It’s no denying that Maldives is beautiful. In fact, it’s so beautiful that it lands on almost everyone’s bucket list.
It’s a dream, a dream where the ocean meets the sky, the bungalows are over the water, and where sunrise and sunsets take your breath away. It’s a dream that lies off the Indian sub-continent and made up of 1,200 islands.
And it will stay as a dream if you don’t go, see, and feel it while you can.
With its white-sand beaches, clear warm blue water, perfect sunny weather, and a view so majestic, so stunning and so pure, Maldives is a true tropical paradise. And as if that’s not enough, its waters are home to some fascinating creatures in the world. It has everything from colorful fishes, to sharks, manta rays, turtles, and even the world’s largest fish which is the whale shark – making Maldives one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations on the planet. But how much does a Maldives trip cost?
Average Cost of a Trip to Maldives
For most people, even when they’ve always dreamt of coming to Maldives and even when they know in their hearts how truly remarkable it is, they don’t go through with it. Mainly because they think it’s too expensive. But is it? Create a to-do list and take down notes.
If you’re on a tight budget you’ll need around $1,600, considering you’ll go for the lowest price on everything. This estimate does not include other activities offered in the Maldives. Also, each day of your stay will cost up to $160. So, say you’re staying in the Maldives for 7 nights? That would amount to at least $2,600.
However, if you’re not keen on expenses and would like to experience luxury at its finest, prepare to shell out $3,200 and another $1,050 for each added day. A 7-night accommodation at an exclusive resort would then cost you around $9,500, without excursions. But if you don’t have the time to personalize your trip, there are also vacation package tours ranging around $3,000 to $10,200.
Factors Affecting Maldives Trip Cost
Now, there’s no standard or fixed price to experience Maldives. And the amount you have to prepare really depends on a number of factors, including flight, accommodation, transportation, food, and excursions or activities you are planning. And to better understand, here’s a thorough breakdown on each:
The flight cost may have to be the most important factor when you’re going to the Maldives. See, it’s the first thing you spend on – and also the last. So it’s important to have it covered and to find one that best suits your needs… and budget.
Let’s start with your destination. You can access the independent country of Maldives through their two international airports. Their main gateway is the Male’ International Airport which is a 10-minute boat ride from the country’s capital city, Male’. You can also enter the Maldives through the Gan International Airport.
Now, the other things to consider are the date of your departure and your starting point. For one, Maldives has off seasons and peak seasons which translate to their dry season and rainy season. Off-seasons are from May to October. And the peak seasons are from December to March where you can expect higher flight rates around these times.
Your departure site or starting point would also affect the price of your ticket. And to show you the differences here’s a rough estimate of airfares going to Male’ International Airport from four of the biggest airports in the United States on a peak season (December) as per CheapAir.com:
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Male’ International Airport (MLE) – $700 to $8,000
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Male’ International Airport (MLE) – $1,100 to $8,000
- O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Male’ International Airport (MLE) – $600 to $5,400
- Dallas-Fort Worth Intl. Airport (DFW) to Male’ International Airport (MLE) – $800 to $6,000
These are for one passenger, flying economy and are one-way tickets to Maldives. Prices may change anytime, and when they do but you’ve already booked your ticket, CheapAir.com offers a “Price Drop Payback” where they’ll give you a travel credit for the difference. And that can reach up to $100 or more.
Note, however, that prices may change over time. So, it’s best if you subscribe to a website or application that provides emails and notifications for airfare changes. CheapAir.com offers this feature through their “FareTracker” where you’ll only need to cite your target destination.
The place where you’ll settle will definitely affect the cost of your Maldives adventure. But first, you have to understand that there are two kinds of islands in Maldives: private and public. A private island is occupied by a luxury resort where most of them are only open to its guests and workers. On the other hand, a public island is where locals reside. There are restaurants, shops, groceries, cafes, schools, universities, hotels, and some guesthouses, which are all open to tourists.
In planning to spend your vacation at one of Maldives’ beautiful private islands, you can experience luxury at its finest by choosing any of their 5-star resorts. There are also 4-star resorts which offer 5-star quality, and those that are budget and family-friendly. And to give you an idea of how much your accommodation could cost, here’s a rough estimate of room prices at peak season (December).
- 5-star / Top-end rooms starts at $750 a night up to $3,000
- 4-star / Midrange resorts start at $300 a night to $850
- Budget resorts costs $150 to $400 per night
Now through Booking.com, a website which offers easy lodging searches and fast reservations, here’s a list of some popular resorts and their prices:
- Constance Haleveli (Two adults/night) – $850 to $1,500
- Soneva Fushi (Two adults/night) – $1,800 to $2,400
- Fihalhohi Island Resort (Two adults/night) – $215 to $640
- Olhuveli Beach and Spa Resort (Two adults/night) – $220 to $920
- Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa (Two adults/night) – $400 to $700
Prices indicated may vary according to resort class, amenities, inclusions and room type. Note that rooms overwater are naturally pricier compared to beach and land rooms. But if these prices don’t sit well with you, there’s a cheaper alternative – you can stay at public islands.
