Think of the Maldives, and images of luxury resorts dotted in the Indian Ocean, with water villas and immaculate white sandy beaches will spring to mind. But did you know that there is now an alternative style of Maldives vacation? Changes to local laws mean guesthouses can now open on inhabited islands, allowing travellers to experience the islands from a different angle.
Secret Paradise is a Maldives-based tour company leading this change. Catering to small groups and offering private travel experiences, their unique tours are designed to allow guests to engage with local people, as well as organising the activities for which the Maldives is renowned: diving, snorkelling, watersports and sunset safaris. Secret Paradise tours are ideal for those looking to experience the Maldives on a budget and for travellers who want to see the islands beyond the resorts. It can also tie in with a vacation to Sri Lanka or India. All packages start and finish at Male International Airport, and should a package not entirely suit, Secret Paradise can customise.
Secret Paradise was founded in 2012, when following 27 years in UK retail management the opportunity to relocate to the Maldives arose for company co-founder Ruth Franklin. Having visited the Maldives on 30 occasions, Ruth knew the islands well. She was keen to create an alternative to the exclusive resort style holidays and provide an opportunity for travellers to experience the real Maldives whilst supporting a sector that had a positive impact on the local communities.
Secret Paradise offers a range of tours including island hopping and multi-activity. Each tour allows guests to learn more about the Maldives, its culture, beliefs and traditions, and is led by an experienced local tour leader. There is no better way to see a country than through the eyes of a local. Travelling by public ferry and staying on a locally inhabited island provide unique opportunities to engage with the community. Share breakfast with a family in their home or learn to cook tasty Maldivian dishes. Participate in local craft lessons or fish the traditional way with just a line, before barbecuing your catch on the beach under the stars. Hear stories of Maldives past and present or just sit back on a traditional Maldivian jolie with your feet in the ocean and watch the world go by.
Secret Paradise promotes responsible tourism and is mindful of ensuring all activities are in accordance with Maldivian culture and beliefs. Through education of guests and locals, Secret Paradise aims to protect the environment and ensure there is no negative impact on local life.
Based in the Maldives Secret Paradise completes annual audits of all their partner properties and facilities. Their local guides are certified in first aid and lifesaving skills, and all complete an in-house training programme as well as the International Lead Amazing Tours programme. This ensures you receive only the best service and experience.
Travelling with Secret Paradise guarantees a professional and personal service. Delivering high standards of communication and efficiency you can rely on Secret Paradise to provide expert local knowledge and advice. Above all, they promise travel experiences that are fun and leave long-lasting memories.
Isn’t it time you travelled, Maldivian style?