DIVING HOLIDAYS IN THE MALDIVES
The Maldives Islands fit the image of tropical desert islands, white sandy beaches backed by lush interiors, azure blue skies and lagoons filled with the crystal clear waters and fringed by coral reef. The tropical paradise continues into the coral waters. Snorkelers view the coral reefs from the surface but the divers experience it in true 3-D.
The Maldives' 26 atolls stretch north to south for hundreds of miles creating a broken barrier to the Indian Ocean's prevailing currents. It's the flow of these currents and local tides through & around the atolls and islands, and the rich planktonic soup they carry, that gives diving in the Maldives its unique flavour. At Planet we have one of the most comprehensive collections of Maldives Island Resorts spread across virtually every Maldives Atoll. We also work with a fleet of Maldives liveaboards that range around the archipelago.
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DIVING THE MALDIVES
One of world's ultimate in long haul luxury, the Maldives is at the top of most seasoned divers’ wish lists.
Indian Ocean currents and local tides flush clean water through the atolls. As it exits the atolls through the channels (Kandus), it carries with it nutrients and plankton, the ideal environment for the filter feeders. The huge variety and abundance of fish life make a holiday diving the
For the shark loving divers out there, the
DIVING SEASONS IN THE MALDIVES
The following is written in broad terms as forecasting seasonality in the Maldives is not an exact science. Average visibility can vary between 15 to 40m, by their nature many of the great sites have reduced viz due to waters flowing out of the atolls' interior. Throughout the Maldives there are, broadly speaking, two seasons:
Iruvaa: December-April is the North Eastern monsoon when the winds are Northerly, North Eastern or Easterlies, and bring generally dry weather. Average air temperature 25C to 30C
Hulhagu: April-December, the winds come from the opposite side of the compass carrying with them moister air. Brief storms pass across the Maldives chain and the rest of the day is usually dry, sunny, and hot.
Seasonal Equinox: Late May or early June and then late October early November are the equinox months marking the transition of the monsoons. With the change in season comes a reversal in currents, which dictates the location of the filter feeding Mantas and Whale sharks, and so influences the choice of dive site at any particular time of year. During these equinox months currents and surface conditions are changeable and less predictable.
Moon Phase: The moon phases also affect the type of diving you might expect. New and Full moons, particularly in January and February, produce highest tides and so more water movement, a drift diver's dream. These periods are also times of frenetic activity both on the reef and amongst pelagic species. A few days either side of the new moon is the best time for Manta sightings, especially in Hanifaru (see below); the next best is either side for the full moon.
TRAVEL HEALTH FOR THE MALDIVES
Advise changes from time to time however so we ask that you ask your travel health expert (e.g. GP, practice nurse or travel clinic) to provide you with the most up to date information and vaccines to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable. It is vital to ensure that all members of your party have adequate health and travel insurance cover, which includes cover for any ‘higher risk’ activities you are likely to take part in.
Practically all Maldives resort islands have a resident doctor and first-aid services. Health Centres and Hospitals located across the atolls can also be accessed when required. The Maldives two main hospitals are located in the Capital Male with specialist doctors and clinics.
Maldives Recompression Chambers: There are currently 6 recompression chambers operating in the Maldives. The first established, and largest chamber, is on Bandos Island (15 minutes by speedboat from Male). Others are located on Alidhoo Resort in Haa Alifu, Villingili Resort in Addu, Kuramathi Resort in Rasdhoo, and Kuredu in Laviyani Atoll. The remoteness of the resort and liveaboard diving relative to the chambers and medical assistance has led to the introduction of Maldives safe diving practices, enforced by law, including a 30m maximum dive depth.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR MALDIVES
You will need to ensure you have correct documentation for your holiday including a full passport valid for the minimum period beyond your planned return date. You may also require a visa.
If you are bringing a great deal of photographic or diving equipment with you, it is advisable to bring a list with details such as serial numbers in order to avoid delay at customs. There are tight restirctions on the import of various items including alchol.