After travelling to several local islands in the Maldives in 2022, it is certain that Maafushi is one of those local islands that has left a really good impression on me. If you’re in the Maldives and looking for a budget-friendly trip that would allow you to enjoy life as a guest at the beautiful beaches of the Maldives, I would say Maafushi is the place to go. The same goes for locals who are looking for a fun getaway from the capital city to experience a budget-friendly-resort experience, this island is the place to be.
Costing MVR 400 or $26 for a round trip, the island is located just 30-45 minutes away from the capital city Male’ - getting to Maafushi is quite easy and the speed boat can be booked through your hotel stay or through local transfer operators.
The best part is that the speedboat can pick you up from both the jetties at Velana International Airport as well as the one in Male’, so if you’re at the airport and not planning to visit the capital, you can easily book the ticket or check if there are any spare seats available to get on the boat last minute.
This island is quite unique as there is a tourist side and a local side to the island; meaning you can experience this island from the point of view that you prefer. The tourist side of the island is filled with restaurants, guest houses, a bikini beach as well as some cute little cafes that are worth experiencing.
One of the guest-favourites on this island definitely has to be the Friday night shows that are hosted at Arena Beach which can range from a club-style set up where guests can enjoy the music and dance or a more traditional Maldivian music show with ‘Boduberu’ for everyone's enjoyment.
While bookings for guest houses are in high demand during the holiday seasons as well as weekends, there is no shortage of accommodations on this island. Whether you want to experience this island on a budget or go all out on the expenses is completely up to the visitor.
Accommodations can range from MVR 500 or $32 per night to as high as MVR 1500 ++ or USD 100++ per night depending on the kind of trip you are planning. My advice would be to choose something in-between so that you can spend more on experiencing the excursions and other activities that are offered on this island.
When it comes to water sports, this island has surprisingly cheap offers as you can choose solo activities as well as group activities. Simple activities such as canoeing go for as low as MVR 100 ($6) and more extreme activities such as parasailing are usually around MVR 500 ($32).
Aside from the activities, Maafushi is genuinely a fun little island to visit for a few days just to take your mind off the hecticness of life and let go a little. This is the one island that I would recommend to locals and tourists alike if you’re not looking to spend a hefty amount at a Maldivian resort.