This post is part of our series on “All you need to know about the Maldives from Budget to Luxury“. Feel free to start with the first post, here, and then work your way up to this one so you can get the most of this guide.
The Maldives is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, and it’s made up of 26 atolls and around 1,200 individual islands. However, only about 200 of those islands are inhabited, and around 100 of them have been developed as tourist resorts. The remaining islands are used for agriculture, fishing, or are left uninhabited. The islands of the Maldives have something for everyone!
Despite its reputation for being an expensive vacation destination, there are budget-friendly options available for those who still want to experience the beauty of the Maldives. Without breaking the bank.
In a nutshell the top 5 best budget islands in the Maldives are:
Let’s take a closer look at why these 5 made it in the list.
One of the best budget islands in the Maldives is Maafushi.
Located in the South Malé Atoll, Maafushi is known for its budget-friendly guesthouses and guest rooms, as well as its beautiful beaches and coral reefs.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
The island also has a variety of local restaurants and cafes that serve delicious traditional Maldivian cuisine. This is a great way to experience the local culture, customs and flavours.
Another great thing about the island is that it is easily accessible by speedboat or public ferry from the capital city of Malé. This makes it a convenient option for budget-conscious travelers.
With a population of around 3,000 people, the island has a lively local community and a distinct cultural identity. Visitors can take a stroll through the narrow streets and alleys of the island’s main village, observing the colorful houses, shops, and mosques.
For those interested in learning more about the local way of life, there are also opportunities to participate in cultural activities such as traditional music and dance performances, cooking classes, and handicraft workshops.
The second in our list is the budget-friendly island of Thulusdhoo.
Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant local culture, Thulusdhoo is a great option for those looking to experience the Maldives on a budget.
Tourists can find budget hotels and guest rooms at affordable prices. There are also a variety of activities available, including surfing, water sports, and fishing.
Thulusdhoo is also known for its unique local culture, which includes traditional dance performances and music shows.
One of the main attractions of Thulusdhoo is the Cokes Surf Point, a world-renowned surfing spot that attracts surfers from around the world. The island also has several other surf breaks that cater to both beginners and experienced surfers.
The island is also home to a few local shops where visitors can buy souvenirs, such as traditional Maldivian handicrafts and textiles.
For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the island’s unique culture and history. The Thulusdhoo Island Mosque is a historic landmark that dates back to the 17th century and is one of the oldest mosques in the Maldives.
Huraa island is also a budget-friendly option for those looking to experience the Maldives.
This island is known for its white beaches and crystal clear waters, as well as its traditional Maldivian culture.
You have a broad choice of budget hotels, guesthouses and rooms at decent rates. As well as a variety of water activities such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
Huraa island is famous for its picturesque local village. Here you can see the traditional Maldivian way of life close up. With a population of around 1,500 people, the island offers a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for unwinding and enjoying the natural beauty of the Maldives.
The island has some really nice local cafes and restaurants that serve delicious traditional Maldivian dishes like fried yams, fish curry and more at affordable prices.
Fulidhoo comes in at number 4 and is yet another budget island for you to consider.
Think of beautiful white and golden beaches with crystal clear waters full of exotic fish and corals.
Visitors on the island can find guesthouses and guest rooms at good prices. And similar to the other recommendations in our list, here you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to activities after a long day in the sun.
Think of: swimming in the crystal clear waters, snorkeling, diving, jetski, etc.
The local village in Fulidhoo is a place where you can learn about traditional Maldivian customs and way of life.
Fulidhoo has its share of shops and places to eat so that you dont miss out on anything while immersed in the culture and the beautiful tropical climate.
The last, but not least is Dhiffushi Island.
Paradise is one word to describe this amazing place, that looks like it was cut out of a postcard.
Just like the other ones its has its share of beautiful places, starting with beaches, clear water and perfect swimming and snorkelling spots.
You can expect to find affordable guest rooms, cozy hotels and more. But if you want to splurge a bit, you can also find higher end resorts.
Dhiffushi, like the others in this list, is an inhabited island which mean you will have the chance to sample the local cuisine and traditions. A thing that is notably missing from the higher end resort islands that Maldives is known for.
Things to keep in mind
As said previously, it’s worth noting that budget islands don’t offer the same level of luxury and exclusivity as the more expensive resorts in the Maldives. Bu you do get a unique and authentic Maldivian experience.
Prices for accommodation will vary across all of these islands depending very much on what you are looking for. But i would invite to check out my guide on how to find cheap accommodation in the Maldives for a more in-depth look at the possibilities.
Additionally, these islands offer the opportunity to interact with local communities and learn about their culture, which can be a valuable and enriching experience for visitors.
When visiting a budget island in the Maldives, it is important to keep in mind that the amenities and services may be more limited than those offered at more expensive resorts.
For example, guesthouses and guest rooms may not have air conditioning or private bathrooms.
However, many budget islands have a good amount of natural shade and cool breeze which can make up for the lack of air conditioning.
Also, most of these islands have communal bathrooms that are clean and well-maintained.
Another thing to keep in mind when visiting a budget island is that the transportation options may be more limited than those offered at more expensive resorts. Renting a bike, or motorbike is a fun way to discover the bigger islands.
For example, there may not be direct flights to the island or the transportation options may not be as frequent.
However, many budget islands are easily accessible by speedboat or public ferry from the capital city of Malé, which can make up for this limitation.
When it comes to activities, budget islands offer a range of options for visitors.
From snorkeling and diving to fishing and surfing, there is something for everyone. Many budget islands also have local dive centers that offer diving courses and excursions at affordable prices. Visitors can also rent gear and equipment from these centers at reasonable prices.
One of the best things about budget islands in the Maldives is that they offer a great value for money.
Tourists shouldn’t have huge issues finding accommodation for all pockets. And there are also a variety of activities available, many of which are included in the price of the accommodation.
Local restaurants and cafes on the island offer traditional Maldivian cuisine at small prices, making it easy for visitors to experience the local culture without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, the Maldives is not just for the wealthy. There are plenty budget-friendly options available for those who still want to experience the beauty of the Maldives.
Islands such as Maafushi, Thulusdhoo, Huraa, Fulidhoo and Dhiffushi offer beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and traditional Maldivian culture at affordable prices, making them the perfect choice for budget-conscious travelers.
While these budget islands may not offer the same level of luxury and exclusivity as more expensive resorts, they still offer a unique and authentic Maldivian experience, and the opportunity to interact with local communities and learn about their culture which can be a valuable and enriching experience for visitors.
See you soon!