Macro Diving in the Maldives

The Maldives’ opulent blend of luxurious hotels and marine life-rich reefs has captivated divers for decades. Regular whale shark and manta ray sightings may get the lion’s share of the attention, but the eagle-eyed diver can find a world of delightful macro subjects to snap away at, too. The chain of 26 atolls stretches down from close to the southern tip of India towards the equator, and the Indian monsoon current provides the necessary nutrients for a healthy reef system to flourish. The islands’ lagoons are perfect for an afternoon cruise in the shallows, snapping away at stonefish and shrimp, while the local guides can help spot the smaller critters on the wall dives. Don’t be fooled into only taking your wide-angle set-up; the macro diving in the Maldives deserves your focus too.

Our team of diving aficionados has navigated the northern atolls, combed the central atolls and scrutinised the southern shores in order to help you put together the perfect Maldivian macro odyssey.

So, forget about the mantas and whale sharks, affix your macro lens, and hunt down the psychedelic batwing slug, ornate ghostpipefish and frogfish. Zoom in on Shaun the Sheep, feather star shrimp and majestically coloured peacock mantis shrimp. But pack your wide-angle lens too; you can't completely ignore the big stuff, can you?

Northern Atolls

The atolls of Baa, Raa, Lhaviyani and Noonu offer the chance to escape the crowds and enjoy a tropical idyll in relative seclusion. Stay in over-the-water bungalows above the macro-rich lagoons or luxuriate aboard spacious liveaboards. Aside from the high chances of manta and whale shark dives, the lagoons are perfect for macro photography at dusk, as the diurnal critters make way for the incoming night shift of macro subjects.

Central Atolls

Following touch-down at Male Airport, a speedboat ride across the iconic Maldivian lagoons will bring you to your luxury hotel. The central atolls feature decadent hotels with luxuriant house reefs. If macro diving in the Maldives is on your menu, the calm, shallow lagoons are bathed in ambient light and are the perfect place to get to grips with your settings and enjoy the macro diving of the Maldives.

Southern Atolls

The southern atolls of the Maldives are lapped by clear, warm water and see fewer divers than the atolls to the north. But with the arrival of some of the big hotel chains in recent years, they are becoming more accessible. Here you can enjoy the house reefs to yourself as you hunt out frogfish and shrimp or venture out by boat to see some of the sharks and rays that also patrol the southern Maldivian waters.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Macro 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