25 Amazing Things to do in the Maldives

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Boasting 26 absolutely stunning atolls, this long and narrow country caters to all tastes and expectations. This means there is no shortage of things to do in the Maldives when you arrive in paradise.

It’s a well-known fact that good health and happiness can be bolstered by treating yourself to the finer things in life.  In this case, a trip to the Maldives is exactly what you need.

We spent 7 days sailing, scuba diving, and enjoying some of the best beaches in the Maldives on a liveaboard cruise on the Maldives Dhoni Explore.

25 Amazing Things to do in the Maldives

1. Dive at Banana Reef

Lina and David Stock Jr America's Adventure Travel Couple scuba diving Banana Reef in the Maldives

Banana Reef is one of the top dives sites in the Maldives, and a trip here is one of the best things to do in Maldives.

The long reef is shaped like a banana when seen from above, and the coral here is colorful and brimming with a fantastic array of tropical fish.

This is one of the original dive sites in the Maldives, and Banana Reef is a classic stop on any diving trip in the archipelago.

2. Dive the Rannamaari Shipwreck

Shipwreck in the Maldives

Avid divers won’t want to miss out on the chance to dive the Rannamaari Shipwreck, one of the best dive sites in the Maldives.

The Rannamaari is found just a short boat ride away from Male, the capital, and it was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef to help preserve the local marine life.

The project was a resounding success, and today you have one of the most diverse dive sites in the Maldives.

3. Dive With Sharks at Maaya Thila

Swimming with sharks at Maaya Thila

If you’re looking for a thrill, one of the best things to do in Maldives is dive with sharks at Maaya Thila.

This exceptional diving spot is best known for drawing hundreds of white tip reef sharks, which can be seen on most trips to the site.

You can join a night dive to Maaya Thila too; you’ll see the reef and the sharks in a surreal state of being, under the water.

4. Dive the Khuda Maa

Scuba diving the Khuda Maa shipwreck in the Maldives

If you love a good shipwreck, one of the best things in Maldives is to dive the Khuda Maa, a sunken Japanese ship in the South Ari Atoll.

The freighter has become an artificial reef with a multitude of colorful, tropical species. You can see stingrays, small sharks, and if you’re lucky, larger species too.

5. Search for Whale Sharks Around Sun Island

Swimming with whale sharks in the Maldives

Also located in the South Ari Atoll is Sun Island, where you can find whale sharks all through the year.

The plankton-rich environment attracts these gentle giants from across the Maldives, and you can join boat trips in search of them around Sun Island. You can snorkel or dive with these majestic creatures of the deep.

6. Dolphin Watch at the Muli Channel

Dolphin Watch at the Muli Channel

Dolphin watching is one of the best things to do in Maldives, but there are only a few places where you can be almost 100 percent guaranteed to spot them in the open ocean.

While you might chance upon them frolicking in the water right outside your villa, you can also book a dolphin-watching excursion to the Muli Channel, where you have the best odds in the Maldives of seeing dolphins.

We spent 7 days sailing, scuba diving, and enjoying some of the best beaches in the Maldives on a liveaboard cruise on the Maldives Dhoni Explore.

7. Surf the Breaks at Pasta Point

Surfing in the Maldives off Pasta Point

The Maldives isn’t exactly known as a surfing destination, but being in the heart of the Indian Ocean does mean there are more than a few swells. If you need a break from all that luxury, why not take a surfing trip to Pasta Point?

This is seen as the number one surf spot in the Maldives, because there are consistent waves and swells here no matter when you visit.

8. Stay in a Luxury Resort

Luxury resort in the Maldives

The Maldives is renowned for its luxurious villas and resorts, so there’s no way you can visit this island nation without staying in a luxury, beachside resort.

It’s part of the Maldivian experience, and there are plenty of resorts to choose form.

The Six Sense Laamu has a focus on sustainability, while the Kudadoo is a five-star resort on its own private island (although that’s fairly common in the Maldives!).

There are resorts for honeymooners, all-inclusive hotels for families, and much more.

