Situated around a thousand kilometers from the Asian continent, the Maldives is an island nation with clear blue seas, white sand beaches, vibrant culture, and beautiful underwater scenery – from coral to marine life like manta rays. But when is the best time to visit the Maldives?
That’s a good question you’ll want to know when traveling to the Maldives. There are just two seasons that dominate this scattering of coral atolls – wet and dry. One is super rainy, and the other is super sunny. Other factors can affect how unpredictable (or predictable) the weather is in the Maldives, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a guide to when to visit these stunning islands.
The Climate of the Maldives
Before we discuss the best time to go to the Maldives, let’s dive into the climate. Located near the equator, all the Maldives islands have a tropical monsoon climate, and there is little variation in minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the year. It’s often hot and humid. There are two distinct seasons – wet and dry.
When is the Best Time to Visit Maldives?
Before we dig into the best time to visit the Maldives, it’s important to keep in mind your expectations when traveling to the Maldives and ask yourself these questions:
- Are you on a budget?
- Do you care about rain?
- Does humidity bother you?
- Do crowds bother you?
- Would you rather pay less but take a higher gamble on the weather?
- Are you interested in free diving or scuba diving?
- Are you on your honeymoon?
The Maldives Two distinct seasons
The Maldives has a very distinct wet and dry season. In May, there is a change in the wind direction in May that brings South West monsoon rains. These rains can last through to November. The rain typically doesn’t last all day and mostly occurs in the form of short and intense downpours and thunderstorms.
Although the weather in the Maldives stays relatively consistent, the weather patterns vary slightly depending on the location of the atoll. The central and northern atolls’ dry season may vary from the southern atolls.
- Driest Month: February
- High Season
- Higher Prices
- Less chance of rain.
- The most popular time to visit
- Many events and festivals (see bottom)
- Lower humidity
- Wettest Month: October
- Low Season
- Lower Prices
- High chance of rain, but still expect plenty of sunshine.
- Fewer Crowds
- High humidity
When is The Best Time To Visit Maldives?
Weather in the Maldives in January
So you’re wondering when the best time to go to the Maldives is? Try January! The Maldives are not at their hottest in January – in fact, January is frequently the coolest month of the year across the islands – but we’d say it’s still pretty damn hot.
Average daytime temperatures are 30°C, the sea temperature is a balmy 28°C, and it’s pretty dry… So, all in all, January is a good time to visit the Maldives.
There’s not much rain to worry about, being pretty much in the middle of the dry season. It’s also not that humid. It’s sunny, too, with nine hours of sunshine a day – any clouds that might be in the sky get blown away by winds from the northeast.
Weather in the Maldives in February
Like January, the temperatures in February stay pretty constant (during daylight hours at least) at around 30°C. Nights are a little cooler, being 26°C, but the sea is even warmer! How does 29°C sound? That’s practically bathtub level.
February is the driest month of the dry season (November to April) and sees a lot of sunshine. This makes it a popular time of year to visit the Maldives, with many consecutive days of sunshine and practically no clouds or rain. Any rain that does fall during February is likely to be a light scattering over the southeastern atolls.
Ten hours of sunshine a day, warm water to lounge around in, predictably good weather. What’s not to like?
Weather in the Maldives in March
Still, in the dry season, March is the hottest month of the year. Temperatures are in the low 30s, and the sea remains at a very warm 29°C. So not exactly the best time to travel to the Maldives. Bathtime, anyone?
Even temperatures at night time rarely dip below 27°C. There’s barely any rain, either. Again, any rain that does fall will occur in the south; there are only – on average – seven rainy days in March in the Maldives. Though hot, it’s an excellent time to get out and about. Hike around the islands, go diving; it’s all good. Make sure you cover up when the sun’s at its hottest, wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Weather in the Maldives in April
During April, temperatures average 29°C, and nighttime temperatures are about 26°C; you won’t need anything to keep you warm in the evening. But the sea climbs up to the hottest it gets all year – 30°C. That’s hotter than the air temperature! Crazy.
It’s all about chilling on the beaches and watersports and enjoying the great weather. However, as April moves forward, the rain will increase as the dry season begins to break and come to an end. This happens sooner in the north, thanks to southwesterly monsoon winds. Still, only ten days out of April, see rain. And that’s just an average. However, there are few clouds because of those winds, which means a lot of sunshine!
Weather in the Maldives in May
That was the dry season. May heralds the beginning of the wet season. Southwesterly winds increase, so does cloud coverage and the number of rainy days that this month of the year is packing.
It’s still a warm month, but it gets a lot of rain. Humidity skyrockets, making the heat feel just a little bit uncomfortable, so not the best time to go to the Maldives. You should definitely get a place with air conditioning.
The whole of the Maldivian archipelago begins to get affected by the monsoon, which is really what the wet season is. That humidity? It’s about 76% by now, and you’ll be affected by (on average) 15 days of rain with an average temperature of 30°C. Pretty sticky and not the best time to visit the Maldives.
