The best time to visit the Maldives

Visit the Maldives in May and June to watch sea turtles nesting on beaches, and July and August to see hatchlings.
The best time to go to the Maldives for lovely weather is between December and April, when it’s typically dry, sunny and warm. April is the hottest month, with temperatures up to around 32°C. These months are also the best time for diving with good visibility underwater. Rainy season in the Maldives is from May to November. Showers are sporadic, however, and it’s still warm and sunny. With lower flight and resort prices, these can be the best months to visit the Maldives if you’re on a budget. September and October are the wettest months in the Maldives, but popular with surfers, as well as divers hoping to see manta rays and whale sharks.

When is the rainy season in the Maldives?

The rainy season in the Maldives begins in May and finishes in November, reaching its peak in September and October, which tend to be the wettest months of the year in the Maldives. You can expect heavy, usually short showers throughout the Maldives rainy season, but for the most part the weather remains sunny and warm. Visibility underwater is quite poor during the rainy season so it’s not ideal for divers and snorkellers, however abundant plankton means that manta rays and whale sharks arrive to feast.

A month by month guide on when to go to the Maldives

January in the Maldives

    Peak season Sunny and hot weather Excellent water visibility
Hot, dry and sunny weather with low humidity is the norm for the Maldives in January – peak season in full swing. The sea is beautifully warm too; perfect for divers and snorkellers who will also enjoy superb visibility underwater. January is one of the most popular months to visit the Maldives, so you’re well-advised to book in advance.

February in the Maldives

    Peak season Dry and warm, with low humidity Perfect diving and snorkelling
The driest month of the year in the Maldives, February is a blissful time to be sunning yourself on the beach, or cruising offshore. The Maldives in February can get very busy, with temperatures of around 30°C and lots of sunshine, cooling down slightly after nightfall. Water visibility continues to be excellent for diving, and in the unlikely event it does rain, any showers pass quickly.

February is great for a Maldives conservation cruise

March in the Maldives

    Warm, clear seas Surfing season begins Hot days and balmy evenings
Surfers in search of waves start looking towards the Maldives in March. The southern atolls enjoy the best swell earlier in the season, while later in the wet season the optimum surf tends to be found around the central and northern atolls. March sees the Maldives basking in some of the warmest weather of the year, and you should be fine in light cotton clothing in the evenings.

April in the Maldives

    End of peak dry season Occasional showers possible Clear water for diving and snorkelling
The peak dry season is coming to an end in the Maldives in April, with the occasional short shower likely, especially towards the end of the month. But this is still a good month to travel – warm and sunny with good underwater visibility. Ramadan, a month of fasting, reflection and prayer for Muslims, often begins in April. Resort islands are rarely affected but some staff won’t eat or drink during daylight.

April is great for a dhoni cruise in the Maldives

May in the Maldives

    Hot and sunny Sea turtles nesting Occasional rain and thunderstorms
May is the beginning of the rainy season in the Maldives and you can expect unsettled weather. Short, sharp rain showers and even thunderstorms are possible. Several species of sea turtles begin clambering up the pristine beaches of the Maldives in May to lay their eggs. Turtle conservation volunteer projects work to keep the sands turtle-friendly and limit disorientating noise and light from beachfront resorts.

June in the Maldives

    Low season Rainfall likely but still hot and sunny Dive with manta rays and whale sharks
Sea turtles continue to lay their eggs on the beaches of the Maldives in June so it’s vital to tread carefully on the sands at night and follow guidance so as not to disturb nesting. In the sea, growing clouds of plankton reduce visibility for divers and snorkellers but they do attract manta rays and huge whale sharks, which make for some very impressive underwater encounters.
January to April is the best time to see whale sharks and manta rays in Ari. Summer (June to September) is when to see rays in Baa.
– Ruth Franklin, co-founder of our partner Secret Paradise

July in the Maldives

    Great for surfing Sea turtle eggs hatching Hot, humid weather; regular showers
The Maldives in July remain popular with surfers, with big swells likely. Islanders celebrate independence from Britain on 26 July with parades and fireworks. The weather is hot and humid, with regular showers, though they rarely stick around for long. Some baby turtles are hatching around now and making their way to the sea – carefully watched over by volunteers.

August in the Maldives

    Hot, humid and sunny weather Short but heavy showers likely Low visibility for diving and snorkelling
Warm, sunny weather punctuated by regular heavy showers continues across the Maldives in August as the rainy season intensifies. The northern atolls tend to be slightly less wet, if you’re considering August in the Maldives. It may not a great month to visit weather-wise, but August can be significantly less expensive than peak season, if you’re happy to risk a bit of rain.

September in the Maldives

    Heavy showers continue Sunny and hot for most part Good time for low season deals
Despite temperatures hovering around 30°C and long sunny days, the Maldives in September experiences one of its wettest months. Occasional heavy downpours threaten throughout September, and resort islands are much quieter in this low season period, which means that this can be the best time to travel to the Maldives for some less-expensive luxury.

