Read on to know all about commuting within Maldives and how to have a smooth holiday:
Cities like Male and Addu, where road transport is popular, have an efficient taxi service. It is very simple to hail a taxi in Male which will give you a comfortable and air-conditioned ride from the Airport to your destination. These taxis charge around MVR 20 for any distance which increases to MVR 30 after 11:00 PM. You may be charged an extra MVR 10 for trunk usage if you have luggage. Since the place is small, shared taxi is a common thing, so don't get concerned if a cab which already has passengers stops by to pick you up. You can easily get your guesthouse or hotel to order a taxi for you, or call taxi services like Dialacab, Loyal Taxi or New Taxi.
Bus service in the Maldives, operated by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), is a cheaper option but limited to only certain routes. The fares of buses operating within Male and Hulhulmale starts from MVR 3. Tourists arriving at the any of the airports in Maldives can board a shuttle bus to Hulhulmale for MVR 20 from the bus stop, just 50 meters from the Airport exit. Frequency is every half an hour, though it's a rough estimate as timing heavily depends on the traffic density. Expect the buses to be crowded during the rainy seasons and avoid boarding the bus if you have a lot of luggage.
Imagine cycling on smooth paths striped with the shadows of coconut trees in a tranquil environment, breathing in clean and fresh air and feeling a cool breeze on your face - amazing, isn't it? Yes! It is one of the best ways to explore the big islands. Although there are no cycle rentals as of now, many resorts like Senova Fushi, Island Hideaway, Diva, Shangri la, etc. have bikes/cycles available for the visitors. Shangri-La's Villingili Resort offers guided cycling tours around its atoll. If a cycle isn't provided at your accommodation and you are a fan of cycling, you can pack a folding bike in your luggage.
Ferries are the cheapest option when it comes to commuting between the islands of Maldives, with fares varying between MVR 30 and MVR 60 for over a five hours long journey. Getting from the airport to Male via ferry costs around MVR 40 per person, while public inter-island ferries charge MVR 30-75. Most of these operate from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Although it is the best option for budget travellers, there are a number of downsides to these ferries that might make you want to reconsider this choice. Ferries are usually off scheduled and thus, unreliable. Also, note that the ferries do not stop at the resort islands and nor do they operate on Fridays.
For those not wanting to or not being able to reach their destinations on a ferry, the speedboat is the solution. You can either book your speedboat transportation independently or ask your resort to do it. The fares are quite expensive and can go as high as MVR 3,500, depending upon the resort and the distance to be covered. If that is out of your budget, you can try asking a local fisherman on the nearest local island, to give you a lift on his boat.
If you have a lot of money to spend, a yacht is certainly the best mode of local transport in the Maldives, which provide access to isolated reefs and the remote islands. You can charter a yacht when here, for a comfortable and luxurious experience with the freedom of outdoor life at sea. You can bring your own yacht or rent a private charter and get the perfect itinerary for your group, prepared by your broker. Rates vary, depending upon the size of yacht, facilities provided and other inclusions. A three cabin crewed motor yacht for 6 guests cost around MVR 55,000 per day.
7. Maldivian 'Dhoni'
One of the oldest known sea vessels of Maldives, the traditional and handcrafted 'Dhoni' will make your island-hopping experience way more exciting. A Dhoni resembles a dhow, which is a traditional Arab sailing vessel. Its use has been significant in the islands of Maldives. By the airport ferry jetty, go along the waterfront to the eastern end of Boduthakurufaanu Magu, and you will find many Dhonis waiting in the harbour. It can cost around MVR 1,000 to MVR 1,500 for a day. If you're on a honeymoon in Maldives, a romantic Dhoni cruise will be perfect for you, with the sunset as a cherry on the cake!
Seaplanes are the best option when you're in a hurry, as they can drop you to the most far-flung resorts from Male or vice versa in 90 minutes at max. Not just that, since these planes fly at low altitude, they offer breathtaking birds eye's view of the reefs and islands. You will also get great views of those untouched, uninhabited islands. However, it has a couple of downsides like your luggage may need to go separately, and also, these seaplanes don't operate at night. Fares vary between MVR 3,500 and MVR 7,000. Nevertheless, it's a unique and once in a lifetime experience, that is a must if your budget allows.