When you think of the Maldives you probably think of high end resorts, luxury and newly weds basking in the sun and heading to the spa. We divers know better. Scuba Diving in the Maldives is a breath taking experience.
The Maldives are blessed with stunning coral reefs, snowy white sandy beaches, and an ocean full of astonishing marine life. It’s time to drop what you’re doing and book a liveaboard trip in the Maldives right away. Because if we’re honest, there’s just no better way to see what this tropical paradise has to offer than to crash on a boat for a few days. You’ll practically be living underwater. Seriously.
Here are seven reasons why the Maldives must be on every diver’s bucket list:
1) Its among the most pristine diving spots in the world
There are approximately 1,200 islands in the Maldives, of which only about a hundred or so are inhabited. Most islands have not seen a human footprint for many years.
There are few places in the world where nature still feels so untouched. The diverse ecosystems that populate the waters surrounding the islands are pristine and breathtaking.
Because there are so many islands to explore, it is advisable to book a liveaboard, rather than dive from a resort. This way, you’ll be much more mobile, giving you a chance to fully experience the many virgin islands that have not seen a human footprint for many years.
2) See a manta ray ‘cleaning station’
Manta rays are, by far, one of the most famous attractions for divers who visit the Maldives. It’s really no wonder that so many scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the globe head to the Maldives in order to experience encounters with these majestic creatures.
In fact, chances are you’ll run into one of the coveted manta ray cleaning stations in the Maldives. If you don’t know what a manta ray cleaning station is, you’re in for a treat: these are places in the ocean where manta rays come to get their skin, teeth and gills cleaned by small species of fish and crustaceans. Like a car wash for fish, if you will.
Where can you find these cleaning stations? One place where you might run into this incredible phenomenon is the Ari Atoll. In sites like these, you get an amazing front row seat where you can kick back on the sandy bottom as the giant mantas gently float by to get their manicure.
3) Dive with whale sharks
Whale sharks are sure to be on every diver’s wish list. They’re the biggest fish in the world, and with their gentle, friendly nature, it’s no wonder they’re such a popular fish to look for. They can be spotted year round, as the tropical waters surrounding the islands offer a hospitable environment to the gentle giants of the sea. If you want to swim with a whale shark, scuba diving in the Maldives is why that piece of paradise is your spot.
4) Sharks are 100% protected
Since 2010, there is a ban on shark fishing in the Maldives, and a complete ban on the export of any shark products. As a result, the number of sharks are on the rise, and many different species are thriving here. It’s very common to spot hundreds of sharks on your dives, and more than 26 different species of shark have been identified in the waters of the Maldives.
Some of smaller reef sharks in the Maldives include:
- Whitetip reef shark
- Blacktip reef shark
- Nurse shark
- Grey reef shark
The Maldives are also home to the following sharks:
- The infamous but beautiful Tiger shark
- Hammerhead shark
- Oceanic whitetip shark
If you find yourself in the water with any of these apex predators, keep your distance and admire them without provoking them. Sharks can be dangerous, but as long as you don’t irritate them, they usually show little interest in divers.
5) The visibility is awesome
Scuba Diving in the Maldives is well known for its crystal clear water with the ideal visibility for diving.
Due to the coral reefs and phytoplankton in the water, as well as its temperature (up to 29°C / 84°F!), visibility in the Maladives is incredible. Expect a viz range of about 40 meters on average, with spikes of up to 60 meters around November. It’s among the clearest waters in the world.
Due to these reasons the water of the Maldives looks so clear and that attracts most of the tourists. Who wouldn’t love to see the view of the sea bed clearly even from the surface? Truly a diver’s paradise.
Interested in a Liveaboard trip to the Maldives? Click here for a liveaboard package.
6) Coral Atolls
Atolls are essentially giant rings of coral that developed around the shorelines of islands. Only found in the (sub)tropics, there giant natural structures grow slowly over time, offering a home to an insanely diverse range of ocean life. The Maldives are home to arguably the best 26 atolls in the world, spread out over an area of over 90,000 square kilometers.
Among the corals, you’ll spot parrot fish, clownfish, wrasse, angelfish, triggerfish and turtles.
7) On top of all of this: wreck dives
Wreck diving is a unique experience in underwater exploration. Divers can witness first-hand how marine ecosystems adapt to and take over these sunken rusty relics of human civilization, creating artificial reefs which offer shelter to hundreds of different species.
Also read: The Pro’s and Con’s of Artificial reefs
The warm, clear, calm waters of the Maldives offer a fantastic opportunity to observe this process. Coral reefs grow over the hulls of wrecked ships, creating a magical home for local marine flora and fauna.
Take the Fesdu Wreck, which was originally a 30 meter steel fishing boat. The wreck is located in a spot where tidal currents run through a couple of times a day causing it to be fully covered with hard and soft corals. On the side of the wreck, longnose hawkfish hide in the black bushes of coral. On the small hammer-shaped reef next to the wreck you can spot frogfish. If you’re lucky, mantas might be using it as a cleaning station.
The lagoon next to the Fesdu wreck is a safe anchoring place for safari boats. Their lights attract plankton which, in turn, attracts mantas, so there is always a chance you can do a night dive with feeding mantas. This alone is reason enough to drop whatever it is you’re doing and book a trip right away.
Would you like to dive the Fesdu ship wreck or go scuba diving in the Maldives for one of the other above mentioned reasons? Check out The True Maldives Liveaboard package to join a liveaboard that sails out to the Fesdu ship wreck and other dive sites in the Maldives where you will witness the species and sight seeings as described in this article.
Have you been to the Maldives? Let us know in the comments below and share your experience with us.
This article is published by The Scuba Page, the online magazine for Scuba Dive lovers around the world. The Scuba Page is part of RUSHKULT: the online booking platform for adventure sports. Visit the RUSHKULT platform to book your next Scuba Dive training, guided trip and accommodation.