Frequently Answered Questions!
| Travel Advice
| Live aboard
| Rates, Reservation and
1. What is the Maldives ?
The Maldives is an independent country in Asia. The country consists
of a network of beautiful coral islands and the sea between them,
with a land surface area of 1% of the country’s territory.
2. Where is the Maldives located?
The Maldives is made up of a small island group scattered
across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, roughly 500 km
from the southernmost tips of Sri Lanka and India. The country’s
territory covers an area of 90,000 square kilometres and consists of
approximately 1,200 coral islands. Average temperature on the
Maldives is 29 degrees Celsius.
The Maldives is represented in the Common Wealth and the United
Nations. The country is a democracy and has a population of circa
290,000 citizens. The closest neighbouring countries are India and
Sri Lanka. Only 200 of the 1200 islands are inhabited and individual
resorts and hotels occupy only 88 of these.
The Maldivian capital Male’ is only 10 minutes by boat from the
3. How do we reach the Maldives?
You can reach the Maldives by sea or by air. The international
airport is located on the island of Hulhule. There are international
scheduled flights including: Sri Lankan Airways, Qatar Airway,
Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Indian Airlines, Balkan, Bulgarian
Airlines, LTU, Condor, AOM French, Austrian Airlines and Malaysian
Airlines. Some of these airlines fly daily, weekly or twice weekly
and connect the Maldives to many major centres around the world.
The Maldives are also visited by regular charter flights including,
Britannia Airways, Balair, Monarch Airlines, Lauda Air, Air Europe
of Italy, Sterling Airways, Air Holland, South African Airways, Air
4. What is the Airport like?
As the airport is situated on a long and thin island, from above it
looks somewhat like an aircraft carrier.
This international airport is regarded as one of the safest airports
in the world. The reason is that there is only one runway and
therefore only one plane can either land or take off at a time.
The airport is located some 4 kilometers/2 miles from the capital
island Male’ on a nearby island.
5. Do I need a Visa to visit the Maldives?
A visa prior to arrival in the Maldives is not required. All
tourists from all countries are granted a free 30-day visa upon
arrival. However, all visitors need to have a valid passport. If a
passport expiry date falls within 30 days of arrival, tourists
cannot extend their stay beyond the passport’s expiry date. Working
or engaging in employment while visiting with a tourist visa is
prohibited. The Ministry of Human Resources Employment and Labour
can provide work visas.
6. What is the currency used?
In the Maldives the currency is called "Ruffia" or Rf. One US dollar
is equivalent to 12.85 Rf.
All resorts, liveaboards and most souvenir shops accept major cards
and cash payments in US dollars.
7. What is the time difference?
The Maldives are five hours ahead (GMT +05:00) of Greenwich Mean
8. When is the best time to visit the Maldives?
The most popular period to visit the Maldives, therefore also the
peak season, is between December and April. During these months,
hotels and resorts tend to get fully booked with prices and rates
that are higher than during the rest of the year.
Christmas and New Year is the busiest and most expensive part of the
peak season period. Between May and November it's still warm, but
the skies can be cloudy, humidity is higher and rain is more likely.
This is the low season with fewer tourists and lower prices.
The transition months of November and April are considered to have
increased water clarity with better visibility for divers.
9. What vaccinations should I have?
Normally, authorities in the Maldives do not require vaccinations.
However, if you are from a Central African or South American
country, or if you have travelled through these areas before
arriving in the Maldives, you need to have a valid certificate
indicating that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. Other
than this exception, you do not need any specific vaccination
certificates to visit the Maldives.
If you want to be extra careful, do consult your personal physician
for his or her recommendations. Visitors should check with their
carrier when making reservations, as health regulations may change
with short notice.
10. What is the capital of the Maldives?
The capital of the Maldives is Male’ which is pronounced "Maaley".
Male’ is considered one of the smallest capitals in the world in
terms of geographical size. One third of the country’s population,
about 75,000 Maldivians, live in Male’. Male’ is different from any
other island in the country as it is a city of high-rise buildings
and paved roads. While the government offices are located in one
area, the main streets are lined with shops and offices. This is the
base for all economic activity. The capital also has a number of
places of historical interest.
