The BEST Time to Visit Maldives! [August 2019]

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If picture-perfect islands are what you’re looking for, choosing the Maldives as your next travel destination is an excellent choice! As a chain of almost 1,200 small islands located south-west of India and Sri Lanka, this idyllic archipelago lures visitors from across the globe with its gorgeous beaches, stunning coral reefs, epic surf and perfectly blue sea and lagoons. 

As in most tropical destinations, the Maldives experiences a wet season and a dry season. When making travel plans, you may favor dry weather over tourist levels and cost – or vice versa – you may prefer unpredictable weather in exchange for better travel deals; all of which makes deciding the best time to visit the Maldives not-so-obvious.

As you finalize your plans for the best month to visit the Maldives, be sure to consider what activities are on your wishlist and what conditions work best for you. Keep in mind the weather, tourist seasons and local events to get a better idea of your potential travel experience. For all this information, just keep reading this comprehensive Maldives guide!

When is the best time of year to visit the Maldives?

When finding your best time of year to visit the Maldives, the weather temperature-wise isn’t too much of a factor – as it stays consistent year-round. Located so close to the equator, the average temperature stays in the warm 80s℉ (mid-20s℃) winter, spring, summer and fall! It’s rare to find temperatures dipping below 75℉ (31℃) or above 88℉ (21℃). Humidity is always high at around 80%.

This is our INSIDER GUIDE for the best times to visit Maldives!

This is our INSIDER GUIDE for the best times to visit Maldives!

What you do need to consider are the monsoon seasons, which define the Maldives’ dry and wet season. The best time of year to visit the Maldives is during the dry northeast monsoon – which marks the dry season – that occurs between December and May. Not surprisingly, this also marks the high-tourist season with the highest prices. You may still encounter random showers, but chances of rain are less than the other months of the year.

The wet season takes over from mid-May to November with the arrival of the windy and rainy southwest monsoon. It usually rains more at nighttime, but weather conditions are very unpredictable and may change at any moment. This is also the low tourist season, as planning outdoor activities is a bit more problematic!

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What months are the best time to visit the Maldives?

For the driest month and for the best diving conditions – if you’re willing to take on high prices and peak tourist season – you’ll find that February is the best time to visit the Maldives. In the north, there are usually only a couple of days of rain with about five days in the south. Because of the calm weather conditions, it’s also the best time for scuba diving in the spectacular northern atoll dive sites. 

For budget travelers, the wet off-season months of June and July are worth considering. The weather will be particularly hot and humid with heavy downpours, but they’re often short-lived. These months are best for divers who want the thrill of diving with whale sharks and manta rays and for surfers seeking the islands’ biggest swells.

Maldives Centara Islands

Read below for information about Maldives weather in January (Photo credit – centarahotelsresorts.com)

Maldives Weather in January

January sees some of the best weather in the Maldives with sunny, long days and low rainfall levels. If it does rain, it’s slight and passes through quickly. The average is 3 rainy days in the north and up to 10 days in the south. Overall, you can expect the weather during this popular time to be practically perfect!

Maldives Events in January

  • Huravee Day (day varies each year)
    • The whole nation pays tribute to Sultan Hasaan, the man responsible for freeing the Maldives from South India’s occupation in 1752, with this important cultural event. Festivities include traditional dance, music and plenty of food!
Ayada Maldives

Read below for information about Maldives weather in February (Photo credit – splendidasiaonline.com)

Maldives Weather in February

Ideal sunny and dry weather continues in February. The water is warm and visibility is prime for diving and snorkeling. It’s the driest month of the year with less than 2 inches (50mm) of rain and 10 hours of sunshine. With such conditions, it’s easy to see why most consider this to be the best time to visit the Maldives!

Maldive Events in February

  • Zero Plastic Run (early February)
    • This 5km walk/run is the first of its kind in the Maldivian region. It’s a special event put together to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment and to advocate the banning of single-use plastics. Proceeds go to environmental non-profit organizations for the joint initiative of achieving the goals of Zero Plastic. Participants are encouraged to pick up plastics from the roads and deposit them at the collection points; participants are also awarded an eco-friendly medal!

 

Need more specifics? Find out where to stay in Maldives based on what you want to do there!

 

Marriot

Read below for information about Maldives weather in March (Photo credit – marriott.com)

Maldives Weather in March

Weather conditions remain dry, but rainfall slowly increases to an average of 8 days in the south. Downpours aren’t yet the norm, and you’ll continue to find long days with 9 hours of sunshine. March is also the hottest month in the Maldives with an average temperature of 84℉ (29℃)

Maldives Events in March

  • Surf Season
    • Surf season officially begins in the archipelago, so take advantage of some amazing waves. And with average water temps of 84℉ (29℃), no need to worry about a wetsuit!
South Ari Atoll

Read below for information about Maldives weather in April (Photo credit – booking.com)

Maldives Weather in April

The transition from the dry season to the wet season becomes apparent as rain increases and occurs more frequently in the second half of April. The days are still long with an average of 9 hours of sunshine and water visibility remains excellent for water activities, but expect an average of 6-7 days in the north and over 10 in the south.

