Goidhoo Atoll Experience

From $1,899 pp

  • Duration

    8 days
  • Departure Date

    Jul 13, 2024
  • Trip Style

    Small Group
  • Country

    The Maldives
  • Physical Rating



Embark on a unique experience and discover the tranquil beauty of the Maldives' Goidhoo Atoll, a set of circular islands that remains off the radar of many tourists.

This quiet atoll of natural beauty, also known as Horsburgh Atoll, sits within the UNESCO Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. During this trip, we'll visit 4 islands: Hulhumale - our starting point near the airport and capital city of Male; Goidhoo - the atoll's paradisical namesake; Fehendoo - loosely populated and mostly covered by tropical jungle; and Fulhadoo - a long, narrow island home to one of the world's top 25 beaches!

On your journey through Goidhoo Atoll, you'll snorkel through a vibrant marine ecosystem and encounter an array of coral reefs and colorful marine life. On land, you'll delve into the captivating history, rich culture, and tasty cuisine of three local islands (Goidhoo, Fehendhoo, and Fulhadhoo), immersing yourself in their way of life.

What is an "atoll"? An atoll is a type of circular island found in the tropics, wherein the perimeter is a coral reef surrounding a lagoon in the center.


  • Explore Goidhoo's heritage through markets, mosques, and island tours
  • Get a taste of local cuisine through a "hedika" sampling of sweet & savory small bites
  • Snorkel in marine-rich tropical waters to see the vibrant tapestry of ocean life
  • Kayak through mangrove lakes and learn about their importance
  • Join local women for a cooking workshop as you prepare "maashuni roshi", a Maldivian breakfast
  • Learn about conservation efforts & visit a coral nursery to watch coral propagation firsthand
  • Complete a beach clean to give back to the island that welcomed you

Witness incredible biodiversity as you explore mangroves, seagrass beds, and island lakes. Engage with inspiring NGOs and connect with friendly locals, gaining insights into their sustainability efforts and community initiatives. This purposeful journey will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper understanding of the Maldivian culture and environment.

  • Hulhumale, North Male Atoll, is a suburban island just a 10-minute taxi ride from Male International Airport. This artificial island was reclaimed from the sea to offer alternative living space outside of Male and, while not a 5-star resort, Hulhumale provides the ideal base as a start or finishing point for a trip. There are plenty of local coffee shops and restaurants and a small local shopping area. The public beach along the island's east side is an endless stretch of sand and provides the ideal location to swim or simply sit and watch the world go by. The capital of Male is just a 20-minute ferry journey away or a 15-minute ride by taxi.
  • Goidhoo Island is an interesting island paradise waiting to be explored. Experience an island rich in culture with mangrove lakes and agricultural resources, not at all what you expect from a Maldivian island! Enjoy a beautiful beach, vibrant coral reefs, a rich ecosystem, and a glimpse into the traditional way of life in the Maldives. Goidhoo could be described as 'large' compared to many other local islands, but the village community has a population of no more than 500, and much of the island is given over to tropical flora and agriculture.
  • Fehendhoo Island is one of the least populated islands in Baa Atoll, with some 150 locals living within its tiny village. The rest of the island is covered with tropical jungle and surrounded by aquamarine waters and coral reefs teeming with schools of tropical fish. With such a small population the island has little in the way of infrastructure; there are a couple of local shops and a small cafe. There are several beach areas on the island, especially for tourists, as well as a few secluded corners where you can relax in a hammock and lie in the shadow of the palms.
  • Fulhadhoo Island is blessed with a beautiful beach that ranked in the top 25 beaches in the world! With avenues of swaying palm trees and surrounded by a magnificent turquoise blue ocean, it is indeed paradise. The island is much longer than it is wider, meaning a refreshing sea breeze blows across as you amble to and from the beach. The local village is home to 250 people and is positioned on the eastern part of the island, while the rest of the island features small agricultural land plots, a tropical forest, and white sandy beaches.

