With clear blue water, white sandy beaches, and great underwater visibility, the Maldives is an idyllic scuba diving paradise as much as a romantic destination. Blessed with a tropical climate and warm Indian ocean waters, the island nation of the Maldives is a year-round destination.
Whether you’re a master or novice scuba diver looking to get certified or a beginner or avid snorkeler, Maldives is a unique destination that can offer a choice of diving, romance, respite and freedom of space to guests. Being a renowned beach destination, the islands also offer lifestyle holidays such as family, anniversary, honeymoon, destination weddings, solo travel, single parent vacations, friends travelling together, long stays, corporate getaways or remote working to be combined seamlessly with diving.
Dive Holiday Experiences In The Maldives
|• Whale shark & Manta Dives
• Shark Dives
• Shipwrecks Dives
• Underwater Photography
• Night Dives
|• Learn To Dive
• Family Dives
• Diving Honeymoon
• Luxury Yachting & diving
• Luxury Dive Holidays
💡Travel Tips: The Maldives is readily accessible from Europe, North America and the Far East with a choice of major international airlines with daily connections. Tour Operators also arrange frequent charters to the Maldives.
Marine Life In The Maldives
The Maldives archipelago is 99% ocean and known for its great coral reefs and marine life.
Guest can experience an abundance of colourful reef fish, octopus, squid, sea anemones, soft corals, parrotfish, sweet lips, napoleon wrasse, moray eels, five species of turtles, different types of rays such as mantas, eagle rays to giant pelagic fish, such as tunas, sharks, dolphins, and the elusive whale sharks in the Indian Ocean surrounding the atolls.
💡Travel Tips: Due to climate change, guests may see some coral bleaching in the shallow reefs. Most resorts offer a choice of excursions to nearby reefs or talk to the resort dive operator on what excursions to take or where you can see the marine life of your interest.
Where To Dive & Resorts To Stay In The Maldives
The Maldives has a lot to offer ranging from luxury resorts and private islands to more humble and far more affordable resorts. The Crown & Champa Resorts’ collection offers nine private island resorts with different room categories at different price points giving the flexibility to guests to select the perfect combination of Resort, room and dive destination in a range of budget.
All resort dive operators of the Crown & Champa Resorts collection are PADI 5 Star Dive Centres and offer the full range of PADI courses for all levels. For budding young divers, the dive centres offer bubble makers courses for children from the age of 8 years.
The Manta Ray season starts from September/October to March. Though sightings cannot be guaranteed, the sightings peak at the start of the northeast monsoon and sometimes in November. Consult the resort dive centres for the best dive and snorkelling sites to spot manta rays. Manta rays can also be spotted throughout the year at various places around Lhaviyani Atoll and the South Ari Atoll.
The North Malé Atoll Diving
Kagi Maldives Spa Island
Access the reef from your over-water villa stairs or straight from the beach. Expect to see healthy corals, bright colourful tropical fishes and cute sea creatures; sea turtles, rays, reef sharks, moray eels and nurse sharks. Learn More »
For divers, there is a huge variety of trips and dive sites, from Manta point to some thrilling channel diving with sharks, overhang with delicate colourful soft corals to some up-close personal Turtle moments in Makunudu Garden.
Dive Partner: Euro-Divers by Kagi Maldives
Kagi is a well-being focused resort welcoming guests from the age of 12.
Kagi offers the destination experience Kagi Maldives Pure Life – a well-being concept that flows through the resort from its minimalistic architecture, culinary offering, activities and excursions to the 1500sqm spa complex, all subtly conveyed and thoughtfully built into stays to suit every guest and their lifestyle.
Stays at Kagi starts from USD 759.00++* per double/per night on Bed & Breakfast.
Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Meeru’s Lagoon & Corral Garden:
Meeru has a lagoon ideal for sea swimming and a first-time divers delight, Meeru Island Resort and Spa also has a coral nursery. The lagoon where the nursery is located boasts a wide variety of fish species. It is not uncommon to see turtles, rays and small reef sharks cruising in this area. The coral garden is located on the east side of Meeru, in front of 200s beach villas. See: Underwater Livecam
Complimentary, daily, outer reef excursions are available within a short boat distance of a maximum of 25 minutes, where guests can expect turtles, napoleons, morays, sharks, rays, crustaceans and other sea life.
Meeru guests also have the ease of access to some of the top requested dive sites in North Malé. Some of the most visited dive sites are;
• The Aquarium – A collection of corral rocks surrounded by reef fish and some caves.
