Diving In The Maldives

It's one of the first things you think of when you imagine the idyllic beauty of the Maldives. And it's the first thing you'll want to do when that dream becomes a reality. As soon as you see that turquoise Indian Ocean glistening in the sunlight, you'll want to get in it. And when you see how clear the water is, how warm and teaming with colourful life, you'll want to get under the surface.

The Maldives is probably the best place in the world to go diving, whether you're a beginner trying it for the first time, or an experienced diver.Stunning coral reefs mean there's an abundance of marine life, and not just the 700 species of colourful fish.

You're just as likely to encounter dolphins, manta rays, turtles, sharks and moray eels. You'll find the landscape under the water is as beautiful as that on shore, with pinnacles of rock rising up from the seabed, and caverns, overhangs and swim-throughs to explore. You can scuba dive at a leisurely pace, gently drifting among the islands with the Indian monsoon current.

When diving in the Maldives, you can choose from a huge choice of different atolls and which type of diving you want to try. You can dive from a resort's house reef close to the shore or venture further out by boat.

Some of the best sites are at the accessible and popular Ari and North Malé Atolls, easy to reach from the capital of Malé, with fabulous reefs. If you're just learning to dive, a good site for beginners is Haa Alif Atoll with its wide and shallower channels, and a wreck to explore. Or you'll love the sheltered inner reefs of Meemu Atoll. With a few dives under your belt, you can progress to Noonu Atoll.

Drift dive the deeper channels, swim with grey reef sharks and explore a rock pinnacle shaped like a Christmas tree. Vaavu Atoll is also popular thanks to Fotteyo Falhu, the largest unbroken barrier reef in the Maldives at 50 km long.

If you're more experienced, you can head to the far south of the Maldives to Fuvahmulah Atoll. Uncharted adventures await you here, with pristine, vibrant reefs and rare thresher, tiger and oceanic whitetip sharks. You'll find unspoiled submerged islands, called thilas, at Raa Atoll, with pink corals, turtles, Napoleon wrasses and manta rays.

Dive down to Kandooma Thila off South Malé Atoll to find a large teardrop shaped pinnacle with dramatic scenery and thriving marine life. You may find yourself eye-to-eye with grey and whitetip sharks, eagle rays and schools of red bass and trevally, and emerge next to green turtles.

As for the best time to go diving, conditions are good all year round but visibility is reduced in the monsoon season between June and August. This also tends to be the most cost-effective time to visit. Waters are a constant balmy temperature of between 28 and 30℃, peaking in April.

Whenever and wherever you go, diving in the Maldives is a truly unforgettable experience.

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