11. Are there any hotels in the capital?
Male’ has a number of hotels offering high quality accommodation and
a number of guesthouses offering affordable accommodation and
services. Most of these hotels are only a few minutes walk from the
jetty, where all ferryboats arrive from the airport. Hotels on Male’
are also used by expatriates coming for business and as transit
hotels for tourists coming on evening flights and travelling to
resorts that do not offer night transfers.
1. Do we need a Visa to enter the Maldives?
If you are coming to the Maldives as a tourist, you do not need a
visa. Upon arrival, you will be issued a 30-day tourist visa at the
immigration counter. If you wish to stay more than 30 days, you will
have to fill a special application for the extension of your tourist
visa and there will be an extension fee.
2. What is the flight ticket procedure in the Maldives?
There are certain scheduled flights such as Malaysian Airlines and
Indian Airlines that require passengers to reconfirm their return
flight 72 hours before departure.
The airlines urge you to reconfirm your tickets by getting a
reconfirmation stamp from the airline agent in Male’. This means you
cannot reconfirm over the phone and the physical tickets must be
taken to the airline office or travel agent. You can however hand
over your tickets to the your local travel agent or resort
representative, who will safeguard your tickets and reconfirm them
for you in time. The tickets will be handed back to you at the
airport on the day of your departure.
3. Can I use my Visa credit card or debit card
to get cash from the banks?
Most shops and souvenir boutiques on the capital island Male’ accept
major credit cards and traveller's checks. None of these shops are,
however, able to provide you with cash from your credit card and
there are currently no ATMs or cash machines in the Maldives.
There are two or three merchants that can provide you with limited
cash. This is only possible during weekdays and you need to visit
the merchant in order to get cash.
4. Where is the best area to stay?
Generally all islands in the Maldives provide immense natural beauty
and all resorts offer their own unique style. All resorts are
located on private islands with rooms around the island that offer a
high standard of service. Returning visitors do not need to choose
the same resort twice thinking that their first was the best. Most
resorts on the Maldives are truly beautiful and enjoyable.
5. Can I travel alone?
Yes, you can travel alone. In the Maldives, we go out of our way to
make our visitors feel welcome from arrival until departure. And
because we respect your personal space, you will never be disturbed
unless you wish to be. It is very common for singles travelling
alone to enjoy a far from lonesome holiday.
6. Will I be expected to pay tips?
Tipping is very common among travellers visiting the Maldives. Even
if you don’t tip, you will not be discriminated against, as tipping
is not compulsory. Taxis drivers are not tipped.
7. Can I bring alcohol and liquor into the
You are not allowed to bring liquor to the Maldives. If you have
bought liquor, beer and related items containing alcohol from a duty
free shop while on route to the Maldives, these products must be
bonded in the airport’s customs department upon arrival. These goods
will be returned before departure.
However, all resorts and hotels – other than hotels in the capital
Male’ – offer world famous brands of liquor, beer, and other
alcoholic beverages. Again, hotels in the capital Male’ do not offer
liquor, beer and related products containing alcohol.
8. Will I be able to use my electrical equipment
in the Maldives?
The voltage in the Maldives is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your
location. Bringing an adapter is recommended for appliances you
bring with you. Most major hotels provide hair dryers and other
9. Is the Maldives safe for visitors?
Yes, the Maldives is probably one of the safest places to visit in
the world with an extremely low crime rate.
10. Is the water safe to drink?
The water is drinkable and most hotels also offer bottled water.
11. Is there anything you recommend visitors to
bring from home?
If you desire, you can bring cigarettes (up to two cartons) and film
(up to ten rolls).
Don't forget an extra bottle of your preferred suntan lotion, hats,
sunglasses, water socks (for reef walkers) and any common insect
repellent. If, however, you do forget to bring any of these items,
you will find most are available at hotel and resort shops.