Departure Dates

  • Jul 13, 2024 - Jul 21, 2024
  • Aug 11, 2024 - Aug 18, 2024
  • Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
  • Jul 13, 2025 - Jul 21, 2025
  • Aug 10, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
  • Sep 14, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025

Group size: Min 1, Max 8

Seasonal Notes

With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine, and temperatures around 86°F (30°C) throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit the Maldives. The Maldives has two distinct seasons:

  • January - March: This is the dry season as the northeast monsoons are more common.
  • Mid-May - November: This is the wet season, as southwest monsoons are more common. Wet, however, doesn't mean rain all the time, it just means we see more rain during this period than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower, but it's very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even a full 24 hours of rain. There is usually more wind during this period, but this helps keep the temperature at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies, slate grey seas, and crashing thunder make for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain - the sea will be extra warm.

There can be heavy rain showers pretty much any time of year, but they tend to be short and cannot be accurately predicted seasonally (in other words – don’t worry too much about them – you will quite possibly experience some rain showers, but the majority of the weather should be great, and you will be unlucky to get several consecutive days of heavy rain). Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather pattern is changing, and historical data is less reliable as an indication of what to expect in the here and now.


Day 1 North Male Atoll [the Maldives] (arrival day)

Upon arrival at Velana International Airport, you will be welcomed by your tour leader who will assist with your transfer to Hulhumale. After settling into your guest house, we journey across Male to the smaller neighboring island of Villimale, to discover the quieter side of city life. Accompanied by your tour leader, wander the quiet streets with their pastel-colored local houses, witness how development is impacting coral reefs, and learn more about the challenges faced by our island nation.

Whilst on the island, you will also learn about the conservation efforts of Save the Beach. This inspiring NGO is working to maintain the Maldives' aquatic ecosystems. The project monitors nearby reefs, organizes beach cleans, and engages locals through their education.

Accommodation: Newtown Inn (Hulhumale)
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 Male Tour & Boat Ride to Goidhoo Island

Spend the morning exploring Male on foot with your tour leader. Learn the stories of Hukuru Miskiy (the Old Friday Mosque), visit key points of interest that weave their history into the story of this unusual capital city, and take in the smells and flavors at the local markets. After time for lunch, board a speedboat for the two-hour journey to the island of Goidhoo.

Goidhoo retains a cultural feel with ancient mosques and wells. The island’s natural wonders include freshwater lakes, which are quite unusual in the Maldives, mangroves, and a beautiful beach, as well as many fruit and vegetable farms. After checking into a local island hotel, drop by a local cafe to sample traditional "hedika". This afternoon tradition is best described as the Maldives equivalent of tapas! Walk into any café between 3 pm and 5 pm and you will find an array of bite-sized savory and sweet delights, served with black tea. Then it’s time to hit the beach for a sunset swim.

Accommodation: Olive Goidhoo (Goidhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3 Snorkeling & Island Tour of Goidhoo

This morning immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldives as you embark on your first underwater adventure. Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ during the experience, pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. They will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water. A vibrant tapestry of ocean life will unfold before your eyes, from shimmering schools of tropical fish to elusive creatures tucked within the coral, each one adds to the symphony of hues that paint this underwater landscape.

Back on dry land, in the afternoon you will explore the island of Goidhoo.

In the 19th century, a female African slave who had been bought by the king on his Hajj trip to Mecca was formally released from slavery. A house and a well were built for her to settle on Goidhoo. The freeing of slaves before the death of the owner was a common practice among the very high nobility in the Maldives. Now, there are some families from Goidhoo that can trace their decadency to this African ancestor.

Accommodation: Olive Goidhoo (Goidhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4 Kayaking in Goidhoo & Island Tour of Fehendhoo

This morning we kayak one of the island’s mangrove lakes and learn why the mangroves play such an important role in the Maldives. Your tour leader will coach you on how to paddle and maneuver the kayak before we set off to explore this unique Maldives ecosystem. As you navigate the waterway, your guide will provide valuable insights, sharing stories of the delicate balance between the mangroves, the surrounding marine environment, and the local communities. They will emphasize the need to preserve and protect these invaluable habitats, highlighting the vital role each of us plays in conserving the natural wonders of the Maldives.

