Activities are a big part of any trip to Maldives, as the lack of traditional sights in this unique country means that once you've enjoyed the beach for a few hours, you'll be wanting to get active, whether it be over or below the extroraordinarily coloured water.

Diving, Snorkelling & Surfing

Unless you take some time to explore the magical world underneath the water in Maldives, you’re seeing just one part of this incredibly diverse country. Glance into the deep blue all around and you’ll see why Maldives is a favourite destination for divers from around the world. Remember to be serious about safety whenever getting into the water.

Sidebar: Top Diving Sites

These are some of the best dive sites in Maldives:

  • British Loyalty Wreck

A torpedoed oil tanker in Addu Atoll that is now covered in soft corals.

  • Dhidhdhoo Beyru

The best place in Maldives to swim with whale sharks.

  • Fish Head

A spectacular thila dive with multiple layers, levels and extremely diverse marine life.

  • Hammerhead Point

A deep dawn dive that takes you to see dozens of hammerhead sharks in North Ari Atoll.

  • Helengeli Thila

One of North Male Atoll's best dive sites, bursting with corals and pelagics.

  • Manta Point

Addu Atoll's best dive site, with giant swooping rays who visit the cleaning station here.

From December to April, this large cleaning station offers the chance to see mantas.

Diving

Taking the plunge into the deep blue is one of the most exciting things imaginable and the rewards are massive, especially in Maldives, which is rightly known as a world-class scuba-diving destination. The enormous variety of fish life is amazing, and there’s a good chance you’ll see some of the biggest marine creatures – a close encounter with a giant manta or a whale shark is unforgettable. However, it's important to know that a serious coral bleaching incident in 2016 has damaged Maldivian corals massively all over the country, and sadly they will take years to recover.

Diving Safaris

On a diving safari, a dozen or so divers cruise the atolls in a live-aboard boat fitted out for the purpose. You can stop at your pick of the dive sites, visit uninhabited islands and inhabited islands, find secluded anchorages and sleep in a compact cabin. If you’ve had enough diving, you can fish, snorkel or swim off the boat.

The massive expansion in the market for safari cruises has meant an increasingly sleek approach from the tour companies that run them. A typical, modern boat is air-conditioned and spacious, and serves varied and appetising meals. It should have hot water, a sun deck, fishing and diving gear, a mobile phone, a full bar, a TV room, wireless and cosy, comfortable cabins.

Costs start at around US$150 per person per day, including the US$8 per day per bed tax and all meals, plus roughly US$80 per day for diving trips. There’s usually a minimum daily (or weekly) charge for the whole boat, and the cost per person is lower if there are enough passengers to fill the boat. You’ll be charged extra for drinks, which are priced comparably to most resorts.

The most basic boats are large dhonis with a small galley and communal dining area, two or three cramped cabins with two berths each, and a shared shower and toilet. The bigger, better boats have air-conditioning, more spacious accommodation, and a toilet and shower for each cabin.

Where to Dive

There are hundreds of recognised and named dive sites, with dozens accessible from nearly every resort. In general there are four types of dive sites in Maldives.

Reefs Along the edges of the reef, where it slopes into the deep water, is the best part of the reef to dive on. There's lots of life, including small tropical fish, and bigger creatures often swim by.

Kandus These are channels between islands, reefs or atolls. The strong current makes them a breeding ground for plankton, which attracts whale sharks, and they're also a place where soft corals thrive.

Thilas & Giris Thilas are coral formations that rise from the atoll floor and reach to between 5m and 15m before the surface of the water, while a giri rises almost to the surface. Both brim with life.

Wrecks Maldives' treacherous shallows have made it a rich place to do wreck dives, even if most of those regularly visited are purposely sunk craft where coral has subsequently grown.

Reef Dives

The edges of a reef, where it slopes into deep water, are the most interesting part of a reef to dive. Inner-reef slopes, in the sheltered waters inside an atoll, are generally easier dives and feature numerous smaller reef fish. The reef around a resort island is known as its ‘house reef’, and in general only the guests of that resort are allowed to dive or snorkel on it.