October in the Maldives

    Wettest month of the year Abundant low season deals End of surfing season in the Maldives
Weather-wise, October is not the best time to visit the Maldives – this is the wettest month of the year. Price-aware travellers, however, may consider it a risk worth taking, especially in resorts with plenty to offer besides sunbathing on the beach. Surfers begin to pack away their boards in the Maldives in October, as the swell dies down.

November in the Maldives

    Start of peak season Showers drying up Prices go up and resorts get busier
November marks the beginning of dry season and can be the best month to visit the Maldives before the crowds of December. You’ll probably still get the odd shower or thunderstorm but the weather in the Maldives in November is definitely better than it was a few months previously. Conditions for swimming are lovely and you can still see manta rays and whale sharks while diving.

November and December are great for a small group tour to the Maldives and Sri Lanka

December in the Maldives

    Sunny, hot and dry weather Perfect for cruising, diving and snorkelling Busy and expensive around Christmas and New Year
The Maldives temperature in December typically ranges from 25°C to 30°C. With dry, sunny weather the norm, it’s no surprise that many consider December the best time of year to go to the Maldives. If you’re planning a Christmas or New Year break – and who could blame you – be aware that the Maldives in December is busy and expensive; book early for the most choice.

Maldives Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Maldives or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Best times to visit the Maldives for festivals & events


Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims around the world, and it is observed across the Maldives. Precise dates vary year by year but it’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which follows the phases of the moon. If you’re staying on a resort island then Ramadan will have little to no impact on your stay, but on local islands it’s polite not to wander around eating or drinking during the daylight hours as residents will be fasting until nightfall.


Eid al-Fitr is a significant celebration in the Islamic calendar – a festival that marks the end of Ramadan fasting with the first sighting of the new moon. This is a fantastic period to stay on a local island in the Maldives, with crowds gathering at mosques in their finest clothes to give prayers and offerings before feasting with family and friends.

Independence Day (26 July)

Independence Day marks the date that the Maldives gained their independence from Great Britain after 77 years as a British protectorate. The public holiday is marked by parades, dance and music performances, and street parties, with the capital, Malé, the focus of celebrations.

Mawlid (October)

Mawlid is the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and a major celebration across the Muslim world, with the date varying according to the Islamic lunar calendar. This is a public holiday in the Maldives and while it has little effect on resort islands, if you’re staying on local islands then you’ll find that many shops, restaurants and other businesses close for the day. Carnival-style processions liven up the streets while many people flock to mosques to decorate them and leave offerings.

Fisherman’s Day (10 December)

In a country where much of the cuisine is based around seafood, it’s no surprise that a festival giving thanks to the local fishing industry has evolved. Local islands are the place to stay on 10 December, especially close to fishing communities, as impromptu markets pop up all over the place and you will eat extremely well.

Our travellers also ask...

What is the hottest month in the Maldives?

March and April are the hottest months of the year in the Maldives, with average daytime temperatures around 28-29°C, climbing up to the early 30°Cs. This is the postcard-perfect weather that the Maldives are famed for, but you’ll want to seek shade in a hammock or beside a poolside cocktail bar around early afternoon.

What is the cheapest month to go to the Maldives?

The low season (May to November) is usually the least expensive time to visit the Maldives, but of course this is a luxury travel destination and the Maldives is never exactly cheap. Look at March-April (avoiding Easter holidays) and September-October (usually the wettest months) for the best deals.

When is the best time to visit the Maldives for a honeymoon?

The best time for Maldives honeymoons is during the peak dry season from November to April. You can expect the sunniest, warmest weather and ideal conditions for diving, snorkelling and cruising. If you’re looking for a more of a budget Maldives honeymoon, consider coming in the low season when the weather is wetter but there are plenty of good deals available on luxury resorts.

When is the best time of year for diving in the Maldives?

December to May is the best time for scuba diving in the Maldives, as well as for snorkelling. The sea is warm and calm during these months, and visibility is excellent too. Some divers, however, do prefer to come during the rainy season as, while visibility is not so good, there is a lot of plankton which attracts manta rays and whale sharks.

When should you avoid the Maldives?

The worst time of year to visit the Maldives in terms of weather tends to be September and October – usually the wettest, stormiest months of the year. Even so, rainy days are still punctuated by plenty of sun, and there are lots of good deals to be had for those wanting to enjoy the Maldives on a budget. Ruth Franklin, co-founder of our Maldives specialists Secret Paradise, suggests giving May a miss: “The weather is not as predictable as it used to be. But if there were to be a month to avoid at present, I think it’s May, when the changeover between monsoons is the most unsettled.”
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Pakhnyushchy] [Intro: jcob nasyr] [Ruth Franklin quote: Sebastian Pena Lambarri] [Festivals & Events: Hani Amir] [Our travellers also ask: Chelsea Gates]