Organizing your travel without agents is almost always cheaper and more fun. But does that also apply for Maldives? Can I just travel to the Maldives? Do you have some tips or experiences to report?

  • Voted to close because this does not seem like a real question to me. What exactly is being asked here?
    – victoriah
    Jun 22, 2011 at 13:27
  • 4
    Flagged for reopen. It is vague, but there is a question in there. How do I travel the Maldives on the cheap?
    – Beaker
    Jun 23, 2011 at 2:19
  • Flagged for reopen too.
    – user141
    Oct 22, 2011 at 21:42
  • 5
    I'm also voting to reopen because it just seems like a naive question from somebody who expects the Maldives is mainly for package tourists, which might be true but you can surely go their independently too. Oct 22, 2011 at 21:45
  • I agree with hippietrail and vote for reopen too Oct 22, 2011 at 21:51

5 Answers 5


So the answer is: yes, you can, if you really want to. In practice, though, it makes made little sense.

The Maldives are explicitly set up to discourage independent travellers. The only places you can go without a permit are the capital Male, which is pint-sized and notably lacking in all the things that make the Maldives great (white sand beaches, clear water, gorgeous coral, overwater bungalows etc); and the resort islands, which are for guests only. For travelling anywhere else, you need an "Inter Atoll Travel Permit" (IATP), which is normally only issued if you have an invitation from somebody living on an outer island. This means an independent traveller is effectively limited to doing one of two things:

  1. Fly to Male and stay only there. Unless you're there for business, this hardly seems worth the expense.
  2. Fly to Male and pay the rack rate directly at a resort island to stay there. This is almost certainly more expensive than a package that combines the two.

2018 update: Things have changed considerably since this answer was written. IATPs have been abolished, so you're now free to travel about on your own, and guesthouses and small hotels have sprung up in response. Here's a random blog entry with some pointers.


We went to the Maldives from Sweden this summer. I checked out prices of regular flights and it was more expensive to just fly in then to buy a package from a tour operator so when it comes to the Maldives I would say that tour operators is the cheap option.

However - if you are nearby anyway (India?) it may be different.

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    Just because you are booked on a package tour doesn't mean you have to stay with it. Jan 18, 2012 at 4:20

The only way to fly there cheaper is to string separate flights together.
I.e. from Australia it's possible to get there for just over £500 GBP return by flying:
Melbourne→Malaysia • Malaysia→Sri Lanka • Sri Lanka→Male.

Obviously, this is going to be a headache, and the you have the hotel costs. I'm sure the answer above is on the money. So to speak.


Condor fly to Malé from Frankfurt (am Main) and has pretty decent rates. So if you fly from Europe, then it's cheaper to get there than on most packages I've seen in catalogues.

Still, I would also like to ask the for your experience what to do next, when I get there.


I planned my trip to Sri Lanka without agencies. I found tickets with Condor Airlines with 1 stop in the Maldives. I have never been before at the Maldives, so I decided to stop for 5 days in Malé. So I have 5 days to explore Maldives as an independent traveler.

I can tell you, that there is no problem for you to plan your trip to Maldives without agency, but it depends from "What you're really wanting from your trip?" If you want to stay at Malé - it will cost for you not a big money. But be patient! Any your movement in the Maldives will cost for you huge of money. For example: One way trip from Malé to the nearest island will cost for you $500 minimum (for 1 person).

So I recommend to plan this trip by yourself if only Maldives is not your final destination. But if you need to relax, I think it will be better to get tour package.

If you need more information, You can read an article at my blog Real Truth About Maldives Capital (Malé).

If this information will useful for you, please leave a comment!

  • Welcome to travel.se! Here we prefer answers that are not just a link, so that they're still useful even if the linked page goes away or changes. I read your blog entry and you have a lot of information and pictures. I suggest you edit your answer a little to include things like that you were not on a package tour, that you were able to find a hotel, and that the town is very tiny. Then you can finish with the blog link for those who want to read more. Perhaps even include one of the lovely pictures of the island? Apr 12, 2013 at 18:59

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