At some resorts qualified divers can do unguided dives on the house reef. This is cheaper and more convenient than a boat dive, and gives divers a chance to get really well acquainted with the reef. House reefs can be terrific for night dives too.

Outer-reef slopes, where the atoll meets the open sea, often have interesting terraces, overhangs and caves, and are visited by pelagics. Visibility is usually good, but surf and currents can make for a demanding dive.

Kandus

These are channels between islands, reefs or atolls. Obviously, kandus are subject to currents and this provides an environment in which attractive soft corals thrive. Water inside an atoll is a breeding ground for plankton, and where this water flows out through a kandu into the open sea, the rich supply of plankton attracts large animals such as manta rays and whale sharks. During the southwest monsoon (May to November), currents will generally flow out of an atoll through kandus on the eastern side, while in the northeast monsoon (December to March), the outward flow is on the western side.

Thilas & Giris

A thila is a coral formation that rises steeply from the atoll floor and reaches to between 5m and 15m of the water surface – often it’s a spectacular underwater mountain that divers fly around like birds. The top of a thila can be rich in reef fish and coral, while the steep sides have crannies, caves and overhangs, which provide shelter for many small fish, and larger fish come, in turn, to feed on the smaller fish.

A giri is a coral formation that rises to just below the water surface. It has many of the same features as a thila, but the top surface may be too shallow to dive.

Thilas and giris are found inside kandus, where the nutrient-rich currents promote soft-coral growth. They also stand in the sheltered waters inside an atoll, where the sea is warmer and slower moving. Hard-coral structures on sheltered thilas and giris suffered most from the 2016 coral bleaching, and will take years to recover.

Wrecks

While many ships have foundered on Maldivian reefs over the centuries, there are few accessible wrecks with any historical interest. Most were on outer-reef slopes and broke up in the surf long ago, leaving remnants to be dispersed and covered in coral. Any wreck sites of historical significance will require special permission to dive. The wrecks you can dive at are mostly inside the atolls and not very old. They are interesting for the coral and other marine life that colonises the hulk within just a few years. Quite a few of the wrecks have been sunk deliberately, to provide an attraction for divers.

Diving Seasons

January to April Generally considered the best months for diving, with fine weather and good visibility.

May and June Can have unstable weather – storms and cloudy days are common until September.

October and November Tend to have calmer, clearer weather, but visibility can be slightly reduced because of abundant plankton in the water. Some divers like this period because many large fish, such as whale sharks and mantas, come into the channels to feed on the plankton.

December Can have rough, windy weather and rain.

Learning to Dive

Diving is not difficult, but it requires some knowledge and care. It doesn’t require great strength or fitness, although if you can do things with minimum expenditure of energy, your tank of air will last longer.

There’s a range of courses, from an introductory dive in a pool or lagoon to an open-water course that gives an internationally recognised qualification. Beyond that, there are advanced and speciality courses, and courses that lead to divemaster and instructor qualifications. Courses in Maldives are not a bargain, but they’re no more expensive than learning at home and this way you are assured of high standards, good equipment and extremely pleasant conditions. On the other hand, if you do a course at home, you’ll have more time for actual diving when you get to Maldives.

The best option for learners is to do an open-water referral course in your home country (ie all the theory and basics in the pool), allowing you to complete the course in Maldives in just two days rather than the four or five needed for the full course. After all, you didn’t fly halfway around the world to sit in a room watching a PADI DVD, did you? If you do this, ensure you have all your certification from the referral course with you; otherwise you’ll have to start from scratch.

If you’re at all serious about diving, you should do an open-water course. This requires nine dives, usually five in sheltered water and four in open water, as well as classroom training and completion of a multiple-choice test. The cost in Maldives is from US$600 to US$950. Sometimes the price is all-inclusive, but there are often a few extra charges. You can do the course in as little as five days, or take your time and spread it over a week or two. Don’t try it on a one-week package – transfers and jet lag will take a day or so, and you shouldn’t dive within 24 hours before flying. Besides, you’ll want to do some recreational dives to try out your new skills.

