Solo Trip to The Maldives: Full Beach Day (Picnics, Island-Hopping & 3 Snorkelling Sessions)

Last week, I shared my exhausting but rewarding kayak adventure around the island of Rasdhoo in the Maldives. The week before, I shared a quick snorkelling and fish-feeding trip to Rasdhoo Madivaru Finolhu.

This time, I spent an entire day at sea and went island-hopping with Yameen’s family. My request to visit Rasdhoo Madivaru (Picnic Island) coincided with a planned family gettogether, so we combined the two.

Heading Off

I got up early that morning to check the weather as for my last few days on the island, the sky was overcast. It only rained for two nights and drizzled a little one day, but we didn’t want to take our good luck for granted. The weather seemed to be on our side, so I could enjoy breakfast with some peace of mind.

We took off shortly after breakfast, returning to the beach we embarked from the last two times. Yameen’s family was already readying the boat, so we were off in no time.

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We weren’t the only ones enjoying a beautiful day at sea.

The Arrival

Alexis-Chateau-Imran-Rasdhoo-Atoll-Boat-Road-Madivaru

Within five minutes or so, we approached Picnic Island. In the video, I believe Yameen is telling me I missed the seagull, but I went hunting for him later.

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You probably noticed a seagull on the beach and one taking flight. They are the same bird at two different times in the same shot.

I then decided to wander around. The pictures don’t do the scene justice, but they come close.

The 1st Snorkelling Session

After a second breakfast with Yameen’s family, Imran asked me if I was ready to go snorkelling. I was under the impression we were just going to put on our gear and peek beneath the blue of the beautiful water around us. Instead, we were back on board the boat again.

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After a few minutes, we slowed to a stop. Imran then jumped in to ensure we were in the right spot. Once we determined exactly where we should be, it was time for the rest of us to get in.

Here, the water was deeper than anywhere I have ever snorkelled before. Had I been out there on my own, it probably would have been terrifying.

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We mostly came across fish, but there was a much wider diversity than what I had seen at other snorkelling spots so far. The black ones with blue tails especially moved in eerie and magical ways. They are shaped a little different from the other fish and move their fins almost as though they are flying sideways.

Then, we came across a shark. I thought it was just a baby shark, but Yameen says that’s just because it was far below us. He estimates that it may have been a teenager.

Whenever I tell people I came across a shark at sea, they ask me if I wasn’t terrified. I really wasn’t. The shark never approached us and you feed off the fear of the group. The others had none, so I had none.

The fun didn’t stop there. Shortly afterwards, we came across eagle rays.

The 2nd Snorkelling Session

The second snorkelling trip began with more fishes. In this video, you can get a better idea of how many people were snorkelling with me. You will also notice the fish I mentioned that swim in an eerie and magical way. They are the ones with almost neon-blue tails.

At this second snorkelling spot, the current was stronger and a little more difficult to swim against. However, that’s probably because we decided to pursue a turtle that we came across in the water.

I had never seen one up close that was so big before. It was really my lucky day coming across all this wildlife in one go.

After a while, breakfast began to evaporate, so we returned to Picnic Island to eat again. This time, the men barbecued fish they had caught the day before. It was delicious. I didn’t take any photos of the food, but it closely resembles this.

The 3rd Snorkelling Session

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After everyone had eaten, we packed up everything, cleaned the space and hopped over to the Sandbank. I didn’t originally plan on getting back into the water again, having seen all I wanted to see. However, Yameen encouraged me to watch the fish-feeding.

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Unfortunately, Imran had already returned to the main island of Rasdhoo and had taken the flippers with him. I still had my goggles though, so we went flipperless, which was much harder, but not impossible.

This was the last planned adventure in The Maldives. I want to thank Yameen and the rest of the staff at Rasdhoo Coralville who treated me more like family than a guest.

In the next posts, I’ll talk about the food on the island as well as offer a few tips if you ever plan to visit the Maldives.

The Cost Breakdown

People often believe travelling to Maldives is a lot more expensive than it really is. While it is certainly the most expensive trip I have ever taken, it is also the longest and furthest since I started travel blogging. So, how muchΒ did it cost me?

  • Round Trip Flight: $1,253.43
  • Round Trip Boat Taxi: $80
  • Hotel Accommodation (11 nights): $400
  • Food (3 meals per day): $230
  • Activities & Extras: $107

This comes to a total of ~$2,070, but I only ended up paying $1,963.43.Β The hotelΒ has since asked me to encourage more people from the Americas to travel to the Maldives as we rarely show up there compared to the Europeans.

I’ve accepted the hotel’s challenge toΒ plan a trip back for 2020 and/or 2021. If you would like to join us or would prefer to head out there on your own or with your own group, feel free to contact me or reach out to the hotel directly.

…

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know my adventure did not end here. I got stranded in Boston overnight and Emirates Airlines has yet to reimburse me a penny after giving me the runaround for almost two weeks now. But, that’s a story for another time.

Stay tuned!

