5 Day Dhangethi Travel Itinerary + Guide | Maldives in a Budget

5 Day Dhangethi Travel Itinerary + Guide | Maldives in a Budget
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After exploring the island of Ukulhas in the North Ari Atoll, I made my way to the South Ari Atoll to tick off Dhangethi off my Maldives Travel Bucket List, and to experience Maldives in a Budget, on a different island. Ever since the tourism policy changed and allowed smaller hotels and home stays to operate on local islands, the face of tourism has completely changed in the Maldives.

Yes, there are still those tourists who book their stays at 5 Star All Inclusive Maldives Resorts, however there has been a tremendous rise in Solo Travellers and Budget Travellers as well to the Maldives. You’ll be surprised to know that, with all the infrastructure growth and development, it’s possible to tick off all those Maldivian Experiences, on a local island such as Dhangethi, that one would traditionally have in a 5 Star Maldives Resort.

The island of Dhangethi in the South Ari Atoll, has got it all – Beautiful Beaches | Affordable Accomodation | Scrumptious Food | Proximity to World Famous Dive Sites | Water sports and Excursions on offer at the Hotel | Proximity to the Whale Shark Safari Area | Instagrammable Spots | A Beautiful thriving House Reef with plenty of colourful fishes. Which is why Dhangethi should definitely be on your Maldives Travel Itinerary



How to Reach Dhangethi?

Dhangethi is a beautiful island located in the South Ari Atoll, 87 km away from Male Airport, and it can be reached via Speed Boat in a matter of 2 hours or even less. 

Endheri Express runs between Male Airport and Dhangethi on a daily basis, and charges around 45 USD per head, one way. 

The other option is to hop on a Sea Plane, from Male to the landing platform near Dhangethi, costing you around 200 USD / head. Add on another 70 USD for the Speed Boat transfer from the platform to Dhangethi.

Dhangethi is located within 15-20 minutes from the island of Maamigili, which has an Airport as well. 

And there are a couple of flights operating between Velana International Airport and Maamigili. 

These domestic flights take 20 minutes to cover the distance between Male Airport and Maamigili and will cost you around 120 USD + / head. Also, you need to add another 100 USD for Speed Boat Transfer from Maamigili to Dhangethi.

Basically, if you are planning on exploring Maldives in a budget, the recommended mode of transport is the Scheduled Speed Boat run by Endheri Express. 


Speed Boat Timings

Male Airport – Dhangethi – 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM

Dhangethi – Male Airport – 7 AM and 2:45 PM


PS – Useful Travel Resources that will help you plan better for your Budget Trip to Maldives


Where To Stay in Dhangethi?

The best place to stay on the quaint island of Dhangethi according to this Maldives Budget Travel Guide is Endheri Sunset.

And I’ll tell you why in 5 crisp points –

  1. It’s on the beach with an unobstructed view of the ocean. 
  2. There’s a dedicated Excursion Desk. 
  3. The tourist beach, aka. the bikini beach is just a 2 minutes walk from Endheri Sunset. 
  4. The food is yummy and you have the option of dining on the beach. 
  5. The rates are very affordable and Endheri Sunset offers some really amazing Value for Money – Dive+Stay packages as well.


Welcome to Endheri Sunset – The Best Budget Friendly Beach front Hotel in Dhangethi


The USP of Endheri Sunset is in the name itself. Being one of the best located properties on Dhangethi, Endheri Sunset offers its guests, the opportunity to witness gorgeous sunsets from its Ocean Facing Rooms and from the beach. 


The Room and the View from the Room at Endheri Sunset


Being just a 10 Room property, comprising of Deluxe Double Rooms and Ocean View Rooms, it’s a cozy home like setup, and one can be assured to enjoy undivided attention and proper hospitality from the helpful staff at Endheri Sunset. Not only that, as there are less guests to cater to, anyone who is staying at Endheri Sunset, will definitely enjoy some delicious food. And you can always get your food customized, as everything is cooked fresh. 


