20 Best Maldives Alternatives (Honeymoon Edit)

A resort with overwater villas on a tiny white-sand island in the Maldives

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Are you planning your honeymoon and looking for the best Maldives alternatives? I totally get why you might want to find other options for your dream getaway.

It’s not to say that the Maldives isn’t heavenly. BUT, this Indian Ocean paradise is one of the world’s most expensive destinations (and it doesn’t always fit the bill for couples wanting more to see and do)!

So if that’s you – I’ve got you covered! As someone who’s worked for years in the honeymoon world, I’ve got all the lowdown on the best places for a romantic escape. 

The following options tick the boxes for a Maldives-style honeymoon and include places to suit a range of styles and budgets. From the traditional and romantic to the more off-beat, here are the best places like the Maldives!

For a lot of honeymooners, overwater villas in the Maldives are the big draw. To help you narrow your choices, these first destinations have similar accommodations to those you’d find in the Maldives.

1 French Polynesia – the best place for Maldives-style luxury

An aerial view of overwater bungalows on a lush tropical island in French Polynesia
French Polynesia is iconic and one of the best honeymoon alternatives to Maldives

First on the list of Maldives alternatives had to be French Polynesia! With its romantic atmosphere, crystal lagoons and iconic overwater bungalows, it has a super similar style to the Maldives.

Bora Bora is the country’s ultimate honeymoon paradise. Setting the bar high for couples’ travel goals, it’s a region that has high-end resorts and the most beautiful, postcard scenery. 

Like the Maldives, luxury comes at a price in French Polynesia, but it absolutely delivers if you want that bucket list experience.

It’s a heavenly, quintessential honeymoon spot and brilliant for couples looking to indulge in something special! It’s also an amazing choice for adventure with options for island hopping and fun things to see and do.

Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

2 Mauritius – Africa’s best Maldives alternative

An aerial view of Mauritius with turquoise waters around the island

Mauritius is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a fab Maldives alternative. Located in the same part of the world in the tropical Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an island that’s synonymous with honeymoons.

It’s a country that epitomises heaven. As well as gorgeous beaches and crystal-clear waters, Mauritius is an eco paradise with stunning mountains and nature reserves.

Like the Maldives, you’ll be blessed with first-class snorkelling and diving. But you’ll also have lots to do on land in Mauritius – from hiking and wildlife activities to exploring cultural heritage sites.

Across Mauritius, there’s a fantastic range of accommodation to suit different styles and budgets. It’s also a much cheaper alternative to the Maldives – yet still boasts dreamy resorts, including an option with overwater villas.

Best time to visit: September to December
Where to stay: Constance Le Prince Maurice

3 St Lucia

An aerial view of a white sandy, tropical coastline with a jetty jutting into the sea

St. Lucia easily earns its title as the most romantic island in the Caribbean, making it a top contender as an alternative to the Maldives.

Much like the Maldives, St Lucia is synonymous with luxury, boasting numerous secluded hotels that are ideal for a romantic break. And even though it’s not the cheapest alternative, it’s a bucket list choice with so much to love!

Beyond its beaches, St. Lucia boasts lush rainforests, jungle reserves and the iconic Piton mountains. It’s a picture-perfect destination that rivals the Maldives’s postcard views.

The island also offers a ridiculous number of romantic activities, from horseback riding on the beach to sunset cruises and intimate private dining experiences. 

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Sandals Grande St. Lucian

4 Fiji – a destination with the best islands like Maldives

A view towards a tropical, palm-fringed island seen from underneath crystal clear waters in Fiji

When it comes to destinations like the Maldives, Fiji is an incredible choice. It’s no secret that it’s one of my favourite tropical destinations and it’s such a brilliant Maldives alternative!

With its palm-fringed beaches and vibrant coral teeming with marine life, Fiji is an island dream. Similarly to the Maldives, you’ll find the most romantic luxury resorts and hotels – including five-star overwater villas. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind and indulge in a slice of paradise.

Fiji in my opinion also boasts more to do than the Maldives and is a great alternative if you don’t want to be confined to one island resort.