12. Is English widely spoken?
Yes, almost all people living in the Maldives understand and speak
English. Communicating with people in the Maldives will be hassle
13. Do I need to pay Departure Tax?
If the airport tax has not been paid beforehand, you may need to pay
USD 12 at the airport. Only cash US dollars are accepted.
1. How are the resorts built?
Some of the uninhabited islands in the Maldives have been developed
as resort destinations. Each island represents one resort that
offers one hotel. These islands vary in size and shape. Some are
only 40 meters wide and others are 1 km in width. The number of
rooms varies from 8 to 350. All rooms are built a few meters from
the beach and provide individual bungalows and room blocks of 2 to 4
accommodations each. Some resorts also have rooms built on concrete
or wooden stilts in the lagoon. These water bungalows are very
2. Why are resorts on the Maldives uniquely
different from resorts in other countries?
The Maldives offers an exclusive and unique holiday experience.
In addition to resorts being built on small individual islands, most
resorts are developed with environmental conservation in mind.
Protecting the fragile eco-system surrounding these islands is
extremely important to both resort owners and an increasingly
important aspect for their guests.
3. What activities and sports are available on
All island resorts offer comfortable relaxation and tranquility.
Most resorts also offer a wide range of activities, including
volleyball, beach volley, snooker, billiards, table tennis,
badminton, football, squash, tennis, swimming, etc.
Available water activities include wind surfing, wave surfing,
catamaran sailing, day and night big game fishing, parasailing,
banana raft riding, jet-skiing, etc. Almost every island has a
certified dive centre.
4. We want to spend our honeymoon on the
Maldives. Can you suggest any resorts?
We have selected a few dedicated resorts for honeymooners. These
resorts are mostly small resorts offering individual bungalows and
For couples looking for high quality accommodations, services and
facilities that provide an abundance of spa and sport activities,
HotelsMaldives Travels has a wide selection of suitable resorts to
5. Can you recommend a few dive resorts?
All the resorts in the Maldives provide their own dive schools with
internationally certified and qualified dive instructors.
Some of the most famous dive spots in the world are located in the
Maldives – often only a few minutes away from your island.
As some resorts specialize in diving, please contact us so that we
can provide you with in-depth diving information.
6. Can you recommend any surf resorts?
During recent years, surfers from around the world have begun to
show great interest in the Maldives. The surf spots are located on
the east edge of the Male’ atoll and can be reached by speedboat in
just 20 minutes. The resort islands near these sites offer boat
service to the breaks and some resorts have their own surf break
with direct access.
7. Where can I find resorts with water
The best way to get a list of available resorts offering water
bungalows is to contact us either by e-mail or fax. You can also
view resorts with water bungalows from our site.
8. How are transfers arranged to and from the resorts?
At the moment, the main transport method is by motorboat, speedboat
Most resorts located in Male’s atoll are accessed by speedboat.
Resorts in other atolls further from the airport, offer speedboat
and seaplane transfer services.
The speedboat jetty is only a 2-minute walk from the arrival
terminal and to catch the seaplane, guests take a 5-minute bus ride
to the other side of the airport island. There are also independent
seaplane companies in operation.
9. Can you arrange night transfers?
There are no night transfers available to resorts far from Male’ or
the airport. No transfers are available to resorts in Ari and other
atolls at night. Guests arriving on evening flights will have to
stay a night in one of the hotels in Male’ or at the airport hotel.
The capital Male’ is approximately 10 minutes by boat from the
airport island and we will help arrange a stay at a hotel there if
10. What water activities are available on the
islands and resorts?
Most visitors enjoy the native lagoons, just as the locals do.
Swimming and snorkelling in the warm turquoise waters is by far the
most popular water activity. Other available sports include
canoeing, sailing, wind surfing, parasailing, deep-sea fishing, jet
skiing, ringo riding, banana raft riding, water skiing etc.
The Maldives islands are world renowned for superb scuba diving and
snorkelling. Most resorts offer a very wide range of water
activities. Please view our website for more information.
11. For which water sports do we have to pay?
Most resorts charge only for the use of motor driven water sports
while others have a rental fee for wind surfing equipment, catamaran
sailboats, etc. We will shortly be including these details on our
web site under the resort pages.
