Caribbean vs. Maldives: Which Is Better for You?

If you’re dreaming of a tropical honeymoon or vacation, two of the top beach destinations in the world are the Caribbean and the Maldives. Both areas feature gorgeous white sand, vividly colored water, palm trees, delicious local cuisines, activities including watersports, and incredible resorts.

Are you trying to decide which is better, Maldives or Caribbean, for your trip? If so, this comparison will help you choose.

Read on for our full review of Caribbean vs. Maldives.

Caribbean vs. Maldives Quick Take

It is hard to decide which is better, Maldives or Caribbean, because both are amazing and beautiful beach destinations. Your choice will likely depend on where you are coming from, what your budget is, and the type of trip you want to have.

Caribbean vs. Maldives Overview

These two tropical regions have multiple similarities as well as differences. They both offer a range of islands with breathtaking beaches and jaw-dropping water. However, the islands in the Caribbean are quite varied, including scrubby and desert-like landscapes, mountainous and volcanic landscapes, and lush tropical rainforest landscapes. The islands in the Maldives are all similar—flat with green interiors surrounded by white sand.

Also, since Maldives is an Islamic nation, there are laws governing what you can wear on the public beaches and bikinis are illegal in some areas. This is usually not the case at private resorts, but be sure to check before you pack.

Both areas have warm weather all year but have dry and wet seasons. Most of the Caribbean is in the hurricane zone, so there’s a chance of hurricanes from June to November.

Both the Caribbean and the Maldives are known as top destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving. And while Maldives is famous for amazing overwater bungalows, you can find overwater bungalows in the Caribbean as well.

One major difference between Caribbean vs. Maldives is location. Where is the Maldives? Maldives is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, so it is quite a distance from the U.S. Flights there generally take more than 20 hours. The Caribbean, on the other hand, lies just south of the U.S., and most islands are only one to four hours away by plane.

This difference means that Maldives is often a much more expensive vacation from the US than the Caribbean. However, you can find affordable resorts in the Maldives, so if you’re coming from somewhere closer like Asia, it can be a less expensive option.

Caribbean vs. Maldives Weather

While both the Caribbean and the Maldives experience warm weather all year, there are wet, dry, and stormy seasons to be aware of.

The wet season in Maldives is May to November. While this is called “monsoon season,” it generally just means there is a lot of rain and some strong winds (no tornadoes). The best time to visit Maldives for good weather is December to April. Peak season here is December to February.

While specific dates vary depending on the Caribbean island you choose, in general the wet season is during the summer. Hurricane season runs from June to November, and this affects most Caribbean islands except for Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Trinidad & Tobago. Barbados, while still technically in the hurricane zone, rarely sees storms,

The best time to visit the Caribbean for good weather is during the winter months of December, January, and February. For fairly good weather and lower prices, look at the spring.

Caribbean vs Maldives Things to Do

If you’re looking for a wide range of things to do, the Caribbean is better than Maldives for your trip. While Maldives resorts offer all sorts of water-related activities, there isn’t much else other than some historic and cultural sites that are mostly found in Male so you may or may not be staying near enough to visit.

In the Caribbean you can find a range of historic and cultural sites, adventure sports like ziplining and ATV tours, hiking, and more in addition to watersports. Different islands feature different activities, and there are plenty of unique attractions such as the world’s only drive-through volcano (on St. Lucia) or an underwater sculpture park (in Grenada).

Both the Maldives and Caribbean offer fantastic beaches to relax on. The Caribbean has more of an assortment of types of beaches, with some islands offering black sand beaches and beaches with bigger waves for surfing.

As noted above, both areas are excellent destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving.

If you’re interested in nightlife, most Caribbean islands have bars, nightclubs, and live entertainment in the evenings (although some are much livelier than others). You can also enjoy a huge variety of festivals in the Caribbean.

There isn’t much going on at night in the Maldives, other than occasional live music or organized events at resorts. Some of the bigger ones also have nightclubs. It’s important to note that since Maldives is Islamic, alcohol is banned on the local islands so you can’t bring any in with you. It is available at private resorts, however.

On the other hand, the Caribbean is famous as the birthplace of liquors such as rum and liqueurs such as Blue Curacao. You’ll have a wide range of tropical cocktails to try as well as each island’s unique beers.

Caribbean vs. Maldives Food

While fresh seafood is popular in both the Caribbean and Maldives, there are quite a few differences when it comes to cuisine.

First of all, different Caribbean islands will feature different types of dishes depending on their history and whether they had Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, or Dutch settlers. Each island has its own special take on “Caribbean cuisine,” and includes fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown on that island as well as the types of seafood that are commonly found in surrounding waters. For example, the Bahamas is famous for conch and lobster, while Jamaica is known for its jerk chicken and ackee and salt fish.

The first settlers in the Maldives came from India and Sri Lanka so there’s a huge influence from these cultures in Maldivian cuisine. You’ll find plenty of dishes like curries, in addition to fresh fruits and fresh coconuts. Top foods in the Maldives are cassava, chapati, and garudhiya (a fish soup).

Caribbean vs. Maldives Resorts

The Caribbean offers a huge range of accommodation types, from inexpensive to super-swanky. There are hostels, hotels, condos, resorts, and AirBnBs, so it can be good for a budget getaway, a mid-range vacation, or a once-in-a-lifetime splurge like a honeymoon. In the Caribbean you can find affordable resorts, family resorts, adults-only resorts, all-inclusive resorts, luxury resorts, and even nude resorts.

While the Maldives does have some relatively affordable resorts, most of them are luxurious. Resorts in the Maldives often take up an entire private atoll, and they are often all inclusive. There are also adults-only resorts in the Maldives that are perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways.

Both Maldives and Caribbean resorts offer overwater bungalows. However, there are only a handful of overwater bungalows in the Caribbean (including at Sandals resorts in Jamaica and St. Lucia). Most of the resorts in Maldives have overwater bungalows, and they are pretty spectacular.

What Caribbean island is most like the Maldives?

The private paradise Palm Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been said by Travel+ Leisure magazine to be the most like the Maldives of all the Caribbean islands. It features a lush green interior ringed by bright white sand beaches and clear water in varying shades of aqua, azure, turquoise, and sapphire.

This small island, just a short boat ride away from Union Island in the Grenadines, is home to a posh all-inclusive resort (called Palm Island Resort & Spa). Since the resort is all that’s on the island, this also makes it feel like the Maldives.

You can find similar private island resorts throughout the Caribbean, such as Ambergris Cay Resort in Turks & Caicos and Jumby Bay Island off the coast of Antigua.

Now that you’ve read our comparison of Caribbean vs. Maldives, what do you think? Is Maldives better than Caribbean for your vacation, or vice versa? Let us know in the comments!

And if you’d like help planning your tropical trip, feel free to reach out to one of our expert travel agents!

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