Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour
Maldives on a Shoestring tour
Cultural Culture Maldives on a Shoestring package

Maldives on a Shoestring

Encounters Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
8 days
From: $ 1,279 $ 160 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

Try an adventure tour of the Maldives! Don’t limit yourself to one resort, but visit local islands and experience the culture, landscapes and essence of this tropical paradise, with the freedom to move, explore and meet the locals!

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Destinations

Maldives

Cities & Attractions

N/A

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • 7 night's comfortable guesthouse accommodation: 1 night Hulhumale, 3 nights Guraidhoo, 2 nights Maafushi, 1 night Gulhi
  • All transport and transfers including local ferries
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Free 30-day tourist visa on arrival to all nationalities
  • Local guides

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Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive in Malé, transfer to hotel
Upon arrival at Malé International Airport you will be greeted by our representative and transferred by the airport shuttle taxi to your guesthouse on Hulhumalé, just 15 minutes away. Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical paradise. The beach is 3 min walk away, with several local cafes and local restaurants, plus a watersports centre. For travellers arriving before 5.00pm there is an optional visit to Malé for sunset mocktails at the top of the highest building in Malé which provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands.
| OVERNIGHT:
Guesthouse – Newtown Inn or similar
| MEALS:
None
| EXTRAS:
Single Room Supplement, Extra night in Hulhumalé

Day 2, Malé Tour, ferry to Guraidhoo and dinner with local family
Following breakfast served at the guesthouse you will transfer by public ferry to Male, a 20-minute journey, where a guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city, providing opportunity to visit places of interest including The Friday Mosque, The National Museum and Sultan Park. After lunch transfer by local ferry (approx. 14.30) to your guesthouse on the local island of Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll, 120 minutes from Male. Sit up top on the ferry to view the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by whilst keeping your eyes open for dolphins! Upon arrival you will have time to settle in before either relaxing in the garden at the guesthouse or on the local beach to watch the sun go down. Dinner this evening is spent with a local family just don't expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without the aid of a knife and fork!
| OVERNIGHT:
Guraidhoo Guesthouse – Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3, Morning snorkelling trip. Free afternoon
Following breakfast you will be taken by speedboat to nearby coral reefs for your first underwater encounter! The coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by diverse marine life and are teaming with colourful fish and corals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks and rays you never know what may be in the blue! On return to Guraidhoo the afternoon is free for you to participate in optional watersports, diving or surfing. This evening enjoy a relaxed beach BBQ dinner.
| OVERNIGHT:
Guraidhoo Guesthouse – Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, Family breakfast, island tour, Hedika & optional Bodu Beru
Breakfast this morning is taken with a local family allowing you true access to Maldivian local life. You will then have free time at your leisure to relax on the beach or enjoy optional watersport activities. As the afternoon cools down accompanied by your guide time is spent exploring Guraidhoo with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life including a visit to the Mosque, visit the boatyard learn how the common wooden boat known locally as a 'dhoni' is built, stop and chat with children playing in the street and watch the ladies of the community begin their evening meal preparations. Stop by a local cafe to sample traditional 'hedika' - Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea. This evening you can enjoy an optional beach dinner under the stars accompanied by traditional dancing and the beat of the 'bodu beru' where a group of men sit around the 'bodu beru' - big drum and sing to a rhythmical beat until they reach a crescendo.
| OVERNIGHT:
Guraidhoo Guesthouse - Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5, Maafushi, snorkelling, sandbank and dolphin cruise boat trip
Start early today for breakfast and then a transfer by local ferry (07.00) to the local island of Maafushi, just 20 minutes away. After checking into the guesthouse, this morning you will have the chance to once again enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives. We stop at a sandbank for picnic lunch with time to swim or lie back and relax. Heading back to Maafushi we will cruise the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins. This evening we head out to soak up the atmosphere at a traditional local café for dinner.
| OVERNIGHT:
Maafushi Guesthouse - Lily Rest or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6, Maafushi, free time, various watersports options
Following breakfast served at the guesthouse, today is yours to enjoy as you please, relax on the beach or for those feeling energetic participate in the various optional watersport activities on offer. Optional diving trips can be organised for certified divers.
| OVERNIGHT:
Maafushi Guesthouse - Lily Rest or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Full-day scuba-diving boat trip from Maafushi, Half-day scuba-diving boat trip from Maafushi, Manta Ray boat trip from Maafushi

