When to Visit the Maldives

The Maldives enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures ranging between 24 - 33°C (75 - 91°F). Water temperatures average between 26 - 29°C throughout the year.

Like many places in the world, the seasons, weather and marine life encounters in the Maldives have all become less predictable in recent years, though it is still heavily influenced by two monsoon seasons:

Southwest Monsoon (May to October)

Currents flow from the west to east during this season, with more varied marine life being found on the western side of the atolls. Grey reef sharks and hammerheads congregate in larger numbers and in shallower water at this time of year. Manta rays and whale sharks are usually found on the eastern side of the atolls, as they are attracted to higher concentrations of plankton flowing out of the channels. Visibility is lessened during this period.

Storms, wind and rain are more likely during this time with the wettest months generally being June and July when rain falls on average 3 - 4 hours per day and surface swells can reach 1 - 2 metres. Even with the increased likelihood of rain, there are still sunny days and weather is still warm throughout the season, though water temperatures are at the lower end of the average.
Rainfall also tends to increase during the monsoon transitions in late May and early December.

Northeast Monsoon (November to April): Maldivian Summer

The currents begin to flow from the northeast in late November. As the currents flow through atoll channels from east to west, reef sharks and other pelagics tend to gather in large numbers at the channel entrances and thilas on the eastern side of the atolls. Manta rays and whale sharks are usually found on the western sides of the atolls where plankton flows out of the channels into open sea.

Currents are at their strongest during this time and tend to ease in March and April, providing easier diving for less experienced divers. Visibility is at its highest during this time at 20 - 30m+ on the eastern side and 15 - 20m on the western side, with December to March enjoying the best overall visibility.

The best weather can be enjoyed during this time with little rain, low humidity, blue skies and calm seas. Temperatures reach their peak in April. Water temperatures in the deep south can drop as far as 24°C during the season.

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