Are you dreaming of an exotic getaway but not the Maldives this time? Because let’s face it – it can be pretty expensive or a little too far away from where you are now.

Luckily, there are many places like the Maldives in the world.

There are many cheaper places than Maldives, such as Pangkaur Laut, ABC Islands, Palawan, Vanuatu, and Lakshadweep, while others, such as Bora Bora, Fiji, Cancun, and more, are expensive. 

Disclaimer: No place is exactly the same as another; each has its unique charm and beauty. And I'm not claiming that one destination is better than the other or exactly similar. 

Explore places that look like the Maldives in the country of your choice:

Also, if you are in the US, you’d love these nearby overwater bungalows near the US. Wanna go somewhere else? Read on!

But before you read on, let me share on what grounds I chose these places to feel like the Maldives. 

My Criteria to Choose The Best Maldives Alternatives

The Maldives is known for its stunning islands, beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and tropical climate. And yes, it’s also famous for luxurious traveling, overwater bungalows, and floating breakfasts. 

Honestly, there are tons of reasons to visit the Maldives. Check the Maldives FAQs to know more about this beautiful island nation. 

When choosing alternative destinations to the Maldives, I considered all these things that the Maldives is famous for. But these places may not offer everything under the hood. So, pardon me in advance!

With that said, let’s dive in!

23 Best Places Similar to the Maldives

Enough said! Let’s just jump on the list of places similar to Maldives but cheaper and equally expensive counterparts.

1/ Bora Bora

Bora Bora, the epitome of tropical paradise, is known for its crystal-clear water, overwater bungalows, turquoise lagoon, and stunning sunsets.

Get ready to be blown away by the stunning views of Mount Otemanu while you’re there. Also, explore places similar to Bora Bora in Europe.

Bora Bora: Similar Places like Hawaii in the World

Bora Bora and the Maldives are popular romantic destinations for honeymooners and anyone seeking a luxurious tropical vacation. But if it’s a little expensive, you can explore many islands like Bora Bora but cheaper here.

Where to Stay in Bora Bora

Most hotels in Bora Bora are on private atolls or islands surrounding the main island. This means you can enjoy the privacy and seclusion you crave while still being close enough to dip in the lagoon’s crystal-clear waters.

Let me share Maldives-like overwater bungalows and resorts in Bora Bora:

What to Do in Bora Bora

You can enjoy various water activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing. Or go for these tours.

2/ Rest of French Polynesia

If you’re searching for a tropical paradise similar to the Maldives, look no further than the islands of French Polynesia.

This collection of islands boasts stunning turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush green forests.

Rest of French Polynesia

One of the most popular destinations in French Polynesia is Tahiti, known for its black sand beaches, lively culture, and delicious food.

Just a short ferry ride from Tahiti, you’ll find the breathtaking island of Moorea. This hidden gem is known for its stunning mountainous landscapes, crystal-clear lagoons, and vibrant coral reefs. 

And if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, Huahine is the perfect escape. This tranquil island is home to pristine white sand beaches, secluded lagoons, and ancient Polynesian ruins. 

For a truly exclusive experience, Tetiaroa is the ultimate private paradise. This small atoll was once the private retreat of celebs like Marlon Brando and is now home to a luxury eco-resort.

With only 13 villas on the island, you’ll feel like you have the entire place.

Where to Stay in French Polynesia

What to Do in French Polynesia

3/ Fiji

Fiji is an absolute gem in Oceania if you are looking for the best places like the Maldives in the world. Known for its stunning beaches, clear waters, and coral reefs. 

Fiji Islands: Similar Places like Hawaii in the World

Fiji’s secluded beaches, lush forests, and year-round tropical weather make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a romantic or family vacation. With over 300 islands to explore, you won’t run out of things to see and do!

Where to Stay in Fiji

What to Do in Fiji

4/ The Greek Islands 

Greek islands are one of the best places like the Maldives in Europe, offering a stunning and serene escape.

The crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and rugged landscapes make the Cyclades, Crete, and Lichadonisia islands particularly comparable to the Maldives.

The Cyclades are a group of islands in the Aegean Sea known for their bright white buildings, blue-domed churches, and turquoise waters. 

Zakynthos - Island Greece
Zakynthos – Island Greece

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, has a diverse landscape that ranges from sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains. This island is also home to ancient ruins, charming villages, and delicious cuisine.

Lichadonisia, a small group of uninhabited islands off the coast of Evia, is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking relaxation. 

Don’t stop there, and keep exploring the amazing inhabitable 227 islands in Greece. And explore these European Maldives as well:

Where to Stay in These Greek Islands

What to Do in These Greek Islands

5/ Ibiza and Formentera in Spain

Suppose you love the crystal clear waters and stunning beaches of the Maldives. In that case, you’ll also love Ibiza and Formentera in Spain.

These two islands are known for their breathtaking turquoise waters and soft sandy beaches that are just as stunning as those in the Maldives.

Ibiza Spain

Plus, both islands offer a vibrant nightlife scene perfect for those who love to party. Honestly, you’ll find such an opportunity less in the Maldives. 

Where to Stay in Ibiza & Formentera

What to Do in Ibiza & Formentera

6/ Madeira and Porto Santo

If you dream of crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, but don’t want to travel halfway across the world to get your fix, Madeira Island and Porto Santo Island are the alternative European Maldives.

These stunning islands are located off the coast of Portugal and boast some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. They’re pretty cheaper places than Maldives.

Porto Santo is 27 miles northeast of Madeira Island in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has 5 kilometers of sandy beach and some good restaurants. Still, it is barren and not interesting for an extrovert.

The complete island tour takes just a half day. But I’d highly recommend visiting Madeira, which offers a unique landscape.

The island is home to lush green forests, towering cliffs, and rugged mountains, all of which provide a stunning backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Atlantic. 

Madeira, Portugal
Madeira, Portugal

Another reason why Madeira is such a great alternative to the Maldives is its culture.

While the Maldives are a series of small, private islands, Madeira is a bustling island with a rich history and vibrant culture.

Where to Stay on Madeira Island

What to Do on Madeira Island

7/ Mauritius

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts.

Like the Maldives, it’s a perfect destination for travelers who want to escape to a tropical paradise.

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts.

Mauritius is a counterpart of the Maldives and has more to offer than just its stunning beaches. The island has lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountains, making it an ideal adventure destination.

Where to Stay in Mauritius

Like the Maldives, the resorts in Mauritius offer world-class amenities and services, from private pools to gourmet dining experiences. 

What to Do in Mauritius

What truly sets Mauritius apart is its vibrant culture and history, reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and music.

And there are many tours you can book there. 

8/ Barbados

Barbados and the Maldives have striking similarities that make them desirable beach destinations. Both offer crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and a laid-back island vibe perfect for relaxation.


Barbados offers plenty, whether you want to lounge on the beach, snorkel with tropical fish, or enjoy a romantic sunset cruise. You can enjoy this fast-track arrival service at Barbados Airport. 

Where to Stay in Barbados

What to Do in Barbados

9/ Gili Islands

If you’re a fan of the Maldives but want to switch things up a bit, look no further than the Gili Islands in Indonesia. It’s one of the cheaper places than Maldives in Asia.

Gili Island, Indonesia
Gili Island, Indonesia

These three idyllic islands, named Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, offer similar white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning coral reefs for which the Maldives are famous.

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Plus, Gili Islands boast a unique feature that the Maldives can’t offer – the chance to swim with sea turtles!

Where to Stay in Gili Islands

What to Do in Gili Islands

10/ Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and fantastic weather. It is often referred to as the Maldives of the USA.


Hawaii boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with soft white sand and crystal clear waters.

