Dhiffushi Island Maldives

10 Reasons to Visit Dhiffushi Island Maldives

As local Maldivian islands go, Dhiffushi is a pretty nice one to visit.  I always think that there’s something special about going to the “last island on the ferry trip”.  And that’s what Dihffushi is, the last one.  It’s also the first, as it’s the most easterly island in the Maldives, which means you’ll get the first sunrise in the Maldives from here.  Dhiffushi is a great place to find fabulous beaches, lovely sandbanks, good food, and decent value for money.  Dhiffushi was the fifth island on our Maldives trip, and here are our reasons to visit Dhiffushi Island, Maldives, and our guide to Dhiffushi Island, Maldives.


With 187 inhabited islands in the 1,192 that make up the island nation of the Maldives, the world was really our oyster when it came to deciding on our Maldives Itinerary.  We decided to visit several of the local islands, a resort island, and also spend time in the capital city, Malé.  Dhiffushi was the last local island we visited before heading to Malé.

Top Thing to Do

Night Snorkeling Dhiffushi Island

Night Snorkeling Dhiffushi Island

For an amazing experience go snorkeling at night from Dhiffushi. A once in a lifetime experience.

Where is Dhiffushi Island, Maldives?

Dhiffushi is in the Kaafu Atoll, just 37 kilometers (23 miles) from the Maldives capital of Malé.  You can read my guide on how to get to Dhiffushi here.  There’s a population of around 1,300 here on this island that measures around a kilometer by 200 meters (it’s 0.59 miles x 0.12 miles!)

Dhiffushi is at the end of the line of the Malé to Dhiffushi public ferry, which calls at several other islands on the way, including Thulusdhoo.  It takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to Dhiffushi on the public ferry, but you can get here quicker by taking a speedboat in just 40 minutes. 

Powered by 12Go system

There’s everything you need to know about the Maldives public ferry system in my guide here. We used the public ferries extensively during our 2 weeks in the Maldives.

10 Reasons to Visit Dhiffushi Island, Maldives

Dhiffushi is a great local island to visit if you want a reasonable infrastructure, a quick speedboat ride to get here, the option to stay at a close by resort island, to see how the other half live, and some super options for both places to stay and also eat and drink.  There’s an enormous house reef here, some great options to see marine life, right from the beach, and some fabulous beaches too. Need any more reasons to visit Dhiffushi?  Keep reading!

1.     Go Diving from Dhiffushi Island

There are 3 PADI Dive shops on Dhiffushi and they’ll take you to several of the 12 nearby diving sites which include Lankan Beyru and Banan Reef.  You’re likely to spot sharks, reef fish, and turtles in the area around Dhiffushi.  And rays.  Definitely rays.

The vast majority of the attractions of the Maldives are underwater, there is very little of the country that is actually higher than 1 meter above sea level, so it’s a great place to get underwater and explore.  You also don’t need to be certified to dive here.  Check into your hotel and head out and find the dive shops, they’ll take you on a Discover Scuba experience, where a certified professional will lead you on a beginner dive (or two).  It’s a brilliant way to see the marine life of the area.

2.     Snorkeling from Dhiffushi Island

You can snorkel directly from the beach on Dhiffushi Island, anywhere apart from basically the harbor where there’s a lot of boat traffic, but as you walk around the island you’ll find that some places are better than others.  You can head out to the house reef, but the coral isn’t the best there.

The best snorkeling experiences are a little further offshore and you’ll need to get into a boat to do that.  You should be able to spot corals, reef fish, turtles, sharks, and rays when snorkeling from Dhiffushi.   The best place in the Maldives that we snorkeled to spot rays was just off the beach of the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort (our review is here), but there were also loads on Fulidhoo Island.

What’s special about snorkeling from Dhiffushi Island is that they offer a NIGHT SNORKELING trip.  Going in the water at night is so, so different from during the day, and despite what you might think there is HEAPS to see.  And no, it’s not scary.  I write that as someone who learned to dive because I was frightened of putting my head underwater.  I loved it so much that I went straight to PADI advanced status.  And then I did a night dive.  Now?  I’m still nervous bobbing around in the water before we dive down, snorkeling, I absolutely love it now.  So do it.  If you get the chance to go night snorkeling it’s brilliant!

