In the summer of 2016, I was insanely fortunate to get to join a group of friends and the Tropic Surf crew on an EPIC luxury surf trip in the Maldives aboard the Four Seasons Explorer. It was a once in a life time experience with the best group of people in one of the most magical, beautiful places I have ever been. YES, the Maldives lives up to the hype!
As a photographer too, it was a dream come true to be able to shoot photos there! Every scene was picture perfect. I was able to get in a few photo shoots of my girl friends and capture some great shots.
I had several people ask me the details of the trip when I got home, and I honestly don’t really have all the answers for this one! I didn’t plan a single thing (for once!), I was just along for the ride. We stayed on the boat for the week and the crew took us around to different islands, surf spots, and dive sights each day (more info here > http://www.tropicsurf.net/index.php?page=Four-Seasons-Explorer).
Some of the areas we visited were:
Male (were the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa is located), South Male, Lhaviyani (for surfing), Bathala, Raa Atoll, and Dhigurah in the Ari atoll.
If you have the option to travel around by boat while you are there, visiting different islands was great! If you just want to relax in one place though, it would still be spectacular.
The first treat was that my girl friend and I had an over night lay over in Dubai, which I had not previously been to. We visited the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, the TALLEST structure in the WORLD! We had an amazingly delicious Lebanese dinner in the mall and then made our way to the top of of the Burj Khlaifa for a cocktail and some views.
Long lay-overs are not always a bad thing!
In the morning we arrived in the Maldives and spent our day relaxing at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa before the boat took off.
This resort was quiet and gorgeous with small sandy paths lined with “hut” style rooms, friendly staff, and breath taking views.
For those of us on the boat that where not experienced surfers, we got some excellent lessons from the Tropic Surf crew. I will say, the Maldives is not the BEST place for beginner surfers, BUT we all got up!
We were surfing over reef, and off a boat, not from land. It was definitely a great work out and helped me to improve!
When we weren’t surfing, we had tons of fun activities to do from the boat like paddle boarding and snorkeling.
I also got certified to Scuba Dive just weeks before this trip so that I didn’t miss out on the opportunity to dive while I was here!
Swimming next to this sea turtle was one of the most epic highlights of the trip for me!
The views from the Four Seasons Explorer were so beautiful, I loved getting to watch the sunrise and set everyday.
I also have to mention that the staff on the boat gave THE BEST service that I have ever experienced. We all became family and I was truly sad to leave them at the end of the week.
We made made a few stops to some small uninhabited islands just to get some time on land and play around.
One of my absolute favorite nights was on the island of Bathala in the Baa atoll. We stopped there for a private BBQ dinner on the beach set up by the Four Seasons crew.
A stunning sunset was going down just as we arrived!
Dinner was followed by a huge beach bon fire with a drum circle and some wild free dancing from everyone, it was epic!
The out standing Tropic Surf crew also surprised us with a fun 70’s theme costume party one night that resulted in another epic dance party that involved alot of twerk lessons!
I would say 99% of the Maldives that you will see on the internet will be tourist locations. Which are all beautiful and great, but it was such a huge treat to get to see a local village as well. One of our lead staff members from the Four Seasons took us to his home town, the small village of Dhigurah in the Ari atoll.
We stopped to watch a local game of soccer going on and admired the beautiful women in there traditional islamic attire.
And I even got to join in on a little soccer action myself!
On our final evening on the boat, we stopped at a tiny strip of sand in the middle of the water to catch one last beautiful sunset while sipping some delicious champagne!
After the end of the Tropic Surf cruise on the Four Seasons Explorer, we spent the last day in the Maldives at the gorgeous Gili Lankanfushi resort. The icing on the cake!
If you are really looking to go ALL OUT in the Maldives for a honeymoon or special event, this is the place!
We enjoyed a full day of relaxing, snorkeling, and of course me squeezing in as many photo shoots as I could at this amazing location 😉
The staff here was so on point and set up a beautiful final dinner for us at the over-water bungalow.
The Maldives was as dreamy as it appears in photos and is easily the most beautiful place I have ever been! This was a once in a life time trip that I will never forget.