1. Is Maldives safe for tourists?
Maldives is an absolutely safe country to travel solo or with family and friends. However, tourists must observe the existing HPA measures on restrictions on inter island travel.
2. How can I get Maldives Entry Permit?
Indian tourists do not need any pre-arrival visa / permit to enter Maldives. A free Maldives Tourist Visa is issued which is valid for 90 days on arriving at the Male Airport.
3. How many hours is Maldives from India?
A direct flight from Bangalore is about 2 hours. There are direct flights from Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
4. What are the documents required to travel to Maldives post COVID 19?
All tourists must a confirmed booking at a registered tourist facility
All tourists are required to hold a negative result for a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 prior to entry in Maldives
5. What are the requirements of the PCR result?
The sample for PCR test must not be taken more than 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure
Children below 1 year of age are exempt from taking the PCR test
If the tourist has taken a transit and the transit time does not exceed 24 hours, the initial PCR test will be valid. If the transit exceeds 24 hours, the passenger must re-take the PCR test
The document containing PCR test must highlight the below:
Name and address of the testing laboratory
Type of the test stated as PCR test
Date and time of sampling
The PCR test result should be submitted through the IMUGA (https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/) portal within 24 hours prior to departure to Maldives. In addition, the lab result should be presented in paper or electronic format during the airline check in
6. What are the possible Public Health interventions that one should expect?
All tourists travelling to and from Maldives are required to submit a self-declarative health declaration within 24 hours prior to their travel. This health declaration must be filled and submitted electronically via the online portal of Maldives Immigration, http://imuga.immigration.gov.mv
All tourists must undergo thermal screening at the airport
All tourists are recommended to install the contact app “TraceEkee”
7. Is stay at Maldives expensive?
Maldives is typically designed for a luxury vacation, wherein an island hosts only one resort. Therefore the stay cost starts from INR 50k per night to upto 1.5lacs or more per night. However, there are local islands where one can book stays in Airbnb's or Hotels within budget.
8. What are the arrangements for airport transfers?
Airport transfers can be more expensive than your flight ticket if not picked wisely. There are 2 modes of travel.
Speed boats can be availed for hotels near Male at a cost of USD 50 per head for a return trip
Airplanes need to be availed for hotels far from Male and they charge anything between USD 350 to USD 450 per head for a return trip
9. What is the currency of Maldives?
The local currency is Maldivian Rufiyaa and 1 MVR converts to approximately 5 INR.
10. Is Indian currency accepted in Maldives?
No, Indian currency is not accepted. However, US Dollars are widely accepted at all places. It is safer to carry dollars due to the ease of its use and the balance change given to you at some places might be in Maldivian Rufiyaa.
11. Do Indian SIM cards work in Maldives?
No, Indian SIM cards do not work in Maldives. It is advised to buy a local SIM card.
12. Which local telecommunication SIM should one purchase in Maldives?
Getting a temporary SIM card of Dhiraagu is most recommended
13. How much does a SIM card cost?
A Dhiraagu SIM card with a 3 days validity would cost up to MVR 50 (INR 250 approx.) and one with validity of 10 days would amount to MVR 100 (INR 500 approx.). However, the rates vary from the airport stores to the ones available in the city. Eg. An Ooredoo SIM card with a 14 days validity would start from MVR 491 (INR 2455 approx.)
14. When is the best time to visit Maldives?
November to April forms the best time to visit Maldives; January to April are the driest making it the peak season for travel. However, with some research and planning I recommend travelling in shoulder months for best travel experience and great hotel and flight rates.
15. Is vegetarian food available in Maldives?
Yes, even though the options are limited for vegetarians as the locals have a seafood rich diet. Their food is quite carb heavy and offer rice-based meals and one could easily opt for a veg variant.
16. How should I dress in Maldives?
For tourists, Maldives in an apt country for casual dress code. However, locals and tourists are not allowed to move about in swimwear on a local island. This rule is not applicable for luxury resorts, except while entering the restaurant inside the resort to eat a meal.
17. What is the local famous food in Maldives?
Tuna fish is abundantly available across all islands and the locals know great recipes to include the fish in many food variants, from burgers to noodles.
18. What is banned in Maldives?
Consumption of alcohol is banned on local islands. However, one would be able to drink at a bar in a resort or on the floating bar harbored in the ocean.
19. What kind of activities can one indulge in?
Water activities are the prime attraction. Maldives offer a brilliant plethora of snorkeling and deep-sea diving spots. Swimming with sharks and turtles are definitely to be tried by adventure buffs.
20. How much do the water activities cost?
Most local islands provide full day and half day trips, which include the cost of guide, commute, snorkeling gear, life jackets, fins, underwater photos and videos of yourself and one meal.
Half day trips – USD 25 per head
Full day trips – USD 50 per head
You may read the detailed itinerary from my trip here.
I had availed the day trips via iCom Tours.
Please feel free to reach out to me for any more queries on my Insta handle.