The coconut palm and the yellow-fin tuna, symbols of the Maldives, say a great deal about this nation of more than a thousand islands. Grouped into 26 low atolls in the Indian Ocean, less than 300 of the islands are inhabited. The Maldives is flat with white sandy beaches and excellent reefs with an abundance of marine life. Scuba diving is done at a leisurely drift pace as the Indian Monsoon Current sweeps along the island chains, moving nutrients and divers along. This nutrient-rich water flows up along the walls, feeding the sponges and soft corals clinging to the rock sides. Inside the atoll lagoons, rock pinnacles – thila – vault up from the bottom to scratch the water’s surface. In the channels, there are swim-throughs, caverns and overhangs festooned with colorful sponges, invertebrates and gorgonians to explore. At well-known cleaning stations, wrasse and shrimp service manta rays, and other large marine species. With a welcoming culture and some of the finest liveaboard dive boats and luxury resorts on the globe, a dive holiday in the Maldives makes for an unforgettable experience.
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Maldives Sea Life
Maldives is one of the best places in the world to spot manta rays and whale sharks; this should be more than enough to convince anyone to travel there, but there is more. Reef sharks like whitetip and grey reef are quite common too, together with big tunas, Napoleon fish, eagle and stingrays. Big schools of jackfish patrol the reefs, morays and turtles are also very commons. The reef enjoys both soft and hard, colorful corals, and tons of little fishes, nudibranchs and worms.
How to Get There
Velana International Airport is located on Hulhule Island in North Male Atoll, near the capital island Male. International travellers will need to fly into Velana International Airport as it’s the only airport in the Maldives that receives international flights from multiple destinations. Many carriers offer direct flights to Velana International Airport, although bear in mind that schedules may change during peak season. Hanimaadhoo International Airport on Haa Dhaalu Atoll has direct flights to Thiruvananthapuram in India, while Gan International Airport on the island of Gan in Addu Atoll has a direct flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Best Scuba Diving in Maldives