• The Colosseum – A C shaped formation with slopes to spot tunas, turtles and pelagic feeders
• The Far Reef, Miyaru Faru, HP Reef and Thilas (rock pinnacles), or underwater islands which sports diverse sea life such as Nassimo Thila ( a declared protected marine area), Okobe Thila, Helengeli Bodu Thila and many guided fun dives.
See: Dive Calendar For Scuba And Snorkeling Around Meeru Island, Maldives
Dive Partner: Euro-Divers Meeru Island
Meeru Island is conveniently located a scenic 55-minute speedboat transfer from the Velana International Airport. A family-friendly island with a separate adults-only area, the resort offers expansive beaches, a choice of rooms from, garden, beach villas to over-water accommodation. Meeru has a thriving culinary scene with six bars, two a la carte restaurants and dining events. Guest can enjoy two spas, golf, a choice of land sports and plenty of excursions and activities in Meeru and large watersports and dive centre. Stays at Meeru starts from USD 417.00++* per double/per night on Full Board.
The Ari Atoll Diving
The Ari atoll is renowned for its pelagic species and is a scuba diver s’ heaven. Manta rays, eagle rays, and turtles frequent the atoll year around while the unique opportunity to see whale sharks and hammerhead sharks are available.
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa – North Ari Atoll
Veligandu is blessed with two house reefs of its own with frequent turtle sightings. The house reef to the West can be reached from the beach in front of the Ocean Dive Centre facing the lagoon. The house reef to the Southside of Veligandu is facing the outside edge of the atoll.
Veligandu boasts 17 dive sites within a 40-minute boat ride including the famed Madivaru Corner in the south of Rasdhoo Atoll where the currents attract pelagic fish in large numbers, such as sharks, rays, tunas, jacks and Napoleons. Also, small ocean creatures can be found here, like the resident leaf scorpionfishes.
Advanced divers can enjoy the weekly early morning dive to the Hammerhead Shark Point – Big Blue, wherewith luck, have the chance to spot Hammerheads in the deep blue water at 30m depth.
Weekly whale sharks excursions are available to see the elusive gentle giant, the whale sharks.
See: Veligandu’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For North Ari Atoll Maldives
Dive Partner: Ocean Dive Centre
Veligandu is an award-winning, top romantic hotel in Asia and the Maldives. A secluded haven for romance, the island is known for its long sandbank, palm-fringed beaches surrounding the island, intimate ambience, excellent hospitality and a popular honeymoon and beach wedding destination. The island offer beach and water villa, an overwater spa, one a la carte restaurant, two bars with ocean views and land sports such as badminton and football, motorized and non-motorized water sports, and luxury yachting besides diving, excursions and activities. Veligandu is a scenic 20-minute seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport. Though guests of all ages are welcome on the island, over 95% of Veligandu guests are adults.
Stays at Veligandu starts from USD 480.00++* per double/per night on Full Board.
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – South Ari Atoll
The famed house reef of Vilamendhoo Resort is exceptionally beautiful and starts just a few feet away from the beach. The house reef s’ dense corral garden circles the island and extend over the narrow lagoon around the overwater villas on the western end. The reef itself is teaming with marine life and home to turtles, schools of jacks, napoleons, blacktip reef sharks and eagle rays.
The resort is blessed with nearly 50 dive sites, all situated within one hour by boat including the Maamigili Marine Protected Area and National Park where whale sharks are frequented.
• For certified divers, the resorts brings a variety of dive sites every day which can be explored during single tank, two tank or full-day trips.
• For divers looking for more challenging dives, Vilamendhoo offers the perfect channels for drift diving. Channel diving presents the opportunity to observe a plethora of fish, the mix of pelagic life and the reef itself. Guided tours will take guests to watch sharks and eagle rays gliding in the current as well as hunting and feeding.
• Thila dives: A Thila is an underwater mountain with a top reef between 5-15 meters and it is usually located in a channel or in the middle of the atoll. Waters around Vilamendhoo contain some of the most famous Thilas, such as Kuda Rah Thila, 7th Heaven, Broken Rock and Lucky Hell offering stunning soft corals and an abundance of fish life.
See: Vilamendhoo’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For South Ari Atoll Maldives
Dive Partner: Euro-Divers Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo is a family-friendly resort with separate adults-only areas and facilities famed for whale shark spotting, turtles spotting and its house-reef. Just a 25-minute scenic seaplane transfer from the Velana International Airport, Vilamendhoo offers a choice of room categories from the garden, beach villas to over-water villas. The resort has two freshwater pools, two a la carte restaurants and three bars.