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I FINALLY made it home. I got stranded in Boston for an extra day because the flight in from Dubai was late. My connecting flight to ATL was the last one out. What a mess! I'm now a day behind on work but thankfully haven't missed any deadlines. So essentially, my first night home I'll be up working instead of in my bed. Welcome to my life! πŸ˜‚ That said, my family ganged me at the door with hugs. They were really upset about me being stranded in Boston. Most upset was my poor kitty, who I heard did not handle my long absence very well. There's nothing quite like the love of a feral cat. 😍πŸ₯° Well, back to work! Night guys! Enjoy your rest! . . . #vacation #holiday #allblackeverything

A post shared by Alexis Chateau πŸ‡―πŸ‡² (@alexischateau_) on

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28 thoughts on “Solo Trip to The Maldives: Full Beach Day (Picnics, Island-Hopping & 3 Snorkelling Sessions)

  1. That was a great adventure you had there I hope I can find myself in the position to make some of those trips especially with someone like you who have the experience already

    1. It really is. There’s a shallow area too for people who don’t think they’re strong enough swimmers to handle real depth.

  2. Wonderful and magical! I love snorkeling and would have most definitely gone for this trip too. The next step for you, whenever you can, would be snorkelling or, even better, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef of eastern Australia: definitely the most amazing and beautiful experience in my entire life. We also saw a small sharks which came quite close and a member of our party actually patted it, as well as tortoises and an enormous clam called George!: stuff out of this world. We still have a CD rom with photos we took under water Make sure you go!
    The whole Maldives trip sounds marvellous and right up my street. I’m glad that your bravery and independence paid off and too bad for those who let you down.
    Sorry about you getting stranded in Boston, but all is well that ends well. Sweet dreams. Time to plan your next adventure. πŸ˜‰

    1. Agreed! While I’ll certainly encourage people to go and plan a few group trips for people, it cured me of the belief that travelling way out of my comfort zone as a woman required company. I’m fine with domestic solo travel, but worried about travelling through Asia and Europe alone. Really not concerned now.

      Australia is on my list, but the tickets there are expensive. I’ve checked twice since I’ve been back. Not sure I’ll manage any international trips next year with the move planned, but I think Europe is next on my list for 2021. May either head to the UK or Spain. Depends on cost. We’ll see!

      1. Europe is fairly safe, as far as you can say that about anywhere, I suppose, but certainly being a woman on your own is not a problem here as it would be in a Muslim country. By the way, did you buy those gorgeous Indian pants you saw?
        And Australia is worth the wait: I was 39 when I went. πŸ˜‰

      2. I felt very safe in the Maldives actually. I worked myself up for nothing. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that “un-threatened” anywhere else in all my life. The city was like any other city, but the local islands are a lot slower-paced. I think also because of the chaste side of Islam, the size of the island, and the focus on tourism, people are also more mindful of what they say or do. And yes, I most definitely got those pants. I bought another for my mom and found 2 more online when I came home. πŸ™‚

        I think I might be around 39 myself when I finally make it to Australia. πŸ˜† As for Europe, I hope that makes it onto my itinerary much, much sooner. It’s long overdue!

  3. Is the Maldives in Africa or the Caribbean?

    I do not remember.

    But, I enjoy seeing the photos and videos on this blog post.

    I have done a trip report on my second vacation in Odessa, Ukraine as well.

    I enjoy talking about my experiences there and showing plenty of photos (people, places, food, etc.) I have taken there.

    I wonder if you are going to other countries (e.g. Thailand, Kenya, Dominican Republic) and planning to write trip reports about them plus show images and videos?

    1. Thanks for checking out my post. I’m a lifestyle blogger, so I blog about all my trips. If you check the travel section of this blog, you will find write-ups for hiking trails, cruises and overall countries and states I’ve visited since 2015.

      The Maldives is in neither of those places. It’s in South Asia. πŸ™‚

      Happy travels!

    1. Most of the hotels there were more expensive. The other one I liked (owned by Yameen’s cousin) was more than twice as much. I leave that to travellers who aren’t on a budget πŸ˜‚

      Glad you enjoyed them. Let me know when you ready, so we can go snorkelling over there together πŸ™ƒ

    1. Yes, it is a popular destination for Europeans, but not Americans or people from the Americas in general. The islanders said that when Americans do travel there, they stay holed up on the resort islands the entire time. I think a lot of people were surprised by where I was from and where I lived.

      I’m glad o had a good time too. πŸ™‚

  4. I am loving all the fun you’ve had. Fabulous photos. The price breakdown was very surprising! That’s really affordable actually, considering how long you stayed and how far you flew

    1. Hi Nyasha! Thanks for dropping by again πŸ™‚

      It was very affordable, all things considering. I travelled during the off season on purpose, so that helped. It also meant the beaches weren’t crowded and I had more space to myself.

      When I did Alaska last year, it was $2,000 for 2 people for just 5 days, so this was much more cost-effective!

  5. Beautiful! All of it. What a great trip. I’ll think about going. And think on it some more Haha. With winter rolling in here I’d like to stay their 6 months

    1. Oh man, I’m not looking forward to the cold either. I could never live up north!

      The trip was amazing. Highly recommend. πŸ™‚

      1. I have a place on the pacific side in Panama. I’m probably not going to make it this winter though. Kids and the school stuff is just not that great there, so here I am another year. Maldives looks pretty chill. I like!

      2. And THAT is one of the many reasons I’m terrified of having kids. Too many lifestyle changes. πŸ˜‚

        It’s very chill, moreso than Jamaica. Great place to relax.

    1. After travelling for 2 days to get back to the US, to get stuck when I expected to be back at home with family and get started on client assignments would have sucked even in Paris.

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