24 – 27 °C / 75 – 81 °F
20 – 50 meters / 65 – 165ft
Skin – 3mm – 5mm
Best time to travel
Year round, best November to June
Recommended dive sites
Lankan, Hanifaru, Rasdhookandu
Above water activities
Water sports, Island hopping, Tour of Male, Sand bank picnic
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Truly a natural wonder in itself, the Republic of Maldives is the picture of paradise. It was Marco Polo who referred to the Maldives as the ‘flower of the Indies’. A luxury holiday in the Maldives on one of more than a thousand Palm fringed islands with sparkling deserted white beaches, turquoise lagoons, clear warm waters and coral reefs teeming with abundant varieties of marine flora and fauna continues to be the ultimate escape as it has been for thousands of years. A Maldives honeymoon will prolong your wedding day as every day is as beautiful as the day you exchanged your vows.
The Maldives are swept by ocean currents which wash between the islands and bring copious nutrients to feed a rich variety of fish. Manta Rays, easily encountered here and the Maldives’ most famous inhabitants, (whale) sharks, barracudas, Spotted Eagle Rays and other larger pelagic fish are found in good numbers in the Maldivian atolls. Scuba diving the Maldives inside the atoll lagoons you often find pinnacles of rock vaulting up almost to the surface. These are known locally as 'Thilas' and are often adorned with sessile life forms. These formations bring water up from the ocean floor against their walls, feeding the sponges and soft corals that cling to its sides as well as creating an environment that supports a plethora of crustaceans and schools of resident fish.
Slightly removed from the reefs you are likely to spot the pelagics that frequent the Maldives, including manta rays and eagle rays and a variety of sharks including the mighty whale shark. Wherever you look and whatever the season, there is likely to be something of interest going on and it could very well be in the shallows where the best of the action takes place.
The Maldives enjoy two distinct seasons.
December to April
During the North East monsoon from December to April a current flows from the North East through the atolls, exiting out to the South West. Visibility on the eastern sides of the atolls is excellent during the Maldivian Summer. The current is typically faster at the start of the monsoon and decreases in power as the season progresses. Although the visibility drops on the western sides of the atolls during the North East season, this is where you have a better chance to encounter Manta Rays and Whale Sharks.
May to December
During the South West Monsoon from May to December the current flows from the South West through the atolls exiting out to the North East. Manta Rays and Whale Sharks will typically only be found off the Eastern edge of the atolls as water temperatures drop slightly and sharks appear closer to the surface and visibility is just great. Sea conditions can be rougher and there is a slight increase in rainfall over the South West season, still the diving remains superb.
Equinox Months - May and November
The two equinox months of May and November mark the transition of the Monsoon. Currents can be changeable and there is a higher chance of less predictable surface and in water conditions, with confused currents and changing visibility.
In recent years the timing of the change of seasons has been less predictable. So traveling off season for Maldives holidays could really be worth your while as there are better offers and fewer divers.
Scuba diving in the Maldives is mostly drift dives; the currents sweep and play throughout the island chain so that nutrients are always on the move. This accounts for the vast numbers of fish enjoying the passing feast. You can expect to see Napoleon wrasse, parrotfish, snappers, barracudas, jacks and sweetlips everywhere the water flows. Cruising on Maldives liveaboards through the atolls is the best way to cover the prime dive sites on North Male Atoll, South Male Atoll and Ari Atoll. The leeward side of the pinnacles, walls and channels shelter large schools of fish in water with visibility that sometimes exceeds 200 feet.
In the channels, you can explore the caves, caverns and overhangs where soft corals proliferate, and there is a riot of colorful sponges, crustaceans and gorgonian fans all profiting from the nutrient-rich water.
A Maldives vacation offers the greatest variety and Maldives liveaboards are among the most luxurious in the world. Why not combine a stay on a Maldives liveaboard with a visit to for example the resort of Bandos Maldives or any of the other fantastic Maldives resorts, either to continue diving, or simply relax, or both?
Talk to us about the possibilities, don’t wait… there has never been a better time to scuba dive Maldives!
VISA No prior visa is required to enter the Republic of Maldives. Entry permit for 30 days will be granted to visitors on arrival at designated ports of entry. Required is a valid return air ticket to a destination where the passenger has permission to enter, together with necessary visas for the onward journey to the next destination. Passports must be valid for six months from your date of arrival in the country.
LANGUAGE The national language is Dhivehi. English is widely used as a business language in government offices and the commercial sector. Other languages are widely used within tourist areas.
TIME GMT +5
CURRENCY The official currency is the Maldivian Rufiya.
Major currencies can be exchanged at banks, tourist resort islands, hotels and leading shops. Payments in hotels can be made in most hard currencies (particularly US Dollars) in cash, traveller's cheques or credit cards. Most major island resorts, local and souvenir shops will accept American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Arrangements vary from island to island. There are ATMs widely available in Malé. Traveller's cheques are generally accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
CLIMATE The Maldives have a hot tropical climate. There are two monsoons, the southwest from May to October and the northeast from November to April. Generally the southwest brings more wind and rain in June and July. The temperature rarely falls below 25°C (77°F).
VACCINES Vaccinations against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and are sometimes recommended. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas. Check with your embassy or consulate, as well as with a knowledgeable doctor, for detailed information on current health issues.
ELECTRICITY 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round-pin plugs are used, although square-pin plugs are now becoming more common. You are advised to bring your own plug adapter kit.
AIRPORT TAX There is a US$25 departure tax.