Ruth Franklin first visited the Maldives almost 20 years ago as a scuba diver in search of manta rays and whale sharks. Her love of the Maldives, its people, culture and traditions was almost immediate, and resulted in over 30 visits to the archipelago in the following years. In 2012, through a chance meeting over coffee on the beach, the opportunity to relocate from the UK to the islands arose and Secret Paradise Maldives was born.

In a destination famous for celebrity holidays, honeymoons and white sandy beaches, Secret Paradise provides an immersive alternative to the resort getaway. The team offers a unique range of single and multi-day tours, exploring the beauty of the Maldives, rich with activities and cultural engagement. Awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence five years in succession, Secret Paradise remains the number one provider of Maldives local island tours – it is safe to say they are your travel expert and local companion when visiting. Responsible and sustainable tourism also play a very large part in what they do. The company is mindful to ensure local tourism is promoted in line with Maldivian culture and beliefs through education of guests. Eco-awareness is also a priority, as the company aims to protect the environment and limit any negative impact to local life.

Guests travel the Maldives with one of their local guides who have years of knowledge and expertise. They are passionate in sharing their country’s culture, history and tradition, as well as their own personal experiences. Tours are designed so that guests not only experience the natural beauty and activities that the Maldives is so famous for, but also have the opportunity to learn about its people and culture first-hand. Experiences include island tours where you can immerse yourself in the history of this island nation and learn to cook Maldivian food, or even dine with families in their homes.

Ecotourism has always been an integral part of their company philosophy, and as they have grown they have looked for opportunities to support local initiatives. By establishing ways to allow Maldives-based organisations, NGOs and marine charities to interact with guests, their cause is exposed to a wider audience. Guests can become actively involved in conservation programmes and learn how to ensure they are responsible during their stay. With multi-day guided island-hopping tours combining accommodation, meals and experiences starting at $999 per person there has never been a better way to discover the real Maldives.

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