Maafushi Island - Friday the 13th
Maldives, the sunny side of life as what their slogan says, greeted us with gloomy weather on our first full day after a day of traveling to the island. We woke up to a cloudy morning which indicated drizzles in the wee hours of the morning.
This day was a busy one for us as the previous day we booked a snorkeling trip being led by the Kaani Tours. This was the first tour on our itinerary after a half-day water sports activity on the previous day.
Continue reading as we share with you our experience from the tourist spots that can be found around Maafushi Island. The serenity of the island in the morning is simply unmatched.
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It was actually refreshing for us as we were used to the busy schedule of the people in Dubai. 7 in the morning would mean that everyone will be ready to go to work on our usual day to day life. The island was different from this usual scenario that we see.
The island will still have the busy people going on about their daily routines but aside from that was the slow movement of the people. Not rushing to reach a destination was a normal occurrence in a province/island life.
Every greets you a lovely morning with a smile on their faces. The fresh air gave us peace of mind to take things slow although we have to be ready in an hour.
Day 2 Itinerary - Maldives
Our wake time for that day was 6 in the morning as we need ample time to prepare for the tour that we have listed ourselves into. Before we went to sleep the previous night, we already prepared all the things that we'll bring for the trip and the clothes that we'll wear as well.
The reason for the 1 hour preparation time is for us to eat breakfast as we will definitely need energy to fully enjoy the tour and swimming is a fun but tiring activity to do.
One of our favorite thing about our room is the beautiful sea view where Kaani Grand Seaview is located. It calms your senses and clears your mind of whatever it is you're thinking. After washing our face and double-checking the things that we'll bring, we went down to eat breakfast.
Our booking with Kaani Grand Seaview is inclusive of breakfast so it was actually a good deal as we don't need to spend more money to pay for it and it saves time as well deciding where to eat. The breakfast is a buffet style where they serve oriental dishes. It is an open space at the side of the hotel we were staying in.
You will be able to feel the island vibe without the restrictions and you will be able to breathe in fresh air while enjoying your coffee. At the time of our stay and breakfast with the hotel, we have not seen any fly on the breakfast table meaning the cleanliness is being maintained by the hotel management.
The breakfast station has bread in it, together with cereals, beans, sausages, and a live egg cooking station. The coffee will be served on your table but you can also choose to drink juice which can also be found at the station.
We believe that this was a good deal already as we don't want to bother ourselves in the morning.
We finished eating breakfast around 10 minutes before 7. We went back to our room to change to our swim clothes and pick up our bag full of things that we brought for the snorkeling and shark swimming activity.
Inside the Bag:
DLSR Camera - Floating Selfie Stick - DJI Action Cam - Wallet - Joby Gorillapod - Waterproof Pouch - DJI Tello.
We were excited so all our gadgets were charged and ready before we went on the tour. We made sure we had enough battery and memory card to not miss anything that might interest us on the said tour.
We went down to the reception of the Kaani Tours which is located on the other side of the hotel. This is pretty much how the hotel was set up, if you're looking at the hotel building itself, the middle part will be the hotel reception, the left side will be where the hotel restaurant is, the right side will have seats waiting for guests and just further back will be where the reception of Kaani Tours is located.
After confirming that we were in the list of the attendees for the tour, the guy in the counter gave us one towel each, snorkeling masks, and life vests. We were asked to sign a waiver form and was also asked if we want to bring flippers. The excited me, immediately said yes to their offer to bring flippers.
The tour that we took was called "Real Break Tour" - You can watch the full video on this link.
Tour Price per pax:
|Real Break Tour|
The tour price is inclusive of snorkeling with nurse sharks and giant trevally, shipwreck snorkeling, 1 island hopping, provided lunch which will be done in a sandbank, possible dolphin viewing(depends on luck). The snorkeling pieces of equipment and towels were also part of the tour package. That is why they make you sign a waiver, it is to confirm that you will pay for any lost or damaged equipment. There will be plenty of soft drinks and water along the tour so you will surely be hydrated during the tour.
At around 7:15, when everyone who will be part of the tour were present and waiting, they asked us to stand side by side and took a group picture of us. I first thought that this was for tourism purposes( I guess I was partly right) but was also used to get a good count of everyone as they will be accountable for all of us.
We were then directed to the huge speed boat that will be used for the tour. Our group consists of different foreign nationalities. There is a large group of people from China, a couple from France, 3 other western couples, one Indian couple and us both. The speed boat crew consists of around 5 people including the driver.
After everyone boarded the boat, we started leaving Maafushi island at around 7:40 A.M.
