I got tons of messages from you with the questions like “I never thought it’s possible to stay local in Maldives” or “How much does it cost». This post is about practical aspect of visiting Maldives.
Local islands now are open to host tourist in so called homestays or small hotels. Of course, they are not too luxury, but it’s ok. And of course, it another price range than Thailand or Bali, at least twice more expensive. There are few local touristy islands with Maafushi being the most touristy and Thoddoo being a bit more local.
I choose Thoddoo, because it is good for great beach time and the beaches were really awesome. Apart from it everything was really basic, even food was limited.
The price of staying in Maldives consists of:
flight + ferry to get to the island + stay + taxes + food. Ferry could be really expensive, think about 35$-50$ for speed ferry. Another option is taking a local «fruit” ferry, which almost always goes at night and you will sleep on the floor. The price is 5-6$. Not all savings are equally smart IMHO!
Here is my real budget for 2 people:
Return flight from KL to Male – 294$ (i was lucky, its amazing deal and that was the reason i decided to go)
Return speed ferry – 170$
Homestay for 5 days – 390$ incl taxes and half-board
Food – 100$ (60$ in the airport, which got insane prices, bottle of Tequila there costs less than coffee)
Totally 954$ for 2 people for 5 days.
I have read that some people had almost the same budget for 8-9 days, but now it’ super top time to visit Maldives: best season, Valentines day and Chineese new year + my flight was in Friday and i had to take speed boat to the island.
I need to mention that local experience is way different than staying in resorts, but it’s really unique and i’m happy that i have done it this way! I definitely have learned something new and saw some real life in such a secluded place.
Hopefully it helps! Go explore!