READ MORE: 22 Most Romantic Things to Do in Fiji

With over 300 islands to explore, there’s so much to see and experience in this South Pacific country. For a taste of adventure, I absolutely recommend island hopping on your honeymoon to uncover the best that Fiji has to offer!

Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Likuliku Lagoon Resort

5 Zanzibar

A hammock and palm trees on a pristine white sandy beach in Zanzibar with turquoise waters

Zanzibar feels like more of an under-the-radar gem yet it’s an incredible alternative to the Maldives. Because it doesn’t get as much attention as other Indian Ocean islands, it’s perfect if you’re after an authentic paradise escape.

With its stunning tropical scenery, Zanzibar easily competes as one of the best destinations like the Maldives. This island’s beaches are breathtaking, with palm-fringed sands and clear blue waters.

Zanzibar is also a Maldives alternative that has diverse experiences and a little more to see and do. Being part of Tanzania, Zanzibar is also a fantastic choice if you want a multi-destination honeymoon. You can easily mix a beach break here with a once-in-a-lifetime safari.

Best time to visit: June to October
Where to stay: Isaraya Luxury Over Water Villas

6 Jamaica – a great all-inclusive Maldives-style option

An aerial view of a Jamaican resort on a rugged, tropical coastline
Jamaica is one of the best alternatives to the Maldives with its romantic, luxury resorts

The Caribbean islands make a perfect Maldives alternative and Jamaica is no exception. It’s a top choice for newlyweds who want the best of island life – and is one of the best places like the Maldives closer to the US!

READ MORE: 10 Best Caribbean Islands for Couples

If you’re dreaming of the Maldives but want a bit more to see and do, Jamaica’s got you covered. Unlike the Maldives, it’s not just about the beaches – although they’re stunning – but you’ll also find lush tropical landscapes with waterfalls and jungles.

Jamaica is also a destination that’s known for its lively atmosphere. You’ll find beach parties and tons to do, from water sports, sailing and snorkelling to horseback riding and rafting.

Jamaica ticks the boxes for luxury, too. Couples Resorts and Sandals Resorts are top choices for honeymooners in Jamaica. In the latter, you’ll find incredible overwater bungalows with all the Maldives vibes!

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals South Coast

7 Palawan, Philippines – one of the cheaper Maldives alternatives

A tropical palm-fringed beach in Palawan framed by dramatic limestone mountains

The Philippines’ province of Palawan stands out as one of the world’s most picturesque places. It’s an incredible rival to the Maldives and one that comes without the hefty price tag!

Like the Maldives, Palawan is famed for its secluded beaches, glistening waters and vibrant coral reefs. Yet it’s also a destination with diverse scenery with rugged limestone cliffs and lush tropical jungles. 

Unlike a trip to the Maldives, island hopping is a lot more common in Palawan. El Nido and Coron are the most famous spots to visit. However, if you’re after a bit more privacy, exploring the lesser-known islands and beaches will be perfect.

Even though Palawan is a cheaper alternative to Maldives, you’ll still find ultra-romantic accommodation. You’ll get lots of options for private villas, paradise hideaways and overwater bungalows, too.

Best time to visit: November to May
Where to stay: Cauayan Island Resort and Spa, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island

8 Malaysia

A mountain viewpoint looking out over cable cars in Langkawi towards little tropical islands in turquoise sea

Another gem that boasts overwater villas like the Maldives is Malaysia. This is a country that’s teeming with tropical spots as well as exotic islands that are perfect for a Maldives-style escape.

Some of the best places to consider in Malaysia include the Perhentian Islands and Langkawi, which is an archipelago of 99 islands.

Langkawi is a dream destination for beach lovers but it’s also great if you want a little more variety in your scenery. You’ll find lush mountainous jungles, mangrove forests and cascading waterfalls. 

It’s also a popular choice with honeymooners so there are tons of dreamy hotels – including the St. Regis and Berjaya Langkawi Resort, both of which have overwater rooms.

