Rasdhoo Island Maldives – Travel Guide & 9 Best Things

Maldives Sharks Above

Choosing a Maldivian island with so many options is hard, but you must know each one is best for something.

So, why should you choose Rasdhoo? In short, it is the perfect destination for diving, sandbank excursions, and its visit can be perfectly combined with Thoddoo or Ukulhas, all located in the North Ari Atoll.

There are direct public ferries coming from Male twice a week, taking 3-4 hours, and costing 4 USD. From here, you can take a public ferry almost daily for 1 USD to Ukulhas and Thoddoo. Sounds like the perfect plan, right?

This is a complete Rasdhoo travel guide with all you need to know, including the best accommodations and the best things to do.

3 Islands 3 Hotels

Koimala Beach Hotel Room

GENERAL

Where is Rasdhoo located?

Rasdhoo Island is located 60 km from Male, which is a 3-4 hour journey by public ferry and 1 hour by speed boat. It’s situated in the North Ari Atoll, also known as Alif Alif Atoll, serving as its administrative center.

Rasdhoo Island is located between Thoddoo and Ukulhas islands, just a 1-hour ferry ride or a short speedboat trip to both. These three islands together create the perfect 2-week itinerary in the Maldives.

Rasdhoo Island on Map

Rasdhoo Island Map

Best Time to visit Rasdhoo

Kuramathi Beach, Rasdhoo

We recommend visiting Rasdhoo Island during the dry season, which is from December to April, for clear skies and no rain. This is the weather you will want to enjoy the island’s beaches and water activities to the fullest.

If you don’t mind a little rain, consider coming during the shoulder seasons of November and May. You will experience these islands with fewer tourists and maybe cheaper accommodation prices.

How Long to stay in Rasdhoo?

How long to spend on Rasdhoo depends on how many islands you want to visit and your interests. We think 4-5 days is perfect to explore the island, enjoy the diving, and explore the sandbanks.

For those with limited time, a 2-3 day visit works, particularly if arriving from a nearby island with a quick transfer. However, if you want to base yourself in Rasdhoo to explore nearby islands on day trips, it’s advisable to plan for a minimum stay of 1 week.

You could also visit this island as a day trip from another island; in this case, make sure to visit the sandbanks or the dive sites, which are the highlights of the island.

Best Hotels in Rasdhoo

Budget ($): Acqua Blu Rasdhoo

Mid Range ($$): Club Gabbiano

Luxury ($$$): Kuramathi

TRANSPORT & PREP

How to Get to Rasdhoo?

The nearest airport is the International Male Airport.

From there, you can transfer to Rasdhoo Island via a speedboat or the public ferry.

Maldives Local Ferry
Maldives Transport Options

Male - Rasdhoo SPEEDBOAT

Tourist speedboats to Rasdhoo depart from the Male Airport Jetty once or twice a day. The journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and costs between 35 to 40 USD per person each way.

When we visited in 2023, departure times from Male to Rasdhoo were at 11:00 and 16:00, and back to Male at 07:00 and 13:00.

We recommend booking the speedboat online through 12Go.

Male - Rasdhoo PUBLIC FERRY

There’s also a public ferry service operated by MTCC (Maldives Transport and Contracting Company), taking 3-4 hours from Male to Rasdhoo, and costing around 4 USD.

This ferry departed in 2023 from Malé at 09:00 every Monday and Thursday and from Rasdhoo at 11:00 every Sunday and Wednesday.

Maldivian local ferries are frequently delayed and can even be canceled last minute, which is exactly what happened to us.

If your ferry gets canceled in Male at 9 in the morning, simply take the 5-minute ferry back to the Male Airport Jetty and opt for the speedboat to Rasdhoo. Don’t worry; we think you will be luckier, and if not, we just told you what to do.

Thoddoo to Male Ferry Timetable
public ferry time table (april 2023)

Go first to Rasdhoo, later to Thoddoo

Speedboat at Rasdhoo Island

Rasdhoo is the perfect initial destination in this atoll when using the public ferry, as it is the only island with a direct ferry from Male, taking 3-4 hours.

If you intend to visit Thoddoo, you will need to stop at Rasdhoo for a few hours before continuing your journey. This trip will take the entire day.

A much better experience and choice would be to stay in Rasdhoo for a few nights first, and later take the ferry directly from this island to Thoddoo, which only takes 1 hour. Work smart, not harder. 🙂

Islamic Customs

On Rasdhoo, being a local Maldivian island, it’s important to respect Islamic customs. This means no alcohol is allowed, and it’s important to dress conservatively when walking around. Swimwear is only permitted at designated bikini beaches.

Money

Our recommendation is to bring cash to the Maldives, either in euros or USD, and exchange it for MVR in Male at unofficial exchange offices

They typically offer the best rates due to a black market. However, if needed, there is a Bank of Maldives branch with ATMs on Rasdhoo Island.

