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Things to do on Dhiffushi Island: a little guide to the activities and excursions that you can do on this amazing local island of the Maldives.
Before traveling to Dhiffushi Island, my friend Silvia and I didn’t even know how to say it right. “What’s the name of this island again”?
We did some researches to choose the perfect island for our vacation and we finally found Dhiffushi, a beautiful local island in North Malé Atoll.
And now that we are home we just can’t stop talking about it.
Dhiffushi Island is a place with a magical vibe that offers a lot of activities to do besides stunning beaches.
So let’s find out together about the top 10 things to do on Dhiffushi Island.
THINGS TO DO ON DHIFFUSHI ISLAND.
1. RELAX ON THE BEACH.
Have a walk around the island to find the amazing white sand beaches.
There are three.
North Beach is the beach right in front of the private island of Meeru Island Resort & Spa.
If you think you can swim to the private island and enjoy a beer on the beach well I’m sorry to disappoint you but you can’t. Only the guests of the resort are allowed on the island. So close yet so far!
North Beach is the most popular beach on Dhiffushi Island and the water gets deep enough to let you swim around a bit. Just watch out for the boats that pass by at full speed!
East Beach is the beach of Araamu Holidays & Spa, the hotel we stayed at.
The water is crystal clear and the colors are just amazing! But there’s just this little annoying thing that doesn’t make it perfect. It’s so close to the port that sometimes you can smell gasoline.
You might see a few locals going to East Beach to cool off in the water.
South-West Beach is for sure our favorite beach on Dhiffushi Island.
White sand beach, colors that shut Instagram’s filters up and a perfect hammock over the water for your #lifeisbetteratthebeach photo.
For some reasons this beach is not very popular. Our favorite moment is early in the morning when South-West Beach is absolutely desert and you can have this paradise all for yourself.
Here you can spot quite often manta rays, stingrays and cute baby sharks. Yes I know that “cute sharks” is probably not the best word match but I swear to you that they are absolutely harmless. Actually to be honest I was the one chasing sharks to take pictures of them!
2. SANDBANK SNORKELING.
Snorkeling is definitely a “must-do” on Dhiffushi Island.
The underwater world of the Maldives is wonderful and snorkeling in this paradise is absolutely amazing!
One of the snorkeling trips you can take from Dhiffushi is the one to a tiny sandbank above the Indian Ocean water.
You get there by boat, shove your umbrella, put on your mask and snorkel and go! You are ready for your amazing snorkeling!
Lots of butterflyfishes, surgeonfishes, angelfishes and triggerfishes and Moorish idols in this amazing place full of sea life!
3. TURTLE SNORKELING.
Another snorkeling trip you can take from Dhiffushi is the turtle snorkeling.
Jump off the boat and explore this amazing location under the water to find the sea turtles.
Maybe you won’t see them straight away. But be patient and keep swimming among other amazing sea creatures.
And there it comes. The beautiful queen of the ocean.
And this is how I became an official turtle stalker! I followed it everywhere until it swam away from me and disappeared into the deep blue.
4. DOLPHIN SIGHTING.
A beautiful excursion that you can take from Dhiffushi is a boat trip at sunset to watch dolphins.
Dolphins are so funny! It looks like they enjoy showing off their acrobatic tricks and jumps off the water!
Having this close encounter with the dolphins in their natural environment is absolutely amazing!
5. WATCH THE SUNSET FROM SOUTH-WEST BEACH.
Our favorite beach, being in the south-west area of Dhiffushi Island, is also the best spot for the sunset.
The low tide of the afternoon gives the beach a mystic and desolate vibe.
Our beloved hammock hanging from a dead branch, the seaweed abandoned by the sea and the sunset colors hidden between the clouds seem to form together a beautiful and maybe melancholic painting.
6. SCUBA DIVING.
If you are passionate about scuba diving or if you haven’t tried it yet and you have finally decided to give it a go, the Maldives is one of the best areas in the world for this amazing activity!
The dive sites might differ according to the weather and the visibility under the water.
I went to the amazing sites of Stairs and West Rock Wreck.
Stairs gets its name from the shape of the reef that at some point looks like a staircase.
Diving here was absolutely fantastic and I have to say that I was really lucky.
As I start descending here comes a group of dolphins jumping over me! Words cannot describe how excited I was!
Well I have to say that my dive had a perfect start!
And then white tip reef sharks, eels, manta rays, stingrays, cornet fishes and many other colorful creatures!
An absolutely amazing dive!
WEST ROCK WRECK.
The second dive spot, West Rock Wreck, is another great underwater place.
Here you can explore a shipwreck that was sunk on purpose to recreate a hospitable environment for marine flora and fauna.
Besides exploring the shipwreck, we dive with Moorish idols, angelfishes, butterflyfishes and triggerfishes, groupers, a lobster and a few surgeon fishes.
7. TAKE A BOAT TRIP FROM DHIFFUSHI ISLAND TO THULUSDHOO ISLAND.
From Dhiffushi Island you can take a boat trip to another local island, Thulusdhoo, the main island in Kaafu Atoll.