12. Are there resorts offering baby-sitting
facilities and day care?
A few resorts cater to family holidaymakers and others offer a
baby-sitting service. These resorts include, Bandos Island, Sun
Island and Royal Island.
13. Will there be anyone to meet us at the airport when we
When you book your holiday with HotelsMaldives Travels, either one of
our representatives or a member from the resort you will be staying
at will meet you at the airport.
When you arrive and proceed from the main gate, after clearing
customs and immigrations, please look for a representative holding a
sign with your name on it.
You can also go to the Resort Hotel counter or contact our
representatives at the airport. The representative will assist in
transferring you to your resort. If your reservation includes a
night in Male’ or the airport hotel, this will also be arranged by
the representative. If you do stay for a night at the airport hotel,
or in Male’, you will be transferred the following morning to your
resort from the airport.
1. What sort of diving spots are available in
In the Maldives, there are three categories of dives. Diving inside
the atolls, diving outside the atolls, and diving inside the
Passes follow the same order and are generally classified by
different skill-levels. A diver should therefore be able to dive
from the shore, from a motorboat as well as being able to handle a
2. What is the normal water temperature?
Ocean temperatures rarely vary beyond 27 - 30° C. Thermo clines can,
however, sometimes be experienced at depths below 20 meters.
3. What thickness should my dive suit have if I
choose to bring it with me?
Lycra 3 mm wetsuits are popular in tropical waters but some divers
prefer a 5 mm suit when diving more than once a day.
4. How deep can I dive in Maldives?
The maximum allowed dive depth is 30 metres. Making all your dives
safe, no-decompression dives.
Live aboard :
1. Why is liveaboard more suitable for
Taking a diving cruise is certainly the best way to experience the
allure of the Maldives’ magnificent archipelago. This allows divers
to explore the most pristine seabeds, often unreachable from
The boats used on these tours are comfortable wooden motor-yachts of
at least twenty meters (about sixty-five feet) in length, with
well-ventilated double cabins, toilets with showers, and plenty of
These hotel-boats are capable of comfortably accommodating ten
passengers. A support boat equipped with a compressor, weights,
tanks and related gear, accompanies each passenger boat.
A relaxed diving holiday on a liveaboard boat makes scuba diving
both safe and easy to enjoy.
How much of the Maldives do liveaboard companies cover?
You can cruise wherever you wish by chartering an entire boat for
your dive trip. Most boats have itineraries of 7 days or 14 days
allowing you plenty of time for exploring a wide range of dive
3. What sort of trips are liveaboards normally
Liveaboard boats are not limited only to diving. These vessels can
also be used purely for leisure, study tours to the inhabited
islands, fishing and surfing trips or shorter snorkelling
4. Can we experience both liveaboard boating and
There are many tourists who enjoy having both. They usually spend
their first week on a liveaboard, diving or just relaxing and
getting pleasure from just being near the sea. The second week is
then enjoyed at a resort.
5. May we visit any atolls while on the vessels?
Yes, you may visit within any area of the Maldives.
6. How big are the liveaboard vessels and what
is the accommodation on them like?
Over the years, the sizes, range of facilities and services provided
on these vessels have changed substantially. There are now vessels
ranging from 17m in length for groups of 6, to vessel as large as 45
meters and capable of comfortably accommodating groups of 20.
7. How are the liveaboards organized and do they run on a set
Today, smaller vessels are mostly used for leisure, and fishing
tours, while larger vessels now operate as dive centres. These run
on a 7 to 14 day schedule and mostly roam from one atoll to another.
Divers join them by speedboat or seaplane, depending on location.
Reservation and Payment :
1. How do I get resort rates?
Resorts on this website have rates listed where available. Please
contact us for a full holiday quotation including transfers,
excursions and other related inquires.
2. How do I make a reservation?
Reservation requests are generally made here on this site using our
We also accept reservation requests via email. Please ensure all
required information is provided, including home and office phone
numbers, to complete any reservation using this method.
You can also send your request via fax or call us.