9. Stay in an Overwater Bungalow

Overwater Bungalows in the Maldives

One of the best things to do in Maldives is to spend the night in an Overwater Bungalow.

This unique style of villa is, in many ways, a modern, luxurious take on the traditional style of living in the Maldives. Everything here happens on the water or over the water!.

You’ll have seen many of these iconic water villas on Instagram, offering sea views and snorkeling right on your doorstep. The best overwater bungalows are found either at the Park Hyatt Maldives, or the Four Seasons Maldives.

10. Explore Hanifaru Bay

Scuba diving Hanifaru Bay in the Maldives

Visit Hanifaru Bay on the Baa Atoll, one of the best things to do in the Maldives.

Protected as part of a UNESCO biosphere, and known for its glorious array of Marine life, Hanifaru Bay is where you can get up close with manta rays and whale sharks.

It’s a startling experience, but you need to be here at the right time of year. Manta ray season is May to November.

This is when these huge rays make their appearance and hang around the bay. You might see a few whale sharks too.

You can only snorkel at Hanifaru Bay; to protect the marine life, no diving is allowed.

11. Swim With Turtles at Turtle Reef

Swimming with turtles in the Maldives

The Maldives is teeming with marine life. If you’re here to see turtles, you won’t be disappointed.

The aptly named Turtle Reef is teeming with turtles, and you have the chance to snorkel or dive with several different species in the same day.

Found amongst the reefs of the South Male Atoll, you can swim with Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles, to name just a few!

12. Stay on Your Own Private Island

Luxury private island in the Maldives

If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury stay when you’re visiting the country, one of the best things to do in Maldives is to hire your own private island.

Of course, it’s not cheap, but if you’re searching for peace and solitude, this is the way to get it!

Many of the high-end resorts offer villas or water bungalows on small atolls or sandbars, set away from the main properties. You’ll need to take a boat or seaplane to reach them. 

13. Take a Sea Plane Flight over the Maldives

View from a flight over the Maldives

The Maldives is undeniably beautiful, but the best view of this island nation will always be from the skies. When you fly in, you’ll be astounded at the beauty and color below you.

It might inspire you to see more from above, in which case, one of the best things to do in the Maldives is to take a scenic flight over the atolls and reefs.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot giant manta rays or whale sharks from up in the air. A seaplane experience is great fun, taking off and landing too!

14. Visit the Old Friday Mosque

One of the best things to do in the Maldivian Islands is to delve into the cultural side of the nation. This is a Muslim majority country, and the capital, Male, is a world away from the beaches and resorts that most tourists spend their time at.

In Male, a visit to the Old Friday Mosque will give you an insight into the country’s religious and cultural history.

The old mosque dates back to 1656 and is one of the most important historical sites in the Maldives (and it’s made from coral!).

15. Explore the National Museum

You can learn more about the country’s unique history, and the challenges that the Maldives faces in the future, by visiting the National Museum in Male.

This intriguing museum is found on the same site as the Maldive’s Royal Palace. Its goal is to preserve the history of the nation and its people for visitors and locals to learn more about.

16. Shop at the Male Fish Market

Huge Tuna at the Male Fish Market

Jump into local life with a visit to Male’s bustling (and smelly) fish market. Found in the nation’s small capital, this is the largest fish market in the archipelago.

It’s packed with shoppers and fishermen from the early hours of the morning.

Why not buy some fresh fish and seafood, then take it back to your hotel to be prepared in true Maldivian fashion by the local chefs?

Discover Male today on these top tours:

17. Stroll Through Sultan Park

One of the best things to do in Maldives is to take a stroll through Sultan Park when you’re in Male, the capital.

This elegant garden is somewhat out of place compared to the white sand beaches and atolls you might have been here to see, but it’s an integral part of local history.

Sultan Park is where the remaining components of the Royal Palace are found, as is the National Museum.

