By. Ruth Franklin
Think Maldives and what comes to mind?
Sun-kissed islands sat within turquoise waters, endless white beaches, a barefoot tropical paradise – a destination once enjoyed only by honeymooners, celebrities, the well-heeled or the once-in-a-lifetime visitor.
Travel on a Secret Paradise local adventure and discover culture and tradition, deserted islands, breath taking sunsets and the beauty of the underwater world.
The Maldives is renowned for diving, snorkelling, surfing, sunset safaris and relaxation and we partner locally operated guesthouses and dive centres throughout the Maldives providing all the benefits of staying on a resort, the hospitality of the Maldivian people that sustains and supports the local economy at an affordable price.
Until recently the Maldives experience has been restricted to an exclusive resort lifestyle at an exclusive price; now, thanks to changes in local laws tourists can stay on local islands where previously it was only possible to visit as part of a resort excursion. So everyone can experience the real Maldives at a less than exclusive price.
Dining on a local island pretty much guarantees freshly cooked food on a daily basis. Tuna and reef fish will generally form some part of a meal especially if there has been a good catch that day by the local fishermen, add to this chicken, beef, noodles, rice, salad and fresh papaya, water melon, banana and mango and you have a veritable feast!
You cannot fault however the friendliness and hospitality of the Maldivian’s. Nothing is too much trouble for them. It was this hospitality and eagerness to please that gave rise to the cultural aspects of our tours.
Staying on local islands you have the opportunity to see first-hand how locals go about their daily lives and, as the Maldives is a Muslim country, there is a call to prayer from the mosque 5 times a day. This compelling and melodious sound particularly at sun rise and sunset can be quite mesmerizing. As part of our local island tours we invite guests to visit a mosque and learn more about how the Muslim faith creates the foundation for Maldivian life.
Diving in the Maldives is in a class of its own and the best dive spots do not have to cost a fortune.
If you have yet to experience diving we can organise an introductory scuba course after which why not take your PADI open water course. We work with PADI affiliated dive centres owned and operated by locals. You can expect reliable equipment, knowledgeable instructors and experienced Dive Masters and guides.
We introduced our local island hopping tour over two years ago and since then we have introduced a number of guided and non-guided tours including a Cooking and Culture Tour, a Multi Activity Tour and a family fun holiday, which together with our discovery cruise and local island diving packages offer a range of alternative Maldives holiday that allow all our guests to experience the paradise we call home.
For more information and to book visit our website http://www.secretparadise.mv/index.php