3. I want to know the availability for a
If you only want to check availability, just send us an e-mail or
mention this when you fill in the reservation form. Regardless of
how you contact us, be assured that we will reply to you within
4. Can I make a booking directly to the hotel’s
Should you choose to make your reservation with a hotel or resort of
your choice, please contact them directly.
However, be prepared to pay rates of 10% to 50% more than making
your reservation through us.
Our rates are only valid for users of this website. Rates published
here are not available when contacting the resort or hotel directly.
5. When will my booking be finalized and
We have direct contracts and agreements with most resorts and hotels
featured on our website.
We have allotted rooms with many of the most popular and exclusive
resorts and hotels in the Maldives. This enables us to provide you
with immediate confirmation of your booking and offer you the
Maldives most competitive accommodation rates.
We will notify you by return e-mail with confirmation or notice of
unavailability within 24 hours. You can also check your booking
status directly with the resort or hotel when we provide you with
the hotel’s telephone number along with your booking reference
6. Are hotel and resort rates per person or per
All of our listed rooms rates are per room and per night. Transfer
rates are per person return transfer.
7. How much is charged for children?
Children below 12 (11.99) normally pay 50% of the adult rate.
(Children’s date of birth must be informed at the time of booking to
validate children rates). Infants below 2 (1.99) pay government bed
tax of USD 8 per person per day. Some resorts charge USD 12 per
infant per day. You will be informed of these rates at the time of
8. Can you arrange flights as well?
Yes, we can. However, we advise you to contact your nearest airline
ticketing agent and request a special fare to the Maldives. Since we
do not have many clients using round trip tickets that leave from
the Maldives, airlines do not offer us special ticket prices.
We advise you to contact your local ticketing offices of, for
example, Emirates, Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore
Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Air India, Euro fly, Condor, Air
Europe and other carriers serving the Maldives for flight and ticket
9. How do I cancel a confirmed reservation?
A reservation can be cancelled only by email or fax (written
cancellation). Applicable cancellation charges will apply.
10. I want to make some changes to my
Any amendments to a reservation must be sent to us in writing. We
will do our best to accommodate your request for change. We reserve
the right to charge a nominal fee depending on the resorts policy
and how close the change is to your arrival date.
11. I would like to make a late reservation. Can
you help me?
We are happy to help you with late reservations. All requests should
be submitted using our reservation form or by email and include all
necessary details to avoid further delaying your reservation.
All late reservations must be paid in full and immediately upon
12. How do I pay for my holiday?
With the confirmation of your reservation, we will send you a full
quotation for your holiday along with payment instructions.
All reservations have to be reconfirmed within 24 hours to avoid
automatic cancellation. You can either pay using your credit card or
wire transfer the amount to our account. Upon confirmation, we will
charge you a non-refundable reservation fee of EURO or USD 100. The
remaining balance must be paid 30 days before your arrival, or,
immediately if your arrival is less than 30 days from when you
received confirmation of your booking.
13. Can I pay by credit card?
Yes, you can pay by credit card. We accept Visa and Master cards
only. To make payment via credit card, you will need to fill out an
authorization form and send it along with other relevant documents
including a photocopy of your passport and credit card.
We will send you a formatted credit card authorization form.
14. I am not happy paying via credit card. Is
there any other payment method available?
Yes. You can make payment via bank transfer or arrange a money
transfer through Western Union.
15. Which credit cards do you accept?
At present, we accept Master and Visa cards.
16. Can I pay in cash upon arrival?
We accept cash on arrival for very late bookings.
17. Do I receive a confirmation letter or
voucher after I book the holiday?
Once you have paid, we will send you the resort or hotel reference
number for your booking and you can contact the resort or hotel
directly and check the status of your booking.
Also, if you wish, we can send you a copy of your service voucher.
Please bring this voucher with you when you arrive. We will, upon
your arrival, present the original voucher to the hotel reception.
18. If I have lost the voucher, what do I do?
No problem. Just mention your name. The resort or hotel is expecting
you to arrive and all you need to do is fill out the hotel Check-In
form and start enjoying a most memorable vacation!