The next stage is an advanced open-water course, which involves five dives (including one night dive) and costs from US$400 to US$700, depending on the dive school. Then there are the speciality courses in night diving, rescue diving, wreck diving, nitrox diving and so on.

Dive Schools & Operators

Every resort has a professional diving operation and can run courses for beginners, as well as dive trips and advanced technique courses that will challenge even the most experienced diver. The government requires that all dive operations maintain high standards, and all of them are affiliated with one or more of the international diving accreditation organisations. Similarly, all guesthouses will have an arrangement with a dive centre on the same island, and in some cases, they'll have an in-house dive centre.

Certificates

When you complete an open-water course, you receive a certificate that is recognised by diving operators all over the world. Certificates in Maldives are generally issued by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the largest and the best-known organisation, but certificates from Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS; World Underwater Federation), Scuba Schools International (SSI) and a number of other organisations are also acceptable.

Equipment

Dive schools in Maldives can rent out all diving gear, but most divers prefer to have at least some of their own equipment. It’s best to have your own mask, snorkel and fins, which you can also use for snorkelling. The tank and weight belt are always included in the cost of a dive, so you don’t need to bring them – sealed tanks are prohibited on aircraft anyway, and you’d be crazy to carry lead weights.

Wetsuit

The water may be warm (27°C to 30°C) but a wetsuit is often preferable for comfortable diving. A 3mm suit should be adequate, but 5mm is preferable if you want to go deep or dive more than once per day. Alternatively, it’s totally possible to dive in a T-shirt if you don’t feel the cold too much.

Regulator & BCDs

Many divers have their own regulator (the mouth piece you breathe through), with which they are familiar and therefore confident about using. BCDs (Buoyancy Control Devices) are the vests that can be controlled to inflate and deflate and thus increase or decrease your buoyancy, a vital tool for safe diving. Both pieces of equipment are usually included in full equipment packages, though serious divers will usually bring their own.

Dive Computer

These are now compulsory in Maldives. They’re available for rent, for US$5 to US$10 per dive, or as part of a complete equipment package. Again, many serious divers have their own that they bring with them, as it saves money very quickly after the initial purchase.

Logbook & Other Accessories

You’ll need this to indicate to divemasters your level of experience, and to record your latest dives, which are then authenticated by the divemaster and stamped by the school.

Other items you might need are an underwater torch (especially for cave and night dives), a waterproof camera, a compass, and a safety buoy or balloon, most of which are available for rental. Some things you won’t need are a spear gun, as spear-fishing is prohibited, and diving gloves, which are discouraged since you’re not supposed to touch anything anyway.

Diving Costs

The cost of diving varies between resorts and guesthouses, and depends on whether you need to rent equipment. Diving with an operator on an inhabited island is nearly always cheaper due to the dive centre's lack of monopoly, so many budget-minded divers head directly for a guesthouse.

A single dive, with only tank and weights supplied, runs from US$60 to US$120, but is generally around US$70 (night dives cost more). If you need to rent a regulator and a BCD as well, a dive will cost from US$70 to US$150. Sometimes the full equipment price includes mask, snorkel, fins, dive computer and pressure gauge, but they can cost extra. A package of 10 dives will cost roughly from US$350 to US$700, or US$450 to US$800 with equipment rental. Other possibilities are five-, 12- and 15-dive packages, and packages that allow you as many dives as you want within a certain number of consecutive days.

The very best diving operators will bill you at the end of your stay, having worked out which tariff is most economical for you based on the diving you’ve done. In addition to the dive cost, there is a charge for using a boat, which can be as much as US$20 per dive. There may also be a service charge of 10%, plus a general sales tax of 12% if diving is billed to your room, so the prices really do add up. Ideally book your dives ahead of time, confirming the total price and shop around between resorts to find the best deals.

