Hawaii VS Maldives: Best Destination For Your Next Adventure

hawaii vs maldives: dock on the sea with tropical forest in the background
Photo by Shai pal on Unsplash
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Are you craving a holiday in a tropical destination? Are you already picturing yourself strolling on an endless beach with a cocktail in your hand? Are you eager to immerse yourself in crystal-blue waters while sea turtles happily swim all around you?

Then it’s time to book a flight to a sunny island, away from all the stress of everyday life. There are plenty of tropical destinations for you to choose from, but today we will discuss only two: Hawaii vs Maldives!

Both archipelagoes are great options for a tropical holiday but which one is the best? In the Maldives, you will find the most beautiful beaches, gorgeous sea life, and tons of opportunities to relax. On the other hand, Hawaii has stunning national parks, an incredible culture to discover, and plenty of adventurous activities for you to choose from. So, shall you opt for the Maldives or Hawaii?

Hawaii VS Maldives: Nature

hawaii vs maldives: view of Hawaii from above
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

There’s a reason why the Maldives are known for being one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world. Its wonderful islands, characterized by white beaches and crystal blue waters, are ideal for every couple. Here you find the perfect intimacy thanks to the many secluded islands that this country has to offer. The Maldives are also home to the Baa Atoll that in 2011 became a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This is an extraordinary place for those who enjoy snorkeling as the area is inhabited by rays, whale sharks, sea turtles, and dolphins!

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Despite the Maldives being a breathtaking natural destination, it is difficult to beat the beauty of Hawaii. The Hawaii islands originated from several underwater volcanic eruptions and for this reason, are characterized by a mountainous landscape. It would be enough to mention the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where, with a bit of luck, you will be able to witness a lava waterfall dive into the Pacific Ocean, but there’s more! For instance, the Napali Coast with its brilliant green and red mountains overlooking the ocean.

Winner: Hawaii, no discussion! 

Hawaii VS Maldives: Accommodation

hawaii vs maldives: overwater bungalows
Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

In both the Maldives and Hawaii, you will find plenty of accommodations. However, there are some slight differences. Hawaii has several hostels that suit low-budget travelers. Unfortunately, these structures are difficult to find in the Maldives. But this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find cheap accommodation options. If you’re on a low budget, you can book a room in an Airbnb in one of the many islands inhabited by the locals. In terms of hotels and B&Bs, Booking.com lists about 700 accommodations for Hawaii and more than 500 for the Maldives, giving you plenty of choices. 

However, we need to mention that the Maldives are known for their gorgeous overwater bungalows, the perfect accommodation for a honeymoon, or a romantic getaway. For this reason, we have to give our vote to the Maldives! 

Winner: Maldives. The overwater bungalows are too adorable!

Hawaii VS Maldives: Culture

native Hawaiians
Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

Hawaii has a rich and unique culture. This state was discovered only in 1778 and because of this, it has maintained many of its ancient traditions to this day. In Hawaii, you will be able to participate in plenty of activities to learn everything about the local culture. For instance, you can watch the locals perform the Hula, the typical national dance still taught in schools nowadays. Another option is to take part in the Luau, a local celebration with live music and local performers. During this local festivity, you will also get the chance to try some local food such as poi, the staple food of the country, and haupia, a delicious coconut pudding.

The Maldives also have a rich history but getting the opportunity to experience it is a bit more challenging. Unfortunately, if you book your stay in one of the many private islands, you won’t meet the locals and learn about their habits and traditions. However, if you stay in one of the many inhabited islands, you will be able to learn some of the traditions of these lands. For instance, you may get the chance to see the locals perform their dances at the sound of the Boduberu, a big drum typical of the Maldives. 

Winner: Hawaii. Its culture is more accessible to tourists.

Hawaii VS Maldives: Prices

hawaii vs maldives: colorful surfboards at Hawaii
Photo by little plant on Unsplash

The Maldives are known to be a luxury destination and are therefore pretty expensive. A trip here is going to cost you a small fortune. A double room in one of the many resorts in the country ranges from $1,500 to $6,000 per week. However, there are some ways in which you can save money. For instance, you can book a hotel or an Airbnb in one of the many inhabited islands. Here, during the high season, you can expect to pay around $800 to $900 for a week in a double room. A whole day of eating outside will cost you $60 while activities such as a snorkeling tour are around $80.

Take into account that you will also be charged an extra 22% for tax and service charges at the end of your meal or drink. Moving from one island to another is also pretty expensive. A speed boat transfer within the Male Atoll will cost you $90 per person while seaplane transfers range from $350 to $500. 