All snorkeling trips from Dhiffushi include snorkeling equipment.

You can pre-book a daytime snorkeling trip from Dhiffushi here – or seriously, take a look at the night snorkeling trip here. 

If you book locally, then you’ll be able to book with your Maldives guest house or hotel.  However, they’ll want you to pay cash (preferably in US dollars), or there will be a (usually 3.5%) card charge.  However, there is an ATM on Dhiffushi!

3.     Have a night on a Resort Island from Dhiffushi Island

We mixed up our trip to the Maldives, spending time on both local islands and a resort island. Our resort island, the Malahini Kuda Bandos was close to Malé, and you can read our review of it here and we thought the US$500 a night was worth it.

Meeru Resort Island near Dhiffushi Island

However, I digress.  On the boat, on the way here to Dhiffushi you’ll pass the overwater bungalows of other resort islands, but you’ll also be able to visit one and stay overnight from right here in Dhiffushi.

You can see the Meeru Maldives Resort from Bikini Beach on Dhiffushi.  It’s that close.  And when you arrive on Dhiffushi the boat actually goes through a channel that separates Meeru and Dhiffushi.  So it’s pretty close.  You can see reviews and book a room at this luxury Maldives resort here.

4.     Snorkel the House Reef on Dhiffushi Island

The house reef at Dhiffushi is enormous, it’s more than  10 kilometers (6.2 miles) square.  And you can access it from the beach.  However, you will have to walk out quite a long way to get any decent depth, and the reef isn’t as good as the offshore reefs that you’ll visit on a trip from Dhiffushi.

You can snorkel the house reef at Dhiffushi for free.  You’ll need to either stay at a hotel that includes snorkeling gear, bring your own, or buy from the stores on the island.  When we visited, we saw snorkels and masks for about US$25 while on the island.

Dhiffushi Island Walking out to the House Reef

You’ll want to avoid the channel between Dhiffushi and the resort island of Meeru Island, as the current can be pretty strong here, but also because this is where all the boat traffic is. 

5.     Amble around Dhiffushi

This is a small island and it is easy to get around.  There’s no need to rent a bike, just go for a short walk, it’s also an island that you can walk around in its entirety, unlike Maafushi, which is blocked at one end for the prison!

You’ll easily be able to find yourself a bit of pristine beach, with no one around, although unless you head to Bikini Beach you’re unlikely to find much shade.  You may, however, find marine life as we spotted a tiny ray while walking around the island!

6.     Relax on the Bikini Beach on Dhiffushi Island

We visited the Bikini Beaches on each of the local islands that we visited in the Maldives.  Dhiffushi has, in my opinion, the best Bikini Beach of them all. It’s longer and narrow rather than deeper, so there’s not much sand between you and the water, but there’s a café here with drinks and food, and there’s also music here and at a reasonable volume.  Plus there are tables, sunbeds, and shade too. It’s rather lovely. 

Bikini Beach Dhiffushi Island

So if the idea of a Bikini Beach is new to you, then there are modesty laws on each of the local islands in the Maldives, as the nation is 100% Muslim. If you want to wear a bikini, shorts, or a swimsuit, then this is where you’ll need to come on Dhiffushi.  They’re pretty relaxed about people wearing shorts these days and t-shirts, but longer shorts and shirts that cover your shoulders are best. 

On Bikini Beach, you can wear a swimsuit, bikini, and swim shorts.

And here on Dhiffushi, Bikini Beach is right where you get into the house reef. 

7.     Watch the Sunset from Dhiffushi Island Beach

Sunset in Dhiffushi (and indeed on all of the local islands that we visited) happens between about 18:00 and 18:30.  And while you can get yourself a drink at the Downtown Dhiffushi Café and Restaurant right on the beach, you can also just sit on the swings and deck chairs on the beach for free and watch the sunset.  It is really rather lovely. 

Sunset Dhiffushi Island

You can also see the sunset from Bikini Beach.  For our Dhiffushi sunsets, we were by ourselves each night. 

8.     Take a Day Trip to Thulusdhoo Island

If you don’t plan on staying on Thulusdhoo Island, then the public ferry timetable from Dhiffushi back towards Malé means that you can visit the island on a day trip and still get back to your Dhiffushi hotel, all by public ferry.

