Manta-ray is floating in bubbles at the cleaning station, S. Ari Atoll, Maldives


An island nation home to a dizzying array of aquatic life – it's time to dive in

Trips to Maldives

In the Maldives, a picture-perfect paradise awaits. With cyan seas stretching to the horizon in every direction, scattered with 1190 sparkling white-sand islands and coral cays, it's a haven for those looking to relax and unwind. The resorts here are famously luxurious and will attend to your every need. Aside from snorkelling – which is excellent – reading and gazing at swathes of stars in the night sky, there are no distractions here, unless you want to find them.

Maldives holidays may be utterly idyllic, but there’s more to the country than luxury bungalows and honeymoon hideaways. For marine-life lovers, there’s nowhere better. Awake to the sun rising over the azure Indian ocean, snorkel areas of stunning beauty and spot abundant marine life, including manta rays and whale sharks; green, hawksbill and olive ridley turtles; and bottlenose and spinner dolphins.

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Maldives Adventure Holidays

Wildlife highlights of Maldives trips  

1. Turtles: The shallow reefs in the South Malé Atoll create ideal conditions for turtle snorkelling – take the chance to swim alongside these amazing creatures if you can.

2. Whale sharks: The region of South Ari Atoll is very lucky to have a year-round population of whale sharks. Of course there's no guarantee, but on a whale safari you can expect to see one or two sharks every half hour, and it’s possible to snorkel beside them!

3. Dolphins: These can be seen leaping over the waters between Malé and Guraidhoo in South Malé Atoll. Make sure you have your camera at the ready.

4. Tropical fish: All the Maldivian reefs are fantastic for spotting tropical fish, including the canary-yellow polka-dot boxfish, amusingly shaped porcupine fish and schools of distinctly black-and-white-striped banner fish.

5. Manta ray: Madivaru is the place to go to spot the unusual manta ray. The best sightings happen between the months of February and April. Our excellent guides use a radio network to improve chances of a sighting. 

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