Dining with a View – It has a different meaning all together at Endheri Sunset


Endheri Sunset has a private beach as well, where you can enjoy Dining with a View, and just relax on the beach beds and swings. Just sitting there, staring at the horizon, while hearing the sounds of waves crashing, is a meditative experience in itself. And there are some friendly cats as well, who will give you company.


The View from the Beach and the Furry Company at Endheri Sunset



What To Do in Dhangethi?

The best thing you can do in Dhangethi is the Whale Shark Safari

South Ari Atoll is in general famous for being home to many Whale Sharks. 

Dhangethi is located near the island of Maamigili and Dhigurah and the reefs around Dhangethi, Maamigili and Dhigurah are some of the best areas in the Maldives to spot these Gentle Giants of the Ocean. 

I still remember the date – 23 October 2022, as that was the day, when I finally spotted a Whale Shark. And all credit goes to the amazing guides at Endheri Sunset and the Endheri Dive Centre. 


What a feeling it was to see this gentle giant swim so graciously 

23 October 2022 | Dhigurah Corner | Whale Shark Spotted thanks to Endheri Dive Centre


Apart from Whale Shark Safari, you can also do Scuba Diving in the pristine waters surrounding Dhangethi, which is home to some amazing World Famous Dive Sites, such as Kuda Rah Thila,  Dhangethi Beyru, Dhigurah Beyru, Broken Rock, Madi Faru, Dhigurah Thila among others.

And Endheri Dive Centre, which is a sister company of Endheri Sunset, will cater to all your Scuba Diving needs. Not only are the Maldives great for Fun Diving, but also an amazing place to learn Scuba Diving. 


In love with this Wall Art at Endheri Dive Center


Incidentally, it was in the South Ari Atoll only where I did my PADI Open Water Certification back in 2017 during my first trip to Maldives. Back then, I wasn’t able to spot a Whale Shark, but this time I did, and I can’t thank Endheri Sunset enough for it. 

So, make sure to have Scuba Diving on your Maldives Travel Itinerary, be it just Fun Diving or learning how to Scuba Dive. Depending on the time and budget, you can do the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program in which you get to dive twice upto 10m with a certified Dive Professional, or the PADI Open Water Course, after which you will be certified to dive upto a depth of 18m with a dive buddy.

All you’ll have to do is, get in touch with Endheri Sunset and share your interest in Diving with them. They’ll give you the best rates and best services possible along with Endheri Dive Centre.

Some of the other Bucket List Experiences in Dhangethi that you can have while staying with Endheri Sunset are – 

– Dolphin Cruise

– Island Hopping 

– Sunset Cruise

– Visiting nearby uninhabited islands and a Sand Bank Picnic 

-Water sport Activities such as Jet Skiing, Water Skiing and more.

The rates offered by Endheri Sunset are very affordable and competitive, and totally value for money.

Apart from these, don’t forget to explore the island of Dhangethi, on foot, at your own pace, and go Chasing those colourful Sunsets. There’s also a very prominent Instagrammable spot on Dhangethi – The Visit Dhangethi Swing, and not getting yourself clicked with the Visit Dhangethi swing in the background, specially during sunset, would be a shame.

Witnessing Sunsets in Dhangethi is an experience in itself


By law, it is prohibited to walk around the local islands shirtless or in swimwear. However, to cater to this, every local island, including Dhangethi, has a dedicated Bikini Beach, which is only for foreigners. And guess what, the Bikini Beach on Dhangethi is just a 2 minute walk from Endheri Sunset. So, apart from just relaxing on a beach bed, keep your snorkelling gear on you, and go snorkelling over the Dhangethi House Reef.


