Undiscovered Maldives Tour

Explore the Maldives away from the beaten track. We visit the deep north on this 7 day escorted tour of the Maldives.

Undiscovered Maldives Tour

Undiscovered Maldives Tour

Explore the Maldives off the beaten track on this 7 day escorted tour.

Discover the history, culture, and joys of the beautiful islands of the Maldives. From fishing villages to ancient Buddhist temples, you'll find something new every day on this unique tour. Explore the beautiful, untouched forests and mangroves of the Maldives. Join us as we walk in the jungle, take a canoe ride on the lagoon and spend an evening stargazing. With opportunities to relax on quiet white sandy beaches, snorkel tropical waters and enjoy uninterrupted views of Maldivian sunsets this is a Maldives island hopping experience not to be missed.

Designed and led by local travel experts, this is a truly innovative travel experience.

Day 1 – Welcome to the Maldives

Upon arrival at Male Velana International Airport, you will be met by your tour guide who will be there to assist with boarding your domestic flight to Hanimaadhoo. The flight time is just under an hour and gives you amazing views of this picture-perfect archipelago. From Hanimaadhoo it is a 30 minute speedboat journey across the ocean to Kelaa where you will have time to settle in and freshen up before dinner.


Kelaa is a unique island situated in the Haa Alif atoll and is home to a population of over 1600 people. The local community inhabit less than one third of the island, while the rest is forest. You can find powder fine white sandy beach on one side of the island and a rocky coral shore on the other. It also has one of the largest lagoons in Maldives at approximately 6km in length. After dinner your guide will give a presentation into waste management in the Maldives and the work that is being done in the war against plastic.

Overnight - Deluxe Room, Beach Home Kelaa (D)


Day 2 – Local Village Experience

Explore the village on a walking tour this morning. Discover a mosque built during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Ibn Ali (Muhammad Mohyeddine) (AD 1692-1701) of the Utheemu Dynasty, the king who re-established the Islamic penal code. There is time to freshen up after the walk before we join a local lady at the café for a cookery demonstration. You will be shown how to make mashuni and roshi, a very typical Maldivian dish which you will then enjoy for your lunch. Post lunch, there is time to relax in the comfort of the guesthouse. You can take a stroll along the beach, sit in the shade of a palm tree or snorkel in the crystal clear water.


Later, we will take a walk with a member of IDEAs NGO. Island Development and Environmental Awareness Society (IDEAS) is a non-governmental youth organization based in the northern tip of the Maldives. Founded in 2002, IDEAS mission is to promote socio-economic development of youth, women, differently abled and the community, as well as to promote sustainable development in the Maldives islands. We will be introduced to the mangroves that run along the rocky beach of Kelaa, which is one of the biggest small leafed orange mangrove areas in the Maldives. Learn about the interesting history of ‘kandoo’ as a food source and why it gained particular importance during the Second World War. This evening you will have a presentation by your guide on the importance of seagrass in the Maldives and why locals are campaigning to protect it.

Overnight - Deluxe Room, Beach Home Kelaa (BD)


Day 3 – Coral Reefs and Marine Life

We start today with a presentation by your guide on Maldives Coral Reefs and Marine Life. Following this we will take a speedboat to some of the nearby reefs in search of turtles, reef sharks and other tropical marine life. Once we have had the important safety briefing on responsible snorkelling, you can put on your fins, mask, and snorkel (all provided) and jump into the warm, azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Your snorkelling guide will act as your spotter, pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. If you are less confident or inexperienced, do not worry as your guide is also there to assist and to ensure your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.


We will spend some time on the beach supporting a beach clean and giving back to the community that has welcomed us. Our reward will be the traditional afternoon treat known as hedikaa. This is black tea served with small savoury and sweet bites. Discover delicacies such as Gulha, bite-sized balls of tuna, onions and grated coconut wrapped in thin flatbread-type dough and paan boakibaa, which is bread cake stuffed with dates and nuts.

Overnight - Deluxe Room, Beach Home Kelaa (BD)


Day 4 – Relaxing and Reefs

After we have our breakfast, we will take a speedboat journey back to Hanimaadhoo and check-in at the Barefoot ECO Hotel. Once here, the rest of the morning is free to relax. There are plenty of water sport activities to participate in or if you are looking for a more chilled day , you can relax on the beach, at the pool or pamper yourself in the spa.