Marine Environment Protection

The waters of Maldives may seem pristine but, like everywhere, development and commercial activities have inevitably had adverse effects on the marine environment. The Maldivian government recognises that the underwater world is a major attraction, and has imposed many restrictions and controls on fishing, coral mining and tourism operations. Twenty-five protected marine areas have been established, and these are subject to special controls.

The following rules are generally accepted as necessary for conservation, and most of them apply equally to snorkellers and divers.

  • Do not use anchors on the reef, and take care not to ground boats on coral. Encourage dive operators and regulatory bodies to establish permanent moorings at popular dive sites.
  • Avoid touching living marine organisms with your body or dragging equipment across the reef. Polyps can be damaged by even the gentlest contact.
  • Never stand on corals, even if they look solid and robust. If you must hold on to prevent being swept away in a current, hold on to dead coral.
  • Be conscious of your fins. Even without contact the surge from heavy fin strokes near the reef can damage delicate organisms. When treading water in shallow reef areas, take care not to kick up clouds of sand. Settling sand can easily smother the delicate organisms of the reef.
  • Collecting lobster or shellfish is prohibited, as is spearfishing. Removing any coral or shells, living or dead, is against the law. All shipwreck sites are protected by law.
  • Take home all your rubbish and any litter you may find as well. Plastics in particular are a serious threat to marine life. Turtles can mistake plastic for jellyfish and eat it. Don’t throw cigarette butts overboard.
  • Do not feed fish. You may disturb their normal eating habits, encourage aggressive behaviour or feed them food that is detrimental to their health.
  • Practise and maintain proper buoyancy control. Major damage can be done by divers descending too fast and colliding with the reef.
  • Take great care in underwater caves. Spend as little time within them as possible as your air bubbles may be caught within the roof and thereby leave previously submerged organisms high and dry. Taking turns to inspect the interior of a small cave will lessen the chances of damaging contact.

Coral Bleaching

Catastrophic coral bleaching events in 2016 killed between 60% and 90% of Maldives' famously beautiful corals in just a few weeks, and now sadly the diving in the country is a pale imitation of what it was prior to the event. As climate change marches onwards, it seems likely that more and more of these fragile creatures will be destroyed. Many reefs in Maldives look like graveyards today, with little life left on them but the grey remains of dead corals.

That said, despite coral's fragility, it also is growing back surprisingly quickly even in places totally devastated by the bleaching. Soft corals and sea fans were less affected than hard corals, and many of these are flourishing again just a few years later. Soft-coral gardens thrive still at some dive and snorkelling sites, especially around channels that are rich with water-borne nutrients.

The underlying hard-coral structure is still there of course – new coral grows on the skeletons of its predecessors, so it's important not to break the dead coral structures. Indeed, the healthiest living coral has many metres, perhaps kilometres, of dead coral underneath. New coral is growing on reefs all over Maldives, though the large and elaborately shaped formations will take many years to build. The first regrowth often occurs in crevices on old coral blocks, where it’s protected from munching parrotfish. The massive Porites-type corals seem to come first, but they grow slowly – look for blobs of yellow, blue or purple that will eventually cover the whole block in a crust or a cushion or a brainlike dome. The branching corals (Acropora) appear as little purplish trees on a coral block, like a pale piece of broccoli. Growing a few centimetres per year (15cm in ideal conditions), they will eventually become big, extended staghorn corals or wide, flat-topped tables.

The recovery for coral is not uniform. Some parts of a reef can be doing very well, with 80% or 90% of the old surfaces covered with new and growing coral, while 100m along the same reef, new coral growth cover is less than 20%. Reef formation is a very complex natural process, but surprisingly the marine ecosystem as a whole seems to be undamaged by the coral bleaching. Fish life is as abundant and diverse as ever.

Big Creatures of the Deep

Marine life on the reef is fabulous, colourful and fascinating, but what divers and snorkellers really want to see are the big creatures of the sea. Indeed, an encounter with an enormous whale shark can be the experience of a lifetime.

