Home to pristine beaches, the Maldives is the ideal location for water sports enthusiasts too. Here are some of these activities you can try out.
Snorkelling is a fan favourite and easy to enjoy at resorts like Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives where you can explore the beauty of the Maldivian sea. From a wide variety of fish to colourful corals, snorkelling enables you to have a rewarding underwater escapade and the best thing is, no prior experience is needed.
If you are based at a surf resort in Maldives, you can also look forward to thrilling rides on the waves. Ideally, stay at a property in the North Male Atoll that offers access to key surfing hotspots like Pasta Point and other world-class waves, where from March to October, you can experience the best conditions.
Want to glide on water? If yes, wakeboarding is just for you. Step onto your wakeboard, hold onto a line attached to a specially designed boat and ride the waves in style with plenty of speed too! If you are into extreme water sports, consider wakeboarding to have an exhilarating time.
This is a fantastic way to enjoy the tranquillity of the surrounding ocean. Kayaking allows you to view the coastline from a different perspective — all you need are a kayak and a double-bladed oar. Considered a top water sports activity in the Maldives, kayaking is not only peaceful but also provides a good cardio workout.
If you want to take part in an electrifying adventure, consider jet-skiing. Get on a powerful jet-propelled watercraft and glide across the sea at high speed! Ideal for adrenaline junkies, jet-skiing is considered an energetic activity to engage in – alone or with a partner.
Banana boating is a fun activity you can take part in with a group of friends or your family. For people who seek excitement and entertainment, this is a must-do activity in the Maldives. As the name suggests, the banana-shaped and often yellow-coloured boat / water sled can accommodate up to 10 people and is speedily pulled by a speedboat through the foamy blue waters.
Scuba diving in the Maldives is like entering into a whole new world, living under the ocean’s waves! With incredible corals, and a plethora of marine wildlife read on to find out more about how you can dive with sharks and live to tell the tale!
The good news for novice divers is that a PADI license is not required! Resorts such as Anantara Veli Maldives Resorthave in-house diving courses and instructors, which make your foray into the world of diving effortless! Follow the course for beginners and go giving in the private reefs to witness the splendours hidden under the waters.
What Can you Expect?
The beautiful fish you see from your gorgeous Maldives’ over water bungalow is the tip of the iceberg! Dive under the waters to be blown away by colourful shoals of fish, friendly sea turtles, and plenty of harmless sharks. The caves and the reefs will leave you in awe of the very diversity and beauty of the natural world.
If you’ve ever dreamt of diving amidst sharks, the best time to do this is between January and March. The Southern atolls are a hotbed for schools of reef sharks during this spell. Float amongst them, as they go about their day, completely undisturbed by your presence even though you’re undoubtedly having the adventure of a lifetime!
The Maldives Islands are the perfect holiday destination for several reasons, of which scuba diving is one of the foremost! Read on to learn more about the incredible adventure which awaits you when you go scuba diving here!
Do You Need To Be A Swimmer?
The short answer is no! Better yet, you don’t even need a PADI Diver’s licence. However, you do need to dive with a registered diving instructor. Most Maldives luxury resorts take away the hassle of organising your dives. Resorts such as Amilla Maldives Resort and Residenceshave their dive partners to ensure your safety and comfort are taken care of, as you take the plunge!
What You Can Expect
Diving is an exhilarating experience for novice and seasoned divers alike since no two dives are the same. You can expect to be awestruck by the world that is thriving just beneath the surface of the waves. From gorgeous reefs to a host of colourful fish, sea turtles, manta rays, and harmless reef sharks, it is a whole new world under the sea!
Where To Dive
With over 26 atolls and over a thousand islands to choose from, this can be a really difficult decision to make! From Banana Reef in the Northern atoll which has its fair share of coral reefs and caves to the South Male atoll which has around six popular diving spots, which showcase the full range of marine life, there’s plenty of options for those keen on diving in the Maldives.
For a truly enriching holiday in the Maldives, you should look to experience local culture and life and here are some ways you can do just that.
