How to travel to Maldives backpack style

Okay, Maldives are considered as a super posh and expensive location and I cannot disagree. But getting there is actually not impossible, since from 2011, locals got opportunity to build also ‘low-cost’ hostels on islands inhabited by them. That comes with couple of pros and cons. Pro is: a night in the hotel, including breakfast is around 60$. Cheap for Maldivian standards, where the price per night in the cheapest resort usually starts at 150$. Cons: well, for once, if you want to have beautiful reef of pristine beach nearby, the Maafushi island (pretty much only one with hostels) is not perfect, so you’re spending money on trips anyway (approx. 50$ per trip per person).

There is also one more thing to consider. If you’re traveling to Maafushi, have in mind that locals are Muslims. They’re very tolerant and won’t tell you anything bad, but you shouldn’t run around in bikini. If you go to the beach, cover yourself and undress at the beach. I’ve seen people (unfortunately also czech) who were waaay out of line in terms of clothes. Nobody told them anything, but the amount of skin and everything else visible was just okay maybe for the nudist beach. This also means that you won’t get alcohol anywhere on the islands.

How we did it and how much it cost?? 
We have already been on Sri Lanka, so we decided to buy flying ticket to Maldives there. Return costs around 100 euro, which is fairly okay price. We (czechs) don’t need visa, so no additional cost there. The fun thing is: you get to Male, but from there, it’s an hour to get to Maafushi. You can either play rich and pay for speed boat ($100 per ride) or you can take local ferry ($1 per person per ride). Ferry goes once per day, so it might mean quite an overlay in Male. Which is the funniest capital every – you can go around in 30 minutes.

We stayed for three nights and paid for two trips – one to sand bank, which we had literally to ourselves and one to the picnic island Maadhoo. Maadhoo had the downside of many tourists from resorts going there for picnic, but once you walk little bit away from the elderly couples, you’re okay. Sand bank cost $50 and picnic island, including the lunch around  $95. Taking into account all the souvenirs and dinners we had, the total cost of our tree day trip to Maldivas was approx. 300 euro. So if you happen to be around, it pays of to stop by, just for the experience…

7 responses to “How to travel to Maldives backpack style

  1. I’ll be on a backpacking trip on Maldives this coming Valentine weekend. Reading your post gives me hope that yes, it can be done!

  2. hi! just want to ask where do you inquire for the trip to a sand bank? we also want to and we will be in maldives by march22-24 :)

    • Hi,
      it was pretty easy, this trip and all the other ones you can think of (incl. diving) can be usually arranged in the hostels in Maafushi. So just ask at the hotel when you arrive, they’ll sure help you. Enjoy Maldivas, it’s an amazing place :)

  3. i wrote some tips for backpackers like me.. hoping it helps save up future travellers from even what i spent

  4. You can do this at our place.

    We will help you to bring your low budget travel to Maldives come true.

  5. Nice article !
    We also went to Maldives on a budget last year … With 4 friends we chartered our own private traditional vessel for a cruise . We booked through a local travel agency ( , and we paid 149 $/person per night… It might seem a bit expensive but when you think about it is really cheap as everything was included and we didn’t have to spend for any extras ( except alcoholic drinks and souvenirs). Boat was exclusively chartered for the 4 of us , we had our own private cabin as we are singles and were alone on board. Meals , excursions, equipment, water… all included . It was such a wonderful trip, we saw so much of Maldives, the local island, uninhabited island, sandbank, virgins snorkeling spots, amazing reef and lagoons… It was just like a dream , will definitely go back one day !

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