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Best Time of Year to Visit the Maldives

Explore > Travel Planning Articles > Best Time of Year to Visit the Maldives

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Dock and thatched roof huts in the Maldives.
Photo courtesy Jon Haase.

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Where are the Maldives?

The Maldives are a coveted vacation spot as the smallest country in Asia (regarding both size and population). This beautiful destination has historically been known under different names in the Sanskrit language, translated as "Necklace Islands," "Garland of Islands," and "Hundred Thousand Islands."


Coco Bodu Hithi 5 nights from 3,850 per person
Coco Bodu Hithi
Learn more about Coco Bodu Hithi

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

Dhoni-shaped wedding pavilion at Angsana Resort and Spa Ihuru, Maldives
Wedding pavilion at Angsana Resort & Spa Ihuru. Photo courtesy the resort.

As a cluster of small islands in the Indian ocean, the Maldives are made up mostly of the water in between its 1,190 islands, about 90 of which are developed as tourist resorts. Their unique layout into a double chain of 26 atolls spread out over roughly 35,000 square miles. Each atoll adds to a variety of vibrant coral reefs teeming with lush underwater life including fish, sea turtles, whales, and dolphins.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Velaa Private Island

Velaa Private Island 5 nights from 14,849 per person
Velaa Private IslandVelaa Private Island is the realisation of a dream to create a ‘beyond luxury’ exclusive boutique hideaway. This unique destination was developed to embody the very best of this unique archipelago, bathed by azure skies in the aquamarine
waters of the Indian Ocean.

Located in the gorgeous Noonu Atoll, 187 kilometres north of Male, Velaa. Private Island is an exceptional luxury retreat where our guests are treated like royalty.

Velaa Private Island has been designed and curated with privacy and comfort as the guiding principles while allowing the Indian Ocean to take centre stage. At one with nature, each of the private retreats is built using local materials, combining contemporary flourishes with interiors designed for sensory exploration.

Learn more about Velaa Private Island

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

Beach bungalows in the Maldives.
Maldivian beach villas. Photo courtesy Jon Haase.


Typical airfares from New York (JFK) to Male, Republic of the Maldives


W Maldives 5 nights from 5,382 per person
W MaldivesEscape to W Maldives, a luxury 5-star private island resort setting the stage to fuel guests’ lust for life. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves drumming against the infinity pool, a wonderland of white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and breathtaking reefs. From the moment you step onto this heart shaped island playground, welcoming infinite days amplified by the only music curator in the Maldives, playful guestrooms and innovative cocktails and cuisine creating a cutting edge lifestyle experience. Cast away yet connected. Natural yet designed. Secluded yet welcoming.Unwind at the pampering AWAY® Spa. Explore the world beneath the waves at DOWN UNDER and glide with reef sharks in the best house reef of the Maldives.W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. Whatever/Whenever ®.

Seventy eight individual Retreats are available. 28 land based, Beach Oasis including three twin Beach Oasis; 25 spacious, overwater Ocean Oasis and 21 Ocean Oasis Lagoon View retreats; 3 Seascape Escapes, our junior suites and one ExtremeWOW villa, the 2-bedroom Ocean Haven.

The Retreats are a perfect blend of W's innovative architectural design and contemporary living aesthetics with the island village simplicity. Each features an extensive state of the art BOSE sound system, 42" plasma screen TV, CD/DVD, spacious indoor and outdoor living areas, plunge pools, barbecues for private dining, outdoor tropical showers and day beds for lolling in the lap of luxury. Smooth, stylish interior design and all the modern gadgetry one could possibly need are an integral part of the appeal.

There is an electric mix of 6 bars and restaurants at W Maldives. Kitchen, the all day dining bistro, and Fire, where you have a choice of 4 different barbeques, provide menus for everyone's palate. Swim up to the pool bar Wet and order a light lunch. For a chilled sunset, enjoy a cocktail and nibbles at Sip. Next door is Fish - the signature seafood restaurant set over the water and under the star; a beautiful great way to soak in the atmosphere and perhaps see a shooting star. There is even a dining option on your own secluded island, Gaathafushi. 15Below, the place to see and be seen, is the only true nightclub in the Maldives, with its own resident DJ and set underground.

Flirt with the adventure over the water with our adrenaline filled water sports or go underneath with Down Under, our PADI certified team of dive masters, and discover some of the best dive spots in the Maldives all within close proximity.

Alternatively, decelerate. Research escapism and discover true pampering at the AWAY® Spa.Reminiscent of a dhow, a traditional Maldivian boat sporting elegant forms and vibrant sails, the spa embarks you on a journey of transformation. A massage, body wrap, sunburn soother, perhaps immersions in tropical therapies or individual cleansing steam baths, the world is your oyster as you indulge.
Learn more about W Maldives

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

See & compare all resorts in the Maldives atolls

If you're trying to decide where to stay on Ari Atoll, Lhaviyani Atoll, Male, North Male Atoll, North Baa Atoll, or South Male Atolls, we can help! For the 28 resorts there, we've got nearly 500 high-resolution photos, 7 videos, and 13 virtual tours to help you find your Maldivian dream resort. Click here to use our Visual Explorer to check out all of them.