Thulusdhoo is the island most visited by surfers.  It’s also home to the Maldives Coca-Cola factory and it was the scene of the best sunset that we saw in the Maldives.  Anyway, if you aren’t staying on the island of Thulusdhoo, then come to Dhiffushi, and take the 06:30 public ferry, which gets to Thulusdhoo at 07:05.  You can spend the day on Thulusdhoo (you can just a say walk the island, although it’s a LOT bigger than Dhiffushi), and take the once a day, but not on Fridays, public ferry from Thulusdhoo back to Dhiffushi at around 16:05, you’ll arrive back in Dhiffushi at about 16:40.

Our guide to Thulusdhoo explains what there is to do here and why you should visit.

9.     See Rays and Sharks from the Beach in Dhiffushi

The waters of the Maldives teem with life.  And the further away from Malé you get the more you’ll see.  You don’t even need to get into the water to see them.  Here on Dhiffushi, there are sharks and rays that come really close to the beaches.

We snapped this small ray while standing on the beach! 

Ray Dhiffushi Island from the Beach

We also saw rays in Malé, in Fulidhoo, and while snorkeling at the resort island too!

10.  See the Sunrise on Dhiffushi Island

Now normally you’d see watching the sunrise as the FIRST thing to do on an island.  We saved it for our last day, as we were taking the public ferry back to Malé, and so it made sense to just get up 45 minutes earlier and catch the sunrise (which was mostly stuck behind a cloud) before we caught the ferry.

Sunrise on Dhiffushi is from around 05:45 to 06:10, so it’s perfect for the morning that you catch the ferry, just get up a little earlier and head on out.

The best place for watching the sunrise on Dhiffushi Island is the harbor area.   And that’s also convenient for catching the public ferry too!

Sunrise Dhiffushi Island

Why watch the sunrise on Dhiffushi?  Dhiffushi is the easternmost island of the Maldives and is the first island to see the sunrise each day.  That’s why you should watch the sunrise on Dhiffushi Island!

How much time do you need on Dhiffushi Island?

How long you spend on Dhiffushi depends on your overall Maldives Itinerary and how you’re traveling here.  The public ferry doesn’t arrive until late in the afternoon, so you’ll need to drop your bags and go straight for the sunset if you want to see it.  Equally, the public ferry leaves at 06:30 each morning (apart from Friday when it doesn’t run), so plan around that.

We spent three nights here on Dhiffushi, which gave us two full days and that was a good amount of time to spend here.  We’d been diving in Fulidhoo and did lots of snorkeling from Maafushi and on the resort island of Malahini Kuda Bandos too

Where to Eat on Dhiffushi Island

Dhiffushi Island is a local island and there’s no alcohol served here.  You may, during the high season find offers to go to a local “booze boat” if you want a beer or a glass of wine. The closest booze boat to Dhiffushi is off Thulusdhoo island, but it only tends to operate both in the high season and early evening, but the juices in all the places we ate were fabulous.

Juices on Bikini Beach Dhiffushi Island

We had great food at Ranauraa Café, although the lighting is pretty awful (i.e. it’s very dark) at night and hard to see.  You’ll also want to sit near a fan as there were plenty of mosquitoes here in the evening.  The food and juices were good though.

Perch, on the beach, is a good place to eat too, service is a little quirky, but hey ho you’re on island time now.  And the Sky Blue restaurant also gets great reviews.

I’ve marked them all on our map for where to eat in Dhiffushi.

Where to Stay on Dhiffushi Island

There’s a reasonable amount of choice (for the Maldives) of places to stay on Dhiffushi Island.   It will be slightly cheaper if you’re not on the beach, but face it, the island is only 200 meters (656 feet) wide, so you’re not far from it.

We stayed at the Isla Dhiffushi, Dhiffushi – gorgeous rooms, a great breakfast and seating area inside the hotel, and lovely staff.

Isla Dhiffushi Room Dhiffushi Island

If you want a beachfront hotel on Dhiffushi, then Heron Beach is a GREAT option with fabulous balconies and ocean views, or for another spot like where we stayed, inland and smaller, but with great service, then Ameera Maldives gets similarly good reviews.

All places to stay for visitors have WiFi, and you’ll want to try and get an included breakfast with your room rate, it will set you up for the day. And if you luck out they’ll serve an Maldivian breakfast at least once during your stay.  It’s fabulous. 

