Yes, we returned to Maafushi. We were here 2 years ago and although it’s quite touristy, we enjoyed it. On this trip the initial plan was to visit a new island in a different atoll, which we did – Ukulhas, and it was beautiful. But … Well, let’s just say we wanted to come here because of the wide choice of excursions they offer here.
What do you need to know before you come here
Maafushi is not a resort island, it is still a local island, where you can wear a bikini only on the bikini beach. While strolling through the dusty streets (no concrete or asphalt here) women should have covered knees and shoulders (although this time we saw many women not respecting islamic traditions).
The island has a bank and an ATM, numerous stores with clothes, souvenirs, food etc.
There is a wide range of accommodation. From basic guest houses for around 30 USD to 130 USD per room with breakfast.
The northern side of the island has many hotels and guesthouses and is quite busy, the east and south side of the island are very quiet.
The service provided on the island is amazing – a guest house representative greeted us at the harbor and escorted us to the guesthouse, cold refreshing towels and welcome drinks were waiting for us, the room was ready already before check in time, the guesthouses have free snorkeling gear and usually also breakfast.
Maafushi has many activities to offer. 2 years ago there were a few already, but today there is an even wider range.
- Snorkeling trips
They offer different snorkeling trips, where you can swim with all kinds of ocean animals – from sharks, manta rays, dolphins to whale sharks. Watch the vlog at the end of the article for some underwater action. 😉
Diving is among the cheapest in the country. We dived with Maafushi scuba and we liked them a lot.
- Bikini beach
Maafushi has actually 2 bikini beaches, both on the nort-western shore. They are both quite decent with ok snorkeling. You can rent sunbeds for 5 USD per day, you can have a drink or a fresh coconut from the 2 nearby bars.
- Sunset romantic dinner
As in the movies where he proposes ❤ Romantic sunset dinners are easy to arrange. If you want a full setting with food it will be around 100 USD, just the setting will cost you 50 USD. On our last evening we enjoyed a sunset dinner, where we just sat down at a beach restaurant and ordered food. The candle on our table was enough for us. 😉
- Visiting other local islands
From Maafushi you can easily visit nearby local islands like Gulhi, Guraidhoo or even Fulidhoo. Speedboat prices start at 17 USD one way. You can also stay at these quiet islands for an even more relaxed local experience.
- Daytrips to resort islands
We went on a daytrip to a fancy resort 2 years ago on our first visit to The Maldives. We wanted to see, how resorts look like and we were quite amazed by Adaraan, but a bit disappointed by Centara. Why we liked the first one and what was “wrong” with the second, you can read here.
- Sandbank trip
If you’re in the Maldives, you have to do this! We were amazed, how small sand islands pop up from turquoise water. You’ll get there by speed boat, the staff set up an umbrella, where you’ll have your shade. Picnic style food and cold drinks will round the experience.
- Crab race
We saw this for the first time here – a man drew a circle in the sand, put crabs in the midlle and the first crab to cross the circle line won.
- Local football tournament
On the east side of the island is a very good football court, where we watched a local football tournament.
- Visiting the prison
Just kidding, although you should know, Maafushi is also known as the prison island. On the far south is the biggest prison of the country.
How to get to Maafushi
From the international airport there are direct speedboats to Maafushi for just 25 USD. The first speed boat leaves at 9:15, the last one at 22:00. Speedboats stop in Male briefly, so if you missed the last speedboat and had to spend the night in Male, you can board the speedboat terminal near Bank of Ceylon (where all speedboats stop).
In our opinion Maafushi is a great choice for Maldives-first-timers, who can’t afford (or are not willing to pay) the fancy resorts. We would encourage you to maybe combine another local island – we visited also Ukulhas and Fulidhoo and we made a comparison of these 3 islands here.
For a sample 8 days itinerary, please read further here.