Maldives Travel Guide
Plan your trip to the Jewel of the Indian Ocean
More about the Maldives
Close your eyes and picture an island paradise, you may just be dreaming up a sight from the Maldives! World famous for its sand beaches and blue waters, the country itself is series of atolls and island chains spread across a central area of the Indian Ocean. While it may be popular for European visitors to bring the whole family, most guests from North America are here for a destination wedding, to celebrate their marriage with an anniversary or honeymoon, or to just explore the romantic seclusion together as a couple. The inhabited islands permitting foreign tourists tend to host luxurious, exclusive properties with high standards of service.
Interestingly, the island nation hosts a Muslim majority and its language is somewhat distinct in its regional roots. You won't have any issues communicating with resort staff or local guides during excursions, nor will you feel out of place. The luxury travel aspect of any trip to the Maldives has been well practiced, tourism is by far the largest economic resource for the Maldives. One major point of note in planning your trip, added time, costs, and baggage handling considerations should be made for any atoll beyond the vicinity of the capital, Male. Transfers from the airport are achieved by sea plane and run on a schedule independent of international airlines.
Visas & travel documents
We recommend everyone planning a trip visits their government travel site for the latest information relevant to their trip:
Remember that this information can change at any time.
Please note that government guidelines may not represent the additional requirements of your airline or cruise transportation. If your passport is due to expire in the 6 months following your intended return home you risk being denied boarding / embarkation.
For both Canadian and US passport holders, a visa on arrival may be secured for tourist visits up to 30 days. Specific clearance may also be secured for arrival by ship. There may be a departure tax of up to US$50, but this will likely already be included in your airfare.
The Maldives welcomes visitors throughout the year, with warm, tropical weather you might expect of an island paradise. There are two seasons, each with their own version of a monsoon and featuring a somewhat variable start and end each year. The dry season is the most enjoyable, having warmer, drier weather and calmer seas. A cool breeze might accompany the heat, but there is still room for showers and a sort of winter monsoon. This season runs about October or November through to April. The wet season can see a sort of summer monsoon, meaning a higher yet not certain chance of rains and winds. The weather can change more rapidly during the wet season and may provide the most colourful sunsets! When the weather is expected to be drier, expect the islands and their resorts to be busier.
When to visit
Outside of the capital and a very few locales, you will likely not have need or opportunity to drive in the Maldives. There are no large infrastructure projects planned which would seriously change this in future, outside of joining smaller subsets of islands. Where there are vehicles, they drive on the left. Stick to water taxi, float plane, and travel by sea for your comfort and convenience.
Flights to the Maldives arrive via the capital's Male International Airport (MLE) in Male. From there you may need to have a float plane journey arranged to reach your ultimate destination among the various atolls.
It is not possible to reach this destination by land.
The islands of the Maldives tend not to feature only as part of a larger segment of a cruise itinerary, and especially on yacht and luxury cruise ship experiences visiting the local region of the Indian Ocean. Call to port will typically be achieved via tender as your ship will likely moor in the surrounding waters.
Content is intended for information and planning purposes only. While we try our best to deliver accurate and current information, some items may not be as described. Please contact your Odyssean Travel advisor for further details.