Beginner Diving in The Maldives

The Maldivian chain of 26 atolls straddles the equator, and its desert-island vibe and stunning diving spots offer a unique blend of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Sir David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet. The ocean’s gentlest giants, whale sharks and manta rays, love the Maldives so much that they return year after year, feasting in the plankton-rich waters that ebb and flow through and around the idyllic atolls and calm lagoons. The Maldives has something for divers of all levels: sharky drift dives, kaleidoscopic house reefs, and a veritable cornucopia of colourful reef fish, turtles and corals. The beginner diving in the Maldives is up there with the very best in the world, and when coupled with the luxurious living topside, you have the makings of a truly unforgettable holiday...

Baa Atoll

Baa Atoll was designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in June 2011 and is famed for being the largest manta aggregation site in the world. Hanifaru Bay, on the eastern side of Baa Atoll, is the highlight of the northern Maldivian dive sites. The currents and tides push plankton-rich water into the small bay, where up to 100 hungry mantas are waiting to feast-a spectacle sure to impress both the experienced diver and the beginner. Diving in the Maldives is not just about the big stuff, though, and the lagoons and house reefs make the ideal sites to ease yourself back into the water after a long surface interval and enjoy the company of turtles, eagle rays and clownfish in a relaxed setting.

Central Atolls

The central atolls of the Maldives, close to Malé and the international airport, also offer superb beginner diving. In the Maldives, you are never too far from a house reef, and a stay in the central islands will be no different. Over-the-water bungalows allow you to watch turtles and reef sharks cruise the shallows from the comfort of your own private balcony, while dipping below the gentle waves reveals a serene environment protected from currents and teeming with reef life. You don't have to head to the extreme north or south of the Maldives to see the big fish, either. The central atolls offer the chance to dive alongside manta rays, whale sharks and grey reef sharks, and there's even the chance of an early morning hammerhead sighting...

Southern Atolls

While the diving throughout the Maldives is superb, the southern atolls have been viewed as the more remote dive sites in the archipelago. For many years, the southern atolls were solely the domain of liveaboards, but they are now home to some luxurious resorts that provide the ideal base from which to enjoy the sharky southern dive sites. The vibrant house reefs are not only ideal for check dives or introductory dives; they are also enjoyed by photographers and experienced divers, as turtles, Napoleon wrasse and eagle rays regularly pass by. Gentle drifts along the walls ringing the atolls allow sightings of manta rays and reef sharks, while the channel dives can bring sightings of tiger and silver tip sharks.

We love the luxurious living and luxuriant house reefs in the Maldives, as well as the high chances of whale shark and manta ray encounters. If you are looking for decadent oceanside dining in a desert island setting with world-class diving, look no further. The beginner diving in the Maldives offers the chance to fill your logbook with envy-inducing entries as you gain more underwater experience in the company of some of the ocean's most impressive megafauna...

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Beginner Diving in The Maldives' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972