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 the North and South Male atolls.

On these private islands, only accessible to guests, you will snorkel just a footstep from your 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 to Male airport and are reachable in a less than 20 minutes boat ride from the capital city. In South Male Atoll, Biyadhoo Island and Embudu Island are both great resort-island options for snorkelers.

Snorkeling with turtle and moray eel at Male Atolls
Dhonveli Island, located only 10mi/16km north of Male, is one of the best snorkeling spots easily accessible from the capital city.

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. The cost of most of the day tours ranges between $60 and 100 per person and generally allows you to snorkel 2 to 3 spots only accessible by boat.

The Maldives hosts one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, with reefs teeming with fish, turtles, invertebrates and colorful coral. It is also one of the very best destinations for snorkeling with large marine creatures, such as manta rays, blacktip and whitetip sharks, and whale sharks.

When to go snorkeling North and South Male Atolls

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 has ideal conditions for snorkeling all year round.

Warm and humid
Warm and sunny

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