I know the heading of this post might sound much tricky to many of you. The reason is obvious. First of all, we all know the Maldives worldwide much famous as honeymoon and luxurious destination. And it is true as well. In the meantime, it is also possible to make solo travel in the Maldives on a budget. I’m sure you’ll love to know… 😉
During my solo trip to the Maldives, I visited Hulhumale, Villingili, and Himmafushi islands. I also had a quick visit to Male, the capital of the Maldives. I had no idea many adventures waiting for me in the Maldives. There are many top things to do & see in the Maldives. And interestingly possible to explore those on a budget. My three days the Maldives solo travel itinerary will help you get many insights and money saving tips. Even without traveling solo you can make a budget tour in the Maldives.
A short video on my solo travel in the Maldives before you’re going through inside.
- 1 How To Travel The Maldives on a Budget?
- 1.1 My First Footstep in the Maldives with Uncertainty
- 1.2 HM Retreat, Budget Hotel in Hulhumale
- 1.3 My Three Days on the Hulhumale Island
- 1.4 Day 1
- 1.5 Day 2
- 1.6 Day 3
- 2 Average Cost of The Maldives Vacation
- 3 The Maldives Travel Tips To Explore on a Budget
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Click to save these for later read!
How To Travel The Maldives on a Budget?
It was a pleasure to fly with SriLankan Airlines from Colombo to Male. But unfortunately, the flight was delayed and couldn’t reach Velana International Airport on time. And also nobody came to pick me from Kalaafaanu Retreat which I pre-booked through Agoda. I was shocked by the unprofessional attitude from this hotel authority in the Hangnaameedhoo Island.
So here it is, you never know what might happen on the way.
#Maldives 🇲🇻is too fascinating from the #sky & loved to #fly with #srilankanairlines. 💙✈️ @srilankanairlinesofficial #visitmaldives #iflysrilankan #myownwaytotravel . . . #lovetofly #travel #travelgram #windowview #airplane #maldivesislands #maldivestourism #maldivestrip #travelphoto #iphone6plus #travelblogger #beautifulsky #bbctravel #gothere #tlpicks #tlasia #lonelyplanet #globetrotter #maldivestips #travellovers #traveltheworld #instatravel #igtourist myownwaytotravel.com
Tasty Chicken Biryani [SriLankan Airlines]
My First Footstep in the Maldives with Uncertainty
It was almost 10 pm (Male Time), and I was still at the airport. I found one guy from HM Retreat. He offered me to stay at this hotel which is very near to the Male Airport in the Hulhumale Island. He sounds good, and instantly I decided to stay at HM Retreat. Sometimes you got to take a risk by trusting the new peoples around you throughout your solo journey. And so someone was right to say, believing is nothing but taking the risk. And later I came to know this guy works to transfer guest from hotel to airport and vice versa.
The Maldives, Paradise On Earth
Points To Be Noted
- No visa required for any countries to stay for one month as a tourist in the Maldives.
- Must have to show the pre-booked hotel details to the immigration authority at Velana International Airport or Male International Airport.
- You might face a lengthy interrogation session at the airport to give the valid reason to visit the Maldives. They interrogate me a bit more behind my solo travel in the Maldives. 😉
- The Maldives is a Sunni Muslim country. So it is better to be aware of the Maldivian’s custom and tradition throughout your travel in the Maldives.
- Friday after 7 pm no public ferry/speed boat transfer service from the airport to any islands.
- Private speed boat/seaplane transfer service is available always.
HM Retreat, Budget Hotel in Hulhumale
A budget hotel or guest house is the best option to save money on accommodation. I liked my three nights (50$ per night) stay at HM Retreat. Breakfast is complimentary here and you can also access free Wi-Fi. Beautiful Hulhumale Beach is just a walking distance from this hotel.
It takes just 12 mins to 15 mins to reach HM Retreat from the airport. I found many of them are working at this hotel from Bangladesh. They all cooperated a lot, especially Mr. Rajib, made my solo travel in the Maldives a memorable one. Moreover, it was nice to see many Bangladeshis in the Maldives. Most are here with work permits.
My Three Days on the Hulhumale Island
The beautiful Maldives blessed with more than 1000 islands and 26 Atolls. To hop on an island, you must take the private/public ferry to speed boat and seaplane service. But exceptions are there for Hulhumale Island and Hulhule Island or Airport Island. Only this two islands are possible to visit by road.
