Things to Do in Maldives With Kids
1. Cruising - Island Hopping and Dolphin Watching
The most spectacular island hopping experience is offered in this archipelagic nation. A mix of inhabited resorts, and isolated islands, you have over 1900 islands to choose from when cruising through this archipelagic nation. Giant modern cruises are operated to tour the visitors from one island to another in a luxurious way. You can revel in the sight of the orangish sun setting in the horizon from your deck by opting for sunset cruising. And to top it all, you will be given company by a huge pod of playful dolphins jumping from time to time. The awe-inspiring acrobatics performed by hundreds of dolphins so close to them thrills everyone and makes a trip to Maldives with kids a magical affair. Cruise trips for island hopping and dolphin spotting are conveniently organised by some of the resorts or the local tour operators functioning on that island.
When the holiday destination is an island, you can conclude that most of your itinerary will revolve around the ocean only. And with the Maldives, more than the waters, it's the vivid coral reefs growing underneath that attract the adventure junkies. Hence, water sports are a top priority when you are on a family holiday in Maldives. The calm tides near the beaches are ideal, as well as safe for amateurs. You can go boating and watch a blurry picture of the life thriving underneath. And, for closer and even more breathtaking adventure, you can suit up in your diving gear and go snorkelling in the sea. Diving schools are present at many resorts and islands which provide lessons to beginners and help them locate the best diving spots. Giant turtles, eagle rays and dolphins will swim past you on your expedition in the marine world of the island. Swimming alongside manta rays and giant turtles is sure to make a visit to Maldives with kids worth every while.
3. Outdoor Cinema and Beachside Dining
4. Whale Submarine
Ride in a miniature submarine making its way through the treasures of the deep sea. From sunken ships to shoals of multicoloured fishes swimming past you, closest encounters with everything contained by the kaleidoscopic waters of the Maldives is provided by the Whale Submarine. The unprecedented adventure of riding in the deep ocean fascinates adults and children alike. The ride is arranged during the day and evening by the hotels at reasonable prices and is surely an activity to enliven your trip to Maldives with the kids.
Places to Visit in Maldives With Kids
1. Ithaa Underwater Restaurant
How does the idea of dining and sleeping under the ocean, without getting wet, sound to you? It definitely must be a big yes. Thankfully, the people at Ithaa envisaged the same and constructed an undersea glass restaurant and resort near the gorgeous Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the very first of its kind. Dining underneath the glass roof will make you feel being inside an aquarium, but the only difference is, the fishes are on the outside. The phenomenal panorama of the underwater kingdom will awe you, especially during the night when it is said to be more breathtaking. What a lovely and unforgettable experience to taste the delectable dishes in a restaurant which has panoramic 180-degree views of the rich marine life! And do not forget to click some really cool pictures before you begin eating - you definitely would want to visit this magical place in Maldives with kids.
A small yet complete in itself display of Maldives' historical journey is the building of National Museum. Conferred as a gift to the country by the Chinese, it was opened to the public as a museum on November 11, 1952. The architecture of this huge building is not attractive if one looks from the outside, but the inside contains a grand display of artefacts and relics dating back centuries old, even before the time Maldives converted to Islam. The shoes and garments worn by the royal family, paintings of the meetings presided over in the royal court, wooden engravings of Islamic texts, the country's first steps toward technological advancement- everything is adorned in its multistoried structure. Each artefact on display has a glorious story behind them and a walk through the halls of this building will not only leave your child in awe but also enlighten him about the harmonious history of this archipelago.
3. Artificial Beach, Malé
Towering buildings, modern infrastructure, crowded streets, wide roads, and exotic restaurants greet you as you enter the petit capital city of Malé. However, what this island lacked was what this country is most famous for - the pearly white sandy beaches. So, the country built an artificial one! Just like all-natural beaches, the expanse of the artificial beach is covered with powdery sand overlooking the cyan blue ocean. You can participate in adventure water sports or relinquish your hunger at the exotic cafes near the beach. There are live music shows organised on the beach, and local crowds gather in large numbers during the summers for a refreshing swim in the cool water. The artificial beach has also been the ground for many parades and carnivals held in the city. Have a gala time at the scintillating artificial beach while you have a memorable family holiday in the Maldives.
4. Bioluminescent Plankton Beach - The Sea of Stars
Have you heard of bioluminescent beaches? Come to the Vaadhoo Island Beach to stargaze at the lovely beaches at night time. The phytoplanktons bathe the ocean, and it seems that the entire beach awakens to a new life. The sparkling neon blue waters make for an amazing picture. This wonder of nature is a once in a lifetime experience - the shimmery sheet of water is definitely a sight to behold. These phytoplanktons glow when they are hit by external forces- oxygen, a wave of air or even your hands. Since it is a biological reaction, you can get lucky. This beach is a perfect spot for having a surreal experience.
A silver pillar with a string of balls spiralling it, the Tsunami Monument looks like a small steel beanstalk touching the blue sky. Located in the artificial Thin Ruh Park, this grand edifice is an essential landmark as it memorialises the 82 victims who lost their lives to catastrophic Boxing Day Tsunami that hit the Maldives in 2004. The glorious memorial is visited by many tourists, especially during the year-end, when the sky is cloudless, and the setting sun silhouettes the magnificent structure.
