Choose A Resort ,Liveboard Or A Local Island
The gorgeous atolls of the Maldives. Abundant snorkeling options.
Maldives snorkeling is a memorable and unique experience. This group of atolls in the Indian Ocean south of India, offer a stunning destination for a snorkel adventure. But unlike many other locations on this website, where you can visit an island and rent a car, the best ways to visit the Maldives for snorkeling are: to stay at a resort with a good house reef, or book yourself on a snorkeling liveaboard trip or can still do it with local Island guest houses which can be easy to find though advertisements and by asking a person.
The native Maldive anemonefish has black bottom fins. These are common to see snorkeling there.
We were enticed to visit the Maldives years ago by folks telling us they thought it was the best snorkeling in the world. But, because of the distance from the U.S. and cost, we delayed going. Shortly after partnering with Wendy, our travel agent friend who organizes group snorkeling trips, we were given the opportunity and we took it.
As for whether we agree that the Maldives has the best snorkeling in the world, unfortunately, we do not. While at most spots, we did see the most fish we have seen anywhere else, and we saw an amazing array and number of other creatures, the reefs are being severely affected by global warming, and we saw for ourselves a brand new bleaching event in the southern part of the country. There was a similar event in the northern part of the country in 1998 and other smaller ones since. Time will tell if the dying and dead reefs will continue to support the fish and other creatures. The picture below shows the mix of amazing fish life with a lot of coral bleaching.
We saw many many fish snorkeling in the Maldives, but many reefs corals were bleached or bleaching due to warm water.
That said, we definitely still recommend it as a great destination for a snorkeling focused trip. Check out the video below to see just how many fish and creatures we saw.
What Is The Best Way
To Snorkel The Maldives?
We found that there are really two ways to do a Maldives snorkeling trip. Click on the links below for more information about both.
1. Book Yourself On A Snorkeler-Only Liveaboard Boat – We had a great time exploring the southern part of the country on our snorkeling liveaboard trip organized by Wendy. If unlimited snorkeling at many different spots is what you want, this is the ticket. You travel through the atolls on a large comfortable yacht, and then take a smaller boat out to the snorkel spots.
Our Maldives snorkeling liveaboard, and a dhoni, very much like the small boat that we snorkeled from.
2. Stay At One Or More Resorts With Good Snorkeling House Reefs – We chose to stay at one Maldives snorkeling resort island during our trip and it had a wonderful house reef that could easily have been explored for a week or more. The resorts and Local Island Guest Houses offered short boat snorkeling tours to nearby reefs as well. In the research we did for our trip, we found a number of resorts that sounded like they had great reefs to explore too.
Maldives snorkeling resorts offer gorgeous beaches and house reefs.