In the late afternoon, take a speedboat transfer to Fehendhoo, one of the least populated islands in the Baa Atoll. On arrival, your tour leader will take you on an exploration of the island. In 1602, Frenchman Francois Pyrard found himself wrecked on the reef here, before his attempts to learn the language won him favor with Beyfulhun, who subsequently took him to the capital. Pyrard’s account of his time in the Maldives would be the world’s only real glimpse into the mysterious atolls between the 14th and 19th centuries. The wreck of his ship, the Corbin, can still be found on the reef but the treasures within are still to be located. Maybe you will get lucky!

Accommodation: Olive Goidhoo (Goidhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 Snorkeling in Fehendhoo & Forest Walk in Fulhadhoo

Once again we head out for a guided snorkeling tour this morning. Why? Because you are in the Maldives, which is 99% ocean, and each snorkeling experience is unique!

Fehendhoo is surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs that are teeming with colorful fish and various sea mammals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks, and rays.

Late afternoon, transfer by speedboat to Fulhadhoo, arguably one of the most beautiful islands of the Baa Atoll. After checking into your local accommodation we take a tropical forest walk to enjoy sunset at the island beach which has been ranked in the world’s top 25 beaches. Don’t forget your flashlight!

Accommodation: Sama Garden (Fehendhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 6 Cooking Experience & Sandbank Hopping on Fulhadhoo

This morning you will meet the ladies of the local Women’s Development Committee (WDC). Island WDCs play an important role in mobilizing local women and providing an avenue for women to network, collaborate, and implement initiatives for community development. Under their watchful gaze, you will prepare breakfast, learning how to make "maashuni" (a typical Maldivian breakfast dish comprised of tuna, onion, coconut, and chili) and "roshi" (flatbread). Sit together to share.

After time for lunch, enjoy an idyllic journey through Goidhoo Atoll, where a series of stunning sandbanks await your discovery. But the ultimate destination awaits—an uninhabited Robinson Crusoe island. As you step onto its shores, you will feel like an intrepid explorer, discovering a place that feels like it belongs only to you. The island's beaches will invite you to wander and explore their hidden corners. As the sun starts to set, casting hues of gold and orange across the sky, savor the local flavors of a traditional fish and coconut BBQ.

Accommodation: Island Luxury Dive Hotel (Fulhadhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 7 Coral Nursery Visit & Beach Clean Up on Fulhadhoo

After breakfast, visit Fulhadhoo’s coral nursery where you will learn the story behind the project and understand why coral rehabilitation projects are extremely important in the Maldives. You will witness firsthand the intricate process of coral propagation. The techniques used, such as fragment collection, nurturing, and monitoring the growth of new coral colonies.

In the afternoon, spend time giving back to the community that has welcomed you by participating in an island clean. The act of cleaning is a powerful reminder of the importance of responsible tourism and environmental stewardship. Your reward will be a refreshing ocean swim!

Accommodation: Island Luxury Dive Hotel (Fulhadhoo)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 Transfer to Male Airport (departure day)

Following an early breakfast, transfer by scheduled speedboat to Male International Airport, where your tour ends.


This itinerary is privatizable upon request. Contact us for customization or to choose your own departure dates for your group.

Route Map

A route map showing the islands visited during the Goidhoo Atoll Experience: Goidhoo Island, Fehendhoo Island, and Fulhadhoo Island.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • 7 nights' accommodation in Deluxe Rooms

  • 7 breakfasts & 7 dinners

  • Airport and domestic transfer assistance

  • Return transfer by vehicle & public speedboat

  • Villimale Walking Tour

  • Island Tours and Hedika Experience

  • 2 Point Snorkeling tour including equipment

  • Mangrove kayaking

  • Maldivian Cooking Experience

  • Coral Nursery Experience

  • Sandbank hopping including snorkeling equipment

  • Services of English-speaking Tour Leader

  • All local taxes (10% service charge, 16% GST, & $6 Green Tax pp/night)

  • International Flights

  • Lunch

  • Personal Expenses

  • Gratuities

  • Travel Insurance


Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

Contact us for Private group pricing.