Sharks

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see a wide range of sharks in Maldives. Reef sharks are commonly seen on dives, while juveniles are ubiquitous in shallow lagoon waters and can often be spotted as you walk along a resort jetty. One of the most impressive sights in the country is a school of hammerheads at Rasdhoo Madivaru (aka Hammerhead Point) in Rasdhoo Atoll. Tiger sharks are commonly seen in Gnaviyani and Ari Atoll. Nurse sharks and lemon sharks are also commonly sighted.

Moray Eels

The moray eel and its slightly manic expression as it leans out of its protective hole are standard sights on almost any Maldivian reef, and some can be playful with divers. Be careful of its bite, though – once it closes its teeth, it never lets go.

Turtles

Turtles often swim around the reefs and can be curious around snorkellers and divers. Five different types of turtles swim in Maldivian waters. The most common are green and hawksbill turtles.

Rays

These creatures are a favourite with divers. Smaller stingrays and eagle rays often rest in the sand, while enormous manta rays can have a ‘wingspan’ of around 4m, and seeing one swoop over you is an extraordinary experience. Do not miss an encounter with these creatures at Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll.

Whale Sharks

These gentle giants eat nothing but plankton and the odd small fish, but somehow have evolved to be the biggest fish in the world, measuring up to 12m in length. They can often be spotted cruising Dhidhdhoo Beyru on the edge of Ari Atoll.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling is the first step into seeing a different world. Anyone who can swim can do it, it’s cheap (and often free) to use the equipment and the rewards are immediately evident. The colours of the fish and coral are far better at shallow depths, because water absorbs light. This means a visual feast awaits any snorkeller on any decent reef.

Where to Snorkel

Usually an island is surrounded firstly by a sand-bottomed lagoon, and then by the reef flat (faru), a belt of dead and living coral covered by shallow water. At the edge of the reef flat is a steep, coral-covered slope that drops away into deeper water. These reef slopes are the best areas for snorkelling – around a resort island this is called the ‘house reef’. The slope itself can have interesting features such as cliffs, terraces and caves, and there are clearly visible changes in the coral and marine flora as the water gets deeper. You can see both the smaller fish, which frequent the reef flats, and sometimes much larger animals that live in the deep water between the islands but come close to the reefs to feed. You can also take a boat from your resort to other snorkelling sites around the atoll.

The best resorts for snorkelling have an accessible house reef around at least part of the island, where deep water is not far offshore. There are usually channels you can swim through to the outer-reef slope. To avoid grazing yourself or damaging the coral, always use these channels rather than trying to find your own way across the reef flat.

Preparation

Every resort and guesthouse will have snorkelling equipment that you can rent, though it’s often free at smarter places. It’s definitely better to have your own equipment, though, as it’s cheaper in the long run and sure to fit properly. You can buy good equipment at reasonable prices in Male, though you’re better off buying your gear at home before you leave.

Mask

Any mask, no matter how cheap, should have a shatterproof lens. Ensure that it fits you comfortably – press it gently onto your face, breathe in through your nose a little, and the suction alone should hold the mask on your face.

If you’re short-sighted, you can get the mask lens ground to your optical prescription, but this is expensive. Alternatively, get a stick-on optical lens to attach to the inside of the mask lens, or simply fold up an old pair of spectacles and wedge them inside the mask. There’s no problem with contact lenses under the mask.

Snorkel

The snorkel tube has to be long enough to reach above the surface of the water, but should not be either too long or too wide. If it is too big, you will have more water to expel when you come to the surface. Also, each breath out leaves a snorkel full of used air, and if the snorkel is too big, you will rebreathe a larger proportion of carbon dioxide.

Fins

These are not absolutely necessary, but they make swimming easier and let you dive deeper, and they give a margin of safety in currents. Fins either fit completely over your foot or have an open back with an adjustable strap around your heel, designed for use with wetsuit boots.

