Maafushi Island is one of the biggest and most beautiful islands in the Maldives. Located in Kaafu Atoll about 27 km away from the airport of Male, this island is home to over 2700 people. The island is an idyllic destination that strikes a perfect balance between lifestyle and convenience. It is rather easily accessible from Male Airport. Just hop on to a speed boat and enjoy your 45-minute ride to this beautiful island.
5 Fun Things To Do On Maafushi Island
Maafushi is a hidden gem that not many know of. The very first guesthouse for tourists was built only in the year 2009, and since then several more have mushroomed across the island. Unlike other commercialized tourist destinations, a stay at Maafushi is relaxing and rejuvenating.
All guest houses and 3 diving companies in Maafushi offer exciting trips to breath taking reefs that are full of beautiful corals and are teeming with marine life. Some of the best snorkelling sites are Maavelaathu, Banana Reef, Vilivaru Corner and Maafushi Corner.
You may also enroll in a PADI certified snorkelling course, if you are a beginner and would like to learn a few quick snorkelling tips. An experienced instructor will guide you through the reef and give you interesting tit bits about all the magnificent things you will see under the ocean. Be sure to carry a mask, fins, and snorkel, from home if you can, as the gear is quite overpriced at the island.
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2. Sandbank tours
No trip to the Maldives is complete without a sandbank excursion. Sand banks are made from snow-white sand that form in a shallow area of the sea. The colors emanating from a sand bank are truly mesmerizing, with different shades of greens and blues blending into each other creating a masterpiece like no other.
When you sign up for a sandbank trip, you will be taken to a small sandbank for a whole day! You will get to dive into the lagoon, and also snorkel the outer reef if you wish to. These tours are semi private tours, where you get to enjoy the beautiful ocean all by yourself!
3. Night & Day fishing
Most guest houses in Maafushi organize fishing tours for their patrons not just during day time, but also at night. If the guest house you are staying at doesn’t offer this, simply walk up to the nearest dive center for an attractive package.
The fish that you catch can be cooked in a restaurant for a really small charge. Or, you could set up a barbeque yourself and savor your catch as you watch the sun go down against the backdrop of the beautiful blue waters.
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4. Island Hopping
If you are tired of just snorkelling and fancy a change of scenery, head out to do some island hopping. There are a number of islands around Maafushi that you can explore. Your guest house will gladly arrange private transfers with a guide, upon request. A number of tour operators also provide island hopping packages at rather affordable rates.
The most popular island-hopping day trip is to the capital city – Male. But, if you wish to spend a quiet day exploring away from the crowd, be sure to ask the tour operator to customize a trip to one of the many quieter local islands. A day trip will include breakfast as well as lunch with an option for you to up-grade to an all-inclusive luxury day trip.
You may also choose to stay overnight in a water bungalow at one of the many resorts in the island you visit. A day of island or resort will cost you anything between $25 to $145 per person. Many of these tours also include exclusive spa packages! The transfers to and fro, the islands are generally done by boat!
5. Explore Maafushi and the local culture
Despite the fact that Maafushi is a small island with a slow pace of life, there are a number of interesting attractions, that you can explore. The best attraction is of course the sand kissed beaches. But, after a long day of soaking in the sun, you can step out for an evening stroll through the main street of the city and experience the local culture, first hand.
You will see a number of local convenience stores, a football pitch, dozens of bistros, local homes, and hair salons on this self-sufficient island. Be sure to carry a coverall to throw over your bikini, as walking on the streets of Mafushi requires for you to be clothed! At the end of the main street, to the very south of the island, is the daunting Maafushi prison. The prison looks imposing and is surrounded on all sides by a metal fence that has menacing jagged edges!
The best time to visit Maafushi is in summer between December and January. Plan to stay on the island for at least 4 days if you wish to explore and enjoy water activities. So, what are you waiting for? Catch a sunrise, sunbathe by the beach, get adventurous, and have a blast on Maafushi Island on your next trip to Maldives.
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