About the Maldives and Rasdhoo
The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean, to the south east of Sri Lanka. The country is made up of 26 atolls and around 1200 islands, of which about around 200 are inhabited. The most beautiful of these islands is Rasdhoo!! This is where you can find the winter home of Bezz diving. We chose Rasdhoo, on Ari Atoll, because as well as offering beautiful, clean surroundings and great diving (we can see hammerheads, mantas and the occasional whale shark), it is also only a short distance from Male, which keeps the cost of travel low, as well as minimising our impact on the environment.
Rasdhoo is a local island, as opposed to a resort. This will give you a more real Maldivian experience, but it does mean that there are minor things that will require a little planning.
The best idea is to exchange the money you will need before you travel. If this isn’t possible, then you can change money at the airport. While it is possible to change money at your accommodation, you won’t receive the best rates and there may be some unexpected card fees.
The local currency is the rufiyaa (Rf). As a very rough guide, 20 RF is equal to 1 US dollar, 1 euro or 1 British pound.
The electricity supply is 220V to 240V, 50Hz AC. The UK-style three-pin plug socket is found as standard, but there can be some variations, so if you have a multi-region adaptor, it is always a good idea to bring it.
Wifi coverage isn’t widespread, but 3G via a mobile or USB dongle is a good alternative.
If you plan to stay for a while or make lot of local calls and you have an unlocked phone, you can buy a local SIM card at the airport. The telephone provider with the best coverage for Rasdhoo is Ooredoo.
Public telephones available at your accommodation are not cheap to use. If you have internet access, Skype is a better option.
There are no mandatory vaccinations, although it is always wise to have all your standard vaccinations up to date (Polio, Typhoid, Tetanus and Hepatitis). It is a good idea to check your own government’s advisory website.
It is always sensible to have travel insurance that will cover your activities while you are on holiday. There is a medical centre and decompression chamber on the neighbouring island of Kuramathi, 400 metres from Rasdhoo so in the event of an emergency, you won’t be far from help.
The national language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, but at Bezz Diving we have fluent speakers of English, Spanish, Italian, Basque, Maltese…
While it is possible to arrive to the Maldives by sea, air travel is the more usual option. We recommend the googleflights.com search engine to find the best flights from your location. The destination airport is Malé International Airport, located on the island of Hulhumale. You can travel from the airport to Male by ferry (10 RF) and then take a taxi to the Vilingili ferry terminal (25-35 RF). The public ferry tickets cost 53 RF.
There are several options for travelling between Male and Rasdhoo. The cheapest is the public ferry. The public ferries depart from from the Vilingili ferry terminal on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9am.
The public ferry from Rasdhoo travels back to Male on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, departing at 11:00am. The ferry arrives at Male at around 2:30-2:45pm, Tickets cannot be pre-booked, and are sold on the ferry.
Other options for travel include daily (excluding Friday) speed launches and the Kuramathi resort launch. For more information visit this site: http://rasdhoo.com/transport.php
Bezz Diving will be offering affordable accommodation included in the price of the diving package.
Expect temperatures ranging from the high 20s to low 30s celscius. The dry season extends from November to April and the wet season is from May to October.
The official religion of the Maldives is Islam. No alcohol or pork products can be brought into the country. While alcohol can be found for sale in resorts, on a local island like Rasdhoo, it is not available. A modest standard of dress is required, to avoid offence. In practice, this means wearing t-shirts and knee-length shorts as a minimum. Avoid bikinis, singlets, crop-tops, speedos etc. There is a beautiful bikini beach on the island where western style swimsuits (bikinis, speedos etc) can be worn, but in other places, to respect local customs, we recommend being covered from shoulders to knees.
On arrival, visitors from most countries will be issued with a 30 day visa, free of charge. In particular, visitors from the EU, Britain, Australia, Canada and the USA require a passport valid for 6 months after the date of travel and a return ticket. You must also be able to provide evidence of accommodation booked for the duration of your stay or sufficient funds to support yourself.