The island is surrounded by coral reefs, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling, diving, and other water activities.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii

The weather in Hawaii is warm and sunny all year round, making it a perfect destination for those looking to escape the cold winter weather.

Where to Stay in Hawaii

What to Do in Hawaii

11/ Florida Keys

With over 800 islands to explore, you can find your secluded slice of heaven at the Florida Keys. If you’re in the US, it’s definitely nearer to you, making it cheaper places than Maldives for you.

Florida Keys offers a laid-back atmosphere, delicious seafood, and plenty of water activities like snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

Florida Keys
Florida Keys

You can quickly get there by car or plane, making it a convenient and affordable option.

So why not skip the long flight to the Maldives and head to the Florida Keys instead? It’s one of the best place in florida that looks like Maldives.

Where to Stay in the Florida Keys

What to Do in the Florida Keys

12/ Cancun

Suppose you’re in or near North America, dreaming of crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches. And you can also enjoy the many bars in Cancun’s downtown area.

In that case, Cancun might be your perfect alternative. It’s easily accessible from the US, Canada, and the Americas, with direct flights from many major cities. 

Cancun, Mexico

This Mexican paradise boasts turquoise waters as clear as those in the Maldives. Cancun has a lively atmosphere and plenty of activities to entertain you, from water sports to nightlife.

Learn More About Traveling to Mexico >

Where to Stay in Cancun

What to Do in Cancun

13/ Belize

With its stunning Caribbean coastline, Belize offers a similar paradise-like experience. The country’s coral reefs are home to diverse marine life, providing a perfect opportunity for diving and snorkeling. 

Belize, Central America
Belize, Central America

You can explore the famous Great Blue Hole or relax on the white sandy beaches that line the shore.

Belize is a lesser-known gem that packs a punch when it comes to tropical beauty, making it a great alternative to the Maldives.


Where to Stay in Belize

What to Do in Belize

14/ Whitsunday Islands, Australia

The Whitsunday Islands are some of the best places like Maldives in Australia, with almost-the-same beauty and luxury. It has the world’s most stunning white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

 Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Unlike the Maldives, which can be pricey and time-consuming, the Whitsunday Islands are easily accessible from major Australian cities.

And you’ll find many overwater bungalows in Whitsundays, just like the Maldives.

After exploring Whitsunday, you can also explore more Australian islands to feel beachy! With many accommodations and activities available, there’s something for every budget and travel style. 

Where to Stay in Whitsunday Islands

If you love it there, you can discover top Hamilton Island beaches and other places like Hamilton Island

What to Do in Whitsunday Islands

15/ Pangkor Laut and Perhentian Islands

Looking for the best places like the Maldives in Asia? Bet on Malaysian islands! They’re cheaper places than the Maldives in Asia. They are all serene, but I recommend visiting Pangkor Laut and Perhentian Islands. 

Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands

Pangkor Laut is perfect for a luxury island getaway. Located off the west coast of Malaysia, this privately-owned island boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforests. 

And it looks even more vibrant and romantic at night:

Pangkor Laut Resort at night

If you’re a backpacker and love the Maldives, you’ll die for Perhentian Islands in Besut District.

These two islands offer a laid-back atmosphere, stunning beaches, and some of the region’s best snorkeling and diving spots.

Where to Stay in Malaysia

There are tons of places in Malaysia that offer Maldives-like experiences. Let me share some of the top resorts there and in its Perhentian Islands.

Pangkor Laut is home to a single resort, meaning you’ll have the entire island virtually. You can stay in luxurious overwater villas that offer stunning ocean views.

What to Do in Pangkor Laut and Perhentian Islands

  • Indulge in a range of activities, from island hopping to sunset cruises.
  • Relax at the spa, which offers a range of treatments inspired by local traditions.
  • Explore the islands’ coral reefs and marine life, including turtles, sharks, and colorful fish.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood and traditional Malay dishes.

16/ ABC Islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao

The ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) are affordable and accessible alternatives to the Maldives. You can find many accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts.

