6 Maldives Vacation Activities You Won’t Want to Miss

The Maldives islands are bouncing back from 2004 and you’ll find that the luxury-rich grouping of islands is again offering more luxury than you may be able to imagine. In fact, with the recent developments, the Maldives is even more spectacular than it was. More and more luxury, boutique and environmentally friendly hotels are popping up. Any vacation to any of the islands will be extraordinary. The group of islands is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and there are a series of ancient coral reefs that surround ancient volcanoes on the ocean floor. Whether you’re looking to explore the ocean’s ecosystems through snorkeling and diving or to relax in the finest hotels in the most beautiful backdrop, check out the Maldives.

Maldives safari

Here are some activities you won’t want to miss:

1. Visit the Markets in Male

Fly into Male, the island capital where you’ll see high rises and narrow streets all along the seawall. You’ll love the local markets where you’ll find fresh produce and local woodwork. From Male, most islands are no farther than a 45-minute flight away.

2. Choose a Live-Aboard Boat

These floating yachts are a great way to see several of the Maldives Islands and to take diving opportunities. From these boats you can also go whale and dolphin watching and, if you’re lucky, you could see a pod of orcas.

3. Dive in Addu Atoll

Fly in to the heart-shaped atoll, which is next in size to the Male with 28,000 people spread over 7 islands. The Addu people consider themselves separate and independent in many ways from the rest of the Maldives, and you’ll hear their own dialect. Here you’ll continue to explore the “urban” side of the Maldives. You’ll also find access to the Kuda Kandu, which is a little channel with two thilas inside. With the current, you can cross the channel and see incredible foliaceous corals and an incredible variety of marine life including, for the more adventurous, sharks, eagle rays and barracuda.

Shangri-La Villingili

4. Island / Resort Hop

You cannot visit the Maldives without getting a small taste of the almost 1200 islands there. You can take a chartered dhoni to island hop. 200 of the 1200 islands have a luxury resort, so island hopping and resort hopping go hand in hand.

  • Angaga

Boasting an island that seeks to keep in tune with the pristine beauty of Maldivian islands, Angaga features a villa over the turquoise water. The island’s resort will set up scuba diving tours, wind surfing, kite surfing, water skiing, or canoeing.

  • Chaaya

If you’re a windsurfer, you’ll definitely want to hop over to this island. The Chaaya resort features a “Green Globe” certificate, which speaks to their eco-friendly ethics.

  • Komandoo

Winner of Travelife Gold, Travelers’ Choice, and Tripadvisor’s certificate of excellence, Komandoo features a 40-year old coconut plantation. Perfectly situated in a channel opening, divers and snorkelers love this island. You’ll see turtles, mantas and even sharks just sitting at the resort’s outdoor bar. You can choose a beach hut or an over-the-water hut in this picturesque resort.

5. Go Whale and Dolphin Watching

Twenty-three species of whales and dolphins are present in this area. Take a sunset cruise and you may see sperm whales, whale sharks, bottlenose dolphins and maybe even gray reef sharks.

Diving Maldives, 2009

6. Get a Spa Treatment on the Ocean

In early 2012 the Maldives government reversed a ban they had on the sale of spa treatments and alcohol. Before this time, the Maldives government had been trying to enforce the closure of spas within luxury resorts. There’s never been a better time than now to enjoy the ultimate tropical spa experience. With open-air spa centers perched directly over the ocean, you can experience a massage or facial in the most beautiful surroundings and the most lavish spa treatments.

Long touted as the vacation spot for the rich and famous, the Maldives’ recent investment in ecotourism and even more extensive renovation of their luxury resorts make it a great time to see what all the hype is about. Sleep on a yacht, over the ocean or dine under the sea and see some of the most exotic ocean wildlife out there. This will be a vacation you’ll never be able to forget.

Amie Gottschalk is an avid blogger who writes often for several travel sites. You can follow her on Twitter @amiegottschalk.