Makunudu Island Paradise 🌴 Miniature Retreat in the Maldives

  • 4

Makunudu Island Paradise 🌴 Miniature Retreat in the Maldives

Escape to the enchanting Makunudu island, an idyllic tropical haven nestled in the heart of the Maldives, offering a secluded retreat like no other. This hidden gem, often dubbed a “miniature paradise,” boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery that promise an unforgettable escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

In this article, we explore the beauty and tranquility of Makunudu, sharing our tips and insights to help you experience this slice of heaven in the Maldives.

Getting to the Maldives

Travelling with Emirates from Europe to Makunudu island, we had an initial stop in Cyprus. We then had another stop in Dubai for our connecting flight to Male – The Maldives capital.

We had a couple of hours to kill in Dubai, so spent most of it queuing up to spend a penny in a toilet not big enough to swing a cat. We were dying for a pee after overdoing it a bit on Emirates courtesy booze. We would be returning to Dubai for a proper visit at the end of our trip.

Speedboat from Male to Makunudu Island

Speedboat from Male to Makunudu Island

We arrived at Male around 8 am local time. The small airport arrival area was calm and organized. After the small group destined for our island were gathered together (just the two of us with a Japanese couple and their child), we headed for the jetty.

Our speed boat was prepped and waiting. We took our seats, donned our life jackets, and enjoyed the 55-minute ride through the islands of the  North Male’ Atoll.

Get to Male from Trivandrum, India

The Makunudu Island Express - Makunudu Island Paradise

The Makunudu Island Express

Arrival at Makunudu Island

As our boat arrived at the wooden jetty, we were warmly greeted by our hosts. We then walked along the jetty through to the reception area where we enjoyed a welcome cocktail. Before showing us to our accommodation, our host gave us a full briefing on the island, events and facilities.

We also set our watches to  Makunudu’s unique “Time Zone” (around an hour or so ahead of Male).

Makunudu Island Paradise

Arrival at Makunudu island – Welcome to Paradise

It was now around 11 am local time and we hadn’t slept for 22 hours: Too busy playing Tetris on Emirates – We were both cream-crackered… but sleep’s for wimps, right? The warm air, dazzling blue of the sea and sky, and the effects of the cocktail did a lot to revive us.

We were not going to hit the sack anytime soon.

The Makunudu Island Resort is a miniature island paradise, six acres in all, hosting just 36 unique bungalows. We were given a great location on the south-western side of the island, with our own stretch of beach and garden area. We were looking forward to some spectacular sunsets.

Makunudu Island Paradise

Makunudu Island Paradise – Sunset from bungalow

All of the bungalows blend into the lush environment in perfect harmony, providing peace and privacy. Each has an attached bathroom in a refreshing open-area garden, equipped with hot and cold desalinated water.

Concessions to the modern age include a mini bar, personal safe, and telephone. For the rest, it’s pure nature with a fresh breeze wafting from the sea and the gentle swaying of coconut palms.

Book a bungalow in Makunudu

The Maldives - Makunundu


Waiting for us in our bungalow was a complimentary bottle of wine and a sumptuous bowl of tropical fruit. Our introduction to Makunudu all felt rather special.

The first thing we wanted to do was to get into that azure, crystal-clear water. Actually, the very first thing we wanted to do was shower and apply heavy doses of sunblock. Coming straight from a cold and wet northern climate, we were prime candidates for a nasty case of sunburn, and we had little time to acclimatize.

We also needed to plan our limited stay on Makunudu island – 3 days goes real fast in a place like this. The first item on our agenda was to get hold of the complimentary snorkeling gear and check out our house reef.

Around the Island

Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image... Loading image...


Just a few meters in front of our bungalow, we donned our masks and fins in the shallows, then headed out to the reef drop-off: about 80 meters out. The visibility underwater was the best I’ve seen anywhere, as were the number and variety of tropical fish.

The area around Makunudu was hit badly in the tsunami of 2004, and there has been damage to the reefs. 10 years later however, the reefs are recovering and the marine life seems to be as active as ever.

After a few hours swimming around the reef, we tidied up and wandered over to the Reception area. There we enjoyed some afternoon tea, which is served every day in the Sand Bar around 4 pm. We then signed up for the Night Fishing, leaving the jetty at 6 pm and returning (hopefully with some fish) around 8 pm.

Makunudu Island Paradise - The Sand Bar - Aptly Named

Makunudu Island – The Sand Bar – Aptly named

It was one of the larger traditional dhonis that picked us up from the jetty for our fishing expedition. Around 10 other guests joined us for this treat. When we reached the fishing area, we were all given individual hooks and bait. Once our lines were in the water, it was a waiting game to see who got the first catch.

We caught precisely zilch, while everyone else were reeling them in. I put this down to our advanced state of fatigue, certainly not a lack of angling skills 😉

While the other lucky punters managed to pull in some smaller fish, we enjoyed just being on the boat at sunset (despite getting no bites on our lines).

It was dark when we got back to the island, and we were looking forward to dinner before crashing out in our bungalow to get some truly welcome sleep (the bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in). The dinner, by the way, was an excellent high-quality affair with impeccable service from Ibrahim, our waiter. Wine and alcoholic drinks are charged separately.

Makunudu Island Paradise

Careful! That’s a viciously sharp piece of pineapple…

Our second day was mainly devoted to more snorkeling around the island reef. We packed a camera in a watertight sleeve and took underwater pictures and film. We also enjoyed more quality food starting with breakfast in the restaurant, and ending with a barbecue on the beach.

This was followed by entertainment in the Sand Bar.

Once a week the staff get dressed up and perform traditional bodu beru music and dancing. We joined in, as did some other guests who had also been enjoying the ‘refreshments’ (everything is free until you leave… and yes, our booze bill was going to sting).

Makunudu Island Paradise

Bodu Beru – Sounds more exciting than it looks

The following day we joined the popular weekly snorkeling trip. This was to a reef about 40 minutes boat-ride away from Makunudu. Here we spent an hour or so in the water, snorkeling with turtles and manta rays.

In the evening we asked the management to arrange a Sandbank Affaire for us. This was our final evening, so we would spend it far out in the ocean on a lonely sandbank. We would be accompanied by just our waiter Ibrahim and a chef, who would serve us a special steak and lobster meal.

Makunudu Island Paradise - Relaxing on the veranda

Makunudu Island Paradise- Relaxing on the veranda

Book a bungalow in Makunudu

If you enjoyed Makunudu Island Paradise, check out our unforgettable Sandbank Affaire. You should also take a look at our other Short Breaks & City Stops. You may also like:



March 26, 2024at 8:24 am

We are 2 elderly ladies flying from Sri Lanka to South Africa early May 24 and would love to make a quick stop in Maldives for 2 nights. Not to expensive. Can you suggest a plan?


    March 26, 2024at 11:23 pm

    Get a return flight from Colombo to Male, and book 2 nights at Bandos, which is about as budget-friendly as you can get. For the best prices, you can even stay on Male without lodging at any of the other islands.

Dame Robyne (Self-appointed)

August 16, 2019at 3:08 pm

Just got to win the lottery first, then I’ll be there!


    August 16, 2019at 8:48 pm


Tell us what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search Our Destinations

Short Breaks Europe

What you need in the Tropics

Short Breaks Asia

Roam the globe with us!