Stays at Vilamendhoo starts from USD 360.00++* per double/per night on Full Board.
Diving in the Lhaviyani Atoll
A 40-minute scenic transfer from the Velana International Airport, the Lhaviyani atoll is popular with divers. The diving in the atoll is rated excellent by divers and includes the Shipyard site with two very diveable wrecks and Madivaru Kandu (channel) is a high-energy channel pulsing with pelagics.
Crown & Champa Resorts collection presents a choice of five private islands in the Lhaviyani Atoll.
More than 50 dive sites spread across the Lhaviyani and the close by Noon Atoll are within easy reach of the Crown & Champa Resorts properties. The topography of the atolls results in a wide variety of sites and an astounding quantity of fish life, with regular sightings of sharks, rays and a very large population of resident turtles. The main manta ray season from September to March.
All resorts participate in Manta Trust, the Manta Ray conservation project and the Olive Ridley Project – a conservation project where guests can adopt and name a turtle.
Kuredu Island Resort & Spa is home to one of four hyperbaric chambers in the Maldives and servers not only emergencies arising from the local resorts in the surrounding atolls but also liveaboards that pass through the area.
Kudadoo Private Island By Hurawalhi
The island is surrounded by a pristine house reef.
Being a fully-inclusive resort, Kudadoo offers unlimited diving and snorkelling.
Guest can contact their butlers for curated dive itineraries. Remote reef exploration and island-hopping on aboard Bella, Kudadoo’s luxury yacht with the Marine Biologist is available POA. Dive explorations on Bella;
• Baa Atoll – Cruise the neighbouring Atolls and explore the open ocean where you could stumble upon everything from whales breaching to dolphins.
• Hanifaru Bay – Explore the worlds largest feeding ground for manta rays at this UNESCO biosphere reserve in the Maldives – designated as a Marine Protected Area. Observe mantas in what is called ‘cyclone feeding’ in which there are sometimes up to 50 or more of these graceful creatures.
• Whale Shark and Manta Search – Dive group will be accompanied by Kudadoos’ Marine Biologist
• Diving in Noonu Atoll – Venture to the neighbouring Atoll in the north to experience some amazing dive sites such as the shark cleaning station of Orimas Thila, and the incredible reef structure of Christmas Rock, full of fish and a favourite of underwater photographers.
Stays at Kudadoo starts from USD 3500.00++* per night on Fully Inclusive AAA (Minimum 3 nights recommended).
Hurawalhi Island Resort
The resort’s house reef offer ample opportunity for seeing sea turtles and bustling schools of fish in its reef. Guests can join the resident marine biologists for snorkelling and learn more about the fragile eco-system.
Hurawalhi also offers rebreather diving for the sensation of bubble-free diving and underwater scooters to buzz effortlessly past reef sharks and squadrons of eagle rays. The resort offers meaningful and insightful marine life encounters with Hurawalhi’s marine biology center.
Dive Operator: Pro Divers Maldives
Home to 5.8, the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant, Hurawalhi is a 5-star naturally chic adult’s escape that prides itself in treading lightly on the environment. Hurawalhi ranked #8 among the Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Asia in 2020 by TripAdvisor and is for guests 15 years and above.
Stays at Hurawalhi starts from USD 700.00++* per double/per night on Bed & Breakfast.
Komandoo Island Resort & Spa
The island is bosts a fabulous, shallow and easily accessible house reef with coral blocks. The reef is well visited by anemones, clownfish, parrotfish, triggerfish, morays, fusiliers, napoleon wrasse, stingrays and eagle rays. The endangered hawksbill turtles can also be spotted and the island is frequented by green sea turtles. See: House Reef Snorkel Guide
• Komandoo offers multiple excursions with access to countless drop-offs, beautiful protected reefs full of life and colour as well as access to a large number of channels for those seeking bigger fish action.
• Shark diving and swimming with turtles are popular activities. Kuredu Caves is home to over 60 resident green sea turtles
• Kuredu Express: is a protected nearby marine area at the sister resort Kuredu. and a popular dive site for intermediate divers. This unique site is home to sharks, rays, incredible schools of jacks and snappers and is rated as one of the top dive spots in the Maldives.
