Maldives

Maldives is the stuff of dreams—pristine white beaches, startlingly clear waters in all shades of blue, and privacy to unwind as you choose. Made up of nearly 1,200 islands, this Indian Ocean archipelago is a world-renowned SCUBA diving and beach resort destination. The variety of marine life which inhabit the seas around Maldives is staggering, both in number and beauty. With tourism as the mainstay of the economy this nation depends heavily on the thousands of visitors who visit its gorgeous shores year-round.

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What to Expect

The Maldives have earned their place as one of the world’s top beach destinations for a reason. Soft sand beaches, warm climate all year long, crystal clear seas, and a laidback, much slower way of life attract people from all over the world.

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A “Robinson Crusoe” experience combined with excellent sea life offers something for everyone. Do not expect your typical large resort offerings found in the Caribbean or the Seychelles as there are no water parks or lively nightclubs to visit. Generally, you will spend your time on one island for the duration of your stay with your time spent lying around in the sun, snorkeling or diving and enjoying quiet, relaxing meals. Many of the accommodations offer fabulous spa treatments and massages.

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Maldives — Swim with whale sharks and manta rays at Baa Atoll, declared a UNESCO heritage site in 2011 it is characterized by a very high rate of highly diverse coral cover.

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This richness in corals and fish have made it a top destination for underwater tourism due to its large presence of manta rays and whale sharks. Whale sharks and manta rays are completely harmless to anything but plankton, despite their large size. Since Baa Atoll is a plankton-rich environment, this is one of the best bets for viewing these wonderful animals in their habitat.

Unique water activities — Many island destinations can drop superlatives about their diving, snorkeling, and other water-based activities, but Maldives takes all of these to the next level.  Experiences like wine tasting with reef sharks, champagne meals on private sandbank islands known as ‘thilas’, and cocktails with hors d’oeuvres on a dolphin cruise are just the norm here. That being said, diving with hammerhead sharks or snorkeling with sea turtles is still pretty spectacular, even if there is no twist on the experience!

One of its kind – The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island boasts the world’s first underwater hotel residence, a ground-breaking, two-story villa submerged more than 16 feet below sea-level. The villa is named “The Muraka,” which translates to “coral” in the Maldives’ native language, Dhivehi, for the way that it rests along the ocean floor, peacefully observing the sea life that surrounds it. The sunken retreat embraces luxury, equipped with a private bar, butler’s quarters, gym, and infinity pool. The massive bed, shower, and bathtub have panoramic views of the ocean. The top floor, which rests above the water, comprises a sprawling relaxation deck for tanning and unwinding.

Hidden gem— Although most visitors come to the Maldives for the stunning beaches and water sports, the culture is worth investigation as well. In Male, the capital city, the National Museum gives you a comprehensive history of Maldives. A definite highlight, at either your resort or on an inhabited island will be a dance and drum performance called bodu beru, which means ‘big drum’ in Dhivehi. Typically performed by groups of men this traditional performance will begin slowly and crescendo into a frenzy of drumbeats and dancing.  It is absolutely mesmerizing.

Need to know

Flights into Male are available through European, Middle Eastern or Asian hubs, and then connect either by seaplane or boat to your island destination.

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  • We advise spending 4 -7 days to relax in style. Maldives is easily combined with destinations such as India, Bhutan, or Sri Lanka. To add time in the Maldives post-safari, we suggest routing through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha.
  • We recommend Maldives to anyone wanting a beach escape. With such a wide variety of resorts available it can be tailored accordingly for honeymooners just as much as family getaways.
  • Visas are required for most visitors and are typically available upon arrival. Inoculations may be recommended, particularly if you will be flying directly from East Africa where proof of yellow fever vaccination may be requested. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • There is a good network of shared charter seaplane flights to various islands around the archipelago. Depending on the distance from Male you will either fly or boat into your resort.
  • Dhivehi is the official language of the Maldives however English is widely spoken at all the resorts allowing for easy communication.
  • Food is high quality and of international standards—as with most island destinations, expect an array of seafood options. Maldives has six underwater restaurants with incredible food choices and settings. Our favorites are Undersea and Subsix.

When to go

The Maldives is blessed with a warm balmy tropical climate throughout the year. You will find sunshine throughout the year, even during the rainy season.

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The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April. Temperatures average about 85°F to 87°F (29°C to 31°C) year-round and average lows rarely fall below 75°F (24°C).

December – April: This is the best time of the year to visit. Warm, sunny, little precipitation and low humidity. The combination of beautiful weather and distance away from any large land mass means clear seas for some of the best snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the world. As one can imagine this is the most popular time to visit and coincides with busier resorts and higher prices.

May – November: This is the rainy season with large storms rolling through. As the islands maintain high temperatures throughout the year this a good time to visit for those wanting to escape the crowds and higher prices. Visibility in the water is lower due to all the plankton in the water however this comes with its own advantages as whale sharks and manta rays come in their hoards to feed allowing for some amazing sightings. For the avid surfer the Maldives offers fantastic swells during this time of the year.

Accommodation

Known for their iconic overwater villa there are hundreds of resorts to choose from to best suit your travel preferences and price point.

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Whilst it may be tempting to save by booking on a bed & breakfast basis this is a destination that’s best booked on full board as there are no independent or off-property restaurants on the individual atolls leaving no other option for meals. Every property booked on a Rothschild Safari is vetted by staff and offer the highest standards in each category.

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

Betsy Robertson

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

Dawn Jacobs

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

George Kowalski

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

Jackie Smith

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

Jamie Scarlett

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Joe Moravec

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Kim Mather

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Lisa Anderson

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.