Paradise found in the Maldives 07 Nov 2016
About this photo
The Maldives is home to tens of thousands of reefs, a thousand recorded species of fish, over 200 species of coral, and hundreds of species of other marine life. No wonder then that it is a diver's paradise.
Only a small percentage of reefs have been dived. Because of the currents and elements that shape and mould the reefs, each dive site has unique characteristics in form, flora and fauna. The dive-centre staff at every resort know the best areas for beginners or experts to dive. Some resorts have a house reef close to the shore, where guests can snorkel and dive without having to go on a boat trip to find good dive spots. On Insight Guides' Luxury Sri Lanka and The Maldives trip, you'll experience five nights in the Maldives where you can dive until your heart's content. Choose from 25 dive sites or even a night dive.
A lot of visitors go to the Maldives specifically to dive. Diving is a year-round activity, with the water and skies usually clearer from January to April. In October and November, there is more plankton, which attracts bigger fish, but the sea is less clear. Every resort has a diving centre, usually operated by an expatriate dive master. Instructors are fully qualified with up-to-date certification from one of the established institutions such as PADI. All diving centres and schools are licensed by the government and are equipped with full safety facilities.
Diving is never done without supervision, and the instructors know the best dive sites in their atoll within easy reach by dhoni (traditional sailing vessel). Beginners are welcome and are given a supervised sample dive and a course lasting four to six days. The coveted Open Water Diver Certificate, which can be used as a license to dive anywhere in the world, takes about nine days, allowing for theory as well as diving.
There are 25 protected marine dive sites in the atolls. At these locations, anchoring, fishing and destructive activities are prohibited.