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  4. Maafushi island in the Maldives: everything about hotels, prices, locations

Maafushi is one of the inhabited islands of South Male Atoll, located 26 kilometers from the capital of the Maldives. It is considered an ideal getaway for the budget traveler as it has a variety of budget hotels, guesthouses and restaurants.

The island has no special attractions. On its territory there is a school and a stadium, a couple of mosques, souvenir shops, and a prison, which is the largest in the Maldives and serves as a place of confinement for many political prisoners, including the former president of the country.

Characteristics of the island:

  • Length - 1270 m
  • Width - 265 m
  • Atoll - Kaafu
  • Distance from Male - 26 km
  • Population about - 3000 people, including foreigners


How to get from Male to Maafushi

Today, many hotels and guest houses, for an additional fee, take care of organizing the transfer of their guests. Therefore, if you do not want to buy tickets yourself, please contact the administration of your hotel.

Travelers who prefer to solve organizational issues on their own will find it useful to know that there are three ways to get from Male to Maafushi:

  • by public ferry;
  • on a regular speed boat;
  • by private transfer.

The public ferry from Male departs from the Villingili terminal. Travel time is about an hour and a half, and the ticket price is about $ 5.

However, public ferry tickets cannot be booked online yourself. This must be done at the Ferry Terminal in Male City. You will have to connect to a local guest house or hotel to pre-book.

Transportation to the regular speedboats carry the company iCom Tours and MaafushiTours.

The iCom Tours boat departs from Male 4 times a day (at 10:45, 13:30, 15:40, 18:30), and MaafushiTours - 3 times a day (9:00, 12:00 and 17:15) ... The journey will take about 30 minutes. Estimated price is $ 30 per person. Tickets can be purchased on the resources of the carrier companies.

If you are traveling in a large group, do not want to adjust to the schedule, or simply do not want to share the boat with other passengers, consider booking a private transfer. The approximate price of such a service is USD 220 per flight. You can book a private transfer from your hotelier.

Before ordering any of the above transfer options, be sure to check the relevance of the price and schedule.

Read more about how the transport system of the Maldives is arranged here.


Hotels and guesthouses on Maafushi

The inhabitants of the island are renowned for their hospitality. The first guest house on Maafushi was the White Shell Beach Inn, opened in 2010. Today, dozens of hotels and guest houses operate on this popular island, offering tourists comfortable accommodation and food for a reasonable price. In addition, their owners organize transfers and various excursions for their guests, including: snorkeling, fishing, island walks, water activities and much more.

We bring to your attention several good hotels and guesthouses on the island of Maafushi with approximate prices for accommodation in them:

  • Kaani Palm Beach - a hotel with a private beach, swimming pool and free parking (about US $ 100).      
  • WhiteShell Island Hotel & Spa - a hotel with a spa center and its own restaurant, located 150 meters from Bikini Beach (about $ 80).
  • Crystal Sands - a modern hotel with a restaurant near Bikini Beach (about US $ 80).
  • Kaani Grand Seaview is a magnificent 4-star beachfront hotel, one of the best on Maafushi. The hotel has a spa, fitness center, restaurants, free parking, and travel agencies where you can book excursions (about $ 150).      
  • Sunrise Beach is a beautiful hotel 200 meters from Bikini Beach. The hotel has a restaurant, shared lounge and garden, and free bicycles are provided for guests (about US $ 70).
  • Kaani Beach is a 3-star beachfront hotel with an outdoor sun terrace on the roof. The hotel has a restaurant, travel agency, bicycle rental (about US $ 85).      
  • Arena Beach Hotel - Stylish beachfront hotel with modern rooms, private terrace and rooftop pool. It offers free parking, a restaurant, excursions, water sports facilities (about US $ 85).
  • Rosemary Boutique - a beachfront boutique hotel with a garden and a beautiful terrace (about US $ 100).
  • Stingray Beach Inn is a small and cozy boutique hotel with 10 rooms and a restaurant. Distance to Bikini Beach is about 100 meters (about US $ 100).
  • Siesta Beach is a budget guest house with a friendly atmosphere, located a couple of minutes walk from the beach. Guests are offered breakfast and travel arrangements (around US $ 50).

Kaani Grand Seaview
Kaani Grand Seaview

Restaurants and cafes

Many hotels and guesthouses offer accommodation with meals for tourists. In addition, there are many restaurants and cafes scattered around the island, where you can taste local, Chinese, Indian and European cuisine. Some offer live entertainment in the evenings.

Prices in local restaurants and bistros depend on the level and location of the establishment. For example, you can have a snack in a café for locals for just a few dollars, and dinner at the Arena Beach restaurant will cost $ 15 per person (drinks are paid separately).

