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aldives, a long chain of coral atolls and shallow islets extending hundreds of kilometres south of India towards the heart of the Indian Ocean, offers the classic image of tropical island paradise and some of the best coral reef diving in the Indian Ocean. If you fly into the islands by day, you will see beneath stunning white sand islands and waters in every shade of blue and turquoise you can imagine. You wouldn't be the first to wish you had a parachute to drop onto a perfect beach or coral lagoon you spot beneath you. Of its 1,192 islands and islets a round 1,000 of them are unoccupied.

Just being in the Maldives is a bliss even the most energetic should find time for - melting into its warmth and gazing out across its reef protected waters. The snorkelling is legendary with limitless opportunities to find colourful reefs teeming with fishlife. Limitless also describes its underwater world for scuba divers. There is a lifetime of diving to be done in the Maldives.

Conditions vary from easy walk in dives on reefs fringing off islands within the Maldives' huge atolls. Divers can also enjoy pinnacles locally known as thilas, and spectacular coral encrusted walls which on the ocean side of each atoll drop thousands of meters into the blue. These areas can experience upwellings which bring nutrients from the deep and plankton close behind them. This is food for the Maldives' famous whale sharks and manta rays, as well as other fishes and their predators.

Aqua-Firma can take you to explore the Maldives either by staying on an idyllic atoll, far out to sea; or by live on board boat ('liveaboard'); or a combination of the two - what we call Yacht & Lodge Safaris. Both have their benefits. Our selected liveaboards can take you to explore a much wider span of the Maldives and pick out underwater highlights many miles apart. With a wide range of island options available, staying at a remote island lodge allows you relax in great comfort and enjoy activities when you feel like it - whether that be an easy snorkel or scuba dive from the shore, dingy sailing, or a boat based trip to some of the many special coral reef sites within the range of a small boat.

Yacht & Lodge Safaris - Wildlife and Marine Life research conservation - Ocean Trust - hammerhead - oceanic white tip - Indian Ocean resort hotel travel - vacation - island tour - luxury tailor made - sail cruise - bareboat skippered yacht

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