Weather in the Maldives in June
The temperatures may not change a lot in June, but thanks to the rainy season, this is easily the wettest month of the year. Winds get up to speeds of 30mph, and humidity is at a not-great 77% (average).
There is still, thankfully, quite a bit of sunshine. We visited the Maldives in June and still saw quite a bit of sunshine, though a few hours a day were intermixed with rain. Rain tends to happen in short, albeit massive, downpours in the afternoon. Also, most of the rain falls in the southern portions of the Maldives, meaning that the north stays relatively less wet than those parts.
However, some days may be very grey, with huge monsoon clouds threatening rain all day. Sea temperatures are still high: 29°C.
Weather in the Maldives in July
The Maldives are still in the middle of the wet season in July. This means stronger winds, high humidity, and – of course – those big downpours. Nevertheless, it’s still hot. Temperatures here are always high. The daily average in July is around 29°C, which (surprise, surprise) is the same temperature as the very-warm sea.
This is not really the best time of year to visit the Maldives, but with that in mind, it is one of the cheapest months to travel to the islands. If you’re more about the budget than perfect weather, you may find July a good option for you. We enjoyed plenty of sunshine the last time we were in the Maldives in July, and when it rained, we enjoyed the sound of rain hitting our bungalow.
Rain falls mainly in the southern and southeastern atolls, though all of the archipelagoes see a downpour at some time or other.
Weather in the Maldives in August
August still means wet season, but by this point in the year, the winds are starting to ease off – in the north at least. Rain is still concentrated, for the most part, in the south of the island country. Humidity is still high, so it’s sticky, and so are temperatures (around 30°C). Evenings, however, begin to cool down at 25°C.
It’s a very tropical time of year. Skies get grey with clouds. There’s a massive downpour. Repeat for the next however many days! Weather can be unpredictable in August. It may not be the rainiest month, but torrential downpours can occur. Even if they only last 20 minutes.
Weather in the Maldives in September
The weather doesn’t change that much as the year goes on in the Maldives. It’s either hot and dry or hot and wet, and the latter is exactly in which category September falls. September means there are still southwesterly winds.
There are still unpredictable downpours, it’s wetter in the south than in the north and center of the islands, and there are still big clouds… You know the drill by now. Roughly half of the days in September get rain.
It’s no wonder that tourist numbers experience a decline during September. Even the temperatures only reach around 27°C, making it one of the year’s cooler months.
Weather in the Maldives in October
The wet season is finally coming to a close when the year trundles on to October in the Maldives. That, however, does not mean that October is without its downpours. There are still many of those to be had; it’s the third-rainiest month of the year.
The southern islands will still get more rain. And it’s still relatively humid, at around 75% on average. You’ll still get around eight hours of sunshine a day, though the rains when they do come can be super heavy. They don’t make things any less hot, either.
Nighttime temperatures are 25°C, and the sea temperatures are about 28°C. Basically, there’s not a lot of change, though it does start to get less rainy by the end of the month.
Weather in the Maldives in November
A mixed month, November means that the Maldives is no longer ‘officially’ in their rainy season… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any rain. During this month, things finally started to turn, with more sunny days than rainy days (yes, finally).
We visited in November and found it one of the best times to visit the Maldives. Tourists begin to visit a little more during November. The weather becomes more predictable, with the occasional tropical storm here and there.
Temperatures? On average, they’re around the high-20s, while the sea is still the warm, briny bath you should expect when you visit the Maldives. Humidity is still pretty high, too. We visited the Maldives in November and only had a few days of rain (but not all day) and, for the most part, a sunny and enjoyable experience.
Weather in the Maldives in December
Tourists start to flock to the Maldives towards the end of December. It’s Christmas, after all, and who doesn’t want to spend the holiday vacation in the Maldives? It’s sunny, it’s beautiful, it’s awesome, and it’s one of the best times to visit the Maldives.
Then again, there is still some heavy rainfall going on in December. Not nearly as much as back in July, though.
Daytime temperatures climb up to about 29°C, while after dark, the temperatures drop to 25°C. The ‘dry monsoon’ – otherwise simply known as the dry season – begins to properly set in by the end of the month. This means lower humidity, fewer clouds, less rain falling, and wether that’s a little more predictable. Perfect beach weather, basically.
Festivals in the Maldives
Dry season – or winter, as we know it in most of the northern hemisphere – is something of a joyous time in the Maldives. Rains cease, and the sun is out to play basically every day. What festivals in the Maldives in winter can you look forward to?
Being a Muslim country, Christmas isn’t officially observed, but other international festivals do make an appearance. January 1st, however, is an official day off. The Chinese community will be celebrating Chinese New Year (January 25th in 2020), and many hotels get into the spirit of it.