On Thulusdhoo Island you can visit the Coca-Cola factory where they show you the bottling process and a huge machine to desalinate seawater and make it drinkable.
Thulusdhoo Island is also the island with the administrative offices of Kaafu Atoll. So basically locals need to go to Thulusdhoo to get their paperwork done.
At some point while walking around the island you can smell dried fish. With one hand I hold my nose and with the other I take a photo to the fish plant responsible for this smell!
But no excursion in the Maldives is complete without a jump into the water.
We relax at Samura Maldives Guest House beach and enjoy some fresh Coca-Cola that just came out of the factory.
8. KAYAK AROUND DHIFFUSHI ISLAND.
A fun thing to do on Dhiffushi island is to rent a kayak and row around.
Start off East Beach to get to South-West Beach and come back. Do not kayak towards North Beach because currents there are very strong and boats pass by at full speed.
If there is low tide in the afternoon I recommend you kayak in the morning or you might get stuck on a sandbank as we did!
But it was just these little setbacks that made our kayak adventure so much fun!
Our kayak trip is one of the best memories we have of our amazing holiday at the Maldives.
9. DAY VISIT TO CINNAMON DHONVELI & ADAARAN SELECT HUDHURANFUSHI.
In my post “All you need to know before going to the Maldives” I talked about the pros and cons of local islands vs private resort islands.
One of the main differences between them is the alcohol legacy.
On local islands alcohol is illegal while on private resort islands you are allowed to drink alcoholic beverages.
Being a local island, Dhiffushi is no exception.
But if going on holiday without having a beer, or a glass of wine, or a frozen mojito is not a holiday for you or if you simply want a taste of the luxury resorts of the Maldives you can take a day trip to Cinnamon Dhonveli & Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi.
We decided not to go because we found the excursion a little expensive. It would have been around $200 and we didn’t want to spend that much just to toast on the beach!
But I confess I am curious to know how it would feel like to be on one of those luxury islands! So if you go make me jealous and send me a lot of pictures!
10. FEED THE STINGRAYS.
I was texting my mom in my room and then I went “I’ve gotta go feed the stingrays now. Talk to you later”.
I wonder when I will ever say anything like that again.
Every night after 8 pm you can go to North Beach where flashlights in the water attract the stingrays.
Today stingrays all know about it and they never miss it out.
Some of them arrive early and start going anxiously up and down, maybe even bothered by the wait.
Until finally fishermen come back from offshore with some freshly caught fish for the eager stingrays.
And for some freeloaders!
HOW TO GET TO DHIFFUSHI ISLAND FROM MALÉ AIRPORT.
It takes about 45 minutes by speedboat to get to Dhiffushi Island from Malé Airport.
You can choose between three options:
1. PRIVATE TRANSFER.
You can arrange your private transfer on a speedboat directly with your hotel after sending them your flight details.
The transfer costs about £275 ($500 round trip) for a maximum number of 6 people.
The private transfer makes sense if you are part of a big group. Otherwise you’d better look for other options.
2. HOTEL TRANSFER.
The hotel transfer works exactly like the private transfer but you would share the boat with some other guests.
This means that you might wait a little longer before you set sail.
The transfer costs $85 per person one way.
My advice is to take the hotel transfer for your trip from Malé to Dhiffushi because I guess that after flying to the Maldives you don’t want to bother looking for public boats.
On the way back to Malé I suggest you get there the day before your flight in order for you to have a more flexible schedule and get the public transfer.
3. REGULAR FERRY.
Regular ferries take the same time as the private and hotel boats but they only operate once or twice a day.
Maybe ask your hotel for the ferry schedule to decide if it’s worth it to take the regular ferry.
But if the wait is too long or if the time between your flight arrival and the ferry departure is too tight I think it’s better to book the hotel transfer.
The public transfer costs $25 per person one way.
WHERE TO STAY ON DHIFFUSHI ISLAND.
We had an amazing stay at Araamu Holidays & Spa.
Rooms are clean and spacious and they all have a patio at the entrance and a little balcony on the opposite side.
We chose the full-board option and I suggest you do the same because on the island there are no other bars or restaurants besides the hotel ones.
Maybe there is not a great variety of food but if you choose to spend your holiday on a small island you can’t be too ambitious.
The hotel staff is always very kind and helpful and you can book all the activities that I described through their reception.
The Spa is our favorite part of the hotel and we got totally spoiled with treatments and massages.
In particular I recommend the Maldivian massage especially if you like strong and energetic massages. The perfect treat after a long day in the water!
SMALL CONCLUSION ON DHIFFUSHI ISLAND.
Dhiffushi was for us a perfect choice for our holiday at the Maldives.
Many people think that there is not much to do at the Maldives besides laying down all day at the beach. But we never got bored on our dear small island and we never spent a day without knowing what to do on Dhiffushi island.
Maybe a trip to Dhiffushi is not that luxury vacation that you can have on a private resort island but it’s for sure a different kind of holiday, maybe more authentic, where you get to know the real Maldives. The Maldives of people who live it every day.
And I think that traveling to a new place to get to know its culture and traditions is the most real and authentic way to travel.