I enjoyed my three days budget tour in the Hulhumale Island which is under North Male Atoll.
There are many budgets to luxury hotels and restaurants in the Hulhumale Island. There is one beautiful mosque, and one central park, which is favorite among locals.
Many constructions are still going on in Hulhumale and came to know just some years back also this artificial island was not much popular among tourists. Now became a popular one.
I loved the beautiful roads and the greeneries in Hulhumale. I found this island is a beautiful one and best to explore by walking or biking.
Two wheelers are drastically common in the Maldives. Here in the beautiful Hulhumale Island, I saw many rough and tough local guys with long curly, dye hair biking very fast. But you must have to take the help of locals to enjoy biking.
Bike Ride Fun in the Hulhumale Island
Points To Be Noted
- It is safe to move around on the Hulhumale Island.
- Local police are cooperative and strict enough.
- Avoid any unexpected offer from some local guys. They might try to bribe or tease you while traveling alone.
My FIRST DAY in Hulhumale started with the fantastic beach view from the hotel room window. It was Friday. Last night I could not understand anything. Early morning after watching the sunrise view from the Hulhumale beach I became so happy and just forgot all the bad moments from the last night. Love you, dear nature! You are always more than enough to give me the unlimited happiness.
Hulhumale Beach During Sunrise
Friday and Saturday are the weekends in the Maldives. Friday during prayer time (12:30 pm – 1:30 pm) all public services are closed for one hour.
Short Visit To Male & Villingili Island
I enjoyed making a short visit to Male and Villingili Island by taxi and public ferry. Villingili is a local island, and the Villingili Beach is within walking distance from the Villingili Ferry Terminal. There are also budget hotels and restaurants in the Villingili Island but not a touristic one.
Hulhumale Ferry Terminal is near to HM Retreat hotel. The easiest way to explore Male, the capital of the Maldives from the terminal by public ferry or speed boat service. Local island Villingili is very close to Male and possible to explore from Villingili Terminal by public ferry or speed boat service.
Hulhumale Ferry Terminal
Villingili Ferry Terminal
By the way, the public ferry service in the Maldives is very standard. And this is the cheapest transport service in the Maldives. You’ll generally see locals traveling by public ferry. Go local if you’re on a budget tour in the Maldives.
Trying many water sports in the Villingili Island is possible. I found locals enjoying fishing and also playing football in the Villingili Beach. Many Maldivians enjoy a family trip to the local beaches on Friday.
You might like to book The Maldives tours, attractions, and activities online or check out some of the options below.
Solo Dinner at Cafe Asiana Restaurant in Hulhumale
In the afternoon I liked to explore Hulhumale on foot. There is one local market if you want you can explore. You’ll see more tourists in the afternoon and evening time in Hulhumale nearby the beach side. I had a solo dinner with Mongolian Chicken Rice at Cafe Asiana Restaurant, one of the favorite Asian restaurants in Hulhumale. It is not, a common to have a meal alone in the Maldives, hehe. I must say the food is tasty in the Maldives. While having food I had a bit chitchat with the food server, and he was from Bangladesh. 🙂
While loving to try for the first time #MongolianChickenRice at Cafe Asiana Restaurant, one of the popular #asianrestaurant in #Hulhumale #Maldives. ••••••• I came to know this bit spicy n sweet chicken rice is popular among #Maldivians. And in the Maldives you can try any types of food from various countries. But Barbecued fish is the most popular one by all. #myownwaytotravel ••••••• #travelphoto #travelfood #maldivianfood #travel #travelgram #visitmaldives #maldivestrip #maldivestourism #ilovemaldives #foodie #asianfood #travelphotography #maldivesislands #indianocean #solotravel #bbctravel #tlasia #tlpicks #travelasia #igtourist #travelblogger #writetotravel #travelblog #globetrotter myownwaytotravel.com
My SECOND DAY in the Hulhumale Island was the most enjoyable one. I went for a day tour with one group of 14 travelers from the Hulhumale Ferry Terminal by boat to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the Maldives.