Maldives Events in April

  • Easter (April or March)
    • There is no shortage of Easter activities taking place on the islands throughout its many tourist resorts. Events take place all week and include kid-friendly Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts, culinary workshops and visits from the Easter bunny. Adults can feast on special Easter brunch fare and special dinner menu options.
Maldives Beach

Read below for information about Maldives weather in May (Photo credit – riu.com)

Maldives Weather in May

The wet southwest monsoon arrives! This is good news for budget travelers as resorts begin lowering prices as the second half of the month becomes more wet and humid. The wettest conditions begin in the south and move up north. Heavy downpours and thunderstorms are common, so you’ll want to be prepared! Average rainfall increases to 15 days with over 8 inches (216mm) of rain.

Maldive Events in May

  • Start of Ramazan (date varies according to the Islamic calendar)
    • This is a very important Islamic occasion that involves 28 days of fasting. While not an issue at big resorts, local restaurants throughout the islands may be shut down and may cause other restrictions at small, local islands.
  • Whale Shark Season
    • Heavy rainfall means more plankton in the water which causes reduced water visibility overall. The upside, however, is that the plankton attracts whale sharks and marks the best time to spot one of these wonderful marine creatures in action!
Maldives Rain

Read below for information about Maldives weather in June (Photo credit – http://maldives.net.mv)

Maldives Weather in June

The wet season takes over the whole country as downpours, evening and morning drizzle and clouds become the norm. The chances of finding favorable weather are better in the south with an average of 10 rainy days per month versus the 18 rainy days in the north. Either way, be prepared with raingear!

Maldives Events in June

  • Manta Ray Season
    • The manta rays join the party to feast on the growing number of plankton in the more turbulent water. For scuba divers, the south is especially enticing for the chance to dive alongside manta rays and whale sharks.
  • Kuda Eid (date varies)
    • This day marks the end of the fasting of Ramazan. Islamic families gather for feasts to celebrate the last of the holy month.

 

Not yet booked? Take a look at our favorite hotels in Maldives!

 

Maldives Rainy

Read below for information about Maldives weather in July (Photo credit – hotelpromobook.com)

Maldives Weather in July

Hot, humid weather and consistent rainfall continue through July. The average rainfall in the north remains high with an average of 16 rainy days and increases to 12 rainy days in the south. For surfers, however, July is the best month to visit the Maldives!

Maldive Events in July

  • Surfing
    • July is surfers’ favorite in the Maldives as the storms produce consistently big swells, resulting in the archipelago’s best surfing conditions. The average wave-height is between 2 to 8 feet. For those with surfing at the top of their priority list, this is the time for you!
  • Independence Day (July 26)
    • You’ll find plenty of public celebrations taking place throughout the islands as everyone celebrates Maldivian independence from the British in 1965. Get a taste of local tradition by partaking in the parades, floats and numerous cultural events happening countrywide.
Maldives Indian Ocean

Read below for information about Maldives weather in August (Photo credit – travelandleisure.com)

Maldives Weather in August

Daily heavy and short downpours are the norm throughout August with temperatures remaining at a hot and humid 82℉ (28℃). Towards the end of the month, the number of rainy days continues to slowly decline in the north but average rainy days stay high at 12 to 14. Deal-seeking travelers often find this to be the best month to visit the Maldives.

Maldives Events in August

  • The Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy (early-mid August)
    • Experience the best in surfing at this unique event that invites only 6 of the world’s champions to compete. Events are held at the Four Seasons and special VIP packages are available for hard-core surfing fans who want an up-close-and-personal experience onboard the surf vessel, the Four Seasons Explorer. The winner of this prestigious competition receives a cash reward and – perhaps most importantly – bragging rights in the surfing inner circle!
Read below for information about Maldives weather in September (Photo credit - kenwoodtravel.co.uk)

Read below for information about Maldives weather in September (Photo credit – kenwoodtravel.co.uk)

Maldives Weather in September

September is the Maldives’ wettest month with an average of over 9 inches (243mm) of rain. The weather is unpredictable, however, as the rain may continue in short, heavy downpours over several days whereas some days may be mostly sunny with only an hour of rainfall. There are still great deals available for budget-conscious travelers!

