Vacation to Maldives on Thudufushi island

March 2004 (before the renovation of the resort)

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Where is Thudufushi?

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This trip review focuses on an holiday to Maldives in the all-inclusive resort of Thudufushi, on Ari Atoll, during the first days of March, traditionally the best time to visit the Maldives. This Maldives travelogue dates back to 2004 and it is important to know that since then, the Thudufushi resort has undergone huge modernization, which also saw the construction of the famed "over-water" (bungalows built directly over the waters of the lagoon). Loved by a certain category of tourists (to tell the truth, more and more restricted, given the comments that you can read around the web), in our opinion, the over water bungalows are quite out of context, as the Maldives are (and should remain) interesting for nature and pristine landscape, not by man-made "luxury" buildings. Furthermore, over water bungalows increase the number of people that can stay on an very small island. Therefore, the photos of Thudufushi that you find in this Maldives trip review, do not reflect the current condition of the island, either for the landscape, either for the resort.


The Maldives are a unique place in the world: located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, straddling the equator, they are an archipelago of several major atolls which contain along their perimeter hundreds of small islands, whose circumference can be generally walked in a few minutes. Most of these islands are uninhabited, while others are home to local populations who live mainly on fishing, or in other cases, they have been fully dedicated to tourism with the construction of more or less luxurious resorts occupying the entire island and its lagoon. The shape of the reef around the islands, make snorkeling excursions particularly easy and enjoyable, offering very exciting encounters even just a few meters from the beach, while diving enthusiasts will find numerous sites accessible from the resort by dhoni, the traditional local boat. Finally, for those who love just to relax on the beach, most islands offer fine white sand usually ending into fantastic turquoise waters of the lagoons. The Maldives are not recommended for those looking for a truly authentic experience away from mass tourism and luxury resorts, which have now invaded most of the islands and their lagoons (for this kind of tourists, we recommend the less known islands of the Pacific, such as Tonga).


As the Maldives are typically a beach destination, you might be wondering what is the best season to go to Maldives, which can guarantee warm temperatures and clear skies. The climate in the Maldives is dominated by monsoon and sees the alternation of a wet period with a shorter drier season. The driest months, therefore the best time to visit Maldives, range from late December to early April, with February and March seeing the absolutely best weather of the year. The rainy season in the Maldives goes instead from May to November, a period in which good weather is anyway still possible and quite frequent: in this regard it is important to be aware of the fact that, even accordingly to the changes in climate that are affecting the entire planet, the best time in the Maldives is not necessarily totally dry, as the worse time is not necessarily always cloudy and rainy. Basically, we can say that if you can afford only one week of vacation in the Maldives, then it is better to choose the dry season. If you have instead two or more weeks of time to be spent in the Maldives, then you may consider also the wet season, since if you will get 3 or 4 days of rain, you will not see most of your trip ruined by bad weather (days with bad weather can be still spent in any case by snorkeling, diving, or doing other excursions). The temperature in the Maldives is high throughout the year, with an average of 29 ° Celsius and few variations between night and day or between clear or cloudy weather. Even the sea water temperature in the Maldives is warm all year round, ideal for swimming for long time even without a wetsuit.


Generally, any Maldives package tour includes also the flight from your country, so you not have to worry about anything. Some tour operators, together with the island and the resort, will also allow clients to choose the airline to get to Male (capital of Maldives) so, in addition to charter flights, tourists can opt (for example) for Emirates via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Sri Lankan via Colombo or Singapore Airlines via Singapore, just to mention few. The advantage of a charter flight to the Maldives, is that this is usually a direct flights without stopovers, but these flights are usually operated only once or a few times a week, while scheduled flights are in most cases daily, although they are connecting service. Once landed in Male, the destination island can be reached by seaplane or boat, depending on the distance or options actually offered. Is it best to get to destination island by boat or seaplane? In the event that both options are offered, we certainly recommend the seaplane, as the landscape seen from top is fantastic. We advise against booking vacations to Maldives without tour operators, since this is more difficult if compared to other places of the world and only few resorts offer this opportunity currently.


