Maldives: Meeting Paradise and Friends
Having a ticket to Maldives happened on spur of the moment. I was surprised how cheap the flight was that I had announced it to my friends through Facebook and inviting them as well to go with me. That status attracted many that eventually led me to visiting this tropical paradise together with 12 beach enthusiasts.
Maldives, they say is a destination favored to honeymooners, couples and lovers; however, after vacationing on this tropical paradise with my companions somehow had wiped off that perception. With or without a romantic partner, this destination is also a perfect getaway for family and friends. But still (not going to any conclusion yet), this destination is a lovely place to spend with a special someone.
I visited Maldives with people from my different set of friends. These were people who came from different places, people who I haven’t seen for a while and people who I have only met for the first or second time. Sounds a riot? But it wasn’t. Our trip happened almost perfectly. Everything went well. Everyone got acquainted with each other instantly.
Meet the Paradise
When the pilot suddenly announced the preparation for our arrival to Male, we took a peek to our windows and suddenly felt ecstatic upon seeing the beautiful islands and amazing beaches from above. Maldives is just so incredible. The aerial view alone was so dreamy that we couldn’t wait to touch down to that beautiful scenery.
Maldives has several islands that you can stay – private and local islands that you can reach through speed boat or public ferry boats (for the local islands). But the most affordable option to experience Maldives is to stay in a local island. Apart from being inexpensive, it gives an insight of local tourism as well as opportunities in getting to several island activities and excursions.
Our stay at Arena Beach Hotel
Our group had stayed in Maafushi island for three nights. One of the inhabited islands of Kaafu Atoll which is located 26.65 km south of Male.
Originally, we booked rooms at Arena Lodge, one of the cheapest accommodations in the island. But when we had arrived in the island, we were transferred to a more pleasant accommodation without paying additional fee. We were surprised that they upgraded us to Arena Beach Hotel, a beach front accommodation which also owns the Arena Lodge.
Me and my friends got the deluxe sea view room with a private balcony, how awesome! The hotel manager might have assumed that my roommate is a smoker. The balcony is so perfect for Zee’s yosi break.
Our room comes with a double bed, air conditioning, private bathroom with hot & cold shower, mini fridge, cable TV and a closet. The room costs about $109 for double occupancy in a full board package. Since we paid in full board, meals for our entire stay aren’t in our worries anymore as they were already provided by our hotel.
WiFi is provided for free. The connection can be accessed faster in the lobby area.We all had a pleasant stay in Arena Beach Hotel. Truly, the hotel offers quality accommodation and great service. The staff are friendly, helpful and accommodating. Another plus point for this resort is it’s close to the private beach.To get discounts, book your stay on this hotel through this link.
Maafushi Island Tourist Beach
Swimming in a bikini or a similar swimwear is a no-no in local islands but that seems not to be an issue in Maafushi island. The island has two beaches, one of which is a private beach intended for tourists; thus allowing tourists to wear on their sexy outfits.
We had visited the private beach after having our breakfast. It is just a few walk from the hotel. I have to admit, I wasn’t totally impressed with the beach when I had a glimpse of it the day when we had arrived at the island of Maafushi but visiting it early morning the next day seems something has changed on how it looks. Suddenly, I got excited – most especially the sandbar which can be walked from the shore in two minutes or less.
I went far from the sandbar and snorkeled to see how the underwater looks like. There are fish but live and colorful corals are scarce.
After enjoying the beach all day, one shouldn’t miss seeing the sunset at the port area which is just a few walks away from the private beach. As always, sunset is a dramatic and remarkable moment to end a well spent day.
Scuba Diving at Sexy Beach
If you like the underwater world, then diving is a must do activity when in Maldives. The country is celebrated for its several diving spots and spectacular underwater world.
Four of us went diving. Among these four, three were first timers including myself. I was worried at first because I wear contact lenses but later on told that it wasn’t an issue after all. Our hotel recommended a scuba diving shop which is not too far from our hotel. We then inquired for rates. The discover scuba diving for non divers which includes theory, confined and dive costs $80 per person. Since we’re four going to dive, we bargained and ended up paying for only about $70 per person while $50 for Suzette since she’s a diver already.
