After landing on the narrow strip of the Male’ international airport or any other airport in the Maldives, you need to catch either a boat or seaplane to your actual destination.
There are several options of transport within the islands, by sea and air.
To get Male’, the capital, you can catch a ferry from the airport, that leaves every few minutes for just a dollar or 10 Maldivian Rufiyaas during daytime. Dhonis have been used by locals for centuries and this ferry is a modern adaptation to the traditional one and are often bedecked in kitsch decorations.
Male’ is most famous for its motorbikes, the fastest way to get around. Taxis are easily available and you will be charged Rufiyaa 20 for each trip, no matter where you go in Male’. You could always take the easier option and walk: anywhere in Male’ is reachable in ten minutes.
If you are going to a tourist resort, hotel, or safari cruise, a hotel staff will pick you up upon arrival to guide you to the hotel’s own transfer. You have the option of using a speedboat, seaplane, or local dhoni where offered.
Seaplanes are often used as a quicker option by tourist resorts located atolls further from the airport. Catching a seaplane is a rare treat that adds an extra layer to your experience of the Maldives by putting its unique geography into perspective through cottony layers of cloud. Flying over the islands at low heights you can see the shapes of reefs and colours of shallow waters around every island, and, if your trip is timely, perhaps even a couple of dolphins crossing the atolls channels.
Travelling by speedboat too, is, on its own a fun adventure. As it roars cleanly over the deep blue water, you feel the salt on your lips, the sun on your face, and the wind tugging your hair into a frenzy. Dhoni, the local boat used for travelling by locals is a more gentle, but by no means a less enjoyable means of getting to where you want to.
Resorts often organised island-hopping trips where tourists visit a series of inhabited islands. If you feel like taking a lengthier trip, you will need to catch one of the island’s scheduled ferries from Male’.
Find our all boat schedules from the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company through www.mtcc.com.mv.