Maldives Events in September

  • Maldives Marine Expo (early September)
    • This important industry expo was first organized in 2014 by LAM (Liveaboard Association of Maldives) to develop business and to bring opportunities to the marine industry as a whole. The event grows every year and features international and local exhibitors representing different businesses involved in the marine industry – from boat builders to dive school operators – with almost 3,000 industry visitors.
North Ari Atoll

Read below for information about Maldives weather in October (Photo credit – adoremaldives.com/)

Maldives Weather in October

Plenty of rain continues to fall as the Maldives enters its last month of the wet season. As the final month of the southwest monsoon, it also marks the last month of surfing and manta rays and whale sharks sightings. You can expect an average of 15 rainy days in October.

Maldives Events in October

  • National Day (date varies according to the Islamic calendar)
    • To commemorate the end of the 15-year Portuguese occupation in 1578, the Maldivians use this national holiday as a day of festivities that include marches and colorful parades throughout the archipelago. For the biggest celebration, head to the Maldivian capital city of Male.

 

MUST READ – These are our favorite things to see in Maldives!

 

Maldives Beach

Read below for information about Maldives weather in November (Photo credit – cntraveller.com)

Maldives Weather in November

This transition month marks the shift in wind direction as the southwest monsoon turns to the northeast monsoon. Rainfall begins decreasing in the north to an average of 8 rainy days but remains at a high 15 days in the south. Weather is still unpredictable and short, heavy afternoon downpours should be expected.

Maldives Events in November

  • Victory Day (November 3)
    • Locals commemorate this day of Maldivian victory back in 1988 when Maldivian soldiers – alongside allies from India – triumphed over Sri Lankan mercenaries who attempted to overthrow their government. The capital city of Male puts on the biggest show with awesome performances involving children performing drills and traditional dances, floats and parades. Similar celebrations can be found throughout the islands.
  • Republic Day (November 11)
    • This national holiday celebrates the day in 1968 when a republic government replaced Sultan rule in the Maldives. The city of Male highlights the festivities with patriotic parades and brass marching bands. If you really want to soak in a bit of local patriotic culture, this event will not disappoint!
  • Mohammad’s Birthday (date varies)
    • The beloved holy prophet Mohammed is celebrated each year on his birthday with 3 full days of eating and festivities. Because it has such strong religious significance, Muslims throughout the islands prepare special dishes and celebrate with loved ones.
Maldives

Read below for information about Maldives weather in December (Photo credit – themaldivesexpert.com)

Maldives Weather in December

Some rain is still common in early December, but you can expect drier and sunnier conditions – especially as the month continues. December is the beginning of the dry season and marks the beginning of the high-tourist season as visitors flock for a warm holiday season with plenty of sunshine and 81℉ (27℃) weather!

Maldives Events in December

  • Fishermen’s Day (December 11)
    • This is a good one for visitors wanting to try some incredible seafood! The country celebrates its local fishermen with fun and educational events about traditional Maldivian fishing. It’s a fun event for children and adults alike.
  • Christmas 
    • For Christmas fun in the sun, you can count on the resorts to offer plenty of holiday cheer! Christmas cocktail parties, Christmas Eve buffets, surfing Santas – these are just some of the festivities you can find to celebrate the holiday season in the Maldives. Or experience a bit of local Christmas tradition by enjoying the sight of local homes decorated with Christmas fir and pine branches. You can find carolers walking throughout the streets singing festive Christmas carols and churches that hold Christmas mass.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations (December 31)
    • Be sure to book your travel plans well in advance for any of the highly-sought-after New Year’s Eve events taking place at most of the Maldives’ top resorts. A special night of galas and dinner await merry travelers. Most budget hotels offer New Year’s parties as well and fill up quickly!

 

What is the best time to visit the Maldives weather-wise? 

Island living with plenty of warmth and sunshine is probably on your list of reasons for going to the Maldives. Perhaps outdoor activities – like snorkeling and diving – are on your wishlist too. If that’s the case, weather-wise, the dry season is definitely the best time to visit the Maldives. Especially in January and February, weather conditions are the most stable and provide the most hours of sunshine, warm beach days and the driest conditions. The non-stormy weather also provides the calmest sea conditions for prime visibility of the abundant coral and teeming marine life of the Maldives’ best snorkel and dive sites.  

If you’re an avid surfer, you’ll appreciate the stormier weather that brings the big swells with it. In that case, June and July will offer the best experience weather-wise to provide the activities – like catching some epic waves – that you’ll enjoy most! 

 

Final thoughts on the best time of year to visit the Maldives

Regardless of when you decide to travel – dry or wet season, high or low tourist season – you can bet you’ll find warm weather and some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen! In that regard, any month year-round can be considered the best time of year to visit the Maldives. Even in the wet season, sunshine can be found, and the islands offer a variety of activities to enjoy regardless of the weather. So fear not, as long as you travel prepared for any weather that comes your way, rest assured that the Maldives will dazzle you with all its beauty and charm!

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.