Your vacations are usually active and you don't like beach life? Are you wondering how to spend your time in the Maldives? If you are not a tourist looking only for relax on the beach and you're wondering if a trip to the Maldives might be too boring, most resorts offer numerous excursions for lovers of the sea and nature, which will surely make your holiday more interesting and active. Once tired of sunbathing on the beach you get on a mask and fins and a swim along the reef, which is often accessible directly from the beach, instead, if you are a diver, you will find an extensive choice of sites to explore (most of the islands are equipped with diving centers and PADI courses are sometimes offered too). If you do not like to spend all the time in the water, there are excursions to deserted islands, to the islands inhabited by Maldivian fishermen or to the capital Male, not to mention boat trips during which you might as well go fishing. Most of the excursions can be booked directly with the resort once on place.


Well, you have just decided to go to the Maldives and now the most important question raises: on which island of the Maldives should I go? In the Maldives there are dozens of islands, each with its own resort, offering features and services radically different between them, both in terms of cost and quality, as well as for beaches, lagoon, reef, diving and available optional excursions. Here is a guide that allows to evaluate the most important aspects that should be considered, before booking any resort in the Maldives:

  • Reef and snorkelling. Are you going to the Maldives for snorkeling? If the main reason for your holiday to Maldives is to have good snorkeling, you should choose an island having the reef accessible directly from the beach (or from the jetty that connects the island to the main lagoon of the atoll). This will let you to snorkel freely and without additional costs, as it will not be necessary to pay for extra excursions by boat. On some islands, the reef is in fact too far away to be reached by swimming from beach, and using a boat is therefore the only way to get to the reef in full safety and comfort.

  • Diving. If you are going to the Maldives for diving instead, then the resort should be chosen depending on the position of the sites you would like to explore. Of course, the island must have a certified diving center and all the equipment needed in case you don't want to bring your own.

  • Beach. Regarding the simple beach life, you must know that not all of the Maldivian islands offer wide beaches that can be crossed on foot for the entire circumference of the island: in this regard, you must be aware that many of the islands of the Maldives are suffering from erosion due to rising sea level, as a result of the melting of polar ice. In many cases, the beaches are protected by walls installed in the lagoons. If you are looking for best beaches and lagoons without walls, you must check if the chosen island actually offer these features.

  • Lagoon. Another important aspect to consider is the depth of the lagoon, as this should ensure to immerse at least up to the chest, preferably even at low tide. Some islands have too shallow lagoon, not deep enough to swim even in high tide.

  • Entertainment and travelling with children. For some, the animation or even the presence of a disco, may be the main parameter for choosing the island, while other tourists prefer a more quiet and intimate environment. Among the islands of the Maldives, you will surely find the ideal solution for you, but you should inquire carefully to be sure that what you are booking is actually what you are looking for. The Maldives are an ideal destination for children, but in this case it is necessary to assess whether you are looking for a facility that offers games and entertainment for the little ones, or even if in this case, just the sea and nature are enough.

  • Accommodation type and category. Most of the resorts in the Maldives offer the possibility to choose between different types of accommodation, the price of which varies depending on the surface area, the services offered and the location. We advise against over water bungalow, or anything built over the lagoon, both for environmental reasons (less reservations tour operators receive for this type of accommodation and more are the chances that in the future they will be no longer built) and both for practical reasons. In fact, the timber used to build the bridge for accessing the overwater bungalows, usually overheats, making it difficult to walk barefoot. In our opinion, the best type of accommodation is a beach bungalow, which lets to spend your entire vacation barefoot and there is nothing better than to go out from your room, sinking your feet into the soft coral sand.

  • Transfers from Male airport and excursions. If you want to experience the thrill of a seaplane flight over the wonderful Maldivian landscape, you must choose a facility that offers this kind of transfer to and from the main airport of Male (in case both seaplane and boat transfers are offered, we strongly advise to get the seaplane). The availability of excursions to Male, to the desert island, to the fishermen villages and to diving or snorkeling sites, essentially depends on the distance of the resort from these points, so if you are interested in participating in these trips, it's better to choose an island that is not too far from such attractions.

Obviously this Maldives travel review is not, and does not want to be, a complete guide about all the resorts on the Maldives, as this subject would require hundreds of pages, but only a generic guideline helping to decide at least what parameters should be considered before choosing an island and its resort.