Day 7, Visit Gulhi for a change of pace
Following an early breakfast we take a short 20 minute public ferry journey to the quiet local island of Gulhi. Once checked in to your guesthouse, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Visit the boat yard to stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut) watching the comings and goings at the harbour. Ready for relaxation you can choose to head to the bikini beach or for the more energetic snorkel from the island beach. Optional watersports and diving trips can be organised for certified divers.
| OVERNIGHT:
Gulhi Guesthouse - Tropic Tree or similar
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
Full-day scuba-diving boat trip from Gulhi, Half-day scuba-diving boat trip from Gulhi

Day 8, Transfer to Malé airport for departure

After breakfast you are transferred back to Male by public ferry (approx. 07.30-09.00), across town, and on to Male airport where the tour ends. You should expect to arrive at the airport by around 10.30am. If you have a flight departing earlier than 1pm then we recommend taking an earlier speedboat transfer from Gulhi to the airport (at extra cost). If you have a late afternoon or evening flight departure
and understandably do not want to spend a long time waiting at the airport, then day-use rooms are available at the Newtown Inn (price includes an airport departure
transfer to meet your flight). Alternatively, there are day package options at Hulhule Airport hotel to use the swimming pool, restaurant, bar etc. or a half day visit to Vilimale Local Island which is 15 minutes from Male. Other snorkelling trips or other watersport activities are also available. Those travellers booking a resort extension will transfer from Male airport on to their resort via the resort's own transfer boat. Our guide will assist you with meeting this transfer though there may be a short wait depending on the resort boat's schedule.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast
| EXTRAS:
3-night resort island extension, 3-night Dhoni curise extension, Extra night in Hulhumalé, Speedboat departure
transfer, Day-use room & airport transfers in Hulhumalé

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,279
Price Per Day: $ 160 per day
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5 Encounters Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 5
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Average 0
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Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Maldives on a Shoestring

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Knowledgeable and entertaining

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!
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Amazing bespoke trip round North India.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
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Amazing trip to Egypt!

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
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Well organized

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My husband and I booked the Discover Egypt trip in February 2017 and traveled in may 2017 and it was even more than we could have asked or dreamed it would be. Our group was led by Magz and we learned so much about Egyptian history and current culture. The trip was well organized and communication before during and after the trip was incredible. I have recommended this company to anyone who asks and can't wait to take another trip with them in the future. For any additional questions feel free to message me - I'm happy to provide more feedback. Thank you encounters for the trip of a lifetime!
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Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Encounters Travel Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on.They met us at the airport getting off the plane and took us back to the airport and saw that we got through security and everything in between. It is very safe in Egypt. You can walk the streets and when telling people that ask that we were from America we were met with smiles and positive comments. Because of the low number of tourists in the country right now Encounters Travel has negotiated with the hotels to stay in 5 star hotels. The pyramids are spectacular but it's only a small part of what you will see. Right now there are no crowds. An example My Wife and I took an optional tour to some pyramids southwest of Cairo. We went inside the Red Pyramid to the burial chambers. Two people passed us going in and two people passed us going out. That's 4 other people in the pyramid with us. All of the people with Encounters Travel are there to see to it that you have an enjoyable time and are extremely helpful.Our tour guide Big Mo is very knowledgeable and friendly.The Encounters agent in Hurghada, Mohamed,( I think everyone in Egypt is that name,HaHa) Was extremely pleasant and fun to be with. When Anass,the Encounters manager found out that my wife couldn't walk far he arraigned for a wheel chair to tour the Egyptian museum so she could see it all. This was my second time going on the Discover Egypt tour. I went last year with my son and when my wife heard all of our stories she wanted to see it. Someone asked her on the way home what her favorite part was and she replied "All of it" If you ever thought of going to Egypt now is the time.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 10

Trip ID#:

Encounterstraveltourcms-MASHMM

Trip Excludes

  • International Flights (available on request)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks, tips and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

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