Unlike the Maldives, Hawaii is not considered a luxury destination, however, it’s still quite expensive. A cheap double room will cost you 800$ for a week during the high season. If you’re on a budget, you can also sleep in a hostel with dormitories around $40 per night. A day of eating outside will most likely cost you $35 while prices of Luau events range from $65 to $110. Traveling between islands is around $90 to $165 depending on the length of your trip. 

Winner: Hawaii is slightly cheaper

Hawaii VS Maldives: Adventure and Entertainment

lava waterfall diving into the ocean
Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

Most of the activities in the Maldives are related to the sea such as snorkeling. You will be able to see an incredible variety of colorful fish, coral reefs and, if you’re lucky, even some sea turtles! There are also plenty of options for scuba divers while the most adventurous ones can try their hand at parasailing and kitesurfing. From January to April, you also have the chance to see the many dolphins and whales that migrate here. The most common whale in the area is the dwarf sperm whale but you can also find blue whales.

Also in Hawaii, you will get the chance to try activities such as snorkeling, whale watching, and kitesurfing. However, here you have some extra choices. You can hike over the cliffs of the gorgeous Napali Coast or climb up to the top of the Diamond Head, a volcanic rock formation in Honolulu. Some other options include coming face to face with an active volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or checking out the many waterfalls at the Akaka Falls State Park. If you love staring at the starry sky, you should head towards the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea. Here, during the night, you will be able to observe the whole milky way slowly crossing the sky above your head.

Winner: Hawaii has more variety when it comes to adventurous activities.

Hawaii VS Maldives: Best time to travel

hawaii vs maldives: beach at the Maldives with palm trees
Photo by Upgraded Points on Unsplash

Traveling to the Maldives is always a good idea as the weather is warm all year round. The wet season lasts from May to October but precipitation is rare and doesn’t last long. As a consequence of the rain, the crystal blue water often disappears. This is one of the only downsides, as the rain makes it more difficult to take the perfect Instagram picture. However, if you don’t care about social media, this may be the right time to visit the country. During the rainy season, you will find fewer tourists and lower prices. 

Hawaii has warm weather all year round however, the months from November to March are characterized by heavy rains. This period may not be the best if you’re planning to spend your days at the beach. On the bright side, in these months, especially February, there is a high chance of spotting the whales coming from Alaska. 

Winner: Maldives

Hawaii VS Maldives: Nightlife

hawaii vs maldives: underwater restaurant at Maldives
Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

In the Maldives, there are plenty of options to party in the many resorts located on private islands. The most eccentric one is surely Subsix, located six meters underwater! You can enjoy a delicious dinner while shoals of fish swim above your head. This restaurant also serves as a club and here you will be able to party till morning.

Another great option is Kurumba, located on the island of Vihamanafushi. Here you can dance to the latest hits, observe the locals perform their traditional dances, or watch the sunset with a cocktail in your hand. If you’re planning to spend your nights partying, make sure to book your accommodation in the right location. Many islands don’t offer any sort of night entertainment. 

If you’re going to Hawaii to enjoy the nightlife, book your stay in Honolulu. This is the only island with a good variety of clubs and bars. The best areas for clubbing are downtown Honolulu, Waikiki, and Chinatown. Here you will find places such as Zanzabar, a club with a capacity of 800 people, and Fusion Waikiki, a gay bar with drag performances and special drinks every night. 

Winner: Maldives

Hawaii VS Maldives: Getting there

Hawaiian coast with mountains in the background
Photo by Luke McKeown on Unsplash

There are five different airports in the Maldives. Several airlines travel to this destination daily so you should be able to book a ticket without problems. The flight will cost you from $600 to $1100 depending on your departure point and period of the year. If you’re flying from the EU it will take you about 13 hours and will cost you around $600. Flying from the US is more expensive and will take you about 24 hours.

Hawaii has eight public airports and, contrary to the Maldives, flying here from the US is way cheaper and faster. If you live on the West Coast, this is the perfect destination for you. You will be able to reach Hawaii with a six hours flight costing you only 450$. A ticket from the EU is around $900 and you will have to travel for approximately 24 hours before reaching Hawaii.

Winner: If you live in the EU, reaching the Maldives will be easier, while from the US, Hawaii is the best option.

The winner

Despite the Maldives being a great destination, we have decided to elect Hawaii as the winner! 

From the unique Hawaiian culture, easily accessible to all tourists, to the many activities that this country can offer and the variety of landscapes and national parks, Hawaii is the perfect tropical destination for families, couples, and solo travelers!

However, if you’re craving a luxurious holiday and your only goal is to relax, then the Maldives will probably be a better option for you.

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Joe has been a freelance travel writer for over nine years. His writing and roaming have taken him from the colonial towns of Mexico to the chowks of Mumbai to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not putting together the next epic blog on the best Greek islands or ski fields in France, you can usually find him surfing or hiking – his two top hobbies.