Dive Operator: Pro Divers Maldives
TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Best Of The Best, 2020 and ranked #9 among the Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Asia, Komandoo is the Maldives only truly adults-only resort (18+ years) offering adults a secluded ambience filled with peaceful and calming experiences in a charming setting.
Stays at Komandoo starts from USD 500.00++* per double/per night on Full Board.
Kuredu Island Resort & Spa
The Kuredu house reef has a huge range of fish on display and is also home to its own shipwreck. The island is also a turtle hot spot and has a stunning lagoon.
• Kuredu offers excursions to 60 dive sites within boat reach – dive sites bursting with coral, sharks and rays cruising through the channels, turtles resting on the outer reefs and schooling snappers enjoying the protection of the reefs, majestic manta rays, tunas, moray eels and Napoleon wrasses and more. The Manta Trust, working closely with Prodivers in the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, has identified around 300 mantas in the Lhaviyani Atoll.
• Boat trips leave throughout the day, helping to ensure that you can make the most of your time in the Maldives. Guest can join single dive trips (morning and afternoon), organise two-tank diving regularly (including afternoon two tanks for late risers) and full-day trips.
• The Kuredu Express: is a protected marine area a 10-minute boat ride from the resort.
• The Anemone Thila: one of the prettiest sites in the Atoll. It is fringed with overhangs and terraces that are home to blue stripe snappers and the occasional nurse shark. Trevallies patrol the reef bringing terror to the glassfish that gather in huge number over the reef.
Dive Operator: Pro Divers Maldives.
Kuredu boasts the largest diving centre in the Maldives and Kuredu’s medical clinic includes a hyperbaric chamber.
Kuredu is the largest island in Lhaviyani atoll, and has something to meet every traveller’s desire. With 11 room categories to select from garden bungalows to water villas and private pool villas amidst gardens, the property offers separate adults-only and family-friendly areas. Kuredu boast a vibrant lifestyle with 14 restaurants and bars, two spas – one over the water and the other amidst a garden, multiple freshwater pools, the first golf course plus the longest driving range in the Maldives, a two-story Fitness Center on the beach and a long sandbank.
Stays at Kuredu starts from USD 300.00++* per double/per night on Full Board.
Innahura Maldives Resort
Innahura ‘s Lagoon:
The island is surrounded by a shallow logoon. Innahura provides daily complimentary boat transfers to a nearby reef.
• Innahura offers unexplored diving and snorkeling areas in the east of the Lhaviyani Atoll and is close to one of the biggest coral reefs in the Maldives.
• Muda Thila: An interesting dive site worthwhile exploring more than once. Leather coral, bubble anemones, two-spotted snappers, blue striped snappers, fusiliers and mantis shrimps can be seen at this untouched east Lhaviyani site.
• Two-tank and full-day dive trips can be arranged with the dive center.
Dive Operator: Pro Divers Maldives
The beautiful beach resort where life is easy. Situated in the south-east Lhaviyani Atoll, the all beach bungalow resort created for sun-seekers, young and young at heart. Find wide beaches, a lagoon and shallow waters for sea swims, water sports, a dive centre, a Duniye spa, an expansive freshwater pool, has activities such as sustainable hand reel fishing and its own desert island.
Stays at Innahura start from USD 286.00* per double/per night on Full Board.
Weather In The Maldives & Diving
Located close to the equator, the Maldives is sunny and balmy year-round with day air temperature to vary between 27°C/80°F to 30°C/86°F. Water temperature is fairly constant at a balmy 24°C/75°F to 30°C/86°F.
The north-east monsoon, typically running from November through to April is characterised by clear skies and sunshine with January to April bring great visibility for diving and snorkelling. The south-western monsoon typically occurring May to October can bring less settled weather, but there is plenty of sunshine to be enjoyed. The monsoon also causes a plankton bloom in the water, which results in reduced water visibility yet however is a huge advantage for divers as manta rays and whale sharks come to feed on the plankton.
Due to the size of the Maldives, its climate is also subject to conditions elsewhere in Asia, there are many weather variations among the atolls and weather forecasting apps tend to be inaccurate, especially during the south-west monsoon when the resort conditions are often much better than shown.
* Prices are indicative only and are subject to change. Do a rate search on the Resort Website(s) or collections booking engine for current rates and packages.
[Related: Travelling On a Budget To the Maldives » ]
Is Maldives Safe To Travel?
Yes. Maldives is a WTTC Global Safe Travels Destination and received the ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ for implementing health and safety measures, in line with the World Travel & Tourism Councils’ Global Safe Travels protocols.