Cruising The Maldivian Sea
We started cruising and left behind the beautiful Maafushi island to visit the snorkeling spots. The first thing on our list was swimming with the nurse sharks. The speedboat is very spacious as we all had our own comfortable seats inside it and they also allow us to sit in front of the speedboat to further enjoy the sun and the speedboat ride.
It was not that hot during the ride so we opt to sit outside at the front as this gave us a 180-degree view of the wide ocean. After around 20 minutes of cruising, we were welcomed to a view of a group of dolphins playing and swimming in the middle of the ocean.
It was a magnificent view, to say the least. We have never encountered that many dolphins swimming around in the open sea. I, myself had experienced dolphin watching before but I was only able to see around 5 to 6 dolphins at most. This is a very small number compared to the group that we saw from the said tour.
It only proves how rich sea life was in Maldives. We took pictures and videos of the said dolphins, we were lucky enough to see some dolphins jumping playfully. It feels like they know that they were being watched which is why they gave us a wonderful performance as thanks for us visiting them.
The dolphin watching lasted around 15 minutes before everyone was satisfied and we peacefully left the dolphins to continue on our way to the spot full of nurse sharks.
Snorkeling with the Nurse Sharks
Another 15 minutes more and we were able to reach our first destination. We were awe-struck by the view of the underwater where our boat has chosen to dock. We stopped nearby an isolated island and the guide started telling us to get ready as we will do our first activity. Upon checking the clear blue waters of the said spot we were able to see silhouettes of these large lovely sea creatures.
We will not lie, it was intimidating at first, as they were really big but we were assured by our guides that nurse sharks don't bite people. The fear slowly turned into excitement at the sight and thought of swimming with the sharks.
They washed our snorkeling mask one by one and after a few minutes of preparation, we jumped into the deep ocean and started swimming and watching these huge creatures. It was an amazing experience. The sea is rich with a school of fish swimming around the boat. The number of sharks swimming around our boat also exceeded 10 but I actually didn't count.
We were overwhelmed with what we were seeing. The only thing that I can think of while watching the sharks swimming was that it was really beautiful. Nature really is exciting and I don't think we'll have another experience like this. It was one in a thousand opportunity to experience it.
If you're visiting Maafushi island, swimming with the sharks was a top recommendation for snorkeling activity. It was unmatched by other activities except for diving I guess. Don't worry if you don't know how to swim, if you're scared of sharks, of the deep ocean water. This will all not matter as the guides will be there to support and help you face all these fears.
It was an experience worth repeating.
Snorkeling around a Sri Lankan Ship Wreck
It took us around 1-hour swimming with the nurse sharks. Afterward, we went to another location near the spot of the nurse sharks. the next location is the spot where an old Sri Lankan ship broke down and sink in the middle of the Maldivian Sea.
The ship has been there for a long time and has become an iconic spot as it became part of the sea and became habitat to marine creatures. The moment we arrived in the spot there are other boats with tourists in it swimming around the said location.
It made it easier to swim with ease swimming with other people as Ms. Feeblefeet is quite scared of swimming in the deep ocean. It was also not that crowded even with the other boats arriving.
The boat was anchored on the tip of the shipwreck that was still afloat. Before we started swimming, we crossed the boat to go to the tip of the ship and took some photos to include in our album.
We started descending quite a while and most of the tourists are already floating and swimming to go to the shipwreck but we noticed something unusual when we went down to swim. The current was quite strong from our position and it was really hard to swim near the ship.
Our very dependable guide helped us get near the ship by pulling us and bringing us there. (We need to work out our swimming strength if we want to do more of this in the future. LOL!)
I was able to hold on to the body of the ship and from there, we were again welcomed to beautiful scenery. The eerie feel of seeing an old ship lying under the ocean was something extraordinary.
We watch as numerous fish swim in and out of the ship, confirming what our guides told us that this has become a habitat for them. One spectacular view caught our eyes.
A bike was attached to the ship under the sea. It was too deep for us to swim so one of our guides offered to take a video of the bike by diving near it. You can watch the full video of the encounter on our Youtube Channel. We floated around the ship while taking videos and pictures of the shipwreck brimming with bountiful marine creatures swimming in it.
Visiting Thinadoo Island
The view undersea was a refreshing experience for both of us. It lasted almost half day doing these activities. After everyone on the boat had a good swim around the shipwreck location, the guides immediately started our journey again to visit another Maldivian island aside from Maafushi.
Now, there are 2 more things on our excursion list left that we have not done, the local island visit was one of them. I expected this to be educational and to explore how people are doing in their daily lives on this part of the globe.