Thudufushi, a small island within Ari Atoll, offers excellent opportunities for good snorkeling along a coral reef that surrounds the island for two thirds of its circumference. The reef is easily accessible directly from the beach, by swimming through two convenient passes (a pass is a natural or artificial channel dug into the reef, that connects the island's lagoon with the sea) or from the island's main jetty. The resort, through the diving center on the island, offers snorkeling gear and snorkeling trips in group tours, both around the island and both at major sites in South Ari Atoll by boat.


In Thudufushi there is a great diving center that can accommodate both beginners, who can take PADI courses in addition to the classic "test dive", as well as the most experienced divers who can find in the vicinity of Thudufushi magnificent sites to explore in full safety.

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Emirates A330 at Maldives airport Getting to Thudufushi via Dubai and Male (Maldives) <<-- GO
Depending on where your home country is located, the journey to the Maldives may involve a long flight that could be either direct or connecting via one of the many hubs, like Dubai. This trip review illustrates a flight from Italy, my home country, all the way to Thudufushi, via Dubai and Male.
Thudufushi resort, Maldive islands The island of Thudufushi, Ari Atoll, Maldives <<-- GO
Sun, sea, sand. In this section we have collected all the images related to the outdoors life on the island of Thudufushi, a small dot of sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the circumference of which can be hiked in a few minutes. We remind that the photos are from a journey made ​​in year 2004 and that in the following years, Thudufushi has undergone various processes of transformation.
Thudufushi, Ari atoll, Maldives Thudufushi Island Resort review <<-- GO
In this section you will find pictures of Thudufushi island resort, including photos of the rooms. Please note, once again, that the images are from a journey made ​​in 2004 and after that year, the structures have been totally refurbished and overwater bungalows were also built in the lagoon.
Snorkeling in the Maldives Snorkeling in Thudufushi lagoon <<-- GO
A collection of photos of tropical fish that that can be found in Thudufushi's lagoon, often under just a few inches of water in front of own room. Although these pictures are from Thudufushi, you can still get a general idea of what to expect even from other Maldivian islands and their resorts.
Maldive's reef Snorkeling around Thudufushi reef <<-- GO
Thudufushi island's reef can be reached through 2 easy passes, by just swimming from the beach, and can be circumnavigated for about 2/3 of the island's circumference. Although the reef has suffered the effects of El Nino current in the late 90s, the corals are slowly recovering and the underwater landscape is nice.
Deserted island, Maldives Excursion to deserted island <<-- GO
At only 25 minutes of navigation by dhoni boat from Thudufushi, there is an uninhabited island which offers good opportunities for a nice picnic and great snorkeling on the nearby reef. In the Maldives there are many deserted islands and most of the resorts offer day trips for those who wish to spend a day unlike any other.
Athuruga island, Maldives Excursion to Athuruga island resort <<-- GO
Half-day excursion to Athuruga, the island regarded as "twin" of Thudufushi. Includes a complete tour of the island on foot and some snorkeling around the reef, which has different features than Thudufushi's. Even Athuruga has undergone major modernization after 2004, therefore, these photos do not reflect the current situation.
Clown fish, Maldives Snorkeling by dhoni boat from Thudufushi <<-- GO
Within just a few minutes from Thudufushi by dhoni, a traditional Maldivian wooden boat, there are additional reefs to be explored when you are tired to snorkel all the times around the island. These tours allow to see more fish and different underwater scenery, and they are offered as optional excursions (sometimes free of charge) by most resorts.
Scuba diving in the Maldives Discovering scuba diving in the Maldives <<-- GO
Among the various tours available in Thudufushi, there is also the classical "test dive", a short and easy dive that can be done also by beginners not having any previous experience, under the supervision of instructors who will ensure safety. All the equipment is provided by the diving center on the island and is included in the cost of the tour.
Underwater case Olympus PT-015 for C5050 Photographic equipment used for underwater pictures <<-- GO
After seeing the underwater images on this web site, you might be wondering what camera equipment were used. Although this trip review dates back to 2004 and the equipment used is now obsolete, in this section you will find information on the camera and its underwater case carried during snorkeling and diving excursions.

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