It was in 2009 when the government of Maldives allowed locals to start their own guesthouses. And Agoda and Airbnb have been a great help for tourists to locate one that matches their budget. The average price per night is $78, and there are rooms which go as low as $20 and as much as $200.
The Maldives is a group of islands where each one is separated from the rest by water. And to get to the resort of your choice, you’ll need to ride either a seaplane or speedboat from the Male’ International Airport. A speedboat typically costs around $200, and seaplanes transfers are generally $400. A cheaper way to transfer from island to island is through the public ferry which costs around $1 to $10.
Most hotels and guesthouses include free meals on their prices. But if you’re independently traveling and willing to try out restaurants and cafes away from the resort where you’re staying, then here’s a rough estimate of food prices in public islands:
- One meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5
- Three-course meal good for two people, at a mid-range restaurant: $20
- McDonalds Meal: $10
- Sandwiches: $2 – $3
- Burgers: $2 – $3
- Breakfast Meal: $4 – $6
- Pizza: $8 – $10
- Pasta: $5 – $7
Of course, prices in private hotels are more expensive. In addition, don’t expect to see liquor and alcoholic drinks as Maldives is under Islamic law. Alcohol is strictly prohibited except if you check yourself in on one of those exclusive resort islands.
Maldives offers so many things other than pristine white sand, relaxing ambiance and calm waters. It is rich in marine life as well, providing tourists many activities to try out. And Viator.com lists some of the most popular things you can do, such as:
- A full day local island hopping ($145)
- Sandbank snorkeling and sunset cruise ($125)
- Snorkeling safari ($90)
- Submarine tour ($75)
Most accommodations in the Maldives offer activities which you have the option to avail. For example, at the Maafushivaru Maldives, you can swim with whale sharks for $70, snorkel with Manta Rays for $70, encounter turtles for $50, go kayaking for $50, and have a calm sunset fishing for $28.
Usually, a Maldives vacation package already includes transfer fees, accommodation, food, airfare, and excursions. That’s why some people prefer to go with such as there isn’t anything else to worry about. For example, at Goway.com, their Maldives vacation package starts from $3,000 to $8,400 at off-seasons and $4,000 to $10,200 at peak seasons, depending on your choice of resort. These price ranges already include a round-trip airfare from New York, airline taxes, island transportation from Male’ to the resort, meals and a 7-night accommodation at the resort of your choice.
From airfare to accommodation, to meals, transportation, and activities, what else should you be mindful of?
Tax. There is an automatic 10 to 12.5% added tax on everything you will purchase at Maldives, including service tax. But some resorts, especially the high-end ones, the tax could be as much as 24%.
Tip or Gratuity. Due to the tax added to your total cost, there’s actually no need for you to give out tips. However, it’s also likely that people who would serve you will expect something in return. Just remember: You don’t have to tip everyone and every place you visit including the bar staff, waiting staff, Male’ fancy restaurants and local teashops. But do tip your room staff, or at more exclusive hotels, your “thakuru” or butler of any amount you think is reasonable.
Transfer Delays. Commonly, transfer via seaplane is only available during daytime hours. And that’s from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. So, if you are staying on a remote island which entails you to be transferred by such and you are scheduled to arrive in Male’ later than 4:00 PM, then you’ll have stay overnight in Male’. Or, if you are set to depart from the Maldives earlier than 9:00 AM, you will be sent via seaplane an afternoon before the day of your flight, requiring you for another overnight stay at Male’ at your own expense. And inns and hotels near the Male’ International Airport cost around $50 to $230.
Environment Fee. Maldives imposes a green tax for every person traveling to their wonderful country. Thus, you will be required to pay $6 per night at luxury resorts or $3 a night if you’re staying at guesthouses.
As an Islamic country, Maldives implements strict laws which are to be followed not only by its locals but visitors as well. And to avoid penalties and a ruined vacation, it is best to know the following:
- Bringing and possessing drugs is a big no-no. You can be imprisoned for life!
- Other than alcohol, you are not allowed to bring explosives, weapons, ammunition, pornographic materials, anything that is contrary to Islam (bible, figures for worship), and any pork product.
- Being nude or having topless sunbathing is not allowed anywhere.
- Same-sex relations are considered illegal.
And if you’re going to look at it, Maldives vacation package cost is actually attainable – and it will be more attainable if you’re going to be the one to make and carefully plan your own trip. And hopefully, these price guides could do that and finally help you visit your dream destination pretty soon.