Indian Ocean Diving: An Overview

The Indian Ocean generally conjures images of remote islands, beaches so beautiful they look photoshopped, sparkling azure waters, over-water villas and a fabulous variety of marine life beneath the waves. Well, those imaginings are exactly right - the Indian Ocean is the place for quintessential 'getting away from it all'. Need we go on?

Image of Louisa Fisher
Image of Neill Ghosh

Neill and Louisa are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The whitest of white sands and the bluest of blue seas
  • Mantas, whale sharks and more in one of our favourite diving destinations, the Maldives
  • The perfect winter sun destination

Our Guide to Indian Ocean Diving Holidays

The Indian Ocean is ideal for both divers and snorkellers with a great selection of both colourful coral and larger pelagics. What makes the Indian Ocean so special for divers and snorkellers, though, is the visibility (remember those sparkling azure waters we were talking about?). For the best visibility head for the Indian Ocean (namely the Maldives) between December and March, although it is very much a year-round dive destination.

Did you know

  • The Indian Ocean makes up a whopping 20% of the water on the earth's surface (27,240,000 square miles)
  • In ancient sanskrit the Indian Ocean is known as Ratnākara - the mine of gems
  • The Indian Ocean is the youngest of the major oceans

It's not just the diving and snorkelling that is world-class here, but the accommodation. The Indian Ocean is typified by its private island resorts and, while more and more are popping up all the time, our team of experts visit regularly (tough gig) to refresh their knowledge and ensure we recommend the best hotel to suit your requirements, whether you're a couple or a family, beginners or advanced divers.


Top picks for Indian Ocean

Picture of a surfer on palm tree

Maldives

Indian Ocean

The Maldives is a world-class diving destination, particularly if you like diving with big fish. Above the waves you find pure white sand, blue seas and world-class hotels. What's not to like?

Where to go

Picture of Resort in the central atolls Maldives

Central Atolls

Maldives

The islands, hotels and diving of the central atolls are all first-class.

Where to go

Picture of beach and turquoise water Northern Atolls

Northern Atolls

Maldives

Choose the right season and this is the place for mantas and whale sharks.

Where to go

Picture of Mulaku Atoll Maldives

Southern Atolls

Maldives

Venture south to uncharted territories and you are in for a treat.

Where to go

Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi

Maldives

If Robinson Crusoe was in hotel development, he would have built Soneva Fushi. A luxury hideaway on the island of Kunfunadhoo in the Baa Atoll reached by a half-hour scenic seaplane flight from the sanctity of the private lounge in Malé, the only international airport.

Where to stay

Dining at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Maldives

Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll, with its verdant, beach-fringed coral islands, is a quintessential Maldivean paradise.

Where to stay

Picture of Massage Treatment from Four Seasons Explorer

Four Seasons Explorer

Northern Atolls

Launched in 2002 the Four Seasons Explorer is a 128-ft catamaran – a floating Four Seasons basically. Cruising the central and northern atolls, this is one of the best liveaboards in the world.

Where to stay

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Maldives

At least 10km away from any other inhabited island, sitting on an untouched atoll, surrounded by one of the most beautiful reefs you will find in the tropics sits the Park Hyatt Hadahaa. There are few better or more impressive havens to be found in the Maldives.

Where to stay

Baros Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Baros Maldives

Maldives

Baros Maldives is an immaculate resort on a private, palm-fringed island surrounded by a shallow lagoon.

Where to stay

Picture of a Water Villa at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Central Atolls

Experience luxury and impeccable service with excellent diving at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa that occupies a private coral island in the Central Maldives.

Where to stay

Aerial view of Constance Halaveli Resort, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Maldives

The Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives has villas either on stilts over a beautiful lagoon or on the pristine beach.

Where to stay

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Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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