Find out where is Maafushi, why Maafushi is cheaper than other islands, learn how to get there, what to do, where to stay, where to eat and more.

Maafushi is an inhabited island in the Maldives located in the Kaafu Atoll, just 25km away from Male (capital) and with a population of approximately 3,000. It is the most popular local island in Maldives and the best one to stay in case you would like to have better infrastructure and travel on a budget.

In this article you will find out why Maafushi is cheaper than other islands, will learn how to get there, what to do, where to stay and more.

Frequent questions about Maafushi Island

How far is Maafushi from Male (the Capital of Maldives)?

Maafushi is located 25km away from Male.

How to reach Maafushi from Male?

You can take a ferry which is quite cheap or a speedboat. Below in this article we have more details of the transportation options you may have.

What to do in Maafushi?

There are several things you can do on the island besides enjoying its pristine waters on the beach. You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, see bioluminescent planktons, visit nearby islands and much more. Check them out below.

How many days to stay in Maafushi Island?

You can stay on the island from 2 days up to about 7 days and you will have plenty of activities.

Maafushi or in Hulhumale?

Definitely choose to stay in Maafushi Island. It is cleaner than Hulhumale and it has way more activities for you to do.

Tourism in Maafushi

Until 2009, the government of Maldives used to allow tourists to stay in resorts located in private islands only.

Once they authorized the construction of guest houses in local islands, Maafushi started investing in this type of tourism and opened their first guest house in 2010.

This explains why it is the local island with the best infrastructure for tourists, having a bank, several options of guest houses, restaurants, shops and tour operators.

Why to visit Maafushi

Maafushi Island review:

These are some main reasons to visit Maafushi island:

  1. Short stay in Maldives: If you have only a couple of days to enjoy Maldives, Maafushi is a great local island option because they have better infrastructure and it is near the airport.
  2. Easy to access: There is a ferry that runs 5 days per week besides the speed boats that can take you there in just 35 minutes.
  3. Traveling on a budget: Since they have a larger number of guest houses and tour operators, the market competitiveness helps us to travel in Maldives on a budget.

Where is Maafushi island

Located in Kaafu Atoll, Maafushi is quite close to Male and Hulhumale (the airport island), about 25km distant only.

Maafushi Map:

How to get to Maafushi by ferry

You can take a ferry from Male to Maafushi island which is super cheap.

Attention! The ferry belongs to Zone 03, Route 309 of the Kaafu Atoll, you can check the updated prices, working days and times at MTCC.

Ferry from Male to Maafushi

Ferry working days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Departure time: 3pm

Arrival time: Around 4:35pm after a quick stop in Gulhi Island.

Trip duration: 1 hour 35 minutes

Cost: MRV 22 (less than US$2)

Ferry from Maafushi to Male

Ferry working days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Departure time: 7:25am

Arrival time: Around 9am after a quick stop in Gulhi Island.

Trip duration: 1 hour 35 minutes

Maafushi ferry price: MRV 22 (less than US$2)

From Maafushi to Rasdhoo

To get from Maafushi to Rasdhoo you need to go back to Male first. Check it out in our article about Rasdhoo and you will find out how to get there.

You can check the updated schedule and prices of the ferries in Maldives here.

Important: The information above is from July/2020 and may change over time and during Ramadan.

Double check with your accommodation to ensure the current prices, working days and time are right.

How to get to Maafushi by speedboat

There are speed boats that can take you from Male to Maafushi and from Maafushi to Male in a quick way.

Working days: Everyday

Trip duration: 35 minutes

Cost: About US$25/US$30

How to book: Contact your accommodation and ask them for an operator number

Where to stay

There are several guest houses that you can stay on the island.

During my 9 nights there I stayed at Seven Corals. This was a cheap option and had a very friendly staff. I was told that they have a new management now, so I am not sure how they are doing at the moment.

Seven Corals Maafushi Hotel
Sea View Room at Seven Corals Hotel in Maafushi Island

There are other hotels that are quite popular in Maafushi Island, check them out below:

Where to eat

My favorite place to eat on the island was Kaalamaa Restaurant which belongs to Velana Hotel.