Best time to visit: November to March (Langkawi) or March to October (Perhentian Islands)
Where to stay: The St. Regis Langkawi, Pangkor Laut Resort 

9 Antigua

A view over a green, tropical bay in Antigua filled with sailing boats

The Caribbean is perfect for a honeymoon and there are so many great islands to choose from. However, if you’re after the romance and tranquillity that the Maldives offers, Antigua is a good bet.

Compared to some of its Caribbean counterparts, Antigua exudes a sense of privacy and seclusion, making it an ideal destination for quality time together. It’s also an island that feels timeless with a whole lot of charm!

One of the best things about Antigua is its gorgeous scenery and the fact that it has 365 beaches… it’s a true paradise for beach lovers! 

For couples wanting luxury or adults-only accommodation, Antigua also fits the bill. You’ll find five-star villas, all-inclusive resorts, as well as Maldives-style water options at Royalton Antigua. 

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Royalton Antigua, Jumby Bay

10 Mozambique – an under-the-radar place like Maldives

A brilliant white sandy beach with bright blue waters and traditional boats in Mozambique

If you want a unique alternative to the Maldives, Mozambique is a winner. It might not be on many people’s lists – but it absolutely should be! 

Nestled between Tanzania and South Africa, Mozambique is an authentic and exotic beach honeymoon destination. It feels like an undiscovered choice yet it’s a country that boasts endless miles of dazzling coastline.

With its remote and secluded settings, Mozambique feels very similar to the Maldives (albeit more adventurous). You’ll also find heavenly resorts on the islands off the coast as well as rustic water bungalows.

Beyond its paradise beaches, Mozambique is a culturally rich destination that’s perfect for exploring. Whether you’re visiting cultural sites or national parks, relaxing on a traditional sailboat, or snorkelling the reefs, it’s a once-of-a-kind choice!

Best time to visit: May to October
Where to stay: Azura Benguerra Island, Sentidos Beach Retreat

11 Turks & Caicos 

A bright white sandy beach in the Caribbean with a jetty jutting into turquoise sea

If you’re craving stunning beaches you can’t go wrong with Turks & Caicos. This is a destination that’s known for its pristine shores with Grace Bay Beach snagging the world’s best beach award on multiple occasions.

With a quieter scene compared to other Caribbean spots, Turks & Caicos is ideal for those seeking privacy and relaxation. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best alternatives to Maldives with such blissful surroundings.

Comprising 40 islands, Turks & Caicos is a haven for island hopping and discovering charming cays and secluded beaches. It’s also home to one of the world’s largest barrier reefs so you won’t be missing out!

While it leans towards the pricier side, Turks & Caicos boasts incredible accommodation that’s perfect for honeymooners. From private island villas to beach resorts and luxury water pavilions the options are amazing.

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Amanyara, Sailrock South Caicos 

12 Thailand 

An aerial view of a tropical cove in Thailand with white sands, palm trees and a traditional boat

As one of Southeast Asia’s best honeymoon destinations, Thailand couldn’t be left off the list. It’s one of my favourite countries… It has so much to brag about and is a fantastic place to consider instead of the Maldives!

As a diverse destination, Thailand has so many areas to explore. Across the country, you’ll find incredible beauty with verdant rural scenery, majestic mountains and gorgeous national parks. 

RELATED: Bali or Thailand: Which is Better?

Unique overwater bungalows can be found in insanely beautiful places in Thailand. However, it’s the beaches that make this one of the countries similar to the Maldives.

If you’re dreaming of powdery sands and crystal waters, the tropical island of Koh Samui is fab. Like the Maldives, it’s a place that very much caters to newlyweds with luxurious and romantic resorts.

It’s a winner if all you want to do is relax in the sun. But, if you want more to see and do, you’ll also find opportunities for things like island hopping and exploring the tropical, postcard surroundings.

Best time to visit: January to April
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

13 Mexico

A small boat set in shallow, crystal clear waters in Isla Holbox, Mexico

Mexico ticks all the right boxes for a Maldives-style honeymoon. It’s a destination with so much to offer, and its white sandy coastline is perfect for couples wanting a relaxing break.

