Relaxing on a hammock is one of the things to do on Dhiffushi Island

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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.



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.

Meeru Resort Island in front of Dhiffushi

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.

East Beach on Dhiffushi Island

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.

Locals at East Beach on Dhiffushi Island


South-West Beach is for sure our favorite beach on Dhiffushi Island.

South-West 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.

Relaxing on a hammock is one of the things to do on Dhiffushi Island

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!


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.

Sandbank Snorkeling from Dhiffushi

You get there by boat, shove your umbrella, put on your mask and snorkel and go! You are ready for your amazing snorkeling!

Us snorkeling near Dhiffushi

Lots of butterflyfishes, surgeonfishes, angelfishes and triggerfishes and Moorish idols in this amazing place full of sea life!


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.

A sea turtle on a snorkeling trip from Dhiffushi

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.


A beautiful excursion that you can take from Dhiffushi is a boat trip at sunset to watch dolphins.

Dolphins sighting from Dhiffushi

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!

Dolphins near Dhiffushi


Our favorite beach, being in the south-west area of Dhiffushi Island, is also the best spot for the sunset.

Sunset on Dhiffushi Island

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.


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!

Ready for my Scuba Diving from Dhiffushi

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.

Stairs, one diving site from Dhiffushi

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!

Dolphins while diving in Stairs

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!


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.


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.

Coca-Cola Factory on Thulusdhoo Island

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!

Dried fish on Thulusdhoo Island

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.

Samura Beach on Thulusdhoo Island


A fun thing to do on Dhiffushi island is to rent a kayak and row around.

Rowing around Dhiffushi in a kayak

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!

Our Kayak in Dhiffushi

But it was just these little setbacks that made our kayak adventure so much fun!

Our kayak trip around Dhiffushi

Our kayak trip is one of the best memories we have of our amazing holiday at the Maldives.


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!


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.

Waiting for the stingrays at North Beach in Dhiffushi

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.

Stingrays on Dhiffushi Island

Until finally fishermen come back from offshore with some freshly caught fish for the eager stingrays.

Fishermen feeding stingrays on Dhiffushi Island

And for some freeloaders!

Cat of Dhiffushi


It takes about 45 minutes by speedboat to get to Dhiffushi Island from Malé Airport.

You can choose between three options:


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.


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.


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.


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!



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.

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  1. I’ve never heard of Dhiffushi Island either! But this is a great rundown of it, which makes me want to go. You Europeans are so lucky to be much closer to the Maldives than all of us in North America!.

    1. Thank you Jim! Well it’s not just right around the corner but yes it’s absolutely closer than it is for you guys in North America 🙂 But you do have the amazing Caribbean islands so close! 😉

  2. I really want to go to the Maldives! I would love seeing dolphins in their natural environment. Also the kayaking looks like a lot of fun. I try to kayak wherever I go 🙂

    1. Yes seeing the dolphins was absolutely one of the highlights of our holiday 🙂

  3. I totally agree with your preference not to worry about the 5-star options when it comes to accommodation in the Maldives. Frankly, who needs it when you get a better feel for the place, people and culture by choosing the same option as you did. Besides the main focus of a holiday in the Maldives surely must be the beautiful nature that totally surrounds you. Your photos truly show how fabulous this place is and how much there is to do. Having not been to the Maldives as yet, this post really motivates me so much to go one day. Love the info you have shared here, not to mention the wonderful photos (including the underwater ones), proving there is so much more to the Maldives than relaxing on the beach. Wonderful and inspiring post.

    1. Thank you so much Nicole for your sweet and kind comment 😍 I really hope you will make it there soon! It’s real paradise 🙂

  4. I had never heard of Dhiffushi island before this post! It seems like a wonderful vacation spot. I think I’d be happy to lounge on the beach in one of those hammocks! Maldives is high on my bucket list.

    1. Ah those hammocks are the best 😀

  5. This is something I would love to do , I had bits and pieces of the fun you had, eg feeding stingrays, swim with dolphins, kayaking, snorkelling but all at very different places. You found it all here in a single place , so I would be bookmarking this for the future. Thanks for the transport to the island prices – they can set you back a lot in terms of budget.

    1. Thank you Adele! Yes there are many places around the world where you can do these activities. It’s always so much fun!

  6. Those beaches are gorgeous, Sara ypuhave clicked such stunning pictures. Your posts are always a pleasure to read.

    1. Thank you so much Anahita!

    2. Hi, how much does it all costs?

    3. Hi, I was thinking to go there in May, did you get to see the Bioluminescence? Do they have a bar around the island? And how much are the scuba diving?? Thank you!!

      1. Hi Hana! The costs of the hotels in Dhiffushi are way cheaper than the private resort islands. Check if they have availability at Araamu Holidays & Spa as it’s a high quality hotel and not expensive at all. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the Bioluminescence. If you want to see it you definitely need to go to Vaadhoo. Scuba diving is not really expensive. I spent about €150 for 2 dives. Let me know if you need anything else. I’m sure you will enjoy this beautiful island! 🙂

  7. Would love to visit the Maldives but I have yet to decide exactly which island and resort I want to visit. Dhiffushi Island looks like a great spot, I would especially love turtle snorkeling.

    1. Turtle snorkeling is so exciting! Turtles are very fascinating animals, I love them!

  8. Which island do you think is nicer to stay with nicer beach Dhiffushi or Thulusdhoo?

    1. Well Thulusdhoo Island is bigger so there is more choice of accommodation. But Dhiffushi island is a little gem and beaches are nicer. 🙂

  9. Thurston Jo says: Reply

    Great blog! We are off there on Wednesday for 8 days from Sri Lanka (only an hour and £50 flight each). We had already booked into Araamu so good to read about it too.

    1. Thank you so much Jo! This is so exciting! I’m sure you’ll love it! Try the Maldivian massage, it’s amazing 🙂

  10. Alcohol is a no-go on local islands on Maldives but there is a way around. There is a boat for anchor that has a license to sell alcohol. Obviously not on land, but as long as you stay on the boat you are allowed to drink alcohol. I did not try it myself as I only found out on the last day. If you are on a budget trip to Maldives you should know that drinking alcohol is going to be a hard thing to organize.

  11. MR DENNIS LORD says: Reply

    Hi, My wife and I are in our sixty’s and have booked two weeks at Crown beach hotel in February, I would love to try a dive to one of the two sites you mention, which would you say is best and as a fairly poor swimmer can I get lessons on the island? If I can how much is a course? Many thanks for your great blog. Dennis and Lyn Lord

    1. Hi Dennis and Lyn! Thank you for your lovely comment! It’s great that you want to try a dive, you’ll love it as the Maldives is one of the most amazing places in the world to do it 😍 And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great swimmer to dive! Personally I liked “Stairs” better but the site they will choose for you will depend on the weather, the currents and many factors 🙂 Just trust the locals and they will choose the best site for you on that specific day. You can totally get lessons on the island. There is a PADI center and you can ask the hotel to contact them for you. I don’t remember the exact price but to get the Open Water license (18 meters) it would be something around €500 (theory and 4 lessons). Or you could just just try Scuba Diving (12 meters) without getting the license; you will go through some scuba skills before getting in the ocean and it should be something around €100. It will be a lot of fun, let me know how you like it 😀

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