Pick-Up

Inform your guesthouse about your arrival details. They often arrange to pick you up in a cart, but if you need to walk, don’t worry; it’s usually just a short distance.

Remember to download offline Google Maps to easily find your way to your accommodation in Rasdhoo.

How to Get Around in Rasdhoo?

One of the reasons we loved the Maldivian islands so much is their walkability. Rasdhoo Island, in our opinion, has the perfect size to explore on foot.

SLEEP & FOOD

Where to Stay in Rasdhoo?

Kuramathi Resort, Rasdhoo

Accommodation prices in Rasdhoo Island start at 50 USD. The island is not big, so it doesn’t matter where you stay, as everything is within walking distance.

Best Hotels in Rasdhoo

If you are looking for beachfront accommodation, consider staying at Kuramathi Island Resort, which is located on a neighboring island near Rasdhoo.

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BUDGET TIP: Accommodations in the Maldives typically offer breakfast included in the room price, providing a great opportunity to save money.

Where to Eat in Rasdhoo?

Grilled Fish, Maldivian Cuisine

When in Rasdhoo, we recommend eating here:

  • Bamboo Hut: best food, best prices

  • Lemon Drop: delicious food

  • Ristorante Tramonto: for a spectacular sunset view

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PLEASE: Try “Kotthu” at Bamboo Hut. Our favorite dish in the Maldives, and this restaurant made it a 10/10.

MUST-DOS

9 Best Things to Do in Rasdhoo

Presenting you the 9 best activities to do in Rasdhoo.

1. Diving

Sea Turtle in Maldives

Rasdhoo Island is known for excellent diving with colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life. Shark encounters are almost guaranteed. The price for four dives in 2023 was 180 USD.

2. Sandbanks

Rasdhoo Sandbank, Maldives

Sandbanks: Arrange a trip to Rasdhoo’s breathtaking sandbanks for the ultimate beach day. Crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches will surround you. Here, bikinis are allowed.

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TIP: Bring enough food, drinks, and sun protection for a pleasant time.

3. Kayaking

When we hear about sandbanks, we always check how far away they are, as we love to make it there by ourselves. For the Rasdhoo Sandbanks, kayaking is definitely an option. With some luck, you will encounter sea turtles.

4. Bikini Beaches

Bikini Beach, Rasdhoo

There are two Bikini Beaches in Rasdhoo, which have everything you need: sun loungers, trees providing shade, a house reef (unfortunately, there were many dead corals when we visited, but we still saw many colorful fishes and sharks), and spectacular sunsets.

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REMEMBER: Swimwear can only be worn inside the designated bikini beach area.

5. Manta Trip

Accommodations on Rasdhoo offer various boat trips, such as this one, where you can spot and swim with mantas. Prices range from 40 to 60 USD per person for a 2-3 hour boat trip.

6. Local Island Experience

Fisher on Maldives Pier

Get a glimpse of daily life in the Maldives by exploring the village and walking around the island along the coastline. You will see the locals sitting in traditional rope chairs called “joali”.

7. Shark Feeding

Maldives Sharks Above

Head to the pier in Rasdhoo in the late afternoon and observe fishermen cutting and cleaning their catch, then throwing the fish remains into the water. This is when the magic happens, and sharks and mantas emerge to the surface. 

While this activity may not suit everyone, if interested, you can ask the fishermen if they allow you to feed the sharks yourself using the remains.

8. Resorts & Overwater Villas

Kuramathi Sandbank Bungalows

If your budget permits, enjoy the luxuries of a resort with a day pass or spend the night in an overwater villa. Wake up to breathtaking views, enjoy sunbathing on your private deck, and plunge into crystal-clear turquoise waters for snorkeling and swimming. Check out Kuramathi Resort.

Kuramathi Island Resort is a dreamy getaway next to Rasdhoo with beautiful overwater villas and cozy beachfront rooms surrounded by clear blue waters and white sandy beaches.

9. Island Hopping

Local Ferry in Maldives

Visit other local islands like Thoddoo or Ukulhas via the public ferry or speedboat for a day trip or longer stay after Rasdhoo.

PACKING, tips & costs

Packing, Tips & Prices for Rasdhoo

In our ultimate Maldives Itinerary Guide, we have four important lists for you that will make your trip to the Maldives even better:

Places near Rasdhoo

As already mentioned Rasdhoo is the perfect initial destination in the North Ari Atoll. After exploring this island, you can visit Thoddoo and Ukulhas, both only a 1-hour local ferry ride (1-2 USD) or a short speedboat journey away.

Conclusion

Rasdhoo Shipwreck

Rasdhoo Island is the perfect destination in the Maldives if you’re looking for breathtaking sandbanks, spectacular dive sites, encounters with sharks, and affordable local food.

Feel free to share your questions or experiences about Rasdhoo Island in the comments below!

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