Exotic Maldives

The Unbelievable Underwater World Of The Maldives – Snorkeling

Yes, snorkeling in the Maldives is exactly as you see it on National Georgaphic – EPIC!

Snorkeling in the Maldives was definitely my favorite activity – as I’ve mentioned before, we took every single opportunity during our 10-day visit.

Even on our very last day there, we still went in the morning and traveled with a few wet clothes 🙂 It really is heaven for snorkeling and diving – there isn’t any really dangerous marine life! Even the cute little black tip reef sharks are friendly (and get scared easily too). ISIF has confirmed that the only recorded shark attack (non-fatal) was in the 16th century. The great white shark finds this place a bit too warm, so you won’t see it in the Maldives. Thus, exploring the marine wilderness becomes an endless fun! Here are some of the highlights of the reefs we visited:

Banana reef

Depth: 1-10 meters (snorkeling at the edge of the reef)


Visibility: (3.0 / 5)
Fish diversity: (3.0 / 5)
Corals: (3.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (2.0 / 5)

As part of a typical “half-day trip” (it has a total of 3 snorkeling points, usually Banana reef, Turtle reef and Biyadhoo), this reef has signature dramatic cliffs and overhangs. Even though we couldn’t see sharks or barracudas, they are typical for the reef’s fauna.

Biyadhoo

Depth: 1-10 meters (snorkeling at the edge of the reef)

Visibility: (4.5 / 5)
Fish diversity: (5.0 / 5)
Corals: (5.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (3.5 / 5)

Biyadhoo is another usual part of the half-day trip widely offered in Maafushi, and it is by far my favorite place in the Maldives. The house reef of the island is mesmerizing, offering all kinds of marine life. Check out my blog post dedicated to the island to explore it further.

Turtle reef

Depth: 5-7 meters

Visibility: (2.0 / 5)
Fish diversity: (2.0 / 5)
Corals: (2.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (1.0 / 5)

The last and third location of the standard half-day trip is usually turtle reef! Just as the name suggests, there are turtles there. It is a bit deeper than the other reefs we’ve visited and it isn’t very close to an island. Thus, the sea is a bit rough over there. Can you spot the turtle in the bottom photo with the diver?

Maafushi

Depth: 1-2 meters

Visibility: (4.0 / 5)
Fish diversity: (3.0 / 5)
Corals: (3.0 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (4.0 / 5)

Maafushi has a house reef as well! True, it is not as beautiful as the ones above, but it is still worth exploring. You have to be a bit careful with the current, though, don’t wander off too far. The best place for snorkeling is right in front of the bikini beach (in front of Arena Beach Hotel). It is very shallow and you have to be careful not to scratch yourself on the corals. In addition, going into the water can be a bit prickly, as the corals and seashells are usually in large chunks. I recommend using the special water socks or slippers if you’d like to avoid a bit of pain. The cute little fish are very friendly and curious, and don’t scare off easily, they swam along us for a while! If you’re interested in the island itself, here is a bit more info on it.

Picnic Island (Vashugiri)

Depth: 1-10 meters (snorkeling at the edge of the reef)

Visibility: (5.0 / 5)
Fish diversity: (4.0 / 5)
Corals: (4.5 / 5)
Current Friendliness: (3.5 / 5)

This beautiful island is about 30 minutes by boat from Maafushi and is most definitely worth exploring! Out of all snorkeling locations we visited, this one had the clearest waters. This is one of the full day trips that are offered and it includes lunch (we even brought our own cook with us!) made on the spot, as well as the entrance fees. There were also cute little bunnies hopping around the island. The reef has several entrance points and only one side of the island is safe to snorkel (no strong current). The price is about $ 80 per person and it is well worth it!

Bonus

The half day trip includes a bit more than the locations mentioned above – after the 2-3 snorkeling points, they take you to have lunch at one of the nearby sandbanks (which are incredibly gorgeous). Afterwards, on the way back to Maafushi, there is a very good chance to see some dolphins! The dolphins are usually in large packs and swim alongside the boat, so you can see them up close. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to hop in the water and swim with them – if the water is deep, there is a good chance that they scare away and go deeper.

Rosie Kerrigan

Explore breathtaking new destinations and immerse into different cultures through my lens <3 Travel guides, travel tips and lots of things to do in each destination!

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