  • Deposit per person

    $ 100 pp

  • Shared Room - sleeps 2 - price per person


  • Private Room - sleeps 1 - price per person



Sustainable and Responsible tourism has been an integral part of our business model since 2012. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and traditions. Through the education of our team, our guests, and locals, we aim to protect the environment and limit wherever possible any negative impact on local life. As a team, we aim to inspire, inform and demonstrate to our partners, our guests, and the tourism industry as a whole, that we are committed to ensuring we offer only responsible and positive travel experiences.

We believe that people, communication, and education are the foundation of Sustainable Tourism. This is the reason that we have built our business on four communities:– Our Guests– Our Team– Local Islanders– NGOs and charity organizations. We understand that success requires focus, adaptation, and long-term thinking. Change does not often happen overnight, it is a gradual process. Surely in a destination such as the Maldives, it is our responsibility to make that difference.

Environmental Initiatives
Through learning experiences with our guides, we provide guests with awareness of corals, marine life, seagrass, mangroves, waste management, and plastic pollution. We brief all guests participating in snorkeling activities on the Green Fins Code of Conduct, this improves their knowledge of what they can do to help protect the ocean and coral reefs. We follow the Codes of Conduct produced by international marine organizations when encountering manta rays, whale sharks, and turtles while snorkeling and diving.

Sociocultural Initiatives
We ensure that our tours include opportunities to engage with locals and learn about the local way of life. By facilitating interactions between travelers and the local community, we aim to provide enriching and authentic experiences. These not only benefit the travelers by offering a deeper and more meaningful connection with the destination, but they also have a positive impact on the local community. By actively participating in cultural interactions, travelers contribute to the preservation of local traditions, ensuring their endurance over time. Additionally, these interactions have a positive economic impact on the community economy, as they provide opportunities for income generation and sustainable development.

Economic Initiatives
We choose locally owned and operated infrastructure as well as services developed and managed by locals to contribute to the local community's economic development. By doing this, we provide job opportunities for locals making the wheels of the economy spin. In this same line, we opt not to have our own fleet of vehicles but rather use public means of transportation or private locally owned ones. This decision not only supports the sustainability of the local transportation sector but also ensures that the economic benefits of tourism are distributed among the community, promoting more inclusive and balanced growth.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler's insurance.
You can travel safely with the knowledge that you are in capable hands, all our guide team are certified in the care and safety of guests holding First Emergency Response and Lifeguard certifications.


What does the Physical Rating of "Average" mean for this trip?

This means that our activities will be engaging and enjoyable without being excessively demanding or strenuous. While our program promotes an active experience, we ensure that the level of intensity is not very hard.

What are the accomodations like?

The accommodations available for this trip are as follows:

  • Newtown Inn (Hulhumale): Located in the heart of Hulhumale, this 10-room property offers comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms, AC, fan, flat-screen satellite TV, safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi. It's just a short walk away from the beach.
  • Olive Goidhoo (Goidhoo): This 12-bedroom guest house features an outdoor terrace with views of the island's agricultural fields and ocean. Rooms are furnished with king-size beds, and Garden View Rooms have balconies overlooking the island's greenery. Amenities include en-suite bathrooms, AC, fan, safety deposit box, Wi-Fi, and dining options at Omala Café & Restaurant.
  • Sama Garden Hotel (Fehendhoo): Set on a beach area of Fehendhoo, this hotel offers 18 comfortably furnished rooms with en-suite bathrooms, AC, fan, flat-screen satellite TV, safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.
  • Island Luxury Dive Hotel (Fulhadhoo): Located near the island's tourist beach, this premium hotel provides 8 deluxe rooms with spacious bathrooms. The hotel features a kitchenette on the first floor for guests' convenience. Guests can enjoy the stunning forest view and abundant lush greenery on the island.

