Getting around in Maldives

Getting around in the Maldives takes three forms: boats, sea planes (air taxis) and private yachts.

Safari cruises in modified, live-aboard dhonis are increasingly popular, especially with dive groups who want to reach more remote sites. Most safari trips cruise around the tourist zone, but it is possible to arrange longer trips to the outer atolls.

Deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling excursions, as well as island hopping trips, are organised by the majority of resorts and live-aboards giving you a peek at the 'Real Maldives' and mingle with locals in remote fishing villages. Organised visits to Malé and other inhabited islands are also popular with holidaymakers.


boats in maldives

Speed boats generally take tourists to and from the islands in the North and South Male atolls. These boats range from a small runabout with outboard motor to a massive, multideck launch with an aircraft-type cabin and come in all different shapes and sizes depending on the resort you wish to stay in.

The boats which may range from typical Dhonis -a traditional all-purpose vessel now usually powered by a diesel engine, to larger boats called vedis, used for longer trips to outer atolls is the major form of local transport.

Sea Planes

seaplane in maldives

Simply getting to these resorts is a fun adventure. You would love the seaplanes ride from Male airport to the resorts- one of the highlights of the trip. You get this fabulous, bird's-eye view of all the islands as you fly over them and giving you a feeling just like Peter Pan flying off to do battle with Captain Hook and the pirates.

No point in the Maldives is more than 45 minutes away by plane from Male, and visitors to the more far-flung resorts use air taxi services which are either arranged by the resort or travel agent.

There are two main operators: Maldivian Air Taxi, with red and white planes, and Trans Maldivian Airways, with yellow and blue planes. The services are largely identical, with both flying DHC-6 Twin Otter seaplanes that take around 10 passengers.


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