The Maldives is located across the equator, making it a great place to soak in some sunshine. Most tourists associate this group of Asian islands with sandy beaches, turquoise waters and high-end luxury fuelled by the plush private island resorts. While Maldives’ history and culture prohibits the locals from consuming alcohol, this Islamic nation still has some unique nightlife offerings. There are a few offbeat things to do in Maldives at night, and not everything involves drinking!
#1 Chill at Beaches that Glow in the Dark
A handful of islands in The Maldives have the privilege of witnessing a rare phenomenon that occurs in the ocean waters close to the beach. The same waters which usually appear sparkling blue or bright turquoise in the daytime suddenly seem to be luminescent at night. There are two distinct processes that cause this bioluminescence effect in scattered parts of The Maldives.
The Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll has its beaches glowing in the dark due to the presence of bioluminescent phytoplankton. June to October is a great time to sight this as the summer temperatures aid the chemical reactions that cause the glow effect. However, you can still witness this gleam until December on moonless nights when the dark night sky makes the phytoplankton more visible.
Apart from planktons, the presence of ostracod crustaceans can also light up beaches in the night. Often sighted near Reethi Rah in October and Kuredu in November, these seed shrimps emanate a glow that lasts up to a minute. This is considerably longer than the glow of the zooplanktons or phytoplanktons that only last for a few seconds.
#2 Go on a Night Fishing Trip
If you wish to learn angling, The Maldives is a great place to begin. Choose from various Maldives tour packages that teach you different fishing techniques while also letting you enjoy a leisurely cruise over the vast Indian Ocean. You might also be able to enjoy sailing on dhonis – traditional Maldivian wooden boats.
Maldives fishing tours that are conducted during sunset or after dark are particularly exciting because you have better chances of a catch, especially with fish that don’t see so well at dusk. Expect to catch groupers, red snappers, trevally or jackfish. You can book a fishing tour either with the resorts in The Maldives or experience it on a liveaboard trip. The fishing equipment and bait are included in the package, and you will have an experienced guide to help you understand the traditional Maldivian style of catching fish.
Bandos resort is one of a select few private island resorts that offer night fishing. Plenty of public island hotels in The Maldives also organize fishing tours after dark. Maafushi and Hulhumalé are popular local islands to begin your search.
#3 Enjoy your Dinner on a Secluded Sandbank
Maldives sandbank tours are a lovely way of escaping other tourists and having a private patch of shimmering white sand purely to yourself, although only for a while. While common sandbank trips are conducted as part of Maldives day tours, the best all-inclusive islands in The Maldives can set up an exclusive dining arrangement at night on their private sand bars.
Dinner dates with your partner are most romantic when you have traditional lanterns lighting up the path to your candle-lit table. Some Maldives over water villas have a dedicated chef and butler on call to serve you all the courses of the multi-course gastronomic experience in the night.
You don’t even have to look far if you’re wondering what to do in Maldives for a honeymoon. Overnight camping on a sandbank is quite a thing with couples these days. Finolhu Resort in Baa Atoll offers an intriguing beach bubble tent stay on their private sandbank while Soneva Fushi delights with its Bedouin tents.
#4 Try Night Diving
Scuba diving is among the most preferred water sport activities to do in Maldives. The Maldivian archipelago is fortunate to be rich in marine biodiversity. Coral reef structures that abound in colour, shape, texture and size, support a wide array of organisms that wait to be sighted on diving trips.
Aside from the regular daytime diving tours in the Maldives, night dives are quite special in the unusual atmosphere they provide. Many underwater species that cannot be spotted during the day often come out in the darkness. Keep your eyes peeled for tawny reef sharks, turtles, eels, nurse sharks, rays and myriad tropical fishes.
Divers must carry a torch to illuminate the dark waters during night dives. The house reef of Alimatha Resort, Vilivaru Giri, Maaya Thila, Milaidhoo Wall and Dhigurah Arches are the best night diving spots in The Maldives.
#5 Indulge in some Stargazing
How can one forget stargazing when talking about things to do at night! The Maldives fortunately do not have much light pollution, especially as you move away from the big cities such as Malé – the world’s smallest capital. For the uninitiated, stargazing is not simply about staring at the night sky but being able to identify constellations, planets and even their moons (with a powerful telescope).
It is possible to locate heavenly bodies by yourself through the help of stargazing mobile apps. But if you are looking for an authentic and memorable astronomical experience, get on a romantic stargazing cruise offered by Veligandu Island Resort. Also worth mentioning is Soneva Jani’s cruise with their resident astronomer.
Both Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi have a Meade telescope in their respective observatories to assist guests with stargazing. Soneva Fushi also boasts of a 3-D astronomy technology which adds depth of field to the final image so that you see appropriate spacing between star clusters and other outer space objects.
