Maldives on a Budget

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Updated January, 2024

Dhiffushi is one of the local islands of North Malé (Kaafu) Atoll. With gorgeous crystal blue waters and white sands, Dhiffushi is a great option for budget holiday in the Maldives, is accessible by a 40-minute speedboat ride from the main Male International Airport (VIA). The island is one of the most authentic fishing village in Maldives and if you want a real Maldivian experience, then you should definitely go there!


How to Get: Transfers

The island is 37 km northeast of the country's capital, Malé. Dhiffushi is of the best island for a getaway as the island is 40 minutes away from Malé Airport via speed boat. Also daily schedule ferry transfers are available except Friday. Once you'll arrive to the island, the stuff will be waiting for you on the beach, even if it's really rainy or storming. They'll help you with your luggage.

Speedboat transfer to the Dhiffushi Island from Malé International Airport: 
This option is useful if you are traveling in a group or if for any reason you have failed to take either a ferry or an express boat

  • From Airport to Dhiffushi is $230.00/boat.
  • From Dhiffushi to Airport is $230.00/boat

Public Ferry to the Dhiffushi Island from Viligilli ferry Terminal, Malé: 

For travellers on more of a budget, the local slow ferry runs between Malé and Dhiffushi Island most days (Sat,Sun,Tue,Wed and Thursday) . The ferry stops at a 4 islands within area. The trip is a 3hrs and 15minutes one-way and costs around US$2. First upon arrival you need to go to Malé city from the airport. Once in Malé, take a taxi to the Villingili Ferry Terminal for $2. Here, you can buy your ticket to Dhiffushi from the ferry counter.

  • Male - Dhiffushi is MVR 22($1.5) per person. Departure at 14:30 ( Sat, Sun,Tue,Wed and Thursday )
  • Dhiffushi - Male is MVR 22($1.5) per person. Departure at 06:30 ( Sat, Sun,Tue,Wed and Thursday )
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Speed Boat Ferry to the Dhiffushi Island from Jetty No:6 , Malé city: 
Shared Speed boat will cost $25 per head (departure at 16:30 from Jetty No:6 everyday. Friday the cervice operates on 8 am and 7 pm. Return on 6:30 am from Diffushi to Male' City. Trave time is 45-minutes. The speed boat name is "Altec" and the guest hose's staff will take ticket for you. Ticket price will be added to your hotel bill.

Also you can book a private spread boat from the hotel, thу trip takes about 40 min, guys will meet you in Male airport, this ride is really fun!

There is no ATM on Dhiffushi, so please stock cash in Malé. You can coordinate the traffic schedule and the transfer type in advance with the staff of your hotel/guest house (recommended), or check here

The Island

With a total land area of 22.3 ha, Dhiffushi is the easternmost inhabited island in the Maldives. Measured 1 km long and 200 m wide, the island is covered with endemic Maldivian flora and fauna including coconut palms along the shoreline. Dress a little modestly when moving through the village and always swim at the designated bikini beach.

There are a hospital, two mosques and public school on the island. There is a local soccer club and a football field. You'll spot three local cafes also which operates from morning 6am until 11pm, seven minimarts and souvenir shops, and a handful restaurants serving international and maldivian fare from 11am till 11:45pm. There are two dive shops on Dhiffushi.

Today (October 2018), more than 10 guest houses are open on the island, but new hotels are actively being built. Most of the Dhiffushi is occupied by the village, which gives color and interest to get acquainted with the island way of life.

The Beach

There are two beaches on Dhiffushi. With views of Meeru Island Resort, a wide sandspit on the northern tip of the island and there is a bikini beach. The beach is gorgeous, fine white sand, the crystal water in the lagoon is clean, different shades of blue, which vary during the day depending on the sun. The sea bottom is sandy, sometimes there are small stones. Snorkelling off the beach isn't quite exciting with dead coral, grass patches and some fishes. Snorkeling equipment for rent $ 5 / day, good quality.

On this beach there are sun loungers and umbrellas, which the hotel staff install in the morning on the sand, depending on the number of guests. Many hotels offer beach towels for free. There are always plenty of places, despite the fact that when you come to a bikini beach. There is no shower / toilet on the beach, but your guest house is very close. In the mornings, the beach is cleaned from debris and swept, so it is always clean.

On the beach there is a water sports center that offers boards for rent and catamarans for $ 10 / hour, kayaks for $ 10 and much more. Jet skis are $ 40/30 minutes, but you can only ride along the fairway, around the island is not allowed. There is also kiteboarding and windsurfing on offer.

Other stretch of beach has awesome views of the sunset and is about a 15 to 20 min walk though the village and parts of the coastline which were just full of trash which was disappointing. The sunset beach had more trash littered along the shrubs that hug the coastline and seem to have more mosquitoes and flies.

