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The Maldives on a Budget: Day Trips and Activities

The Maldives gets really mundane after awhile.

Can you imagine having to spend day after never-ending day staring at water so clear, so dazzling, and so magnificent, that it’s beyond imagination? By the 3rd day, I was already totally over it. Obviously.

Totally over this view.

Totally over this view.

And don’t even get me started on the cloudless, blue skies, perfect temperatures and Robinson Crusoe like serenity. Not to mention being forced to sit on soft, powdery white sand, watching a pod of wild dolphins frolicking in the distance. Utterly boring!

It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

The whole thing was so dull, that we were forced to sign ourselves up for what was sure to be an equally monotonous day trip. It couldn’t get much worse than that tired old beach on Maafushi.

Or so we thought.

But no, it got much, much worse. As we sped towards the first of our snorkelling sites on the decrepit speedboat they provided, we were compelled to look at water that kept changing colour. I swear that I must’ve seen every single shade of gorgeous turquoise, blue-green, cerulean sea possible. All sparkling annoyingly brilliantly under the sun. It was painful and blinding. And to make matters worse, that horrid, salty water kept hitting me in the face and cooling me off.

It would’ve been refreshing if it wasn’t so absolutely tiresome.

But then, for our next stop, the tour operators had the nerve to pull up to a deserted sandbar in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It was literally a drop of pristine, white sand abandoned and surrounded by more of that annoying crystal clear water. The damn thing was so ephemeral, parts of it’s “beach” kept washing away in the few hours that we were forced to spend there.

The torture was prolonged with a second snorkelling site full of listless sea turtles. Being 5 months pregnant and floating around weightlessly in that immaculate water was a liberating sensation I can’t even begin to describe. But if I had to? In one word?

Awful.

But just when I thought the endless day would finish, we had to go in search of wild dolphins on a “dolphin safari.” Driving back and forth in that speedboat, under the blazing hot sun, we only saw 1 pod of dolphins in the whole half hour we were looking. And they only came within 1 metre of our boat for a few minutes. What a complete waste of time.

Moving dolphins are hard to capture on camera! ;)

Moving dolphins are hard to capture on camera! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thankfully, the day trip was finally over, and we could go back to boring, old Maafushi.

Day Trips and Activities on Maafushi
If you get bored of sitting on one of the most perfect beaches I’ve ever seen, there’s a plethora of activities and day trips to get involved with. There’s scuba diving, snorkelling, trips to resort islands and so much more to choose from. And the best part is that they’re very affordable on local islands like Maafushi.

We comparison shopped at a lot of different places on Maafushi, and found the best deal and service at WhiteShell Beach Inn. For example, WhiteShell provided beach umbrellas. A lot of other places didn’t, and they were definitely needed. That deserted sandbar was HOT.

And while I’m sure that resort islands charge an arm and a leg for the same tour that we did, we paid just $45 each for our entire day trip. It included transport by speedboat, 2 snorkelling sites, a picnic lunch on a deserted sandbar and a dolphin safari. All drinks, food, towels, and gear were provided.

All of the hotels, home stays and activity centres on Maafushi offered similar tours. There was very little difference in WHAT places provide, but there was definitely a difference in price, service and professionalism levels. And just because you pay more, doesn’t mean you’ll GET more. Shop around, ask a lot of questions and negotiate if you can.

Hopefully you won’t end up on a day trip as terrible as ours. ๐Ÿ˜€

Do you pay for additional day trips and excursions when you’re traveling? or do it all on your own? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rahul #

    Your blog post actually makes for hilarious reading..following.

    December 10, 2015
    • Hi Rahul! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for following. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’re never forced to visit the Maldives. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      December 13, 2015
  2. What wonderful pictures, must have been really tiresome to take them :p
    I think I could enjoy it there for many days (as I love swimming around with my swimming goggles on to see the underwater beauty) but my wife would be probably bored after two latest three days (she can’t swim…)

    December 10, 2015
    • It was beyond exhausting to take those pictures. You can’t even imagine! :p Actually there were a lot of Chinese on Maafushi, having a great time, even though many of them couldn’t swim. The water doesn’t get too deep very fast, so you can still enjoy it, and it’s just soooo beautiful. I really hope you make it there one day….everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime! ๐Ÿ˜€

      December 13, 2015
  3. Love your tongue-in-cheek approach to the topic! Not that I wouldn’t enjoy a basic round-up of what you did in the incredible Maldives and on this little outing, but doing it this way actually reinforced the awesomeness of it!

    December 11, 2015
  4. Looks like paradise, Shelley. I suppose someone has to do these really boring things. ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 11, 2015
  5. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜„ Next time, let’s get bored together?

    December 11, 2015
  6. Sha #

    Haha, sure looked like you had an awful time there…I wish I can go for some quality boring time here…hehe….:)

    December 17, 2015
    • It was beyond boring. I really wouldn’t recommend wasting your time or money. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Back home now? How was your European adventure?

      December 18, 2015
      • Sha #

        Hahaha! I see, I shall not attempt to spend any money on such a boring place then..hahaha…yep, I’m back!! Still cannot believe that it is over….:(

        December 20, 2015
  7. It’s sooooo beautiful, Shelley. All I read here is sarcasm. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And for a cheap trip, I’m there!

    January 20, 2016
    • Lol…yeah, I couldn’t help myself. But I had a lot of fun writing it. ๐Ÿ™‚ You definitely have to make it there one day. It really is incredibly beautiful.

      January 21, 2016
  8. Ah haha! Love this! Reminds me of the times I show my husband photos of white sand beaches and turquoise waters saying how hideous it all looks! heehee! ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 18, 2016
    • Heh heh…yeah, I had a lot of fun writing this post. It’s was surprisingly easy to write a lot of bad things about the Maldives. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      February 18, 2016
  9. Olga #

    hi Shelley, i really like your articles, quick question, which company you hired for the snorkeling day excursion? Any hotel recommendations in Maafushi?

    thank you so much in advance.

    best regards,

    October 26, 2016
    • Hi Olga, we didn’t use a company but booked directly through the WhiteShell Inn. There’s a link to them in the last paragraph of the post. Regarding hotels…I think the best place to stay is Arena Beach because it’s one of the few hotels right on the bikini beach. We stayed at Kaani Beach Hotel, and then a home stay called Sunshine View. Both were great (Sunshine View better value), and though not on the bikini beach, the island it tiny, so it takes no time at all to walk there. Enjoy your trip. (I’m jealous!) ๐Ÿ™‚

      October 27, 2016

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