Don’t forget that you’ll need a power adapter for the Maldives. My guide to the nitty gritty of power in the Maldives and what you need to survive is here.

Hotels and guesthouses on Dhiffushi will meet you at the harbor, so be sure to tell them what speedboat you’re getting, or if you’re taking the public ferry. And they’ll help with your luggage too.  They’ll also take you back to the harbor when you leave, although we declined the return offer, as we were getting up early to see the sunrise before catching the ferry.

How to Get to Dhiffushi Island

It’s just 40 minutes on the speedboat from Malé to Dhiffushi, you can also take this speedboat directly from the airport (book it here)

If you take the public ferry it takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes, calling at Himmafushi, Huraa, and Thulusdhoo, before arriving at Dhiffushi, which is the last stop.  However, the Maldives public ferries don’t run on Fridays, so if you are planning your Maldives Itinerary you should bear that in mind and plan around it.  Or take the speedboat.

All boats, ferries, and speedboats, arrive at the same place in Dhiffushi, it’s the harbor and they depart from exactly the same place as you arrive at.  I’ve included where this is on the map of Dhiffushi.

Harbor At Dhiffushi

What infrastructure is there in Dhiffushi?

1,300 people live here year-round, so there should be enough for you and your vacation time.   Here’s what you can expect to find on Dhiffushi Island.

Harbor on Dhiffushi Island

The harbor on Dhiffushi Island is the only place the boats dock, so if you’re taking a snorkeling or dive trip, this is where you’ll leave from.  It’s also where the speedboats arrive and depart from, and of course, it’s where you’ll find the once-daily public ferry.

ATM on Dhiffushi Island

There is an ATM on Dhiffushi Island.  So you do not need to get some cash before you get here.  Not everywhere takes cards on Dhiffushi and if they do, there’s likely to be a “card payment charge”.  In the Maldives, this is usually 3.5%.

Dhiffushi Island ATM

Read our guide to ATMs in the Maldives here, it explains where to find all the ATMs in the Maldives and cash withdrawal fees too.

US Dollars are readily accepted here in Dhiffushi and in the Maldives generally.  You can pay in either US dollars or Maldivian Rufiyaa.

Dhiffushi Health Center

There’s a doctor and a health center in Dhiffushi, there are, after all, 1300 people who live here.  For additional medical care, then you’ll need to get back to Malé.  That’s about 40 minutes in a speedboat.  Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you set off!

Wi-Fi on Dhiffushi

You’ll find Wi-Fi and reasonable internet connections at hotels and guesthouses on Dhiffushi Island, but the connection that we got from our Maldives SIM card was so much better.  We even had a data connection on the boat on the way here!  You can buy an eSIM for the Maldives here, or read about your options in my guide here.

Shopping and Stores on Dhiffushi

There are several convenience stores, grocery stores, and stores that will sell you what you’ve forgotten to bring to the island – like snorkeling kits, cover-ups, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.  (yes, there are mosquitoes on Dhiffushi, read our guide about mosquitoes in the Maldives here) As this island is at the end of the ferry line, and the closest airport is Velana International Airport in Malé, then it will be more expensive than if you bring it from home.

You’ll find pretty much everything you need – coffee, bottled water, snacks, and more.

Mosquitoes on Dhiffushi

We traveled to Dhiffushi in the high season (December) and found mosquitoes on all the local islands, including Dhiffushi.  I say found, rather they found us.  Especially at breakfast and dinner, under the table.  Wear long trousers.  Or use DEET. Or both.  


Best Mosquito Repellent

Effective bug spray deters mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. This pump spray is good for protecting you against bugs and contains 40% DEET.

Map of Things to Do in Dhiffushi Island, Maldives

You can also se thee full map for Dhiffushi here.

Map of Things to see on Dhiffushi island Maldives

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on our 10 Reasons to Visit Dhiffushi Island, Maldives

This was our last local Maldives Island before we headed to the capital city of Malé, and Dhiffushi checked all the boxes. It was relatively quick to get to (quicker on a speedboat than the local ferries), it was peaceful, there weren’t crowds and it was good value for money too.  Those are all good reasons to visit Dhiffushi!

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