The Maldive Islands are famous for several reasons, but 26 atolls (clusters of coral reef) has to be the feature that interests scuba divers and snorkelers the most.
This section contains information about the dive sites found in the Maldivian Archipelago. Find out the best time of year to go diving and which marine species flourish in this part of the Indian Ocean.
Even though a grand total of 1,192 islands make up the Maldives, only 187 are inhabited.
It is a low-lying, independent island country located close to the central Indian Ocean.
Running from north to south, this chain of ring-shaped, coral reef islets (atolls) extend for some 820 kilometres (510 miles).
In fact, the Indian mainland is around 600 kilometres (370 miles) from Haa Alifu Atoll - the northernmost of all the Maldive Islands.
So, now you must be wondering when is the best time to go and scuba dive in the Maldives. Well, you can expect to experience a tropical climate all year round, with water temperatures averaging 28° Celsius (82° Fahrenheit).
As a result, the Maldive Islands offer year round scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. But, August through to November are the best months to catch sightings of majestic manta rays and gigantic whale sharks.
The Republic of Maldives gained its independence in 1965. Nonetheless, we added this archipelagic state (found in the Indian subcontinent of Asia) to our list of India dive sites (e.g. Andaman, Goa).
The area is famous for white sand beaches and incredible coral reef formations. Plus, the ocean animals and plants display a natural diversity found in only a handful of ecosystems worldwide.
Here's the thing:
You won't accuse the local dive shops of 'rushing' the scuba and snorkeling activities. Instead, you should consider scuba diving in the Maldives as being a 'leisurely' pursuit.
The nutrient-rich water feeds the soft coral reef gardens as they cling and clamber to steep vertical walls and rocky outcrops.
You will find undersea rock pinnacles (thila and giri) that rise up from the lagoon. There are caverns to explore and swim-throughs to, shall we say, to swim through.
This is where you will find superb examples of the natural wonders and biodiversity that includes amazing flora and fauna such as:
So, now you need to know which Atoll has the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the Maldives - and why? This list of the top dive destinations highlights the main reasons why they are so popular with divers:
Pro Tip: Another section contains a list of vertebrate and invertebrate marine animals with fun and interesting facts, pictures, and videos.
Velana International Airport (VIA) is the only airport in the Maldives that can receive international flights from multiple destinations. It is located on Hulhule Island but you might see it called Male Airport.