The Riviera Maya on the Caribbean Coast is a super pretty destination with everything you could want from a dream honeymoon. Like the Maldives, luxury, all-inclusive resorts come as standard, as do beautiful beaches!

South along the coast, Tulum is also fab for a Mexican honeymoon. If you’re after a back-to-nature tropical paradise, Tulum delivers in spades. It’s also a great destination for gorgeous villas, boho resorts and rustic-luxe accommodation.

You could check out Isla Holbox for a honeymoon in Mexico, too. North of Cancun, this tropical island is a car-free paradise (like the Maldives) and filled with romantic hotels. 

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Rosewood Mayakoba, Hotel Boutique Casa Muuch Holbox

The following options don’t have overwater villas. However, they still have incredible hotels as well as the most breathtaking tropical scenery!

14 Hawaii 

A view across the sea looking towards the lush, mountainous landscape of an island in Hawaii

With its exceptional landscapes and stunning beaches, Hawaii can’t be left off a list of the best Maldives alternatives. It’s easily one of the planet’s most beautiful places and is ideal if you want to mix beaches with adventure.

Among its islands, Kauai and Oahu stand out as some of the most scenic. Kauai, in particular, has a wild and remote beauty with hidden beaches, tropical rainforests and dramatic cliffs.

Admittedly, the scenery is different and a lot more varied than the Maldives, but it’s still a worthy alternative if you want a tropical island escape!

Hawaii does lack overwater bungalows, but it more than compensates with its incredible hotels. With beachfront resorts and luxurious accommodation, Hawaii promises a dream retreat for couples.

Best time to visit: April to September
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Oahu, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

15 Seychelles – the best Maldives alternative for privacy

A drone view of granite rocks and jungle beside a pristine white-sand beach and turquoise sea in the Seychelles

With 115 scattered islands, the Seychelles is a scene of unparalleled beauty. Like the Maldives, this is a remote vacation spot and a heavenly choice for those wanting seclusion.

If you’re after dream beaches, you won’t be disappointed in the Seychelles – Anse Source d’Argent is one of the world’s most photographed beaches. It’s absolutely breathtaking and easily rivals those in the Maldives!

Just like the Maldives, this is a destination with a big focus on relaxing and doing very little. You might not find a ton of activities but its stunning surroundings more than make up for it.

As one of Africa’s top honeymoon destinations, you’ll also find ultra-romantic accommodation in the Seychelles. It’s a heavenly spot that’s worthy of royalty (Will and Kate are fans!) so it’s a top choice for an unforgettable trip.

Best time to visit: April to May & October to November
Where to stay: North Island, Denis Private Island Seychelles

16 Whitsundays, Australia

A pristine white sandy beach with brilliant turquoise water in Australia

Situated off the coast of Queensland on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’s Whitsunday Islands have all the paradise vibes. It’s a bucket list destination and one that gives the Maldives a run for its money!

Whitehaven Beach is the jewel of the Whitsundays. It’s hailed as one of the world’s most stunning beaches with its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters. It’s easily one of the best I’ve seen!

Thanks to its location, the Whitsunday Islands offer exceptional opportunities for snorkelling, diving and sunbathing. It’s not just about beaches and water activities though – this area also has lush forests and picturesque hiking trails. 

RELATED: 15 Best Honeymoon Destinations in October

While this is an area that’s popular with backpackers, there are also incredible resorts catering to couples. It’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up the paradise vibes.

Best time to visit: September to December
Where to stay: Qualia Resort, Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat 

17 Bahamas – one of the top places like Maldives in the Caribbean

A flat, tropical island surrounded by turquoise sea in the Bahamas
Not only is the Bahamas beautiful, but it’s also easy to reach from the United States

Over in the Caribbean, the Bahamas stands as an absolute paradise that’s an ideal alternative to the Maldives. It’s among the best islands in the Caribbean and is top-notch for couples wanting to relax in the tropics!

With around 700 islands fringed with coral reefs and sparkling waters, the Bahamas is the epitome of postcard-worthy beauty.

