Thursday, December 10, 2015

Maldives - Island adventures



A lot of people wonder... Where is The Maldives? ("Islas Maldivas" in Spanish). It is in fact an independent country formed by tons of little islands. It is located south of India and southwest of Sri Lanka.



These islands hold the most exclusive hotels and resorts in the world. They are famous for the overwater villas, amazing coral reefs, extra white and soft sand and crystal clear water! 



Also, the islands are located in different areas of the atolls, so many of them can only be reached by charter sea planes that can land on water.


So the above pretty much explains why people (including me) always perceived these islands as super exclusive and expensive to vacation.

Well, we had few weeks to spare as we couldn't go to India, so we decided to check out the Maldives instead.

We arrived to the capital city of Male. This is a busy town, streets are tiny and it's over populated as there isn't much land to build on. 




In fact, the airport is actually located on the man made island of Hulhumale. This Island is an extension of the city of Male and surprisingly it ended up having really nice beaches!



Maldives is a 100% Muslim country. It's great to hear to prayer calling multiple times during the day. On the other hand, this also means you can't buy alcohol other than going to a resort. Also, women need to cover up knees and shoulders at all times, even when swimming. In fact, there are signs around the beaches advising tourist as well that they are of course expected to obey and respect the local traditions.

Well I wore a dress with shorts on top of my swimming suit and it seemed to be ok.



As always, we did our research and found out that there are several local islands than can be reached by public ferry from the capital city of Male. 



One of them is Maafushi. We went to the port and negotiated a speed boat for $20 USD per person that took us to the island in about 1 hour and a half boat ride.


Maafushi is one of the few local islands that have a bikini beach for tourists. It also has tons of little boutique hotels and restaurants. 



We got to meet quite a few people from all over the world in this tiny place and it was great. 

One of the diving places had a "Crab race". it was pretty fun however my crab was kinda crappy and didn't go fast enough ;)



You can also walk around the full island in about 45 mins.




The cool part about this island is that it is really secluded and it has a really nice beach, plus you can take day tours, like a



Fishing Tour - David got dinner for us. We had to come all the way to the Maldives so he could catch his fish ever! 


Snorkeling tour - which took us to the shark reef, turtle reef, sand bank and other spots. It was pretty great. We also got to see wild dolphins all around the boat.







Whale shark tour - we took it but unfortunately didn't get to see the shark, but this picture from Pirry (Colombian TV world traveler) shows what I'm talking about as he got to dive with it. In fact, I got to meet him since he happened to be on the same flight as us.



Resort day visits - On top of that you can easily pay for a day visit to the exclusive resorts around (about $100 per person with all food and drinks included)


We then decided to actually stay in one of these exclusive resort for 5 days and im glad we did! We figured - we came all the way to this part of the world, we might as well stay!


We stayed in an over the water villa in the Adaaran Club Rhanali Resort. Amazing!!


Here is the view from our room. 



As you can see, we had our private area of the sea and coral reefs for us, as each overwater villa has a staircase in the back that leads directly to the sea.




Amazing sunsets



Also, every morning breakfast came to the room


The food and bars were also pretty good. Even though we had an All-inclusive package, we managed to stay in shape as we were doing so much swimming while snorkeling 



The beach and snorkeling was truly awesome at this resort has a beautiful reef all around the whole island.


We had a full private coral area for us to snorkel! In fact we saw black tip and white tip reef sharks 2 different nights in the back of our villa. It was awesome! 



We also got to see big sea turtles, other reef sharks, mantas, nemos and all kinds of sea life







And big Eels, in fact one of them came pretty close


which made me fricked out for a quick moment however I got an awesome footage!

It was just one of the best places I have visited so far. Highly recommended!!


Like anything, there are also downsides, such as everything is ridiculously expensive! Like the Burger King at the airport that sells $12 US dollar cheese burgers!