Aruba, Caribbean
Aruba, Caribbean

All these islands are close to each other. You can easily hop from one island to another and explore the unique culture and landscapes of each one.

Aruba is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean and for a good reason. With its year-round sunshine, warm waters, and friendly locals, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place.

Bonaire is known for its world-class diving spots.


At the same time, Curacao has colorful Dutch colonial architecture and a lively music scene. Let’s learn where to stay and what to do in these out-of-the-world islands. 

Curacao, Caribbean
Curacao, Caribbean

Where to Stay in ABC Islands

What to Do in ABC Islands

Aruba and other ABC islands are ideal destinations for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

You can try snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the colorful marine life or relax on the beach with a cocktail.

Start your tour to ABC Islands from Aruba. Aside from the stunning beaches, it has a vibrant nightlife and a rich cultural heritage.

17/ Philippines (Boracay, Palawan and El Nido)

You’ll be happy to know that the Philippine Islands like Boracay, Palawan, and El Nido are the top places similar to Maldives but cheaper in South Asia.

They are known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and fantastic coral reefs.

Boracay Island Philippines
Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay, for example, is a small island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It has powdery white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

It’s undoubtedly one of the best places like the Maldives, but cheaper. 

Where to Stay in Boracay

Boracay Island

Conversely, Palawan is a province with 1,780 islands and islets in the western part of the Philippines. It boasts of hidden lagoons, limestone cliffs, and stunning beaches.

Where to Stay in Palawan

El Nido, located on the northernmost tip of Palawan, is a popular spot for island hopping tours and beach activities. So, if you are in Palawan, don’t forget to hop on El Nido resort destination. 

Where to Stay in El Nido

18/ Seychelles 

The Seychelles are a cluster of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.

With its pristine beaches, clear waters, lush rainforests, and stunning coral reefs, it’s a destination that has everything you could want in a tropical paradise like the Maldives. 


Where to Stay in Seychelles

What to Do in Seychelles

19/ Cook Islands

This idyllic chain island is located between New Zealand and Hawaii. It boasts a collection of stunning beaches that rivals that of the Maldives. 

This idyllic chain island is located between New Zealand and Hawaii. It boasts a collection of stunning beaches that rivals that of the Maldives. 

Unfortunately, prices on the islands can be on the high side, making it slightly pricier than the Maldives. But don’t let that deter you – the Cook Islands is a must-visit destination for any beach lover.

Where to Stay in the Cook Islands

What to Do in the Cook Islands

20/ Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar is also in the Indian Ocean, just like the Maldives. But it’s 2,473 miles from the Maldives. The average flight time between Zanzibar and Male is around 16h 24m, including the layovers. 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

With crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, this island off the coast of Tanzania is a great alternative for a Maldives-like beach vacation.

It also offers a unique cultural experience, with its blend of African, Arabic, and Indian influences and delicious cuisine that combines spices and seafood.

Where to Stay in Zanzibar

What to Do in Zanzibar

21/ Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an excellent option if you’re looking for a tropical getaway similar to the Maldives. With over 80 islands, there’s plenty to explore whether you’re planning a short trip or an extended stay.


While flights to Vanuatu are slightly cheaper than those to the Maldives, hotels are similarly priced. 

The only downside is that food costs almost double compared to the Maldives. However, considering the shorter flight time and overall experience, I must say that it’s worth adding Vanuatu to your travel list.

Where to Stay in Vanuatu

What to Do in Vanuatu

22/ Jamaica

First off, let me tell you that Jamaica is not geographically or politically located in Africa. Rather, it’s one of North America’s best alternatives to the Maldives.

First off, let me tell you that Jamaica is not geographically or politically located in Africa. Rather, it's one of North America's best alternatives to the Maldives.

You’d want to visit there if you love the crystal-clear waters, the warm sun, and the white sandy beaches. Jamaica has a vibrant culture, diverse landscape, and friendly atmosphere. 