In the afternoon we take a boat ride to a nearby reef. We will see abundant marine life such as turtles, reef sharks, sting rays, and a multitude of colourful fish including oriental sweetlips, clown fish and parrotfish. The perfect end to a relaxing day comes as we make our way to a nearby deserted sandbank in time to enjoy the sunset with nothing other than a few seabirds for company.

Overnight - Beach Front Room, Barefoot Eco Hotel (BD)


Day 5 – Utheemu

Today’s adventures start with a visit to the historical island of Utheemu and we explore the well preserved palace of Ganduvaru and Kandhuvalu Mosque. Utheemu is known as the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, who with his brothers and his companions fought an eight-year-long war to drive out the Portuguese invaders who occupied the Maldives from 1558 to 1573. Utheemu Ganduvaru is the wooden palace in which Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu lived and grew up. It is well preserved and evokes more than any other existing building in the Maldives, the lifestyle of the rich, centuries ago. It's a tiny place with a beautiful teak interior that can be glimpsed from the entrance and Thakurufaanu's father is buried in the cemetery here.


Later in the afternoon, the gardeners from the Barefoot Eco Hotel will provide a small tour of their vegetable area and garden. There will also be the opportunity to plant a few coconut palms.

Overnight - Beach Front Room, Barefoot Eco Hotel (BD)


Day 6 – Sunset Fish BBQ

This morning we take a guided tour of Hanimaadhoo Agricultural Centre. Lush with an impressive variety of crops, we will discover local favourites such as watermelon, banana, and papaya, as well as more exotic varieties such as aloe vera and dragon fruit. Dedicated to enriching the local diet and knowledge, the Agricultural Centre also boasts a goat pen and a greenhouse. We will return to Barefoot in time for lunch and then the afternoon is yours to relax. Just before sunset we will be taken out by dhoni to learn the art of traditional Maldivian line fishing. Your catch will then be served to you via the BBQ for dinner.

Overnight - Beach Front Room, Barefoot Eco Hotel (BD)


Day 7 – Return to Male

We will head back to the airport for the departure flight to Male or your onward transfer to next selected destination. (B)


Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Undiscovered Maldives Tour

Departure Dates - As required, private departures

Price - from £2655 per person (based on two people sharing)

Included in the Undiscovered Maldives Tour

  • Return domestic flight transfer: Male - Hanimaadhoo – Male
  • All speedboat transfers as detailed in itinerary
  • 6 Night accommodation including breakfast, beverages and dinner based on twin/double share.
  • All activities detailed
  • All presentations
  • Local English Speaking Guide

Not Included in the Undiscovered Maldives Tour

  • International travel to the start and end point - contact us for information and flight options
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any visa requirements
  • Alcoholic Drinks - The Maldives are a Muslim country and alcoholic drinks will not be available on this tour.
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips for drivers and guides
Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. 

Visa and Passport Information

Passport validity

If entering Maldives as a UK tourist, you will be granted a 30-day visa upon arrival and your passport must be valid for a minimum of one month. However, if arriving by air, most airlines state that your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. Check with your transport provider before travelling. You should ensure your passport has no damage or you may be stopped by Immigration, who examine passports carefully.


The visa on arrival service continues as normal for all tourist arrivals.

Local Laws and Custom

Maldives has very strong anti-drugs laws. Importing or possessing drugs can carry severe penalties, including life imprisonment. Locals and police are likely to treat seriously the possession and consumption of alcohol, and being intoxicated, outside resorts.

Local laws reflect the fact that Maldives is an Islamic country. Violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence. Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times, including dressing conservatively and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas around Mosques. 

You should be sensitive to local dress standards when on local islands or if staying on an island where the resort is not the exclusive property on the island – cover your shoulders and avoid short or tight-fitting shorts (men and women); when bathing, cover arms and upper legs. Nudism and topless sunbathing are not allowed anywhere, including on resort islands.

Same-sex relations are illegal and convicted offenders could face lengthy prison sentences and fines. It is an offence to import the following items into Maldives: explosives, weapons, firearms, ammunition, pornographic material, materials deemed contrary to Islam including ‘idols for worship’ and bibles, pork and pork products, and alcohol.

Alcoholic drinks are only available on resort islands. Do not take any alcohol away from a resort.

The export of tortoise shell and coral is forbidden.

What to bring on your Undiscovered Maldives Tour


Lightweight, casual, non-synthetic clothing (cotton and natural fibers are best) which appropriately cover the body, when in the company of the local communities. (Please understand local customs and religious requirements relating to dress codes. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be respectful. 

