A quick search for #paradise on Instagram and you're sure to get a plethora of sunsets, island beaches, palm trees, infinity pools and cocktails. A closer look and no doubt a majority of them all have the location Maldives.
Those fortunate enough to have already visited the Maldives will agree that it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
For those planning a trip to paradise soon, here are our top tips you need to know before you go;
The over-water bungalow resorts you see and know on your social feed is only a small percentage of what life on the Maldives Islands is really like. For the real Maldives, you need to visit the local islands where most of the 400,000 Maldivians make their homes.
Up until 2009, tourists needed a permit to explore non-resort islands, but today many local islands are open for all to visit and enjoy the real Maldives.
The Maldives is a dry country
What does this mean? As the main religion in the Maldives is Muslim, there are strict rules around the consumption of alcohol. You can not bring alcohol into the country or consume it on the local islands. Don't panic though, you can still get your lips wet during your stay with our Resort day trips. On these privately owned islands alcohol flows freely!
Another cheeky solution to the no alcohol rule are the 'liveaboard' boats docked just 100m offshore. These boats are licensed to serve alcohol, so you can indulge in a cocktail or two easy enough :)
As tourism is relatively new, and a lot of rich & famous people call the Maldives their new vacation hotspot spot, the price of things sometimes may raise an eyebrow or two.
For many, the Maldives is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so make sure you spoil yourself and indulge while you're here to get a taste of the celebrity lifestyle. Build out your budget before you arrive, so you won’t have to worry about pinching pennies. For the most part though if sticking to the local islands, food and drink are reasonably priced and our guides always know the best places to go!
Get yourself a quality underwater camera
Your trip to the Maldives will offer some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. If you plan on trying some water-sports (which you must!) make sure you get yourself a GoPro or something of that sort. You definitely will need it to capture some great moments during your week such as swimming with the Whale Sharks or exploring the reefs for Manta-Rays on an epic Scuba dive.
For the couples coming to the Maldives, you need to refrain from public displays of affection (PDA)...keep that behind closed doors ;) It's also important to dress modestly while on the local islands. Both men and women should avoid wearing shorts above the knees. Women are advised to cover their shoulders and elbows and wear loose-fitting clothes.
Some of the local islands have tourist beaches where they allow you to dress as you would normally at home (bikini's, 1 piece etc). Note that sunbathing topless or in the nude is prohibited, no matter where you are.