Local Island Visits
While you will no doubt love relaxing at your Maldives pool villa, also make time to visit a local island (if pandemic-related guidelines allow for such excursions). This is an ideal way to soak up the local culture and witness traditional livelihoods; some islands also have museums where you can learn more about the days of old.
Sail the Seas
Local life is linked to the sea and fishing and this can be experienced on excursions on a traditional or luxury dhoni, a local boat. Such journeys are offered at resorts like Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas where one can try traditional Maldivian fishing at sunset; dhonis are ideal to enjoy some dolphin watching too!
The cuisine is part of the culture and dishes in Maldives offer flavour-filled culinary discoveries. To help visitors truly gain an appreciation for local food, some resorts have immersive cooking classes worth joining; you will get hands-on guidance on making key main dishes utilising local ingredients or even a traditional dessert.
Below the Waves
The rich marine biodiversity in the Indian Ocean waters that surround the islands here is a part of the country’s natural heritage. Some resorts have a bio centre with a resident marine biologist so that guests can learn about this precious ecosystem, while guided snorkelling and diving are also on offer for marine life encounters.
A truly unforgettable encounter, swimming with manta rays can be enjoyed in the Maldives though you must follow some vital steps as given below.
Choosing an Excursion
For such encounters, stay at a resort that offers manta ray excursions in an ethical and sustainable manner. This includes properties like Velassaru Maldives that have a resident marine biologist who will provide you with a deeper understanding of these ocean denizens and will accompany you on your adventures.
Entering the Water
From such a luxury hotel, Maldives manta ray encounters await, though before you begin, there are some things to keep in mind. Remember to enter the water calmly and quietly, about 33 feet (10 metres) away from the mantas; when swimming, ensure your fins are below the water to avoid splashing and scaring them off.
Don’t get closer than 10 feet (3 metres) to the mantas; remain still and let them come towards you. Remember to give them a clear path to swim and only make your approach from the side. It is also important to NOT touch these creatures and refrain from chasing after them once they swim past you.
For Scuba Divers
While the above tips are for general manta encounters including snorkelling, there are additional guidelines for scuba divers. On your dive, remain near the seabed but ensure not to damage the reef; also, whenever a manta ray swims towards you, don’t block its way and instead, stay where you are and keep low.
Diving in the Maldives is a popular pastime and one that calls for careful planning. Provided below are the best times to pay a visit to these awe-inspiring isles for a riveting dive.
Northeast monsoon period
Conducive weather conditions are the need of the hour ahead of any water sporting activity in this part of the world and in the case of scheduling diving expeditions, take note of the northeast monsoon season which descends from December to May. During this time, the winds are calmer which in turn contributes towards sunny skies and pleasing oceans; the perfect combination to delight in some diving. Further, the currents that flow through the atolls from December to March make for excellent visibility, especially if you’ve chosen the eastern atolls as your springboard. The eastern portion of the channels witness sharks congregates whilst western sections can be looked at for manta ray viewing.
Southwest monsoon period
With the advent of the southwest monsoons come June through November, the currents are known to move east within the channels. Importantly, visibility is at its best if one opts to dive in the western parts of the channels. However, you will have to deal with rough seas and stronger winds. In terms of the species that can be spotted, whale sharks, mantas, and turtles are one’s, constant companions.
Where can you stay?
Should you be seeking assistance in planning out a holiday where you can experience such excursions to the deep blue, then it is advisable to check in with properties such as Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas who will also offer you convenient Maldives pool villa accommodation to come home to.
Amongst the fascinating marine life to encounter in the Maldives are sea turtles and here are some insights into this majestic creature that requires our protection too.
Of the seven sea turtle species in the world’s oceans, five can be spotted in the Maldives. Apart from swimming and feeding in these Indian Ocean waters, they also come ashore to the islands to nest. While they are a vital part of the marine ecosystem, the fact remains that globally, sea turtles are under threat and their numbers dwindling.
Hawksbill and green turtles are the most commonly seen in the Maldives. Pool villa accommodation aside, resorts like Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas even offer special snorkelling excursions to encounter turtles. Leatherback and loggerhead turtles are sometimes spotted in the country as are olive ridley turtles that sadly tend to get caught in ghost fishing nets.
