It is widely considered that the resort islands scattered in the atolls offer the best snorkeling in the Maldives. Nearly 50 resort islands, most of them with house reef and/or lagoon close by, can be found in North and South Male atolls. On these private islands, only accessible to guests, you will snorkel just a footstep from you room.
Baros, Vabbinfaru and Angsana (all three located in North Male Atoll, and with stunning house reefs) are considered as the best resort islands in the area for snorkeling, but you can snorkel around almost all islands of the atoll. Furanafushi, Kanuhuraa (Dhonveli), Kuda Huraa, Kanifinolhu and Giraavaru are the closest from Male airport, and are reachable in a less than 20 minutes boat ride from the capital city. In South Male Atoll, Biyadhoo Island is a great resort-island option for snorkelers.
The inhabited islands offer very few shore snorkeling opportunities, most of them being limited to Dhiffushi, Himmafushi and Huraa islands, in North Male Atoll. If you are staying in the main inhabited islands, some local companies offer snorkeling day tours departing by boat from Male or Hulhumale. Cost of most of day tours ranges between $60 and 100 per person and generally allow you to snorkel 2 to 3 spots only accessible by boat.
The Maldives hosts one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystem, with reefs teeming with fish, turtles, invertebrate and colorful coral. It is also one of the very best places destination for snorkeling with large marine creatures, such as manta rays, blacktip and whitetip sharks, and whale sharks.
In the Maldives, the year is divided into two seasons determined by the monsoons. The northeastern monsoon, from December to April, corresponds to the dry season. This is the best period for snorkeling, because the sunshine is exceptional, but it also corresponds to the peak tourist season (high visitor numbers and high prices). The southwestern monsoon, from May to November, corresponds to the rainy season. Rains and storms are brief but intense, and are sometimes accompanied by very strong winds.
All through the year, average temperatures vary between 79 and 93°F (26 and 34°C), with more heat in the dry season. With a water temperature permanently around 82°F (28°C), the Maldives have ideal conditions for snorkeling all the year round.
More than 220 spots have already been published on Snorkeling Report, but there are still many spots to be added! You too can contribute to populate the map by sharing your favorite snorkeling spots around the world. The more snorkelers will contribute, the easier it will be for you, and other snorkelers, to find sites and enjoy the underwater world!
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On all spots; very common in Dhonveli
On all spots
On reef drop-offs, for example in Dhonveli
Resort island with reef drop off, sharks, rays and turtles
Resort island with seagrass beds and reef drop off, sharks and turtles
Fringing coral reef with colorful fish
Patch reefs with colorful fish
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