The small sandbar towards the north, on the same reef as Maafushi is a lovely place to spend a day snorkeling and sunbathing. Accessible by just walking in the sea during low tide, this tiny island has just about a couple of coconut trees, some shrubs and broad vistas of the Maldivian seascape in every direction. There is another sandbar named Furafathi, in the middle of the sea towards the west, but requires a boat for access. Snorkeling here is lovely as there are lots of fish, and the reef around the isle is alive and healthy.
Diving can be arranged with some of the sports agencies and guest houses on the island, while quiet walks along the length of the island towards the south will lead you to the penitentiary center, schools and other municipal buildings and facilities.
If you’re in the mood for a little fishing, the night fishing around Maafushi is a very relaxing hobby that will soak up all your stress as your boat gently sways in the ripples of the ocean while you angle. Either your guest house or the local groups can arrange for a fishing trip, complete with equipment, guides and even meals.
Guesthouses in Maafushi provide water sports activities like catamaran rides, while others have a colorful and exciting display of local cultural dances like ‘Bodu-beru’, during a barbeque of your catch of fish.
If you’re lucky, you can catch the thrill and excitement of being in the midst of a local festival like the Islamic holidays of Eid, where people run around in the streets splashing each other with water colors.
As with every trip to the Maldives it is wise to pack a lot of sunscreen and summer dresses and outfits that are modest, as the local laws prohibit bikinis and swimwear that are too revealing. With a little planning and a quick flight, you’ll soon find yourself relaxing on the joalifathi under the coconut palms of Maafushi, on the eastern jetty and idly watching yet another sunset on the timeless culture of Maldivian life.