The export of turtle shells and the production of shell-based items are amongst the major threats to this species along with plastic and fishing nets left in the ocean. While the Maldivian government’s ban on selling turtle products and killing or catching sea turtles has helped, the poaching of turtle eggs still takes place.
The good news is organisations such as Marine Savers in the Maldives are actively involved in turtle conservation and help to protect these species; initiatives include rehabilitating turtles that have been injured, protecting nesting sites, releasing baby turtles to the ocean and conducting photo identification and satellite tracking.
Amongst the most memorable experiences when snorkelling or diving in Maldives, is the chance to swim with sharks; here’s more on what you need to know.
December to April
The dry season from December to April is the best time to see sharks in general and coincides with the peak tourist season, ideal for snorkelling and diving too. Usually, this period is optimal for shark spotting due to clear weather, calm seas and excellent visibility which combine to offer the perfect setting for encounters.
May to November
While the rainy season from May to November affects some parts, in others, it’s the best for sighting certain shark species. A great example is the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; from properties here like Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, you can go snorkelling at Hanifaru Bay home to whale sharks and manta rays during this time.
Be it on diving excursions or snorkelling from your over water villas, Maldives shark encounters will be truly enthralling. This Indian Ocean nation has over 20 species of sharks including huge whale sharks; amongst the other popular species to spot are hammerhead, tiger, blacktip, whitetip, nurse and lemon sharks to name a few!
Keep in Mind
Most of the sharks in Maldives are harmless and you do not have to worry about encounters. That said, there are some things you should keep in mind; maintain a sufficient and respectful distance from them, avoid crossing their path, don’t touch them or make sudden movements and avoid using the flash for underwater photography.
Looking for new water sports in Maldives to get your adrenaline pumping? Don’t miss the chance to try flyboarding that takes you above the waves on an experience you won’t forget!
Understanding the Basics
Ever wished you could take off the ground like Iron Man? Well, flyboarding is similar! Your feet will be strapped into special boots on a board connected to a watercraft by a long hose; through high-powered water pressure, jet nozzles lift the board / boots into the air which can reach heights of over 70 feet!
Where You Can Try It
The ideal water sport to try after relaxing at a Maldives water suite, flyboarding is on offer only at certain private resorts so check ahead. This includes properties such as Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort that have professional instructors and follow the needed safety procedures for a fun and safe experience.
More Than Just Flight
While this activity is relatively simple to learn, once you get the hang of it, you can enjoy more than just soaring in the air. Apart from speeding along the water, you can also (with the proper guidance) perform “tricks” which can include spinning around and even diving below the waves before being propelled back up.
Other Fun-filled Thrills
If you are craving more action-packed excitement on the water, then the right place to be is in the Maldives! Resorts feature a range of other thrilling water sports too; you can zip along on jet skis, satisfy your need for speed while kneeboarding, wakeboarding or water-skiing and try parasailing for stunning aerial vistas.
While travellers enjoy seeing the array of coral and fish species in Maldives, many are unaware that this marine ecosystem faces threats too. Here’s what you should know.
While the Maldives has strict laws to protect coral and fish species, one thing it has no control over is climate change, especially rises in water temperature which harm reefs the world over; this has a direct impact on marine life that depends on the reefs and in turn, the survival of larger creatures up the food chain.
Coral conservation is vital and resorts such as Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas have initiated coral adoption programmes that travellers can get involved in; apart from enjoying a stay at a Maldives pool villa, guests can help the resort team to transplant broken coral in a reef nursery and get updates on its progress.
Travellers should choose resorts that are vested in conservation including responsible snorkelling and diving in Maldives. Such properties will have a resident marine biologist who will help you get a greater understanding of marine life too; be it swimming with manta rays in Hanifaru Bay or spotting turtles and dolphins, there’s much to enjoy.
Shaping Young Minds
The next generation will also play an important role in marine conservation in Maldives; to this end, some resorts have marine biology courses for kids with a resident marine biologist. It can include fun Indian Ocean adventures where they can see dolphins, swim with turtles, learn about conservation efforts and even get training on diving.