Diving in the Maldives
Take a diving excursion to the Maldives for close encounters with the denizens of the deep.
You’re busy tracing the delicate filigree of a sea fan, so at first you don’t see the manta ray coming. But when you sense its presence, you look up to find that this prehistoric-looking animal blots out a third of your entire field of vision. It moves like some sort of cross between a bird of prey and a magic carpet.
You quickly arrange your camera and take a photo before the manta ray moves off.
The manta ray, the largest of the rays, ranks high on the list of “must-sees” for many divers. So does the whale shark, the speckled plankton eater who just happens to be the world’s largest fish. The Maldives is one of the best places to encounter both of these majestic animals.
Divers will also find a profusion of fish species—such as barracudas, batfish, harlequin sweetlips, black and red snappers—swirling in great shoals or darting in unison among the complex coral formations and lagoons of this island nation.
Why all the fish? The brisk Indian Ocean currents in the Maldives carry nutrients that attract them in large numbers. The currents make drift diving one of the best ways to experience this underwater world. The far-flung atolls of the Maldives make live-aboard boats such as the Four Seasons Explorer an ideal choice for exploring the depths of this nation’s many pristine dive sites.
If you’re a snorkeller, don’t despair. Some of the best places to “dive” are in the shallows, which means that you, too, can see the underwater show.
Divers and snorkellers will find the best months for their explorations in the Maldives are from November to May, with the period from December through March featuring the clearest waters. So be sure to take an underwater camera. You just might get that perfect shot!