You may have heard of the Maldives, an island nation located near the equator in the Indian Ocean, but you may not be aware of what an amazing location it is for those who love diving. The Maldives is made up of 26 atolls running north to south, about 700 km to the southwest of Sri Lanka.
The islands are actually the tops of an undersea mountain range and spread out over 90,000 square kilometers. Of the 1,192 islets that make up the Maldives, about 200 are inhabited. The population is greatest in the city of Malé, the capital city, and this is where most Maldives vacations begin, because of the international airport located there.
Over 80% of the land in the Maldives is made up of coral islands, composed of both living coral and coral debris from around 200 different species of coral. The coral reefs act as a protective barrier against the sea, forming numerous lagoons. The barrier reefs protect the Maldives from higher waves off the Indian Ocean, making for some of the best diving on earth! The array of sea life you can see on a Maldives holiday is astounding, with not only corals, but more than 2,000 different fish species, including eagle rays, stingrays, reef sharks, and species that have not even been classified yet.
April to October is the rainy season in the Maldives, the season of the moist, southwest monsoons. The temperature year-round is nearly constant, with overnight lows around 25 degrees C (77 Fahrenheit) and daytime highs around 30 degrees C (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Nearly constant cool sea breezes keep the warm climate from being uncomfortable.
The first tourist resorts in the Maldives didn’t open until the 1970s, but between then and 2007, over 8 million people visited the nation, and a large percentage of those visitors went for the amazing diving experiences. Usually visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, which is served by flights from Southeast Asia, Dubai, Doha, and Sri Lanka. The Gan Airport on the atoll of Addu, is served by international flights to Milan several days a week.
A diving safari in the Maldives is the ultimate vacation for the person who loves diving. The sheer extent of the waters that can be explored is amazing, and you can book liveaboard diving safaris in which you live on-board cruise ships, cruising the atolls and finding the very best diving spots to explore, under the guidance of Maldivian dive instructors.
Package holidays are available that cover airport transfers to and from the cruise ship. For liveaboard diving, a minimum of a PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent certificate is required, with a PADI Advanced Open Water certificate preferred so that the diver can dive up to 30 meters along with the rest of the group. Divers undergo an initial check guide to check out gear and for the dive guide to assess diving abilities in the group. For divers who would like extra dive support, guided dives can be arranged, usually for a cost of around US$10 per dive.
Maldives diving is the best anywhere, and a diving safari in the Maldives is the ultimate diving vacation. The Maldives as a nation is focused on making diving holidays the best anywhere in the world. There’s no question that the coral reefs, the beautiful tropical waters, and the huge array of sea life make the Maldives the best destination on earth for an unforgettable diving vacation.