Depending on the lunar calendar (February 28th in 2020), Huravee Day celebrates the expulsion of the South Indian Malabars almost 900 years ago. National Day (or Qaumee Dhuvas) falls sometime between February and March and is celebrated in Rabee-ul Awwal – the third month of the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Maldivian victory over the Portuguese invaders in 1573. Expect parades and marches throughout the archipelago.
Festivals in the Maldives in spring – the end of the dry season – encompass a few celebrations. In April, there’s Martyr’s Day. Calculated by the Islamic (lunar) calendar, it celebrates and pays respects to all martyrs throughout Maldivian history. Ramadan – also known in the Maldives as Ramazan – commences 28 days of daylight-hours fasting, culminating in…
Eid ul Fitr! Eid ul Fitr is typically a summery affair in other countries, but in the Maldives, this festival (sometimes in May, sometimes in June) occurs as the wet season sets in. Expect feasting and merrymaking.
Independence Day (July 26-27) celebrates the end of being a British protectorate when an agreement was signed between the two (now) sovereign countries back in 1965. This is a great time to be in the Maldives, with many festivities to see as people take to the streets in colorful garb.
Festivals in August in the Maldives include Bodu Eid. This falls 66 years after the end of Ramadan and marks the beginning of the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca.
Held at the end of September, after another lengthy session of fasting that is Ramadan, Kuda Eid is made up of three days of people coming together, mosque-visiting, feasting, and dancing. It’s very much based around food!
Towards the end of October/early November (November 10-11 in 2019), the Maldives celebrates the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday! As you may expect, there’s feasting and merriment. Head to the capital of Male to see the full extent of the celebrations.
As the Maldives begin to inch out of the rainy season (only just), November 11 sees the celebration of Republic Day. It’s the day that the current Maldive was founded back in 1968, three years after independence from the United Kingdom. This means brass bands, parades, and marches.
When is the Best Season to Travel Maldives?
High season (December-March): This is the high season in the Maldives and peaks dry season. You’ll have less chance of rain than in other months and be rewarded with summer days. However, that does come at a price. The Maldives is already an expensive destination any time of year, but traveling during the high season will show you how expensive these islands can really get. Around the holidays, expect high occupancy at the resorts.
Shoulder Season (November and April): November and April are considered a “shoulder season” in the Maldives. It’s a short period to get some cheaper travel in. Once December hits, prices will rise, but you stand a higher chance of getting rained on if you travel outside of November-April.
Low Season (May-October): This is the Maldivian low season. It’s a wet time with a high chance of rain. However, booking flights and accommodation during this time will save you big bucks. As long as you know, it will probably rain going into it. You’ll still have an enjoyable time! Just remember that diving and snorkeling are good all year round – the marine life doesn’t care that it’s raining!
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Maldives?
I think the best time of the year to visit the Maldives is November. Right before high season hits, but right after the rainy season.
when is the best time to go to the Maldives on a Budget?
The best time to go to the Maldives on a budget is obviously when it’s raining. Between May and October will get you the best deals!
Best Time to Visit Maldives for Honeymoon?
The best time to visit the Maldives for a honeymoon is between December and March. It’s your honeymoon, after all, and you don’t want to spend it sitting under an umbrella in the rain. You’ll pay more for sure, but it’s worth it to almost guarantee good weather. All in all, the best month to go to the Maldives is either January or February (after the holidays!)
The Best Time to Visit Maldives for Diving and Snorkeling?
The best time to travel to the Maldives for snorkeling and diving is seriously anytime! So if you want to save some money and are going to the Maldives on a diving holiday, it’s safe to book during the low season.
Quick Travel Tips for the Maldives
- Languages Spoken: Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives and the most widely spoken language. English is commonly understood.
- Capital: Malé
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa, but almost everywhere accepts USD.
- Visa: Anyone from any country is granted a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival!
- What to Pack: Beach Clothes, obviously! See our full guide here.
Where to Stay in the Maldives?
Cinnamon Ellaidhoo is a great property for those that want to do the Maldivian resort thing while still staying on budget. We were at Ellaidhoo for three nights and enjoyed our time here. The house reef is amazing, and every time we went out to snorkel, we discovered some new, bright fish. It’s also very far away from Male and the hustle and bustle of the country’s capital.
We had a fantastic time at Kurumba Maldives. This resort is only a five-minute speedboat ride away from the Male Airport. This means you could arrive in the Maldives and be at your resort a few minutes later. It saves on additional airfare and time. It’s also the first resort in the Maldives, but it’s elegantly maintained and has a great dive shop.
Velassaru was our favorite resort in the Maldives. They have located just a 20-minute speedboat ride away from the capital, so it’s a quick transfer in and out. The food here is to die for, and the overwater bungalows are bigger than New York City apartments. You won’t regret your stay here!
Here’s a review of all the places we stayed in The Maldives!
- Kuramathi Resort
- Velassaru Resort
- Kurumba Maldives
- Ellaidhoo Maldives
- Maafushivaru Resort
- Sheraton Full Moon
- Le Meridien Maldives
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
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- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
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