The Maldives is a Muslim country and care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T-Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offense by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T-Shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulder, loose shorts that cover the thigh, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders. Whilst the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, females should NOT wear bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, picnic island, sandbank, screened off tourist bikini beach, dive boat, or resort island.

More recently the level of acceptance can vary from island to island and between the central atolls and those in the deep north or deep south. The key point to remember is to consider you are a guest in another country and dress not to cause offense. 

Whilst the law restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands, all guesthouses provide a private tourist sunbathing area on the beach or on the terrace of the guesthouse and  your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is common practice by both locals and visitors for females to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash guard and shorts or leggings. When visiting the home of a local family or when having access to mosques, shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect of local customs


The ideal footwear would be sandals and flip-flops.

Luggage while on your tour

Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.


We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a reusable waterbottle. A power adapter for phones, laptops, etc. The Maldives uses mostly UK 3 pin style sockets. Hair straighteners and electric razors for those who still like to keep up appearances during their holiday. Hairdryers are available at all properties either per room or available from reception upon request.

Camera/Underwater camera – The Maldives above & below sea level are worth a few photos. For guests wishing to use a guesthouse or dive center underwater camera ensure you bring along a USB or memory card in order to transfer your memories.

Earplugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper or are on board a boat and want to avoid the sound of fellow passengers at close quarters.



The Maldives has a non-convertible currency – Maldivian Rufiyaa – this cannot be purchased beforehand. One Rufiyaa is 100 Laari and is available in 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 Rufiyaa notes. One US Dollar is equivalent to 15.42 Rufiyaa. The following international currencies can be changed easily to local currency at the airport on arrival: USD/GBP/Canadian Dollar/Euro/Danish Krone/Hong Kong Dollar/Japanese Yen/Norwegian Krone/Singapore Dollar/Swiss Franc/Swedish Krone.

It is not possible to exchange currency to USD only to MVR.

MVR can only be exchanged back to the original currency prior to your departure if you have a receipt for an arrival exchange from the airport Bank of Maldives exchange counter.

It is advised not to exchange currency in Male where bank queues are common and waiting time lengthy. The US Dollar is accepted as legal tender. All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at resorts, hotels, shops, etc. On local islands, it is usually only hotels, guesthouses, shops, and larger restaurants that accept credit cards, and cash is generally preferred. Small restaurants, cafes, and activity providers will generally request payment in cash. Most restaurants and shops will accept USD$ in payment providing a change in local currency.

While on the local islands, approximate prices are as follows:

Snack lunch – $5 to $10 / Evening meal in guesthouse or local restaurant – $10 to $25 / Tea / Coffee – $1 for Nescafe to $5 for barrister style coffee / Soft drinks – $1.50 / Water 1.5l – $0.50 / General excursions – from $25 per person – $100 per person / Watersports – from $10 per person for a 60-minute non-motorized rental.

You should expect prices in tourist hotels and on resort islands to be considerably more expensive than this. Be sure to check that 10% service charge and 12% GST have been included in the rates offered.

Weather in Maldives

With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine, and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit the Maldives. The Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) from January to March and the wet season (southwest monsoon) from mid-May to November. Wet however doesn’t mean rain all the time, it just means during this period we see more rain than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower but it’s very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even a full 24 hours. There is usually more wind during this period but this helps keep the temperature at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies and slate grey seas, and crashing thunder makes for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain – the sea will be extra warm. There can be heavy rain showers pretty much any time of year, but they tend to be short and cannot be accurately predicted seasonally (in other words – don’t worry too much about them – you will quite possibly experience some rain showers, but the majority of the weather should be great, and you will be unlucky to get several consecutive days of heavy rain).

Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather pattern is changing and historical data is less reliable as an indication of what to expect in the here and now. Note as the Maldives is situated so close to the equator it is possible to burn even on a cloudy day and sunscreen should be applied as a matter of course.

Time Zone 

Maldives Standard Time is GMT/UTC + 5 and during BST + 4. Note some resorts operate Island Time, which is 1 hour ahead of Maldives standard time. The Barefoot Eco Hotel is one of these properties.

Internet Availability

Wi-Fi is available at all our guesthouses and in most cases it is free. However, as an island nation where cabling is along the sea bed and there is only one antenna per island you should not expect the signal strength and speed of internet access to be at the level you are accustomed to back home. Weather can at times also impact the quality of connection.


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