Maldives, 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 snorkelling and 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 around 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.

In light of coral bleaching which hit the Maldives in 2016, we put a lot of time into studying Reef Check surveys and first-hand accounts on the health of reefs throughout this vast archipelago. Whilst the corals there are recovering, we offer fewer locations in the Maldives, majoring where we can on great diving and snorkelling opportunities and reefs close to 'hope spots' where coral impacts were least. Something we also find is that deeper sites and reefs exposed to currents are often unaffected, since flow of water can significantly reduce temperature increases. Other than the corals, the sheer variety and abundance of marine life in the Maldives is fantastic with a huge diversity to be found here of both reef fish and pelagics. In general, our focus is on more northern and southern atolls - avoiding many of the central atolls since these are busier with visitors, liveaboards and resorts - which enjoy generally fewer visitors, deeper waters and superb diving opportunities.

House Reef at Maldives Island Resort with dive centre in Faafu Atoll

Some of the most relaxed diving and snorkelling are easy walk in immersions, on fringing reefs which encrust the edges of islands. 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.

Snorkelling with Whale Sharks in the Maldives

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.

  • Maldives Island Resort with Dive Centre in North Ari Atoll
  • Dive with Manta Rays in the Maldives year round
  • House Reef Snorkelling in the Maldives on Faafu Atoll
  • Maldives Dive Liveaboard - South Central and Deep South Atolls
  • Nudibranch - Chromodoris Tritos - on Maldives Dive Liveaboard
  • Maldives Dive Liveaboard - South Central and Deep South Atolls
  • Maldives Dive Liveaboard - South Central and Deep South Atolls
  • Glassy Sweeper in the Maldives - U Kefrig
  • Snorkelling with Whale Sharks in the Maldives land based or dive liveaboard
  • Maldives Island Resort with Dive Centre in Faafu Atoll

Maldives Travel Guide

Maldives Island Based Diving & Snorkelling Holidays

Maldives Dive Liveaboards

  • Ornate Ghost Pipefish in the Maldives
  • Ribbon Sweetlips in the Maldives
  • Eagle Ray in the Maldives
  • Diving with Turtles in the Maldives
  • Dive with Manta Rays in the Maldives year round - U Kefrig
  • Humpback Snapper in the Maldives - U Kefrig
  • Maldives Island Resort with Dive Centre in Meemu Atoll
View all trips to Maldives
Contact Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Whatsapp E-mail Copy URL