Boat docked on the atoll in the Maldives.
Photo courtesy Jon Haase.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Velassaru Maldives

Velassaru Maldives 5 nights from 1,845 per person
Velassaru MaldivesPerfect Seclusion.
Your private coral island in the sapphire Indian Ocean. An exhilarating 25-minute speedboat ride from Malé airport. Chilled drinks and a warm welcome await you at Velassaru Maldives. Glide over diamond waters. Feed your imagination.

Learn more about Velassaru Maldives

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

Best time of year to go to the Maldives

As a tropical monsoon climate, the Maldives have two dominating seasons: a dry season (associated with dry northeast winter monsoons) and a wet season (associated with moist southwest monsoons and strong winds and storms). The dry season has little rain and lower humidity; it lasts from December-April. The wet season is (you guessed it) wetter, characterized by stronger winds and rain; it lasts from May-November.

For divers, both the dry and wet seasons have their advantages: during the dry season, visibility is superb, due to currents beginning to flow in November from the northeast; the currents start to weaken in February. During the wet season, the water temperatures are a couple of degrees lower, and this seems to inspire larger numbers of hammerhead sharks and reef sharks to congregate, and to do so in shallower waters than in the dry season. Visibility isn't as good, however, as the currents are less.

Aerial view of Sheraton Full Moon resort, Maldives
Aerial view of Sheraton Full Moon Maldives. Photo courtesy the resort.

Average temperatures in the Maldives

The temperature remains fairly consistent year-round, ranging only from the low- to mid-80's (Fahrenheit). September-January tend to hover around the 80 degree mark, and February-August tend to reach a little higher around the mid-80's. Chances are any time you decide to visit, the Maldives will be pleasantly warm.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa 5 nights from 6,964 per person
Park Hyatt Maldives HadahaaPark Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is a barefoot luxury resort, evoking a remote, untouched paradise. Its unique location, away from the teeming atolls of the north, blesses its guests with a pure Maldivian experience. The careful and seamless integration of environment, culture and modern design provides the perfect place to rest, relax, and recharge. Our resort is located on a private island tucked away within North Huvadhoo, the deepest atoll in the Maldives, and just 55km north of the equator.

The conscious approach to the environment at our Maldives resort allows guests to enjoy a pristinely perfect beach, blanketed by the softest powdery shoreline. The white sandy beach encircling Hadahaa and the crystal azure waters enchants guests to spend the day soaking up the glorious Maldivian sun. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is framed by one of the most unspoilt house reefs in the archipelago, providing easy access for exploration of the underwater marvels of the Indian Ocean.

Featuring only 50 villas, the contemporary interiors of our guests accommodations are designed with the utmost comfort and privacy in mind, reflecting the Hadahaa landscape. Whether nestled within the island’s lush tropical greenery or elevated above the water, guests are only steps away from the clear ocean waters and idyllic beach. All villas feature floor-to-ceiling windows and door that lead out to a private deck, some fitted with a personal plunge pool, and direct access to the beach.
As one of the top hotels in Maldives, we invite guests to delight in a variety of dining experiences available at the resort's two restaurants – The Dining Room and The Island Grill. Both restaurants present guests with international and regionally inspired dishes in well-designed yet casual settings. The contemporary poolside bar and the unique Dhoni are great places to sit back and unwind while enjoying refreshing drinks. Discover personalized private dining experiences that include Sunset, Starlight, Shoreline and Maldivian, each showcasing a unique aspect of the island. In-villa dining is available for guests at any time.

Our luxury beach resort provides a range of aqua-centric activities allowing guests to make the most of the natural surroundings. Blue Journeys, our 5 star PADI Dive and Activity Centre, creates tailor-made journeys for guests. Diving and snorkeling around the island’s magnificent private reef is a must while local island visits, dolphin spotting, sunset cruises and the one of a kind Cross the Equator excursion will offer ever lasting memories. Retreat into the serenity of one of The Vidhun Spa’s five private villas for a rejuvenating treatment or opt to relax in the spa’s 80-foot tranquility pool. The Vidhun Spa provides inspiring treatments that heat, cool or hydrate the body reflecting Maldivian healing philosophies and traditions. Completing the wellness concept of The Vidhun Spa, private or shared yoga sessions are available with the resort instructor.

Recent accolades include:
2016 Gold EarthCheck Certification
2016, 2015, 2014 World Travel Awards: Maldives' Leading Green Resort
2016 Blue Journeys PADI Green Star Award
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 Silver EarthCheck Certification
2015 World Travel Awards: Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Resort
2015 TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Award
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2014 International Considerate Hotel of the Year
2013 MATATO: Leading Dive Resort in the Maldives
2013 International Hotel Award: Best Sustainable Hotel in Asia Pacific
2012 Green Good Design Award
Learn more about Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

Storms in the Maldives

During the winter rainy season, afternoon showers occur with frequency. In the case of a tropical storm or cyclone, residents and travelers are relocated to safe areas. Fortunately, the Maldives are not as prone to cyclones as other islands; only 11 cyclones have affected the Maldives in over 128 years.

