Maldives Travel Guide

Where To Stay

Hotel Resorts – Sun Siyam Vilu Reef

The most common way to spend a holiday in the Maldives is in a hotel resort. This means almost the entirety of the trip takes place on a small island that can be walked around in completion within about 20min. Every island is equipped with an island doctor and small shops that sell necessities and souvenirs. Most resorts are self sufficient producing their own electricity and water.

The Ayo team stayed at the Sun Siyam Vilu Reef hotel resort. To find out more check out our Sun Aqua Vilu Reef Hotel special.

Ayo Special

Type of accomodation

The hotel resorts offer different types of accommodation to choose from: beach or garden villas on the mainland and overwater villas and suites. Beach villas have a private beach area attached whereas garden villas are located more centrally on the island. The overwater villas and suites are built on stilts and some stretch out far into the lagoon. There are various extras available and the standards are always very high.

Optional extras included:

  • Private pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • Outside bathroom area

What To Do

Swimming, Snorkeling, Diving

Water activities include swimming, snorkeling and diving. Beach shoes are recommended for swimming in the coral reefs to avoid injuries and to preserve the underwater world. Most islands have a dive shop offering boat trips to good dive spots and the required equipment. Beginners without a certificate can do an accompanied dive. Dive courses and certificates are very expensive in the Maldives. 

Make sure you bring all your gear necessary to have the best possible time and check out our packing video and packing list

Native islands trips

A very special experience is a trip to a native island. Our Ayo team visited the island of Bandidhoo and found out a lot of interesting facts about the Maldives: Bandidhoo has about 950 inhabitants and their main sources of income are fishing and the work in the resorts. Fishing can earn you up to 500$ a week which makes it a decent way to make a living. A fun fact is that fish in the Maldives are caught individually and without a net. The islands have an exceptionally low crime rate and the Maldivians are a friendly and peaceful people.

Sport activities

The resorts offer various water sport activities such as jet skis, kayaks, wind surfing and stand up paddle boards. Sporting activities are not on offer all the time to preserve the calm atmosphere. Therefore activities should be booked or planned with a member of staff beforehand. Most resorts also have tennis or volleyball courts on-site and some even offer specific sport or gymnastic courses. There is also the option to go jogging or to do Yoga in the shade.

Spa and wellness

Spas are on-site at most resorts and offer many different treatments including massages, facials, skin treatments, hair dressers and nail care. There is a special treatment available for sun burns and if one is burnt, it is recommended to avoid strong massages and body peelings. The staff is friendly and well qualified. Treatments must be booked in advance.

Entertainment Programme

Each hotel offers a varying day and night time entertainment programme. The hotel entertainment is different for each resort but usually includes activities such as devilfish feeding, quizzes, live-music, DJs or traditional Maldivian dancing shows.

For more details and information, visit the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef Hotel special where our Ayo team stayed during the making of the Ayo Maldives video. Here you can find more informations about the leisure programme at the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef.

Where To Go in Malé

Grand Friday mosque

Malé’s most important landmark is the Grand Friday Mosque. The Grand Friday Mosque is the city’s symbol with it’s golden dome and beautiful architecture. The building is also the religious centre of the Maldives. The mosque can hold up to 5000 people and can be visited from 9am to 5pm outside of islamic praying times. Women must cover their ankles, shoulders and head before entering the mosque.

Sultan park

The Sultan Park is located near the Victory Monument and is a well cared for and very beautiful park. Entrance to the park costs RF 50 for adults and RF 20 for children for foreign visitors.

Fruit and fish market

In the north of Malé there are the fruit and fish markets. The fruit market offers herbs and food whereas the fish market showcases the local fish variety.

Republic square

The Republic square is a large square on the shore near the presidential jetty. This is a good place to meet up, see pigeons and take in the city`s atmosphere.

National museum

The National Museum of the Maldives is located on the western edge of the Sultan Park. The museum showcases the country’s history.