Where to Stay in Jamaica

This Caribbean island offers everything you need for a dreamy tropical getaway, from luxurious resorts to secluded coves, from water sports to romantic sunsets. 

What to Do in Jamaica

Jamaica has a vibrant culture and a rich history that you can explore through its music, food, and landmarks. Take a tour of the Bob Marley Museum, the Rose Hall Great House, or the Devon House, and learn about the island’s past and present.

Jamaica has a diverse landscape ranging from mountains to rainforests, waterfalls to rivers. You can hike the Blue Mountains, swim in Dunn’s River Falls, or go rafting on the Martha Brae River.

23/ Lakshadweep, India

Last but not least on my list is Lakshadweep – one of the best places like the Maldives in India, especially if you want to avoid crowds. 

This group of islands, located off the west coast of India, boasts crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and stunning coral reefs that rival those of the Maldives.

Lakshadweep, Islands
Lakshadweep, Islands

What makes Lakshadweep unique is its unique culture and traditions. The islands are home to the indigenous people of Lakshadweep, who have their distinct language, cuisine, and way of life.

And all these islands are the cheaper alternatives to the Maldives. 

Where to Stay in Lakshadweep

What to Do in Lakshadweep

You can immerse yourself in the local culture by trying traditional food, watching cultural performances, and exploring the local markets.

FAQs for the Top Places like the Maldives

I’m glad you’ve come so far! So which one of these places with tropical vibes will you visit first? Let me know in the comments below because I’d like to connect with you. 

Also, let me answer a few questions (ask yours in the comments). 

Is there any place similar to the Maldives?

Honestly, there is no alternative to the Maldives! It’s unique, like any other travel destination in the world. But places like Bora Bora, Mauritius, and Caribbean islands with picturesque beaches and turquoise water are the closest rivals to the Maldives. 

What are cheaper alternatives to the Maldives?

The cheapest Maldives alternatives must be:

  • Luang Prabang in Laos.
  • Cozumel or Riviera Maya in Mexico.
  • Palawan in Philipines.
  • Lakshadweep in India.
  • Koh Rong in Cambodia.
  • Koh Samui in Thailand.
  • Hoi An in Vietnam.
  • Langkawi in Malaysia.
  • Aruba, Dominican Republic.
  • And the ones I listed above in the post. 

Is Bora Bora cheaper than Maldives?

Both the Maldives and Bora Bora are dreamy, luxurious destinations that can be pretty expensive. But if you want to save cash on your trip, you might find it easier in the Maldives.

While both places offer high-end resorts with stunning views and plenty of activities, the Maldives has great options for accommodations and restaurants.

On the other hand, Bora Bora’s remote location and limited options mean that prices can be higher across the board.

Which Turkish island is like the Maldives?

Cunda Island, located in Turkey’s Ayvalık Islands archipelago, offers serene beaches and picture-perfect spots that resemble the Maldives.

Another option is Suluada, the ‘Turkish Maldives,’ a Mediterranean island surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sand. 

Other islands, beaches, and places like the Maldives in Turkey are Kekova Island, Kizkalesi Island, Heybeliada, and those in the Ayvalık Islands archipelago like Cunda.

What places can we call the European Maldives?

The “European Maldives,” offering crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, include Pescoluse village in southern Italy, Porto Santo Island in Portugal, the Madeira Islands in Portugal, and more places like the Maldives in Europe here >

Is Fiji or Maldives cheaper?

Fiji is generally cheaper than Maldives, with affordable accommodation options and cheaper flights. It also offers more adventure, culture, sun, sea, and sand.

And Maldives is known for luxury resorts and expensive water sports. But you can plan a budget-friendly vacation there, especially if you stay on affordable islands like Maafushi.

That’s all for now. Do you think the enlisted are great Maldives alternatives and cheaper places than Maldives? Let me know in the comments below because I’ll act accordingly 🙂

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