18. Join a Dive Liveaboard Trip

Remote island in the Maldives - view from our luxury liveabord cruise

Some of the best dive sites in the Maldives are nestled away on remote coral reefs across the archipelago. One way to escape the crowds and experience the quieter dive spots is to join a multi-day liveaboard excursion.

You’ll relax, eat, and sleep on the diving vessel, diving every day (and night) throughout the trip. 

We spent 7 days sailing, scuba diving, and enjoying some of the best beaches in the Maldives on a liveaboard cruise on the Maldives Dhoni Explore.

19. Dive the Underwater Canyons of Broken Rock

Scuba Divers diving the underwater Canyons of Broken Rock in the Maldives on a luxury cruise

Experienced divers will want to organize a trip to Broken Rocks, a unique underwater world where you can swim through narrow, submerged canyons.

It’s a beautiful, if adventurous diving site, and you’ll need experience to enjoy it safely.

20. Dive with Hammerheads at Miyaru Kandu

Scuba diving with hammerhead sharks at Miyaru Kandu in the Maldives

Hammerhead Sharks are an impressive (if slightly terrifying) sight to behold underwater. Dive at Miyaru Kandu for the best chance of seeing these unique sharks in action.

Follow the reef as you dive, but keep looking out to open ocean, where you’ll spot the larger hammerheads and other species.

21. Try New Cuisines

Drinks on a resorts beach in the Maldives

When it comes to dining, prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure by taking a cooking tour on the island of Fuvahmulah.

Sipping a glass of a tasty tipple like a chilled Sancerre wine whilst savoring some delicious goats cheese and biscuits can really hit the spot.

Every once in awhile, you just have to take pampering to the next level. You can also dine with local families and learn how to prepare traditional Maldivian dishes which will wow your friends when you arrive back home!

22. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

Lina Stock of the Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog on Radhdhigga Island Maldives - while on a luxury sailing cruise

The selection of Maldivian spas available to choose from is almost unbeatable. You can get the balance of luxury and serenity just right.

Taking a spa session at the very beginning and end of a trip is a fantastic way to prepare for your vacation and ensure that you leave in a state of blissful well-being.

23. Get in Some Beach Time

Hurasdhoo Island Maldives

The white beaches of the Maldives sit permanently high up in the ranks of the world’s best and are just as splendid to view whist taking a cruise on a traditional Dhoni; your own private sailboat from which you can experience the tranquil waters at your leisure.

Let the crew and on-board chef take care of the practicalities and leave the resorts behind for a while as you cruise between the islands.

24. Take a Male City Tour

Male City the capital of the Maldives

The capital, Malé, is a bustling city that boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the form of the Friday Mosque.

A golden dome sits on top of these three hundred and fifty-year-old building, originally built using coral stones displaying beautiful carvings and artwork.

It’s the perfect spot to begin a tour of the city.

Discover Male today on these top tours:

25. Visit the Underwater Life

Scuba Diving in the Maldives is simply amazing (A large wall of fish).

Back on the water, you can experience the magic of getting up close to dolphins and whales through a tour around the more remote atolls.

The service is particularly high-quality in the Maldives and you can expect a perfectly organized excursion with local guides; it’s also a wonderful way to meet a friendly group with whom to share stories of Maldivian adventures over even more delicious cuisine.

One of the most thrilling ways to experience underwater life in the Maldives is to go scuba diving. The country has dive sites that cater to the new diver to the most advanced.

The best part is that no matter what skill level, the underwater world will provide you with a wide array of marine life and colors.

The Maldives truly offers everything from that “edge of the world” feel to the highest luxury, making it one of the ultimate locations for the perfect island vacation.

Recommended Tours
Maldives Dhoni Explorer
7 days
Male to Male
Trip Type: Small Group
12 - 14 People
Maldives Dhoni Cruise
7 days
Malé to Malé
Trip Type: Small Group
12 - 14 People
Maldives Island Hopping
8 days
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Trip Type: Small Group
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Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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2 thoughts on “25 Amazing Things to do in the Maldives”

    • The scuba diving in the Maldives is very beautiful but can be challenging if you dive some of the deeper sites. Strong currents!


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