Since we’ll be having our diving in sexy beach, a sandbank located 4.2km from Maafushi Island, the rest of the group had decided to join us in the boat getting to the beach to lessen the expenses. The rest paid about $20 per person for the round trip boat transfer.
Our dive took about an hour. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have pictures during the dive because the camera that the divers brought has empty battery. Well, maybe next time. The underwater world which we’ve seen were for our eyes only. The undersea world is plenty of sea creatures and colorful corals. I was amazed how it went through. The lesson before getting into the actual dive was too complicated to digest but it paid off so much with the things that we’ve seen underwater. We could have gone deeper if I didn’t consume too much oxygen.After diving, we were given few minutes to stay at the sandbank and experience the beach.
Darn that clear turquoise water, the beach was so wow! Would you believe that that day, the sandbank was dominated with Filipinos? Let this picture be a proof to that. Thank you, seat sale! :p
Excursion to Maadhoo Finolhu Island
It was our last day in Maafushi Island to have a full day activity. We planned to go in an excursion, so we went to an excursion to a picnic island. The activity costs about $35 round trip transport fee and $11 entry fee to the island per person and comes with a complimentary barbecue lunch. Well, that barbecue lunch maybe the reason why I think it was tagged as a picnic island. But truthfully, the island is named as Maadhoo Finolhu Island.
The island is an uninhabited island which can be reached by 15 minutes speedboat ride from Maafushi Island. The island is stood with multiples of beach trees and coconut palms providing the shades and breeze of the tropical environment. The island provides attractive spots for swimming, snorkeling and for fishing as well.
This island is said to be approximately 1 km long and 150 meters wide with a picturesque sand bar. The white sandy beaches are charmingly simple, with beautiful crystal clear water that definitely everyone will be amazed seeing to.At the moment when our boat approached the island, again, we couldn’t contain our excitement seeing the shallow beautiful crystal clear water. We were all so excited that we ran out of words to describe this amazingly ravishing piece of land.
After paying our entrance fee, we went around and looked for a shaded spot to settle. We walked towards the right side of the island. When we noticed that there were no one staying but us in one the areas, we’ve decided to stay on this part, and dropped our things in one of the picnic tables.The beach and the weather was so perfect. It was scorching but we didn’t bother as we were so amazed how the beauty of this beach showing its finest.
When some went back to our resting spot and waited for our lunch, I’ve decided to go for a walk around the island.
The island is surrounded with beaches, you can go for a swim anywhere. You can have your own spot if you wish to be alone. Every spot and corner of this island is stunning. Aside from swimming and leisure walks, one can also do water activities in the island. We saw people doing kite boarding when we went to the other end.
And it looks like we were not the only one addicted to capturing the beauty of this island.
This island is certainly a destination for an ultimate beach island experience in Maldives, nothing can surpass how beautiful this picnic island is (so far).
After our lunch, we then went back to the beach not minding the scorching heat anymore, and had finally experienced the crystal clear water which looks like a natural ‘infinity-pool’.
Everyone had fun. Most of my companions said that this is their favorite among the beaches that we’ve been to. The experience and the opportunity to see such graceful place is beyond our words.
It was said that the island is now owned by a private company and will be turned into a private resort in the coming years. We were so delighted that we were able to see its naked grace before it becomes an island stood with structures.
Meet my Friends
Being with 2 or 3 suffice the number of companions for me when traveling. But a companion of 12 is a different story… and in Maldives? Let these pictures show you how we spent a vacation in Maldives in a big group.
Fortunately, no patrols or police approached to shut us all up during the times that we were so rowdy and uncontrollable playing and having fun in the beach. You couldn’t blame us, a tropical island, a perfect beach and fun friends – expect our group to be frenzied with such amazing beauty of this destination.Thank you to my friends who had joined me and made this travel super awesome and of course, as budgeted as it should be.
Arena Beach Hotel
Beach Road, South Male Atoll
Maafushi 08090, Maldives
Phone: +9607985142 / +9609990039
Additional photos by Win Shia and Robx Bautista