What is an atoll?

An atoll is a type of circular island found in the tropics, wherein the perimeter is a coral reef surrounding a lagoon in the center.

Can we drink alcohol?

As a Muslim country, alcohol is not available on any local island. Hulhule Island Hotel located on the airport island does have a bar serving alcohol. 

What's the dress code on local islands?

Care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T-Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offense by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T-Shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulder, loose shorts that cover the thigh, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders. Whilst the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, females should NOT wear bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, Picnic Island, sandbank, screened-off tourist bikini beach, dive boat, or resort island.

More recently the level of acceptance can vary from island to island and between the central atolls and those in the Deep North or Deep South. The key point to remember is to consider you are a guest in another country and dress not to cause offense.

Whilst the law restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands, all guesthouses provide a private tourist sunbathing area on the beach or on the terrace of the guesthouse, your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is a common practice by both locals and visitors for females to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash guard and shorts or leggings. When visiting the home of a local family or during the Male City tour where we may have access to mosques shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect for local customs.

I'm vegan/vegetarian - will I be OK?

Properties can cater to vegan and vegetarian diets, but it is worth noting in regard to food on local islands that over 95% of products are imported, and then from Male they are transferred once or twice a week to outer islands. Fruit and vegetables, while available, can be limited and they do not form part of the traditional Maldivian diet in the way you may be used to back home with your 5 a day! Given that tuna is a key component of our diet, as vegetarians, you will find your diet quite limited in comparison to what you are used to. Even a potato curry is likely to have dried tuna added. On local islands, you can't just pop out to the supermarket, and what you may see in the convenience store one week is not seen again for months! So if there is something particularly you eat within your diet that you can't live without we would encourage you to pack some and be prepared for perhaps more repetition of meals than you would be used to back home.

Do I need to bring my own snorkel mask & fins?

While we do provide equipment on all our tours where we are snorkeling, and snorkeling equipment will also be available to rent at resorts and guesthouses, we would advise to bring along your own mask and snorkel. Not only will you be assured the mask fits your face properly and is comfortable and less likely to have leakage, it will also lower any health associated risks. We find that peace of mind goes a long way! A mask and snorkel is small and light and should take up very little space in your suitcase.  

Fins, which are the cumbersome part, are available to rent or, if you have booked a snorkeling tour with us, will be included within the package. While renting or using fins we supply means you won’t have to try and find room for them in your bag and leaves you space for other essentials, it may also mean that we are unable to provide a 100% comfortable fit. If snorkeling is going to form a large part of your holiday, then the comfort of your equipment will also add to your overall enjoyment of the activity.

Due to the ocean current and wind conditions in the Maldives, the use of fins is essential in almost all snorkeling locations and especially during pelagic marine life encounters where you will be surprised at the speed a whale shark can swim! We understand that you may have snorkeled elsewhere in the world without fins, but they are a necessity in the Maldives to make the most of your experience. Should you wish to check we have correct fin sizes available for you, or would like the opportunity to purchase fins from a reputable dive store, please let us know prior to your arrival in order that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Do I need a visa for the Maldives?

A free 30-day tourist visa will be granted to all tourists upon arrival in Maldives providing all entry requirements as detailed below are met.

Inquire Now

Ready to book this trip?

Book Now

Departure Dates

  • Jul 13, 2024 - Jul 21, 2024
  • Aug 11, 2024 - Aug 18, 2024
  • Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
  • Jul 13, 2025 - Jul 21, 2025
  • Aug 10, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
  • Sep 14, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025

Group size: Min 1, Max 8

Related Trips

We proudly partner with wanderwell, a B-Corp-certified travel insurance agency and 1% for the Planet member.

Request a FREE quote for Trip Protection or Travel Medical coverage.

Book Insurance Now