Maldives was on my bucket list from along time. The pictures of perfect blue turquoise waters, sea life,dolphins and amazing water chalets tempts you enough for a visit. A holiday in Maldives is expensive, but there are some balancing factors which can make it a budget trip. Here is my tip and experience of my 3 night travel to Maldives in April’ 18.
Day 1 – Dolphins and night fishing
The first two nights our stay was in Hulhumale, an artificial island with sand beaches and cheaper options of stays, driving distance from airport.
We saw a beautiful sunrise from our room window. Shades of blue and red across the sky marked with repetitive noise and view of sea planes. Every 30 minutes there were some 10 sea planes which made its way to different islands of Maldives
We had a submarine ride booked for the morning and were super excited to start. The port was a small boat ride away from Hulhumale ferry terminal. Another 20 mins in a boat and we reached the submarine diving point.
The submarine experience was a very unique experience. It is the best solution for people who are unable to snorkel or dive. We went a whooping 100 ft under sea water, where it was dark and the colour of water was deep blue to black( as there was no sunlight ) Our submarine was lighting its surrounding where we could see a beautiful reef , full of different kinds of fishes and marine life. Small fishes playing like small children swimming in various directions. There was this scary snake-like creature, very stagnant but dangerous to look at. It was a sea eel.The submarine experience lasted for 45 minutes and it was worth it. We then went back to the Male city to enjoy a nice lunch and to roam around the city’s historical points and buy the famous Maldivian Chilies, they are super spicy and have a sour taste.
Back to Hulhumale, we thought of exploring the water further and looked for a guide to take us for dolphin watching and night fishing. There is a small hotel called Relax Inn , who offer these services and are quite reasonable priced.
We got ready and took the amazing beautiful boat made for night fishing with fishing poles and benches on the boat.
What happened 20 minutes into the ride, no one of us is ever going to forget. We saw a school of young dolphins swimming around our boat and doing a lot of tricks and jumps and turns in the water. I was smiling, moving from one side to other of the boat to not miss one of them. That was my incredible birthday gift experience, so many dolphins all around us for next 20-25 mins. It is peaceful, playful and exciting to watch them sliding oh so smoothly just below the surface of water. My wishes came true, the image we conjure under the influence of Hollywood movies was right in front of us. I wanted to just take one of them home or stay with them in water. I wish I could be friends with dolphins, and swim with them.
After such an exciting experience, it was time to do some fishing. It is a process which requires a lot of patience, and doing nothing. I am not very fond of doing nothing. However our boat crew caught a big grouper and one of us caught one silverfish who found its way back to the sea. I was not lucky this time. Satisfied, relaxed and 2 more experiences richer we made our way to the Hulhumale island. After a simple yet delicious dinner of rice and veggies , we went to sleep.
Day 2 – A visit to a SandBank
The day two we took the same boat from Relax in and planned to go see a SandBank. Sandbank is a landform consisting of a sandbar in water, which creates a shallow area in the middle of the sea, where you can stand and see the expanse of water, see the beautiful reef and get wonderful pictures. There are thousands of sandbanks In Maldives and a visit to one of them is a must. The boat ride to find a sandbank is a long one but with a good guide you will find the right one. Ours was a beautiful one , very secluded but there was a wedding being hosted. It was a beautiful to witness the wedding, so serene and pure and take a lot of pictures.
We snorkel around a little and after a few hours travelling back to Hulhumale . It was more or less a relaxing day and an enriching experience. We were looking forward to our stay in water Chalets for next two nights at Paradise Islands Spa and Resorts.
Day 3 – Water villas and sharks
A long wait at the airport, a 30 mins speed boat ride and we reached the luxurious beautiful hotel and a much wonderful water villa room to spend my birthday.
The water was so beautiful, on our way to the reception of the hotel, we could see fishes swimming beautifully in the water, white sands , clear water and amazing marine life. It was going to be another beautiful 2 days and nights in this island. We were told at the receptions that there were three events that evening, shark feeding, petting and feeding manta rays and a Maldivian local dance called BoduBeru. We were so excited. Sharks, Stingrays, can you believe it?
We went to our rooms and believe me , all fours of us were so happy to see the water villas, a huge beautiful room with a very very comfortable bed, floor to ceiling glass doors leading to a spacious balcony and sitting area. Beautifully placed couches and a beautifully designed stone bathtub were the highlights of the balcony. A little ahead and there was expanse of beautiful turquoise water. A few wooden stairs and we made our way to the beautiful water, Bollywood music on speakers, a few drinks to have and we spent a lovely afternoon in water.
We enjoyed the evening activities and the feeding of the Manta Rays.They come swiftly almost gliding on the ocean bed, touch your feet, take the food with constant water pouring from their eyes. It was sight to behold. The sharks were big and beautiful and did not look that dangerous from the where we were standing. They are friendly sharks and make their way to the resorts every evening for food.
Day 4 – Snorkel and Relax
Last night on this beautiful island and we wanted to spend as much time in the water as possible. I had booked myself on a snorkeling tour with 10-12 other people from the resort. We went to a beautiful reef, where i was mesmerized to snorkel on my own. If you have snorkel before, you would know that under water you cannot hear anything , except your own breathing through the mouthpiece of the snorkel. I went into a meditative state, with the only sound I could hear was my own breathing and I could see beautiful life , coral and reef underwater. I did not feel like coming out of that place, and took a decision that I need to learn deep-sea diving surely to completely fathom the magic of the sea.
When I returned, my husband and I snorkel around the resort and it was equally beautiful. I was in water the whole day and I am sure anyone would be. We then went for coconut cocktails and pineapple blossoms. There we did canoeing which was another wonder, though a bit tiring because of the heat and rowing.
This last night all we wanted was to sit the balcony of the water villa and chat and soak in the place as much as we could. We did exactly that it was a calming experience. Letting it all go and enjoying the beauty of what this world has to offer.
Tips and Highlights
- Stay in Hulhumale and do the water activities like sandbank, dolphin watching, as they are 3 times cheaper than when booked from resort.
- Submarines are worth an experience, and you can book one in advance online.
- Mix and match the room to lower the budget : Water villas are more expensive but one can always enjoy the water staying at an garden view room as well.
- Do not choose all meals on board, you can buy ala-carte for lunch. We had selected breakfast and dinner options.
- Sit back realx and enjoy!