As you’d find in the Maldives, the Bahamas is very much about unwinding and embracing the best of island life. Whether that’s taking boat trips, soaking up the sun on sandy shores or joining a snorkelling tour.

The choice of islands in the Bahamas means there’s lots to explore and different places you could stay. For the most similar Maldives style, I’d go for the Exumas, Cat Island, Eleuthera or Long Island – they all promise secluded and romantic retreats.

You’ll also find an array of accommodation options across the Bahamas, from luxurious resorts to tranquil beachside villas.

Best time to visit: December to April
Where to stay: Grand Isle Resort & Residences

18 Sri Lanka

A sweeping golden sand beach fringed with palm trees in Sri Lanka

Out of all the options on this list, Sri Lanka probably isn’t the most similar to Maldives – but I wanted to include it because it’s still a sun-drenched, paradise island. 

This is a country with a lot of tropical allure with luxury hotels, sweeping golden beaches and the most breathtaking rural landscapes. It’s known for being seriously picturesque so it’s a fab choice if that’s your key consideration!

In comparison with the Maldives, Sri Lanka has far more to see and do. It’s a destination with something for everyone and has a diverse tapestry of attractions – from rich cultural sites and temples to tea plantations and wildlife reserves. 

Sri Lanka is bouncing back from Covid and its economic crisis. That doesn’t however mean it should be avoided. In my opinion, it makes it an even more amazing choice because it feels a little more authentic and secluded!

Best time to visit: December to March (or April to September for the east coast)
Where to stay: Uga Ulagalla, Karpaha Sands

19 Gili islands, Indonesia

An aerial view of the turquoise coastline of one of the tropical Gili Islands

There’s a lot to love about Indonesia. This is a country that has so many beautiful islands with options to suit different styles. However, my choice for a Maldives-style honeymoon here is the Gili Islands.

Often paired with a Bali getaway, these little coral-fringed islands exude tropical charm and are a lovely choice for a honeymoon. 

The three islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno – offer all the laid-back beach vibes. They’re also a destination where you won’t find cars or motorised vehicles so you’ll get a back-to-nature paradise like you would in the Maldives.

Each of the Gilis is a little different so you’ll find one you love (although you can easily hop between them if you want to visit them all). 

READ MORE: Ultimate Gili Islands Honeymoon Guide + Map (2024)

The choice that’s normally a favourite with newlyweds is Gili Meno, which is the smallest of the trio. It’s dubbed the “honeymoon island” and offers unparalleled peace and serenity. It also boasts the region’s best snorkelling spots and beaches!

Best time to visit: May to September
Where to stay: BASK Gili Meno, Villa Tokay 

20 Costa Rica 

An empty beach fringed with palm trees and clear waters in Costa Rica

Lush jungles, volcanoes and unspoiled beaches – there’s so much to love about Costa Rica. With rich green and biodiverse landscapes, it might not seem like a place like the Maldives, but it should still be on your list!

Costa Rica is all about nature. It’s one of the world’s best ecotourism destinations and is home to numerous national parks and nature reserves. It’s an idyllic paradise that’s perfect for escaping the hustle.

It’s easily one of the best places if all you want to do is switch off and get away from it all. In that sense, it’s very similar to the Maldives!

Costa Rica is also an exceptional wellness destination, where you’ll find gorgeous yoga retreats and places to chill out and get extra rejuvenation. You’ll also find a ton of bucket-list accommodation that’s perfect for a honeymoon.

It might not have the overwater villas, but you’ll find the most incredible rainforest lodges, beach retreats and hideaways. They’re absolute goals and are just as unforgettable as what you’d find in the Maldives.

Best time to visit: November to April
Where to stay: Makanda by The Sea Hotel, Pacuare Lodge 

There’s no question that the Maldives is an amazing honeymoon spot. It’s romantic, luxurious and a top-tier choice.

However, if the cost seems out of reach, or you want more to see and do, there are plenty of alternatives to explore. From the Caribbean to Southeast Asia, so many places feel similar to the Maldives with overwater villas, paradise landscapes and all the luxury vibes!

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