Fans of homemade baked goods should check out Fine Bake by Suzy, which offers a range of pies, muffins, burgers, hot dogs, and fresh bread.

The most outgoing and adventurous tourists can befriend the locals and be invited to a homemade Maldivian dinner.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

What to do on Maafushi

On the island you will find all the classic Maldivian entertainment, from snorkeling and relaxing fishing to excursions to neighboring islands and resorts. If your trip falls on holidays (for example, Eid al-Fitr is a holiday dedicated to the end of Ramadan), you will witness large-scale folk festivals and performances.

You can read more about how the Maldivian holidays and festivals are held here.

Bikini beach

The main activity in the Maldives is, of course, a beach holiday. After all, the Maldivian snow-white beaches, never heated in the sun, and the purest ocean waters are almost legendary.

As for Maafushi, the local beaches are not idyllic. The sand is clean enough and the water is warm and pleasant. However, when entering the water, it is better to wear special slippers so as not to injure your feet on coral shards.

The island has two main beaches, but only one of them is allowed to sunbathe in a bikini. The second is intended for the local population, and when planning to visit it, you should remember that you are in a Muslim country where it is not customary to wear too revealing clothes even on the beach.

Bikini Beach (GPS 3 ° 56'43.0 "N 73 ° 29'27.2" E), oriented towards tourists, is located in the northern part of the island near the Kaani Grand Seaview Hotel and is a fairly popular place, so you cannot expect a quiet and secluded vacation here. The beach is equipped with sun loungers and parasols, which can be rented for $ 5 a day. In addition, the beach has a swing and an overwater hammock.

Kaani Grand Seaview
Kaani Grand Seaview

Water sports

The island water sports center (Active Watersports Maafushi), located on the northwest side of Maafushi next to the harbor, provides holidaymakers with a pleasant and fun time while respecting safety standards. Here you can master a variety of ocean activities, including: parasailing and surfing, banana and jet skiing, fly boarding, water skiing and other activities.

In comparison with the resort islands, the pricing policy is more loyal here. So, 15 minutes of jet skiing for two people will cost $ 35, 10 minutes on a banana - $ 15 per person, and an hour and a half windsurfing will cost $ 75.

In addition to water sports, the Center can book a 2-hour dolphin cruise for two for about US $ 100 or an hour and a half snorkeling for US $ 150 for two.

Snorkeling and diving

There are currently several PADI dive centers operating on the island, which provide scuba diving training and exciting dive tours:

Maafushi's home reef is quite modest, but local dive centers offer visits to many famous dive sites, including:

  • Kandooma Thila
  • Cocoa Corner
  • Guraidhoo
  • Kuda Giri & shipwreck
  • Dhigu Thila
  • Sexy Reef
  • Miyaru Faru
  • Embudhoo Express
  • Vadhoo Caves
For more useful information about diving in the Maldives, read this article.

If exploring the depths is not your plan, snorkel in the coastal waters or ask your hotelier to arrange a private trip to the most interesting snorkeling locations. It is worth noting that many guesthouses provide their guests with snorkeling equipment free of charge.



At local travel agencies (or directly at your guesthouse) you can book a variety of excursions, including: day and night fishing, snorkeling and diving, relaxing in nearby island resorts, sunset trips, submarine walks, manta rays or whale watching sharks, picnics on the shallows surrounded by the ocean.

Visiting resort islands (Resort day tours)

Maafushi provides travelers with a wonderful opportunity to spend the day at one of the resorts that are the epitome of luxury Maldivian holidays, namely:

The estimated cost of such a trip can range from $ 15 to $ 200. The price depends on what services are included in the package. These can be: transport services, entrance fee for visiting the island, food system, use of hotel infrastructure (in whole or in part).

When buying such a tour, you should definitely clarify what services are included in its price.

Anantara Dhigu
Anantara Dhigu

Visiting local islands

There are several islands near Maafushi that you can explore on your own, such as Guraidhoo and Gulhi. You can get to these locations by ferry or by ordering a private speedboat transfer.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

Floating bar with alcohol (floating bar)

Islamic laws prohibit the consumption of alcohol on the local islands, so you will not find alcoholic drinks on Maafushi. However, travelers looking to diversify their vacation can spend the evening in one of the floating alcohol bars. Their role is played by safari ships moored near the island. You can get there in a couple of minutes by special boats located near the coast. Transfer and entrance are free. On board such ships, you can taste the menu of the bar, restaurant, enjoy music, karaoke and picturesque ocean views, and if you wish, even spend the night in one of the cabins.

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