Historically, the Maldives was regarded as a breathtaking playground for the rich and famous. When you combine the exclusive feeling of being escorted to remote isles in the middle of the Indian Ocean with arguably the finest white sand and the clearest water in the world, it comes as no surprise that the privileged would choose to be pampered in such an environment.  Despite the fact that the Maldives remains a prime destination for luxury travellers, the excitement in the balmy ocean air is circling the Maldives’ growing openness to the budget backpacking crowd.

Maldives from the sky

Maldives from the sky

In the past, tourists visiting the Maldives were isolated to uninhabited resort islands.  The only interaction with locals would be with the employees at resorts and possible day trips to inhabited islands. Times have changed. There are now multiple inhabited islands in the Maldives that have been granted permission to welcome visitors of their own.  This substantial change has made visiting the Maldives much more rewarding for tourists yearning to learn about the fascinating culture behind this Islamic-island nation that has always been hesitant to mix tourist activities with their island residents.

The Maldives is known for its crystal clear water and powdery white sand

The Maldives is known for its crystal clear water and powdery white sand

The fascinating thing about the changes in the Maldivian tourist industry is the fact that budget travellers can now afford to visit spectacular beaches, dive into unbelievably clear waters and carry out most of the activities that affluent resort-based tourists take part in. Since most of the accommodation choices on the inhabited islands are guesthouses, tourists can spend the money that they would have otherwise spent at pricey resorts on day excursions and night fishing. Ultimately, tourists have choice to spend their dollars on what they wish, opposed to only having the opportunity to buy a packaged resort stay.

Local Maldivians driving along the narrow streets of Male.

Local Maldivians driving along the narrow streets of Male.

Before we landed in the Maldives, we spent considerable time planning our trip to ensure that we maximized our experience there. As I researched, I couldn’t help but notice how many times references were made to how “consistently beautiful the beaches are in the Maldives.” We have seen some pretty nice beaches during our travels, so I was really excited to compare other travellers’ reviews to our own personal experience there.  Even a brief image search on the internet will unveil a large collection of jaw dropping photos of the beaches and the underwater playground that is accessible to visitors.  Over the next couple of months on chasingplaces.com we are going to focus on the Maldives.  We think that it is essential for tourists to get an idea about how much money should be budgeted for trips to the Maldives, and the predicted transport expenses.

How to get the cheapest rooms in the Maldives?

With so many remote islands making up the Maldives, it’s highly recommended to plan and book your rooms well in advance. By far, the most popular accommodation site in the Maldives is booking.com. One reason for this is that they offer so many fully refundable rooms that most people book well ahead with no extra risk. We also recommend tourists visiting the Maldives to try a price comparison website that will ultimately guarantee that you get the cheapest available rooms throughout your stay.

So stay tuned for an unbiased overview of our experience in the Maldives including public transport, beach quality, excursions and so much more!