Opening times:

  • Saturday – Thursday 10:00 – 16:00

Seagull café

The Seagull Café is a good place to eat near the Sultan Park in Malé. The menu has an international selection and they also offer cakes and ice cream. The café offers many places in the shade and creates a calming atmosphere in contrast to the hectic city. A great place to sit and eat is the Seagull Café. In the shade of some beautiful trees you can choose a nice meal from an

Presidential palace (Mulee-aage)

The presidential palace, also known as Mulee Aage, is located in the historical centre of Malé and is an important part of Maldivian history. It is a one story colonial style building, artistically decorated and surrounded by a beautiful garden which was a wheat and vegetable plantation during the second world war. The palace was built just before the first world war in 1906 by orders of the sultan. Today the palace is used for important receptions and meetings. Entering the palace as a tourist is prohibited.

Ayo Recommendations

Alongside our Ayo information and travel guide here are some additional Ayo recommendations for your visit to the Maldives.

The Maldives are the perfect place for exploring the underwater world by snorkeling in the bluest water. A visit to the capitol of Malé is certainly Ayo recommended. Be sure to include the main sights listed in our Ayo Maldives travel guide and on the travel guide webpage. Also remember that the sun in the Maldives is very strong so you must always put on suncream. We Ayo recommend using a suncream with a high sun protection factor such as SPF 50.

The Maldives are a muslim state which means you need to be careful to avoid displays of affection in public and be sure to wear appropriate clothing when out in public spaces. This includes not wearing bikinis outside of resorts or off boats and remembering to wear long and opaque trousers and a top that covers your shoulders that is not cut out very low. To be sure you have packed the correct clothing, check out the Ayo Maldives packing list and packing video: Download Packing List

The island life of the Maldives is relaxed and laid back which is also reflected in their transportation schedules. Seaplane flights don’t fly by a fixed schedule making both departure and arrival times quite unforeseeable. To preserve the natural beauty of the islands do not litter in the sea or otherwise while in the Maldives.

Additionally, it is highly illegal to import alcohol, so be sure not to smuggle in alcoholic beverages and other banned items and the tap water in the Maldives should be avoided.

Packing List

You want to make sure you’re packing everything you need for the best Maldivian experience? Download our packing list and be certain that you’re ready to make the most of your trip. The essentials are listed and you can add amounts and further points according to what suits you.

Download Pdf

How To Get Around


Many resorts offer bicycle rental. It is a pleasant way to explore the resort islands however certainly
not Ayo recommended in Malé.



Popular and effective in Malé and Addu for a comfortable and air-conditioned ride. Only necessary for longer trips with a lot of luggage such as from the airport to a selected destination in Malé, otherwise the best way to get around is on foot. Traffic in Malé is very hectic but the taxi drivers are used to it and get around safely.



The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) is limited to certain routes but is cheaper than a taxi. Bus transportation is only available in the larger cities and not on the resort islands.



Ferries are the cheapest way to travel between the Maldivian islands and are also referred to as water taxis. Traveling with a ferry is a form of transportation used by natives and tourists alike. A ferry trip is necessary when going from the airport island to Malé. These ferries run regularly but are quite a slow mode of transportation.



Speedboat fares are quite expensive. The price depends on the resort and the distance to be covered. A speedboat trip is often essential when traveling to the resort islands. If you suffer from sea sickness, this may not be the best mode of transportation for you. However, if not, then transportation via speedboat is a very fun and exciting way to get around in the Maldives.



If you are traveling with a bigger budget, a yacht is certainly one of the best modes of local transportation in the Maldives. They provide access to isolated reefs and the remote islands and make for a lovely day trip.



Seaplanes are often necessary to get from the airport island to the resorts and vice versa. They fly on demand which means there is no regular flight plan. The seaplanes on the Maldives don’t fly past 5pm so be sure to plan your flight into Malé early enough so that you can continue your travels to your resort and don’t have to stay overnight in Malé. Seaplanes offer an exceptional view of the beautiful shades of blue in the Maldives from the air.

Ayo Maldives Specials

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