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Dhiffushi Island, Maldives, Maldives Overview

Dhiffushi Island in Kaafu Atoll is the easternmost inhabited island in the Maldives which is popular for its breathtaking sunrises before the rest of the country. Just 36 kilometres northeast of the capital city Male, the island is just 0.2 kilometres wide with a population of fewer than 1,500 people.

Nevertheless, it has a wide variety of water sports activities that make it an ideal destination. From bikini beaches to diving, snorkelling, kayaking and more, Dhiffushi Island is abundant with things to do.

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Dhiffushi Island Beaches

The island has 2 beaches – North Beach and South Beach. North Beach is located next to Rashu Hiya Hotel. It has soft sand and warm waters perfect for taking a dip. It’s filled with lounge chairs and beach umbrellas for relaxing. The greatest attraction at North Beach is the ‘night show’ after sunset when a searchlight is turned on near the water. This light attracts marine life like stingrays, small sharks, and plenty of tropical fish that you can see just a few feet away from you. North Beach is only 70 metres (230 feet) long, but it’s still a beautiful beach to lay back, relax, and swim. 

Meanwhile, South Beach is more endowed with activities. At the northwestern part of the island, it’s a great recreational area for beach football and beach volleyball. Snorkelling is popular in the south part of the beach for the diversity of the reef. Also, the hammocks over the water are popular spots amongst tourists for photos.

Things to Do at Dhiffushi Island

Water Sports: Just like the rest of the Maldives, Dhiffushi Island is blessed with beautiful blue waters that will attract everyone. You’ll find plenty of water sports activities here like jet-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, and banana boat riding. Jet-skiing for 30 minutes will cost around MVR 1,000, windsurfing with lessons will cost around MVR 900, parasailing would cost approximately MVR 1,800 and banana boat riding will cost around MVR 500. Kayaking could cost around MVR 200.

Dolphin Cruises: These take you out on a boat at sunset or sunrise to see dolphins frolicking in the water. Some tour companies even let you feed them or swim with them on occasion. This is an unforgettable experience for the cost of MVR 460 for adults and MVR 310 for children.

Sandbank Cruises: There are sandbank cruises starting at MVR 900 that take you to the best sandbanks around the island where you can play in the water during high tide or enjoy the soft sands during low tides.

Diving: The island has its own dive centre, making it a hub for underwater exploration. Although the dive sites vary based on weather and visibility, two popular sites at Dhiffushi Island are the Stairs (as the shape of the reef resembles stairs moving downwards) and West Rock Wreck which is an old shipwreck. Diving is an expensive activity that costs approximately MVR 1,000 upwards.

Fishing: For others who aren’t so keen on water sports, Dhiffushi Island is actually a popular place for fishing. If you rent equipment and a boat for the day, you’re bound to enjoy an amazing experience of fishing in the nearby lagoons and shallow reefs.

Island Hopping: There are also regular island-hopping tours from Dhiffushi to neighbouring Thulusdhoo. The ferry leaves Dhiffushi at 6:30 AM every day with the exceptions of Mondays and Fridays. After an amazing day of exploring Thulusdhoo’s activities like surfing and sightseeing, you can take the 4:30 PM ferry back to Dhiffushi.

Tips

1. There are no ATM services at the island and local shops only accept cash in local currency. Be sure to withdraw and keep plenty of cash on-hand before arriving at Dhiffushi Island.
2. There is no chemist on the island, so ensure that you carry all necessary medication with you while travelling. In case of emergencies, you’ll need to go to Male. 
3. Dhiffushi’s beaches are called ‘bikini beaches’ for their laidback dress code unlike some of the country’s other beaches. However, it’s advised to carry a cover-up in case any locals object and be sure to dress modestly in public areas.

How To Reach Dhiffushi Island

There is a local ferry from Male to Dhiffushi every day except Friday. The trip takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, leaving from Villingili Ferry Terminal in Male. The ferry leaves at 2:30 PM every day and arrives at Dhiffushi at 5:30 PM. It leaves Dhiffushi at 6:30 AM and arrives in Male at 9:30 AM. The local ferry charges MVR 20 each way.

There is also a speedboat option that takes less than an hour to reach Dhiffushi from Male. It starts at the dock in front of the Bank of Ceylon in Male at 4:30 PM from Saturdays to Thursdays. The speedboat ferry leaves Dhiffushi at 7:30 AM from Saturdays to Thursdays. On Fridays, it leaves Male at 8:30 AM and 7:00 PM and leaves Dhiffushi at 5:00 PM. 

Due to the timings of the ferries, it’s not advised to do a day-trip to the island.

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