Food is the top priority when holidaying with kids. No amount of panoramic views or adventurous experiences can override the need to satisfy a kid's taste buds properly. Well, the good news is that the Maldives has a myriad of options available in gourmet to be relished by both kids and adults alike. Even though most of the food joints have a menu filled with dishes from the Middle East, India, China, Sri Lanka, and of course, the local Maldivian food, the high-end resorts have a more diverse menu with many international cuisines. Some resorts have special family meal packages offering discounts on meals of kids and infants. If you are following a strict diet, you can inform the staff beforehand as they are really flexible and make changes according to the requirements of the customers. Also, the food in Maldives is cooked with a lot of spices to make it savoury. Now, this may seem to be appetizing for adults but needs to be adjusted for kids. So, do remember to ask them to keep the food less spicy when ordering dishes for your children.
Talking about the giant food chains of the world, sadly the Maldives does not have popular food outlets as of now. Pizza Hut just opened an outlet recently, and KFC is next in line. With these developments, there is a hope that more such fast-food joints will open soon in the archipelago. Nonetheless, it is always best to taste the delicacies of the place when visiting a new destination. And Maldivian cuisine is renowned for making the mouth water. Local Maldivian cuisine also called Dhivehi cuisine, finds fishes (mostly tuna) and shredded coconut as its roots - all recipes revolve around these two essential ingredients. Fishes being easily available, make the country popular for its piquant seafood. Mas Huni is a popular breakfast delicacy in the country made out of shredded smoked fish and grated coconut. A fish soup, called Garudhiya, is loved by many tourists. There is also a flower salad made out of banana called Boshi Mashuni which is kids' favourite. And lastly, do not forget to try the famous Maldivian desert, the Sago Pudding. Be rest assured, you don't need to worry about the food options when holidaying in Maldives with your kids!
With gaming centres and playgrounds full of swings, Maldivian resorts have revamped themselves to become suitable for families. Treasure hunts, biking, fancy dress competitions and other fun activities are organised to keep your child engaged in the kid's zone. Many resort premises now have small ice-cream parlours and rustic treehouses for kids to spend time at. Painting classes are offered in the arts and crafts room, while friendly water sports are conducted after diving classes. Overwater villas are decked with pools you can plunge into and have fun with your family. And, if you wish to spend some quality time with your partner, then some resorts offer babysitting facilities too.
Travelling in Maldives with Kids
Whichever mode of transport you choose, you will get to view the Maldives from a different lens. You will encounter dolphins and fishes swimming alongside as you ride in your boat, while in the sky you will be amazed by the striking aerial view of the country. The local taxis and Buses operate at fixed rates and schedule. You can even hike your way through the island via the forest trails but avoid touching or petting or feeding a wild animal and look out for poisonous insects.
Health and Hygiene
Being a small archipelagic country has its shortcomings and one is that healthcare facilities in the Maldives are not very easy to come by. There are only two prominent hospitals, and both of them are situated in the capital city of Malé. Some of the inhabited islands do not have enough medical supplies to deal with emergency cases. Despite this, Maldives has an impressive record for an isolated island-nation. Almost every resort has an on-site doctor or trained nurse to handle general medical issues. Small health clinics and regional hospitals are present on all major atolls. Note that the emergency ambulance number here is 102. There are no widespread diseases prevalent as such. Nonetheless, it is wise to carry a small medical kit and have valid health insurance for any emergency. Just keep in mind to have a proper prescription for any medicines you carry.
While on holiday in Maldives with kids, extra care and precaution are required. So before you embark on your journey, it is recommended to get the routine vaccinations or those for common diseases like Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, cholera, etc. Get a proper health check-up done on your child and yourself. However please note, if a person is travelling from a country at high risk of yellow fever, then the vaccination for yellow fever is mandatory and demanded by the concerned authorities.
Maldives is a nation that lies in close proximity of the equator. So, you can imagine the amount of sunshine this tropical retreat receives. The balmy weather, with short intermittent downpours and pleasant sea breezes, demands lightweight and loose-fitting clothes. Make sure to avoid overexposure to the sun. Cover your body. Apply plenty of sunscreens, water resistant if heading towards the ocean. Take good care of your child's skin and hair. Drink plenty of liquids and keep yourself hydrated. Before plunging into the ocean, make sure that the diving you are wearing is pre-treated to prevent skin rashes or infections. Mosquitos are a big nuisance on some of the islands. Hence, this is a place where mosquito repellants and sleeping nets will come in handy. Now, most of the resorts provide mosquito nets if their islands feast a lot of them, but do carry a personal one just in case.
Lastly, as you must be aware that children's bodies take time to adjust to new environmental conditions, experiencing traveller's diarrhoea is pretty normal. But little precautions can be taken like drinking only from sealed bottles and cans or eating vegetables only after washing them or taking ice only if made from disinfected water.
Precautions and Safety Tips
- Engage in water sports only at places marked as safe for tourists and only with licensed operators.
- Even though the waters are safe and expert divers are there to handle the situation, keep a watchful eye on your kids while they are trying any water sport.
- Stay updated about the current situations and events of the place you are planning to visit.
- Do not litter the beaches. Help in maintaining the pristine natural beauty of the place.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid the unpredictable rains become a deterrent in your day's plan.
- Drink only from sealed cans and bottles.
- Have fun but not at the cost of someone's religious sentiments or cultural values.