Maldives has a population slightly over 300,000, with the highest density being in the capital Male, with around 70,000 inhabitants. Given this and the small island size of the city, the authorities had to get creative in containing so many people, shops and an international airport that is teeming all year around, due to the increase in Maldives tours.
You will find that almost all roads are one-ways, many buildings are multi-story and quite narrow, roads are also as narrow as they get. People use bikes or cycles mainly, although you will find a lot of cars around. This sense of compression can also apply to concepts of time. Additionally, what many would consider a “close call” is often unremarkable to many locals, and despite everything, your idyllic Maldives vacations will come together in the end.
Travel in the Maldives takes place in three ways – boats, sea planes (air taxis) and private yachts. Boats are the Maldivian equivalent of a car while planes and private yachts are mainly for tourists. In Male and the other larger inhabited islands, you can call a taxi to get around the island.
The best way to get around the resort islands is by foot, but most resorts also have golf buggies which their staff is always happy and drive you around in. A round-the-clock ferry service operates between the capital and the airport.
A dhoni, which is a Maldivian boat made of wood and usually painted blue, leaves from the airport jetty every 15 minutes and after midnight they run every 30 minutes. Dhonis are also available for charter to nearby islands and are a charming way to travel on your Maldives holiday. The price depends on where you want to go, for how long, and on your negotiating skills. Typically it can be anywhere between US $ 60 and US $ 100 for a day, but if you want to start at 6 am and go about using it nonstop for 12 hours, the price could be upped a bit more. You can also charter a Dhoni at most Maldives resorts, but it will cost more at about US $ 200 or US $ 250 per day and will be based on availability.
Some Maldives resorts even have speed boats that can be hired by guests for Maldives tours. These boats range from small runabouts with an outboard motor to massive, multi-deck launches with an aircraft-type cabin. These launches come at a price of around US $ 350 per day and are probably the best way to go around in style. For a customized Maldives holiday, you would have the services of a captain and a couple of crew members along with the launch for a 10 hour day. If chartering a boat for the day, the standard practice followed is for the client to pay for the tank to be refueled on arrival back at Male.
Permits are not necessary for the organized island-hopping tours arranged by resorts, but independent travel to inhabited islands other than Male would require an Inter Atoll Travel Permit from the Ministry of Atolls.
The only places where visitors will need to travel by road are Male and the Southernmost atoll, Addu. Taxis are available in both places and driving is on the left hand side.
The Enchanting Travels team are happy to help you plan blissful beach holidays with our private and tailor-made Maldives tours!