I highly recommend the Sesame Tuna which costs about US$7 and order a drink called Surfer, which has lime, fresh mint, brown sugar and energy drink, and costs around US$6.

Where to eat in Maafushi
Lunch at Kaalamaa Restaurant

It is also worth it to try a mango smoothie or a “hala” juice, this exotic fruit from the picture below.

These drinks can be found at a juice tent near Kaani Hotel and they cost about US$5.

Hala fruit in Maafushi Island
Hala Fruit in Maldives

8 things to do in Maafushi

1) Spend a day at the Bikini Beach

Just like any other local island in Maldives, Maafushi has a Bikini Beach which is the only beach where tourists are allowed to wear swimsuits.

Important: Bear in mind that you should cover your chest and tights while walking around any local island in Maldives.

mom and daughter in maafushi island
When your lipstick matches with your daughters clothes.

Find everything you need to know about Maldives in this article where we give you information about their culture and how to plan your trip to this paradise.

2) Go to a sandbank

Visiting sandbanks is one of the most incredible things to do in Maldives. You can take a Sandbank tour in Maafushi Island that goes to this place called Sexy Beach.

If you have a drone, make sure you take it with you so you can take amazing shots like this one.

Sandbank near Maafushi Island in Maldives
Sandbank in Maldives

3) Snorkel around a shipwreck

This was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had!

ship wreck maldives - vaavu atoll Maldives
Shipwreck near Maafushi

Sea Blue Maldives organizes a day trip that takes you to snorkel around this shipwreck, to snorkel with nurse sharks, takes you to Fulidhoo Island, a sandbank and you can also see a bunch of dolphins during the sunset.

Check this Instagram post where I share photos, videos and see why the day I took this tour was one of the best days of my entire life!

4) See the bioluminescent planktons

Around midnight, try to find the darkest spot on the beach and you may see the bioluminescent planktons.

The darker it is, the easier it is to see them. So, going to Maldives during new moon will increase your chances to live this experience =)

5) Enjoy the nightlife

Knowing that Maldives is an Islamic country, I was very surprised when people told me that there was a floating bar nearby with music and alcoholic drinks.

It takes about 5 minutes to get to Kaani Princess by boat from the pier.

To give you an idea of costs, here are some prices from 2018:

  • Beer USD 6
  • Fried Rice USD 9
  • Fish & Chips USD 10
  • French Fries USD 12

Although going out and drinking aren’t the highlights in Maldives, going to this party boat while staying in Maafushi for at least one night is worth it.

6) Talk to some locals and take some pictures in front of cute houses

The Maldivian people are the reason why I ended up staying in the country for a whole month.

They are very receptive to those who want to learn about their home and their culture!

Cute Maldivian House in Maafushi
Cute Maldivian house in Maafushi

7) Take a resort day trip from Maafushi

There are several affordable resorts near Maafushi Island where you can join an excursion to enjoy an all-inclusive day use. The prices with transfer included usually vary between US$100-US$200.

These are some of them:

Shop Resort 2019 at ViX Swimwear

8) Visit Gulhi Island

Gulhi Island is just 20 minutes away by ferry. It is such a beautiful island which can be visited for a super cheap price.

Gulhi Island - Maldives
Gulhi Island – Maldives

How to reach Gulhi Island

Ferry working days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Trip duration: 20 minutes

From Maafushi to Gulhi
Departure time: 7:25am
Arrival time: 7:45am

From Gulhi to Maafushi
Departure time: 4:15pm
Arrival time: 4:35pm

Important: The information above is from July/2020 and it may change over time and during Ramadan. Click here to check the updated information.

Double check with your accommodation to ensure the current working days and time are right.

Coupons & Discounts

Check all the coupons and discounts we have available for you to Save Money, Travel More in Maldives.

I was supposed to stay only 5 nights in Maafushi, but as I enjoyed it so much, I decided to extend my time there and stay more for a couple of days!

I hope you like it as much as I did =)

Take care.


Any questions about Maafushi? Feel free to ask below =)

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