#6 Catch a Movie at an Open-Air Theatre
If you must shell out a bomb to stay at one of Maldives’ bungalows on water, let it also treat you to frills such as movie nights under the stars. A rising trend in this island nation is that of open-air theatres which are basically huge screens propped up on a sandbank, overwater or on the beach. Comfy sofas, beanbags or cushions are placed on the soft sand for the movie viewers to relax on while they watch a classic film and munch on popcorn.
The cinema-under-the-sky experience is currently offered by luxury resorts such as Velassaru, Amaya Kuda Rah, Baros, Kurumba, Constance Moofushi, Park Hyatt, Gili Lankanfushi and Soneva Fushi. The list seems to be growing though. Some resorts also have free-flowing alcohol and canapés to enhance your mood.
#7 Participate in Stingray/Shark Feeding
If you wish to book activities in Maldives that are also safe for your little ones, consider stingray feeding and shark feeding. This fun and interactive activity is generally organized free of charge by almost all Maldives beach bungalows. The program generally begins before it is time for dinner, and lasts for about half an hour or so.
A resident guide will walk over to the designated part of the beach where stingrays or sharks are easy to attract. He will carry a bucket of worms or small-sized fish and keep feeding the rays to keep them coming. You can either stand aside and watch the show or participate in the feeding process.
As the name suggests, sting rays have a poisonous sting but they won’t sting you unless they are irritated. These smooth and slippery rays are quite friendly in general. Take lots of pictures and videos in night mode as your toddlers enjoy the feeding activity.
#8 Watch a Bodu Beru Performance
One must remember that The Maldives has a conservative culture and the religion of Islam officially prohibits the locals from drinking alcohol or visiting night clubs. This is the reason most inhabited islands do not have much nightlife (in the traditional party-going sense).
That does not mean there is no way to let your hair down at nightfall! A few guest houses in The Maldives offer a live demo of bodu beru – the traditional dance form in this island country. Bodu beru literally means ‘big drums’ in Dhivehi – local language of The Maldives. The performance involves the beating of some percussion instruments accompanied by other musical instruments.
One then encounters the local performers dancing to the beats and singing in rhythm. Many performers encourage tourists to join in and have a good time dancing. At many locations, professional acrobatic performers and fire-eaters are also invited to entertain guests after dark.
#9 Sing the Night Away at a Karaoke Bar
Even though the best time to visit Maldives is between December to April, Maldives’ weather is so pleasant round the year that it makes you want to break into a song. If you are a crooner, make your way into one of the karaoke bars in the country. Karaoke rooms in The Maldives let you have a private space to sing your favourite English or even Hindi songs from their collection.
All you have to do is follow the lyrics on the screen and sing according to the melody played. Karaoke places are best enjoyed if you are travelling with a group of friends or your family. Take turns singing your most loved numbers and dance while you are at it.
Aaaveee Nature’s Paradise offers its own karaoke set up on its private island for about USD 52 for a couple while Kurumba Resort invites you to try its colourful cocktails and smoke some sheesha to help you lose any stage fright you might have. Even public islands such as Maafushi have karaoke bars.
#10 Don’t Miss Clubbing on a Private Island
When you splurge on Maldives water bungalows on any of the private islands, you don’t have to keep most of the Islamic rules that stand valid on the public isles. This means, you can relish alcoholic drinks, wear bikinis and even go clubbing!
Opulent as they are, most private island resorts have multiple restaurants and bars, some of which convert into a nightclub as the sun goes down. Wear your dancing shoes, rub on some body-glitter, put on a nice dress and hit the dance floor.
Some of the finest clubs in The Maldives even fly down their DJs from top party destinations around the world. Most others, however, have a resident DJ to mix all the popular English chartbusters. You might also be lucky enough to see themed nights, live jazz performances and open-air parties on the beach.
#11 Attend an Underwater Glow Party
Perhaps the most exciting thing on this list, the underwater glow party at Niyama Resort’s Subsix Bar is truly an experience to be cherished. Held only on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 9 PM, this bar keeps the party on until the wee hours of the morning.
Subsix is a submerged glass-walled bar that lies 6 metres below the sea level. Every guest needs to take a speedboat ride from the main resort to this nightclub and walk down three flights of stairs to enter a world that seems straight out of a dream.
The ceiling is draped by chandeliers that imitate coral formations, the chairs have tentacles like those of anemones and the bar is shaped like a clam – the undersea theme is not lost even for an instant. Clutch on to your glow sticks as you gaze at the most amazing part of the glow party – the marine life outside the walls. You will be able to spot parrotfish, wrasses, sharks, turtles, snappers, anemones and more.
The long list of things to do in Maldives at night don’t end quite there. You can try crab racing, enjoying an in-villa massage after sunset, or simply take some photos of the paradisiacal island in low light. While you dream of all that you will do in this country, do not forget to book an unforgettable experience with Samudra Maldives to make those dreams come true.
You only have to fly into Malé International Airport, and the rest of your journey will be taken care of by our team of travel planning experts. Clear skies, sun-kissed beaches, translucent waters and many amazing activities to do in the Maldives await. Do not tarry too long to have that indulgent vacation you’ve been putting away for so many months now!