With its countless tropical island resorts, blue lagoons and palm-lined shores, the Maldives offer one of the best beach and diving destinations in the world. Away from the white sands that fringe these thousand coral islands you’ll find a rich culture, welcoming population and a verdant interior waiting to be discovered.
Peak season in the Maldives runs from December to April. During this time the weather is as perfect as the views – there’s rarely a drop of rain and plenty of sunshine to warm away the chills of the American winter.
This is the most popular time for flights from the US to the islands – you’ll need to book early to secure the best deals.
If you’d prefer to have those pristine beaches all to yourself, book your Maldives flights between May and August. Temperatures are still warm but the monsoon brings heavy – but short-lived – downpours. For those planning to spend much of their time with the marine life under the water this is the best time to find the cheapest flights.
Here’s how you can take advantage of the search tools that Orbitz offers to find the very best bargain-priced flights to the Maldives.
Filter your results to quickly highlight the cheapest airfares. For instance, you can zone in on non-refundable flights, which are usually available at a reduced price.
Use our ‘Nearby airports’ option to check if there is another departure airport close to you that can save you a few dollars but still be convenient to reach.
If you are not set on a definite time for your holiday it’s always worth checking the tick box labelled ‘My dates are flexible’. This will return alternative, and often cheaper, airfares to the Maldives near your suggested departure and arrival dates.
All US flights touch down in the Maldives’ only major airport on Malé. Ibrahim Nasir International Airport has three terminals but only one runway and much more limited facilities than you may be used to.
There are other airports on several islands in the Maldives but these serve only domestic flights or short hops to neighboring countries.
Upon arrival, if you’re staying in Malé, you can continue your journey from the airport by taxi. If you’ve booked a hotel on one of the country’s many other islands, you’ll need to catch a plane, sea taxi or boat to your resort.
No direct flights are from America to the Maldives, but several carriers offer connecting services.
There are only a few causeways bridging the islands, so cars are of limited use here. Boats offer the most affordable and accessible option for travelling between or around the islands. Some islands are linked by regular ferries, while charter boats and private hires fill in the service gaps.
Internal Maldives flights are available to some destinations and a number of resorts offer sea taxis to transport guests from the airport to their hotel.
The rich history of the capital is worth a day or two’s exploring. Among its winding streets you’ll find the Huskuru Miskiiy (a 17th- century mosque), the sumptuous palace of Mulee-Aage, the National Museum and an atmospheric market that’s perfect for picking up local arts and crafts.
Badly hit by the 2004 tsunami, the island has been rebuilt with colorful houses surrounding idyllic beaches. The resorts here are popular with independent travelers.
One of the top diving destinations there is, the Maldives boast world-famous sites such as Girifushi Thila, Nassimo Thila, Middle Point and Okobe Thila.
If you go on a spending spree, don’t forget to save your receipts. You’ll need to fill out US customs forms on your return flight before you re-enter.
The Maldives is a mainly Muslim country. Alcohol is prohibited on many islands, including Malé, and beachwear should be reserved for the resorts.