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Surrounded by a coral reef with several passes and endowed with several beaches of powdery white sand, Embudu is a very good option if you are looking for a resort island with a house reef in the Maldives. Located just 30 minutes from the international airport, it is also easily accessible. On the reef, you’ll spot an exceptional diversity of tropical fish, as well as eagle rays, reef sharks, and sea turtles.

Spotted eagle rays at Embudu Village
Small groups of spotted eagle rays find a shelter near the drop-off.

How to go snorkeling in Embudu

Embudu is a resort island located in South Male Atoll. The Embudu Village Resort arranges speedboat transfers from Male Airport (approximately 30 min.).

Embudu Village snorkeling map, Maldives

Water entrance for snorkeling Embudu Island

There are two recommended water entrance points:

  • by one of the snack bar side passes in the south of the island to explore zone 1 on the map. This side of the island is more sheltered and more recommended for beginners;
  • by the pass near the pontoon near the water bungalows (the pontoon from which you arrive by boat), to explore zone 2 on the map.

Experienced snorkelers can snorkel all along the north side of the island (dotted area on the map), from one pass to another.

Check beforehand for the direction and strength of the currents, which vary, and seek local advice before going into the water.

Embudu’s reef snorkeling exploration tips

Embudu Island is bordered by reefs and drop-offs with various profiles. The water depth varies from 3 to 6ft/1 to 2m on the flats to more than 30ft/10m at the foot of the drop-offs.

Pair of redtail butterflyfish at Embudu
A pair of redtail butterflyfish, one of the many butterflyfish species found at Embudu’s reef.

On most reefs, coral cover is not exceptional, with large bare areas. In some places, there are still some beautiful patches of massive porous coral, branching coral, and finger coral. Some giant clams are also encrusted on the brightest parts of the reef. On the other hand, an extraordinary diversity of fish lives around the island’s reefs.

Among the most beautiful, are the oriental sweetlips, the regal angelfish, the emperor angelfish, the yellow-edged lyretail, and the scrawled butterflyfish. Schools of humpback red snappers, fusiliers, and redtail butterflyfish are found on the drop-offs. In places, you may also find Clark’s anemonefish in their sea anemone.

Hawksbill sea turtle in Embudu
Hawksbill sea turtles are occasionally encountered feeding on the reef flats.

Embudu is also a great location to encounter, in the blue or on the reef, more impressive species, such as groups of spotted eagle rays, blacktip reef sharks, or hawksbill turtles.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

This spot is the house reef of the Embudu Village Resort, which has its own restaurants.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m on the flats, >30ft/10m on the drop offs
  • Water entranceFrom sandy beaches
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsCost of a stay at Embudu Village Resort
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.