The Maldives Day Tour By Boat
The Maldives Day Tour To Sandbank
The entire day tour including lunch, island hopping, dolphin watching, and snorkeling cost me just 130$ but gave me unlimited fun. The other 14 travelers were from the USA, Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Singapore, and Malaysia. We altogether had the real fun at Sandbank. Loved to explore the underwater beauty of the turquoise waters while snorkeling. Snorkeling in the Maldives is much fun.
Underwater Beauty of the Maldives
Tasty Maldivian Food Lunch on The Himmafushi Island
Himmafushi is also a local island and best for budget travelers. We had lunch together with delicious Maldivian food on the Himmafushi Island. We enjoyed fishing, watched the Dolphins. And also I loved the excellent shopping in Himmafushi. And I had sweet coconut water from the Himmafushi Island.
Trip Lunch in the Himmafushi Island
This fantastic day tour organized by Mr. Musthafa, from Dream Adventure in Hulhumale, and his cooperative team.
With Snorkel Guide Musthafa
Souvenir Shopping in Himmafushi
Jet Skiing in Hulhumale
Hulhumale is also best for any water activities fun. Adventure in Hulhumale you’ll love and enjoy. You can try many water sports in Hulhumale. I enjoyed Jet Skiing at Hulhumale Beach. It took 45$ for 30 minutes. I loved the breathtaking landscape just before sunset. It was fun indeed.
Memorable Dinner at Ocean View & The Catch 78
It was a great pleasure to meet Mr. Matthew from the USA at HM Retreat. He is exploring Asia for 20 years in various countries. He loved to throw a dinner for some of us from HM Retreat. We had good food and time together at Ocean View Restaurant.
Ocean View Restaurant
For making this moment memorable and sweet, we had Red Velvet Pastry after the dinner at The Catch 78 Restaurant in the Hulhumale Island.
The Catch 78 Restaurant
Hence it will always be right to say that your journey might be solo, but throughout your trip, you’ll meet some nice peoples. And the moment you share with them will always be the memorable one to cherish forever.
LAST DAY in the Maldives I gave some moments to entirely myself. I loved to walk alone beside the white sandy beach during the golden hour. I kept gazing at the turquoise crystal waters. Totally embrace this moment and the beauty of my solo travel in the Maldives.
A Moment to Embrace
Way To the Male Airport
The only road which leads to the Male Airport is beautiful. You’ll enjoy the beach view while passing the road.
In conclusion, must manage a window seat to enjoy the top view of the Maldives from the sky. What a beauty! The Maldives, truly the paradise on earth. I was happy to make a safe and exciting solo travel in the Maldives on a budget. I’ll love to come back.
Average Cost of The Maldives Vacation
I expend only 359$ during my entire Maldives tour excluding air ticket fare. I traveled via Colombo to the Maldives by SriLankan Airlines. My route was Dhaka to Colombo to the Maldives.
You can avoid many unnecessary travel costs if you enjoy exploring like a local. Here is my total travel cost of the Maldives for three days on a budget:
- Accommodation For 3 Nights
- Transport (taxi, public ferry)
- Full Day Tour by Boat
- Jet Ski (30 mins)
The Maldives Travel Tips To Explore on a Budget
- By all means, Avoid luxurious water villas and resorts in the Maldives for accommodation.
- The accommodation cost is high in the private islands.
- You’ll find many budget hotels in the Maldives on the local islands.
- There are also many cheap hotels in Male; you can book through Airbnb. It will help you to reduce cost.
- Also, take the public ferry service to explore many islands. Per person by public ferry will cost you less than 1$. But for the public speed boat, you have to count 30$ – 50$.
- Furthermore, if you’re in Hulhumale or Male, try to take public bus service. It will reduce your cost. For any short distance the minimum taxi fare (25 MVR).
- Have Maldivian food from local restaurants.
- The best time to visit the Maldives in the low season (April to September) to avoid excessive travel cost.
- Use local currency MVR instead of USD dollar; you’ll be able to save a right amount of money.
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For more query, you can write to me or comments below. Are you planning a trip to the Maldives?
Nafisa Habib loves nature and often got fascinated by old beautiful architecture. Here she is with My Own Way To Travel to share her adventures on the road. To her nothing is so interesting than exploring new destinations around. And knowing a new culture and meeting new peoples on the road? Oh, yeah she just loves that too.