Shirt

A Lycra swim shirt or thin wetsuit top will protect against sunburn (a real hazard) and scratches from the coral or rocks. Even a T-shirt will help – but don’t use a favourite as the sea water won’t do the fabric any favours.

Snorkelling Safely

Don’t snorkel alone, and always let someone else know where and when you’ll be snorkelling. Colourful equipment or clothing will make you more visible. Beware of strong currents or rough conditions – wind chop and large swells can make snorkelling uncomfortable or even dangerous. In open water, carry a safety balloon and whistle to alert boats to your presence.

Surfing

Surfing has been slow to take off in Maldives, but in recent years, particularly since the development of independent tourism, there's been a strong growth in surfer numbers. There’s some great surf throughout the country, although breaks are generally only surfable from March to November.

The period of the southwest monsoon (May to November) generates the best waves, but March and April are also good and have the best weather. June can have bad weather and storms, and is not great for boat trips, but it is also a time for big swells. The best breaks occur on the outer reefs on the southeast sides of the atolls, but only where a gap in the reef allows the waves to wrap around.

North Male Atoll

This is where the best-known breaks are, and they can get a bit crowded, especially if there are several safari boats in the vicinity.

Chickens A left-hander that sections when small, but on a bigger swell and a higher tide it all comes together to make a long and satisfying wave. It’s named for the old poultry farm onshore, not because of any reaction to the conditions here.

Coke’s A heavy, hollow, shallow right-hander; when it’s big, it’s one of the best breaks in the area. This is a very thick wave breaking hard over a shallow reef, so it’s definitely for experienced, gutsy surfers only. Named for the Coca-Cola factory nearby on the island of Thulusdhoo, it’s also called Cola's.

Honky’s During its season, this is the best wave in Maldives. It’s a super-long, wally left-hander that wraps almost 90 degrees and can nearly double in size by the end section.

Jailbreaks A right-hander that works best with a big swell, when the three sections combine to make a single, long, perfect wave. There used to be a prison on the island, hence the name.

Lohi’s A solid left-hander that usually breaks in two sections, but with a big enough swell and a high enough tide the sections link up.

Pasta Point A perfect left that works like clockwork on all tides. There’s a long outside wall at the take-off point, jacking into a bowling section called the ‘macaroni bowl’. On big days the break continues to another section called ‘lock jaws’, which grinds into very shallow water over the reef. It’s easily reached from the shore at the Chaaya Island Dhonveli resort, whose guests have exclusive use of this break.

Sultan’s This is a classic right-hand break, and the bigger the swell, the better it works. A steep outside peak leads to a super-fast wall and then an inside section that throws right out, and tubes on every wave.

South Male Atoll

The breaks in South Male Atoll are smaller than those in North Male Atoll and generally more fickle.

Guru’s A nice little left off the island of Gulhi; it's good for manoeuvres and aerials when conditions are good.

Twin Peaks A small left-hander that can nevertheless get some big swell.

Rip Tides A long and fast right-hander.

Natives A small right-hander, rarely more than a metre.

Outer Atolls

Only a few areas have the right combination of reef topography, wind directions and orientation to swell. Laamu and Addu both have surfable waves on occasions, Laamu in particular has regular surf visitors staying at Reveries Diving Village and Six Senses Laamu.

South of Male, Meemu Atoll has several excellent surf breaks on its eastern edge including Veyvah Point, Boahuraa Point and Mulee Point, which are gradually being explored by more adventurous surfers.

In the far south, Gaafu Dhaalu has a series of reliable breaks that are accessed by safari boats in season. From west to east, the named breaks are Beacons, Castaways, Blue Bowls, Five Islands, Two Ways (also called Twin Peaks; left and right), Love Charms, Antiques and Tiger.

Resort-Based Surfing

The most accessible surf breaks are in the southeastern part of North Male Atoll. Half a dozen resorts and a few guesthouses are within a short boat ride, but check with them if you plan to surf, as only a few of them cater for surfers by providing regular boat service to the waves.

