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Scuba Diving in the Maldives


The magic starts as soon as your plane reaches the outermost atolls to glimpse the almost alien planet like spots all around the ocean. Then once you step outside the airport you are immediately overwhelmed by the crystal clear turquoise waterfront and the boat waiting to take you to your liveaboard or to one of the thousands of islands of the Republic of the Maldives. I dived around South Male and the Southern Ari atolls area on a liveaboard in May. Marine life consists of everything from macro to the "big stuff" (many eagle rays, many manta rays, stingrays, many white-tips, grey reef sharks, whale sharks).

Dive Conditions: Visibility was good ranging from 30ft to 120ft while averaging around 80ft. Besides drift dives I would say roughly 20% of the sites we dove had moderate current (some kicking effort needed to stay on route), and a few sites with strong currents. Minimum level recommended is advanced open water certification.

Top Sites: Rasdhoo Madivaru (grey reef sharks, eagle rays, bumphead , Maaya Thila (white tip, gray reef sharks and eagle ray up close), Fish Head (guitar shark, stingrays, lots of gray reef sharks, swim throughs), Hafusha Thila, Maamigili Beru. Night diving and snorkeling with the mantas is one of the highlights.

How to get there: All international flights arrive in Male. Then you have the option to either take boats/liveaboard, or water aircraft to your next destination.

Where to stay and top-side activities: Maldives has a lot of upscale resorts. Generally the further you venture out from Male the more secluded the resorts will be. Each habitable atoll has it's own beaches and whatever water sport and/or activity you can think of.

Overall impression: The Maldives is simply paradise if you enjoy the beach life and especially diving. The highlights of diving are the frequent manta rays, eagle rays, gray reef sharks, and occasional whale sharks in some particular areas. There are wrecks around but nothing to write home about. White sand beaches everywhere. Only drawback is the lack of alcoholic beverages around the Republic.

Visited on 05/2014 - Submitted on 10/30/2014
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