Need expert help?

Piper Fenton   Meet Piper, one of our travel experts for the Maldives.


Piper is the founder of honeymoon specialty travel company Remarkable Honeymoons, and an award-winning agent with almost 30 years experience. She's a Virtuoso agent, and winner of WeddingWire's Couples Choice awards every year from 2014-2022. She is well versed in international travel after having visited dozens of countries in her career, and also through her studies abroad living in both Mexico and France. From the Orient Express, to tenting in Nepal, to flying the Concord, she's had many wonderful travel experiences.


Best Time of Year to Visit the Maldives

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

Date published:
2023-03-11


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

Michael  

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 to Fiji, Thailand, Vietnam, Seychelles, Kenya, France, England, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Mexico, and the major islands in French Polynesia. He's been a Rotarian for 21 years, currently on the board of the Greater Bend Rotary Club. Follow Michael on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

Skip to:

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."


TRAVEL SPECIAL: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru


Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru 5 nights from 12,646 per person
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa GiraavaruCombining innovation, wellness and conservation, Landaa Giraavaru is a 44 acre, 103 villa wonderland in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a 30-minute seaplane flight from Malé. Its sister property, Kuda Huraa, lies to the south: an enchanting garden island complete with Island Spa sea sanctuary and Tropicsurf coaches and guides. The luxury catamaran, Four Seasons Explorer, connects the two via 3, 4 and 7-night cruises, plus private leisure, surf and manta ray charters. The latest addition to the Maldives collection, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, opens late 2016 as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to you.
Learn more about Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

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: Niyama Private Islands Maldives


Niyama Private Islands Maldives 5 nights from 5,704 per person
Niyama Private Islands MaldivesFind a very private setting for intimate, one-of-a-kind experiences. With twin islands Play and Chill, Niyama Private Islands Maldives offers up the luxury of choice.

At Play: Frolic in the treetops. Rush into the infinite horizon. Kick things up a notch in villas set on white sands and tailored to adventurous honeymooners, active couples and style-savvy families.

At Chill: Revel in a peaceful moment within the cocoon of Drift Spa. Explore culinary heaven offshore. Soothe your soul to the slow rhythms in over water villas. Lounge against the flowing oceanscape in an underwater playground.

Discover your island niche and settle in, or jump back and forth between high-energy indulgences and cool serenity. Rated #4 in the ‘Best Resorts in the World’ category of the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, and #2 ‘Top Resorts in the Indian Ocean’, Nature’s Playground beckons.
Learn more about Niyama Private Islands Maldives

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




TRAVEL SPECIAL: One & Only Reethi Rah


One and Only Reethi Rah Maldives 5 nights from 14,687 per person
One & Only Reethi RahSurrounded by the crystal blue wonders of the Indian Ocean, this superb all-villa resort offers an unrivalled level of style, choice and personalised exploration. Sleek and spectacular, with unprecedented privacy, One&Only Reethi Rah inspires extraordinary journeys for the soul.

Set on one of the largest islands in North Male' Atoll, adorned with endless white sand coves and turquoise bays, all villas enjoy beautiful ocean views and direct access to the lagoon. One&Only Reethi Rah offers the ultimate holiday experience to those seeking the pinnacle of tropical luxury. Nowhere else in the Maldives is there a resort with this much space and exclusivity.

With an eye towards perfection, the resort features its own organic Chef's Garden, and speciality items such as Kobe beef and toro from Japan are shipped on a regular basis. At One&Only Reethi Rah, island chic is the keynote for evenings, and the innovative and fresh cuisine is prepared with passion and flair.

One&Only, together with ESPA, has created a luxurious island spa retreat...a tranquil place where tension dissolves with the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean as the cares of the world outside quietly drift away.

Here on idyllic sandy shores, succumb to the expert care of therapists trained in ancient healing philosophies and modern-day sciences. Luxurious treatment villas, nestled beneath thatched roofs each with spectacular ocean views, provide the perfect tranquil space for your individualised, holistic wellness journey.