Overwater villas in the Maldives.
Overwater villas in the Maldives. Photo courtesy Jon Haase.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Royal Island Resort & Spa

Royal Island Resort & Spa 5 nights from 1,602 per person
Royal Island Resort & SpaEscape to a tranquil and secluded oceanfront oasis, where a pristine private beach gives way to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Immerse yourself in tropical splendour, enjoying breathtaking views and five-star amenities at every turn.

Come experience the Maldives you've always dreamt of at Royal Island Resort & Spa. Amidst the sparkling jewels of the Indian Ocean, our exquisite Maldives luxury hotel shines and dazzles above all. Indulge and immerse yourself in a colourful journey of discovery, where shores lined with luxuriant banyans and lush palms yield to a majestic underwater world that will render you speechless. Enjoy unmatched services and facilities, including the lavish Araamu Spa and a fabulous selection of restaurants and bars . Relax and unwind with a vast selection of resort activities , including a fully equipped gymnasium, tennis, and squash to scuba diving and water skiing . All of this awaits you at our Maldives luxury resort – just let us show you the way.

-Set on the island commonly known as Horubadhoo, located in Baa atoll 118 km Northwest of Malé
-Featuring luxury villas and suites with magnificent views of the Indian Ocean
-With two world-class restaurants and four vibrant bars and lounges
-A 35-minute seaplane ride from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, also reachable in 30 minutes by domestic flight (Wheeled aircraft).

Our pleasure is your service at Royal Island Resort & Spa , where each guest is royalty. An aristocrat would feel perfectly at home in our elegant Maldives luxury villas. Rich, coloured textiles, exquisite marble, intricately carved wooden furniture, and subtle lighting provide alluring ambience and stately splendour. Here, complete privacy and solitude are taken for granted. The beach and crystal clear waters of the lagoon are just a few steps away from your private verandah. Each Maldives luxury rental offers a truly unique retreat, where warm water breezes and dramatic views offer a stirring sense of escape at every turn.
Learn more about Royal Island Resort & Spa

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

What's special about the Maldives?

Tourism is relatively recent here--really, it all started for the Maldives in 1972 with just 2 resorts. It's grown to over 80 resorts today. It's the lowest country in the world (yes, it's in the record books) with an average altitude of only about 5 feet above sea level. You're going to get fabulous lagoons protected by coral reefs and other atolls, and gorgeous beaches. But you won't get the knife-edge mountain backdrops you'd see somewhere like Bora Bora, or jungle hikes to waterfalls like you'd get in Hawaii, Fiji, or the Seychelles.

Infinity pool at the Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa, Maldives.
Infinity pool at the Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa. Photo courtesy the resort.

Certainly it's famous for fantastic snorkeling, scuba diving, and above-water sports too. Like the Seychelles, you're going to be a long ways from a major land mass, which means dense schools of fish, less pollution, and more privacy. The roughly 1200 islands are all quite small, with none of them larger than 5 miles across. Each atoll has on average about a half dozen inhabited islands, plus 20 to 60 that are uninhabited.


Coco Bodu Hithi 5 nights from 3,850 per person
Coco Bodu Hithi
Learn more about Coco Bodu Hithi

Price includes hotel stay and all taxes and fees.

Underground wine cellar and chocolate cave at Gili Lankanfushi, North Male Atoll, Maldives
Underground wine cellar and chocolate cave at Gili Lankanfushi, North Male Atoll, Maldives. Photo courtesy the resort.

Traditional Maldivian cuisine is based on coconuts, fish, and starches. Skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna and wahoo are common in Maldivian cuisine. As well, a thick brown paste made from tuna, called Rihaakuru, is an essential part of many dishes. Maldivians don't eat raw fish, however (but that doesn't mean you won't ever find sushi in resort restaurants). Their starches are typically rice, taro (the root ingredient of Hawaii's poi), sweet potato, and cassava. You'll find a strong Indian influence--not surprising, given the proximity--and a plethora of different curries. As a tourist in the resorts, expect to find Indian and Maldivian options, but also food styles from around the world. The resorts are well aware that many guests will want to what what's familiar to them.

Check this video overview of the Maldives, courtesy Maldives Tourist Promotion Board (MTPB):


How we work with you to plan the perfect trip:

  • We'll talk with you to find out what you're looking for, what you like/don't like, etc.
  • We'll use our first-hand knowledge of the destination to pick out a handful of resorts we think you'd like
  • We'll create a custom mini website for you, with photos, videos, maps, etc. of the resorts we are recommending
  • We'll follow up with you to help you make your decision
  • We'll go to work with our suppliers to get you the best deal available on what you've decided on.


About the author, Michael Cottam

Founder of Visual Itineraries, Michael lives in Bend, Oregon. He's an avid traveler, scuba diver, photographer, and a private pilot, and also the founder of Bright Yonder. He's been a Rotarian for 20 years, currently on the board of the Greater Bend Rotary Club. Follow Michael on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.