5 Day Dhangethi Travel Itinerary

The ideal Dhangethi Travel Itinerary should contain 5 Days / 4 Nights and look something like this-

Day 1– Speedboat from Male | Arrival in Dhangethi | Check in at Endheri Sunset and Day at Leisure 

Day 2 – Go Scuba Diving with Endheri Dive Centre

Day 3 – Go Scuba Diving / Whale Shark Safari / Dolphin Cruise 

Day 4Sand Bank Picnic / Island Hopping / Visit Inhabited Island 

Day 5Departure from Dhangethi by taking the 7AM Speed Boat  (Endheri Express) to Male Airport 


Apart from this, find time to experience all the three Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Beach, overlooking the blue waters. Trust me, it’ll be an experience unlike any other.

After spending 5 Days in Maldives, you can extend your trip and spend a few days in Sri Lanka as well. There are frequent and affordable flights operating between Male and Colombo on a daily basis. And if you do find yourself looking for things to do in Sri Lanka, here are some of the Best Things to do in Sri Lanka, which should definitely be on your Sri Lanka Itinerary.


The Beauty of Dhangethi, can’t be expressed in mere words. It has to be EXPERIENCED.


What are you waiting for?


It’s time to pack your bags, hop onto a Flight to Male (Its free Visa on Arrival for everyone), and experience all the Bucket List Maldivian experiences at Endheri Sunset.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this article, however Endheri Sunset offered our stay complimentary. As always, the opinions on theETLRblog.com are (and always will be) my own!


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9 thoughts on “5 Day Dhangethi Travel Itinerary + Guide | Maldives in a Budget”

  • Since then, visiting the Maldives has always been at the top of my list of places to visit, so I appreciate you sharing this practical advice for planning a trip to Dhangethi on a tight budget. Endheri Sunset seems tidy and inviting, and I’m digging its simplistic vibes. Numerous entertaining activities will undoubtedly attract many travelers. I appreciate you sharing this amazing five-day itinerary, which I may be using soon.

  • Dhangethi in Maldives is a beautiful place with panoramic views of the beach and the turquoise waters. Endheri sunset is all you can expect for a beach experience and a room with a view of the waves crashing on the beach. And dining on a private beach with scrumptious food is a bonus too. And scuba diving in the clear waters and swimming with whale sharks sounds exciting. And I would definitely click photos on The visit Dhangethi swing with the backdrop of colorful sunset.

  • I really love it that the smaller hotels are now allowed. We usually opt out from resorts and try to find something unique. We love little boutique hotels with more personality or something that highlights the local culture. Seeing the whale shark must of growned your trip. Amazing! I hope to be able see one myself someday.

  • This is a great post highlighting that anyone can enjoy the beautiful islands of the Maldives without having to break the bank. I have been (and broke the bank) but sat on the same sandy beaches and swam in the same blue waters, so your photos are evidence that you can still enjoy the natural beauty of the islands, whoever you are. Diving with the whale shark must have been incredible; my son (also a scuba diver) got to experience a whale dive shark in Mexico and said it was one of his all-time favourite diving experiences

  • This is exciting! I have always thought that Maldives is so expensive. Happy to know that it is possible to tick off all those Maldivian experiences. Love the idea of dining right in front of the ocean. Whale Shark Safari sounds awesome too. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Love that you’ve debunked the “expensive” Maldives. There’s always a local way to go and in place of such natural beauty, it’s never that hard to enjoy it no matter your budget. It’s been on my list for a while and just got bumped up a few notches.

  • I must admit that when I think of the Maldives I always imagine it means an expensive luxury vacation. So it was interesting to read more about Dhangethi and a more reasonably priced way to still have the same experiences. I like having the option to go by boat from Mali. Whale sharks are definitely on my travel wish list. And we would never head to the Maldives without scuba gear!

  • The Maldives is probably a place I’ll never see, so thank you for the virtual wanderlust! Dhangethi looks truly amazing, I’d most like to see the Dolphin cruise and do some island hopping. The bedroom views are incredible!

  • I am not much of a beach person, but the Maldives are on my wish list! The beaches and the water look just incredible and since they opened smaller guesthouses it became more affordable as you pointed out in your post. Dhangeti seems to be an island not yet overrun by tourists. I would definitely take up your advice and stay at the Endheri Sunset Hotel.

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