Learn more about One & Only Reethi Rah

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: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo


Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 5 nights from 5,273 per person
Adaaran Prestige VadooAdaaran Prestige Vadoo Welcome to Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, the prestigious Maldives Luxury Resorts, where time ceases to exist and the voice of the Indian Ocean beckons you to her shores. As the gateway to the South Atolls, Vadoo possesses its own exotic reef teeming with vibrant aquatic flora and fauna. Awarded as the World’s Leading Water Villa retreat at the World Travel Awards in 2010, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is a luxurious Maldives Island resort that stands out amongst the best. The list of indulgences that awaits you at our Maldives Island resort can only be matched by the captivating lushness of the surroundings.
Learn more about Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

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: Niyama Private Islands Maldives


Niyama Private Islands Maldives 5 nights from 5,704 per person
Niyama Private Islands MaldivesFind a very private setting for intimate, one-of-a-kind experiences. With twin islands Play and Chill, Niyama Private Islands Maldives offers up the luxury of choice.

At Play: Frolic in the treetops. Rush into the infinite horizon. Kick things up a notch in villas set on white sands and tailored to adventurous honeymooners, active couples and style-savvy families.

At Chill: Revel in a peaceful moment within the cocoon of Drift Spa. Explore culinary heaven offshore. Soothe your soul to the slow rhythms in over water villas. Lounge against the flowing oceanscape in an underwater playground.

Discover your island niche and settle in, or jump back and forth between high-energy indulgences and cool serenity. Rated #4 in the ‘Best Resorts in the World’ category of the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, and #2 ‘Top Resorts in the Indian Ocean’, Nature’s Playground beckons.
Learn more about Niyama Private Islands Maldives

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: COMO Cocoa Island


COMO Cocoa Island 5 nights from 5,721 per person
COMO Cocoa IslandCocoa Island is the Indian Ocean outpost from COMO Hotels and Resorts. With bristling reef life and long stretches of white sand beach, Cocoa Island is an indulgence not to be missed.

Kick back and relax on your sundeck, toes dipped into the island's peaceful lagoon. For those who want to do more, Cocoa Island offers an active island life. From first-time divers to Yoga devotees, from keen sailors to idle snorkellers – we've got the equipment, knowledge and expertise for a memorable stay.

The diving is exceptional, with our own team ready to instruct and guide. Explore our online Travel Planner to discover the full range of activities we have on offer, including deep-sea fishing, watersports, beach drop-offs and private full-day fishing charters.

The Maldives are made up of tiny dots strung out like turquoise ink spots. Many summits sit just below the surface of the water. The coral reefs are exceptional, creating a world-class diving destination. Like Cocoa Island, most resorts occupy their own private island.

The government has sensibly controlled tourism development. Outside the capital, Malé, where the international airport is located, there's no traffic. The only thing you might hear is the sound of fishermen calling to each other on the sea.

Cocoa Island, known locally as Makunufushi, is located among South Malé's coral atolls.

Our island is long and thin with sand snaking out into a perfect spit that disappears with the evening tide. The first thing to strike you on arrival is the welcome of palms, hibiscus and Kadjan/Coconut Thatching while the house reef, which encircles Cocoa, delineates a gin-clear lagoon.
Learn more about COMO Cocoa Island

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.

TRAVEL SPECIAL: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru


Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru 5 nights from 12,646 per person
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa GiraavaruCombining innovation, wellness and conservation, Landaa Giraavaru is a 44 acre, 103 villa wonderland in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a 30-minute seaplane flight from Malé. Its sister property, Kuda Huraa, lies to the south: an enchanting garden island complete with Island Spa sea sanctuary and Tropicsurf coaches and guides. The luxury catamaran, Four Seasons Explorer, connects the two via 3, 4 and 7-night cruises, plus private leisure, surf and manta ray charters. The latest addition to the Maldives collection, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, opens late 2016 as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to you.
Learn more about Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

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.




X

abc

xyz

X

abc

xyz