The Maldives has always seemed to me like this mystical land that is unaffordable to most. It could be the bungalows floating over pristine waters or living on a private island for a week or two. What if I told you that the Maldives vacation cost is way more realistic than you would think?
In reality, the most expensive part of a Maldives vacation will be your flight and transportation around the islands. Accommodations, food, and excursions are pretty affordable. I’ve included every budgeting detail to see just how much or how little you could spend on your trip to the Maldives.
Be sure to check out our article 3 Honeymoon Destinations Like The Maldives (But Cheaper!) to save some money!
How Much Does a Maldive Vacation Cost Overall?
The cost of a Maldives vacation can be pretty variable. It all depends on how luxurious you want your vacation to be and how long you plan on staying. To find some straightforward figures, let’s say you plan to take a week-long vacation to the Maldives with two people total.
For a super budget-friendly trip to the Maldives, expect to pay around $1,500 per person. If you are looking for a glamorous Maldives vacation, you can pay up to $10,000 per person. Realistically, you will most likely be spending somewhere in the middle of those two figures.
Cost of Flying to the Maldives
Leaving from the United States, either LAX in California or JFK in New York, flights start at around $850 roundtrip. These two international airports are the most straightforward and budget friendly to fly from. However, you can get to the Maldives from any International airport in the U.S.
The flight to the Maldives is a long one, with it taking at least 18 hours to get there from New York. What I recommend doing is spending a night or two in your layover city. You’ll have a layover no matter what, allowing you to stretch your legs while exploring another city. Some popular layover destinations are Istanbul, Dubai, and Singapore.
Hotel and Resort Costs
Accommodations in the Maldives can either be extremely affordable or extremely costly. It all depends on what island you stay on and how luxurious you want your stay to be. There are also all-inclusive options that will affect the cost of your stay.
Hotels and Guest Houses
Hotels and guest houses are the more affordable accommodations in the Maldives. You’ll find these more on local islands rather than private islands. Staying on a local island gives you many other opportunities to save money as well, like taking excursions with locals, eating at local restaurants, and transportation to your hotel will most likely be cheaper.
A hotel room can cost you as little as $25 per night, but these rooms are usually very minimal or hostel-style. Realistically you’ll be spending between $50-$100 per night for a nice hotel room in a desirable location. Which is still extremely budget-friendly.
A few hotels that are under $100 per night and in great locations are Kaani Village & Spa, Sky Beach Hotel, and Plumeria Maldives. These hotels include breakfast and are within walking distance of popular attractions and marinas from which you’ll take your underwater tours.
The Maldives have some of the most unique resorts in the world. So much so that many resorts around the world try to mimic it. The biggest thing that stands out is the number of overwater bungalows the Maldives have. Thousands of overwater bungalows are sprinkled around the many islands of the Maldives, which is not an exaggeration.
You can actually stay at a resort with overwater bungalows for a pretty affordable rate. Some are as low as $300, like at Adaaran Club Rannalhi. The price increases as you get into more luxurious and remote resorts or choose an all-inclusive one. Many of the resorts are on private islands, which is great for some much-needed peace and quiet. But those are much more costly.
Resorts with all-inclusive options in more secluded parts of the Maldives are usually around $800-$2,000 a night. Although, they are totally worth it if you have the budget. Hurawalhi Island Resort and Intercontinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort are a couple of luxurious resorts to check out.
Food Costs in the Maldives
Food costs in the Maldives are pretty comparable to prices in the United States. The average traveler will spend around $25 per meal at a restaurant in the Maldives. There are variations to this depending on where you eat, though.
Eating at resorts or hotels will be more expensive than eating at local restaurants. Resort restaurants can cost you between $25-$100 per meal. Local restaurants don’t typically cost more than $25 per meal and can be as cheap as $10.
Another thing to consider when factoring in the cost of food is most hotels and resorts have breakfast included in your stay. Many resorts also offer an all-inclusive option or half-board options. Going all-inclusive may benefit you if you tend to eat mostly at your resort.
Cost of Attractions in the Maldives
Some attractions in the Maldives can be pretty affordable, such as taking a water taxi to a sand bar for the day. These types of activities start at $20 per person. However, if you come to the Maldives to scuba dive or snorkel, as most people do, these activities will cost you $70-$100 per person if you take a local guide.
Resort excursions cost a bit more than taking local excursions. Often times you’ll find yourself paying double at a resort. However, if you are staying at a resort on a private island that is fairly remote, you may not have any other option.
Transportation Costs in the Maldives
Most people forget to consider transportation between the islands when figuring out their Maldives vacation cost. Almost nobody stays in Male, where the international airport is. There are three modes of transportation that you can use to hop around the islands in the Maldives.
Taking a ferry is the least costly form of transportation between the islands. A ticket will cost you between $5-$30 per person one way. The ferry is slow-moving but can save you a lot of money, especially if you plan to hop to different islands. Remember that the ferry will only take you to local islands, not resort ones.
Traveling by speed boat is the most popular form of transportation around the Maldives. It takes about a third of the time to get where you’re going in a speed boat versus the ferry. It’s not super expensive either, costing anywhere from $20-$50 per person. If you ask me, the speed boat is totally worth it, saying it can save you an hour or more of time.
Speed boats can also be taken to almost any resort in the Maldives. Some resorts will even arrange it for you. Check-in with your resort first to see what your options are because this may be included in your stay.
Seaplane is the most versatile mode of transportation around the Maldives. You can take a public seaplane to local islands or hire a private seaplane to be taken to some of the most remote resorts in the Maldives. Typically, a seaplane will cost between $400-$700, but it can cost up to $900 per person each way.
This is another service that your resort may include in your stay or have a discounted rate for. Check with your resort to find the best transportation option before getting a plane ticket.
Taxes and Fees in the Maldives
The Maldives gets the majority of their income from tourism. Consequently, they have special taxes and fees just for the tourism industry, which are pretty high compared to some other countries. That being said, it should definitely be accounted for when figuring out the cost of a Maldives vacation.
The first tax is the green tax, which is pretty straightforward. It’s $6 per day for a stay at a resort and $3 per day for a stay at a guest house. There is also a goods and services tax for all tourism that was recently increased to 16%.
All businesses that operate in tourism must also charge a 10% service charge. This fee basically goes right into the employees’ income. However, you are still expected to tip in the Maldives how you usually would when vacationing.