We docked the boat in Thinadoo island and started walking to a nearby tree near the dock to regroup before we go on the walking tour of the island. We started walking through an alley after our guide gave a short description of the place. They showed us how a normal Maldivian house looks like but I felt that it was a very short one. The tour focused on the beautiful views of the island instead and as a tourist we obliged to take photos.
The only fun thing about this tour was that we were able to see stingray swimming. The stingray was very fast so we were not able to take good photos. The said island also has hotels in it already.
It was a short walk and after a few minutes on the island, the guides directed us back to the boat to proceed to our final destination which is the sandbank. This is the place where they plan to have lunch.
Lunch by the Maldives Sandbank
After a tiring snorkeling activity and a walking tour on one of their islands, the last agenda on our trip was the sandbank visit. The itinerary says that we'll take our lunch on a sandbank where we can also do a short swim.
A couple of minutes of the boat ride was all that it took for us to arrive at a beautiful curve sandbank in the middle of the Maldives ocean. It was a real fine sight. The white sand was visible even from afar. The view once we docked was magical. It is simply refreshing and astonishing.
The weather at this time was very windy and it looks like it will rain anytime. Nevertheless, we still descended the boat and made our way to the small strip of land.
We brought our bags and gadgets to capture photos and I was hoping that I'll be able to fly my drone(which to my disappointment did not happen as the wind was too strong for my little drone).
Our guides started preparing the place where we'll eat our lunch and while this was happening, four other boats arrived on the same spot. Luckily the sandbank was long and enough for all of us to share.
I was excited to eat seafood but again my expectations failed me. They served rice, a chicken dish, and veggies. They provided enough refreshments of sodas and water for all of us as well. Since we were so hungry we still happily enjoyed the food and our view. The lunch was really simple but it didn't mean that it was not special.
It was a really long time when I experienced eating in a peaceful manner, away from the bustling lights and sound of an urban setup. It was calm. We enjoyed the food and afterward we took our things from the lunch spot and found a small space along the sandbank where we rested and took photos of the natural blue waters of Maldives.
We took a swim as well. It was at this time that I planned to propose to Ms. Feeblefeet, but I felt that the place did not give me that vibe. Yes, the place was very calm, amazingly beautiful but we were not alone. It didn't feel serene with all the tourists walking around the sandbank. The number of guests in the sandbank made me feel uncomfortable proposing.
Instead, we just enjoyed nature and played around a little bit before everyone started packing up to go back to Maafushi. I missed the chance but I felt that I made the right decision of not popping the question there.
Spending the rest of the day around Maafushi Island
It was real fun and tiring experience but as all tours, it soon ended and we went back to Maafushi Island. Remember that on our first day we bought a package for water sports activity but we did not opt to continue with the activities as it was already late.
We wanted to do it after the excursion trip but again we were so tired and hungry from all the swimming that we did so we set that aside and instead swam in the bikini beach for a short while before heading to our hotel room to shower and change.
After the sun has set down on the island, we went outside to look for a place to eat dinner.
Before we went to Maafushi, I was actually reading blogs on where to eat in the island and most of the things I read always recommend Arena beach hotels buffet dinner. On our first day, I had the chance to visit and see the place and so we decided to give it a try.
The cost of the Arena Beach hotel buffet dinner is cheaper and it will enable you to eat different dishes for the same price that you will pay with other restaurants who offer ala carte menu.
|Arena Beach Hotel Buffet|
We ate pasta, grilled fish and other continental dishes. We also had fresh fruits and some other sweets for desserts. If you are a heavy eater it is recommended that you go to this place as they will definitely fill your stomach with good food. For the taste, it's a bit average and satisfactory as well.
We ended our dinner and went back to our place to rest. For Ms. FeebleFeet the plan was to rest, but she didn't know that I planned my proposal back in the room as well. You can watch the full video here.
Day 2 Summary
It was a fun-filled second day and we were completely exhausted from the activities we did. We were satisfied with how our 2nd day went especially since we ended it with a surprise on my end.
Below are the major expenses we made during our 2nd-day trip:
|Total Cost - Day 2|
You can close it down to $100 on our 2nd day. Take note that this is per person. I didn't include the small amounts we paid for extra water and other small stuff.
The recommend the real break tour or other similar tours to this that was being given by other tour companies as it will let you experience the beauty of the Maldivian marine life.
You can watch the day 2 video here.
Thank you for reading and watch out for our day 3 detailed blog about Maafushi Island and Maldives.