Cinnamon Island Dhonveli is the resort that’s best set up for surfers – the reliable waves of the ‘house break’, Pasta Point, are just out the back door, while Sultan’s and Honky’s are close by. A surfside bar provides a great view of the action. Surfing packages at Dhonveli include unlimited boat trips to the other local breaks with surf guides who know the conditions well, leaving and returning on demand.

Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, a few kilometres northeast of Dhonveli, is a bigger, more expensive resort with more facilities. It also has its own, exclusive surf break at the southern tip of the island. A bar and a viewing terrace overlook the wave, which has hosted international surfing competitions.

Surfing Safaris

Most of the safari boats in Maldives claim to do surfing trips, but very few of them have specialised knowledge of surfing or any experience cruising to the outer atolls. Ideally, a surfing safari boat should have an experienced surf guide and a second, smaller boat to accompany it, for accessing breaks in shallower water and getting in close to the waves. A surfing safari (‘surfari’) boat should also be equipped with fishing and snorkelling gear, for when the surf isn’t working or you need a rest.

An inner-atolls surfari will just cruise around North Male Atoll, visiting breaks that are also accessible from resorts in the area. If the swell is big and the surf guide is knowledgable, the boat may venture down to South Male Atoll to take advantage of the conditions. A one-week inner-atoll surf trip will start at around US$1000 per person. This might be cheaper than resort-based surfing, but it won’t be as comfortable, and it won’t give access to a handy and uncrowded house break.

An outer-atolls surfari is the only feasible way to surf the remote waves of Gaaf Dhaal or Meemu – an experienced outer-atoll guide is essential. If you’re looking to surf in Meemu, the boat will probably pick you up in Male and then head south. If you’re going surfing in Gaaf Dhaal, you’ll normally take a Maldivian flight to the domestic airport on the island of Kaadedhoo, where the boat crew will meet you.

You need at least six people to make a safari boat affordable; the surfing specialists should be able to put together the necessary numbers. Don’t book into a safari trip that is primarily for diving or cruising. Allow at least two weeks for the trip or you’ll spend too much of your time getting to the waves and back. A 10-night surfari will cost from about US$2000 per person, including domestic airfares.

Surf Travel Operators

The following agents specialise in surf travel and book tours and safaris to Maldives.

Atoll Travel

Maldives Scuba Tours

Surfatoll

Surf Travel Company

Turquoise Surf Travel

World Surfaris

Intro

An overview of some of the best and most popular reefs in the country:

Reef in Brief

Banana Reef

Atoll

North Male

Reef Type

reef & kandu

Devana Kandu

Atoll

Vaavu

Reef Type

kandu & thila

Embudhoo Express

Atoll

South Male

Reef Type

kandu

Fotteyo

Atoll

Vaavu

Reef Type

kandu

Fushifaru Thila

Atoll

Lhaviyani

Reef Type

kandu & thila

Kuda Giri

Atoll

South Male

Reef Type

giri & wreck

Kuda Kandu

Atoll

Addu

Reef Type

kandu

Kuredhoo Express

Atoll

Lhaviyani

Reef Type

kandu

Maa Kandu

Atoll

Addu

Reef Type

reef & kandu

Macro Spot

Atoll

Dhaalu

Reef Type

giri

Manta Reef

Atoll

Ari

Reef Type

reef & kandu

Milaidhoo Reef

Atoll

Baa

Reef Type

kandu

Orimas Thila

Atoll

Ari

Reef Type

thila

Panetone

Atoll

Ari

Reef Type

kandu

Rakeedhoo Kandu

Atoll

Vaavu

Reef Type

kandu

Hammerhead Point (Rasdhoo Madivaru)

Atoll

Ari

Reef Type

outer-reef slope

Two Brothers

Atoll

Faafu

Reef Type

giri

Vaadhoo Caves

Atoll

South Male

Reef Type

kandu