plane transfer.
Our resort, Furaveri Maldives, is located in Raa Atoll, which is a 45-minute seaplane ride to the north of Velana International Airport. Seaplanes leave directly from the airport and make stops at resorts up and down the islands. Chartered seaplanes fly daily until around 5pm, when it begins to get too dark. If given the choice, I would highly recommend the seaplane option. The views are absolutely amazing and you cannot beat the aerial view of your resort as you approach the island.
Currently visitors to the Maldives must have a negative PCR test conducted a maximum of 96 hours prior to departure. You are also required to fill out a Health Declaration form, found on the IMUGA website. If your country requires a negative COVID test for return, your resort will facilitate it. At Furaveri, our Island Host booked our PCR test at their on-resort clinic two days before our departure and we received the results the next night.
Upon your return to Velana Airport, please note that there are two steps of security screening: first before you enter the building and another screening before you head to your gate. Our resort had a representative walk us through the entire check-in process and he made it so much easier with all the forms we had to fill out with the airline.
The official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, but English is widely spoken. The official currency is the Maldivian rufiyaa, but dollars are also widely accepted. Most resorts prefer your purchases to be made via credit card while on the island, but you’re welcome to use rufiyaa, dollars, or euros as well. We had wanted some rufiyaa to take home with us and vendors at the airport were able to give us change in rufiyaa when we paid in dollars.
When we were originally thinking about a trip to the Maldives, it felt like we had so many choices to pick from. With over 100 resorts dotting the islands, how does one even begin to pick one? Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much. Our resort looked exactly like it did in the photos we saw online. There is absolutely no Photoshopping involved – the water is really that blue and clear and you really do feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury the entire time.
Besides swimming, sunbathing, and all-around relaxing, there are a ton of water activities to do at the resorts. I highly recommend doing a manta ray snorkel or any type of snorkeling. Most of the resorts are located on reefs, which means you can snorkel from the beach. We were able to see stingrays, baby shark, and tons of fish just from our deck!