The island's house reef is quite extensive housing corals, breathtaking varieties of fishes and other marine life. You will find the best snorkeling on the island itself without having to take a trip to other spots. The first site is located to the left of the tourist beach behind a stone with a flag - there are a lot of corals near it. The second spot is located on the island's southern tip (here less exciting).

Things to Do

Dhiffushi is a beautiful small island in Kaafu Atoll. The main reason to choose Dhiffushi as one's budget travel destination is its natural beauty. The landscapes are magnificent and look like painted by a very skillful artist. The atmosphere in the area is homely tranquil and gives everyone a perfect opportunity to relax. Local unspoiled beaches washed by turquoise waters are a real paradize for such activities as sun-bathing, snorkelling, surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and especially diving.

Diving in Dhiffushi is offered in two dive shops: MIYARU Folhudhoo Divers and TGI Dhiffushi Diving Academy. Divers can explore colourful reefs with large coral colonies teeming with small fish, rock formations with large fish roaming around and crevices with small creatures sheltering inside. Scuba-diving in Dhiffushi is great for underwater photography due to multiple marine richesand good visibility. Dive sites are accessible by boat and advisable for advanced divers. The most popular dive site in Dhiffushi is Dhiffushi Beru. It is great for drift diving, shark diving and exploring the reefs. TGI Dhiffushi provides a fun dive and snorkelling trips, and diving course with wide range os SSI and PADI.

There are about six sandbanks at very close proximity to the island along with one of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the Maldives. The turtle point snorkeling is a must!

Other water adventures you can go: sandbank picnic ($35), reef or big game fishing, snorkeling exursions ($42), sunset dolphin cruise ($20), island hopping, baby shark / stingray feeding and more.

Take a day to explore the luxurious resorts of Maldives. visit a nearby resort for drinks and other requirements. Meeru Island Resort is located across the lagoon from Dhiffushi Island. For travellers dreaming to combine both a guesthouse stay and a resort vacation, a trip to Meeru Island resort is perfect. It's important to note that it is not possible to do a day trip to Meeru Island Resort. This needs to be arrange with Meeru Island Resort in advance.

Take a day trip to the neighbouring surf island of Thulusdhoo. It’s possible to island hop and take a day trip to Thulusdhoo via using the local ferry network from Dhiffushi Island. The ferry departs Dhiffushi 6:30 am daily except Monday and Fridays, and departs Thulusdhoo at 4:30pm those same days.


There are not many cafés and restaurants for travellers on Dhiffushi. Most tourists generally take a full board meal plan and eat at their guesthouse accommodation. The in-house restaurants serve fresh local and continental delicacies every day. A menus is based on combination of authentic local and International dishes. You may try Maldivian style breakfast or Maldivian lunch with Grilled Red Snapper. For the seafood lover, there are many varieties of fresh dishes available. Choose from variety of reef fish and most favorite of all You have chance to choose your own lobster to be grilled.

The food in hotel's restaurants is really delicious from deep fried calamari to club sandwiches, from fresh papaya juice to coconut milkshake. If you are the group - seafood platter is best choice. And if you like Shisha - mint flavor taste excellent. As for vegan, try their veggie curry and dal which are quite tasty.

There are three local cafes (Cozy Cafe, Dream Corner View and Faruma) at reasonable prices on the island. Dream Corner is located on the west coast, it is a small and dark snack bar, the food is average, another place to eat is located near the jetty, large and light, called Cozy Cafe, it works until 1 am, tables inside and outside under umbrellas, in the evenings there is a lot of locals, but not noisy, alcohol is prohibited, so people have a leisurely conversation, polite and friendly. The menu is simple and inexpensive. The food is tasty and the portions are generous.


Where to Stay

The good news is that Dhiffiushi Island is relatively cheap for budget travellers in comparison to other Maldives guesthouse islands. The island is famous for its hospitality and friendliness of the people while there are a variety of guesthouses run by locals along with a few guest shops opened up for business. There are approximately a dozen hotels on the island, with more under construction. The rooms are are designed with your comfort in mind and are fit for families, couples, and solo travellers. All rooms are equipped with comfy beds, Air Conditioner and hot and cold water availability in bathrooms, TV and free wifi. Some of the rooms also have a fantastic location right on the beach, little balcony and a beautiful patio/ seating area. The staff'll make you feel at home, as a part of their family. The cost of a stay in a guesthouse at Dhiffushi Island begins at US$50 per night. Here is our pick of the best guesthouse accommodation that Dhiffushi Island has to offer.

In 2024 Stone Hotels officially opened its doors on the 27th of January, presenting an island beach a 50-room hotel where nature’s grandeur and island lifestyle intertwine with refined hospitality.


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