The Maldives are a paradise for divers. Since the islands are shallow coral atolls, you can usually walk from the beach into the water in full diving gear and dive only a few meters further into the dazzling underwater world. If you continue by boat into the open sea, colorful coral reefs and fascinating marine life from tiny colorful tropical fish to sharks, rays and sea turtles await you. What you should know if you want to visit the Maldives for diving, we have summarized here.
Table of contents
Which part of Maldives is best for diving?
First of all, a little crash course in geography: the Maldives is an archipelago that includes no less than 1196 islands, 220 of which are inhabited. They stretch off the southwest coast of India in a north-south direction for 871 kilometers. The islands are divided into 26 atolls, of which the North Malé Atoll with the capital Malé and the airport and the South Malé Atoll are probably the best known.
Since all atolls offer good conditions for diving in the Maldives like warm water temperatures, you should be guided by other things when choosing your holiday destination. For example, if you are looking for the ultimate in luxury, book a hotel with a private pool and similar amenities.
Another issue is the transfer time from Malé International Airport. The hotels in the North and South Malé Atolls, such as the TUI BLUE Olhuveli Romance, can be reached within one or two hours by boat and has its own dive centre. Atolls in the very south of the archipelago may offer a little more for divers, but this will require an additional domestic flight by seaplane.
The most beautiful spots for diving in the Maldives
Ask three different divers about the best dive spots in the Maldives and you’ll get three different answers, because the choice is simply huge. Some places that most can agree on when it comes to the best destinations for diving in the Maldives:
- Banana Reef (North Malé Atoll) – the mother of all dive spots in the Maldives
- Maaya Thila (Ari Atoll) with various sharks like whale sharks and reef sharks
- Kandooma Thila (South Malé Atoll) with sea turtles
- Mushimasmingili Thila (Ari Atoll) with a great variety of species
- Hammerhead Point (Rasdhoo Atoll) with many hammerhead sharks and rays
- Manta Point (South Ari Atoll) with especially many rays
- Hanifaru Bay with mantas and whale sharks
- Channel diving in the Vaavu Atoll and Addu Atoll with soft corals
Since tourism is more concentrated on the northern atolls, the atolls further south are more pristine. If you want to experience the Maldives in its pristine beauty while diving, you can fly to Fuvahmulah in the far south, a true paradise island where locals also live. Around the island you can see different shark species like tiger sharks, grey sharks, whitetips and hammerheads all year round. With a little luck you will meet a moon fish, one of the largest and heaviest fish in the world, which grows to over three meters long and yet is a very peaceful creature.
What is the best time of year to dive in the Maldives?
The Indian Ocean may be wonderfully warm all year round, but if you want to visit the Maldives primarily for diving, other factors also play a role. The climate is influenced by the monsoon: From October to April, the north-east monsoon, called Iruvai, brings mostly dry, beautiful weather. Especially between February and April you can dive wonderfully in the Maldives without worrying about rain and wind.
This changes with the arrival of the southwest monsoon called Hulhangu in May. Now it can rain frequently and visibility underwater is poor. During the rainy season in the summer months the Maldives are less suitable for diving, but then you will of course find enough exciting destinations in Europe.
How much does diving cost in the Maldives?
Almost every hotel has a diving school that offers beginner courses and guided excursions. The prices vary depending on the island and the price range of the hotel.
For a single, one-hour diving excursion, about 70 to 100 US dollars are charged. This includes boat ride and equipment. If you want to get away cheaply when diving in the Maldives, it is best to book packages: The more dives these include, the cheaper each individual dive is.
For a complete beginner’s course, depending on the provider and scope, you will pay around 300 US dollars and for the PADI Open Water Diver to acquire the diving certificate 550 to 600 US dollars.
What you can do besides diving in the Maldives
If only one of you wants to dive in the Maldives, the other one does not have to be bored. The underwater world opens up to you already while snorkeling directly in front of the island. So just put on your goggles, fins and go – you will be amazed how many beautiful colorful fish will surround you in no time.
If you prefer to stay above water, you can go stand-up paddling around the island or get an adrenaline kick from windsurfing and kitesurfing. The next day you can relax with a good book in the hotel with infinity pool or let yourself be pampered with a massage in the wellness area.
Diving Maldives: Paradise awaits
Whether you’re a hesitant beginner or an experienced pro, diving in the Maldives will delight all nature lovers. Here you can literally dive into another world and take home unforgettable impressions.