The Ultimate Guide to Snorkeling in Maldives

If you want to go snorkeling in Maldives, there are several really great places to consider. You can book at an island resort that offers snorkeling packages, or you can just plan a Maldives snorkeling adventure anywhere that offers them while you’re there.

No matter where you choose to go for snorkeling, you are going to be surrounded by stunning sites, turquoise water, and intriguing marine life as well.

Before you head out to the best places in Maldives for snorkeling, check out this guide. We share some helpful insights into where you can go, some of the top Maldives resorts for snorkeling, and helpful hints to guide you along the way.

Here’s to your next adventure!

The Top Maldives Snorkeling Locations to Know About

You don’t have to stay at one of the best Maldives resorts to get into some snorkeling adventures. However, there are a few really great Maldives snorkeling resorts that are well-known. Some of the Maldives all-inclusive resorts even have snorkeling packages included as part of your package for that island resort.

Knowing your options and understanding the specifics can be quite helpful.

Check out these best Maldives resorts for snorkeling:

  1. Baros Maldives Island Resort
  2. Centara Grand Resort
  3. Vilamendhoo Island Resort
  4. Biyadhoo Island Resort
  5. Anantara Kihavah Private Island

1. Baros Maldives Island Resort

Baros Maldives snorkeling

The Baros Maldives island resort is one of the best Maldives resorts for snorkeling for multiple reasons. This Baros Maldives snorkeling location is comprised of coral islands with the most gorgeous coral reefs to explore. Among the coral reef, you will find plentiful brightly colored tropical fish, as well as other marine life.

The coral reef at Baros Maldives is considered one of the best in the entire Indian Ocean, so mark it down on your bucket list. Located in the North Atoll, it’s a short speedboat ride from Male International Airport.

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2. Centara Grand Resort

Snorkeling in Centara Grand Resort

Centara Grand has a phenomenal house reef that makes this a top choice for the best island in Maldives for snorkeling. In addition to the views that snorkelers love, they are also a Green Fins resort, which means they follow responsible diving and snorkeling protocols to protect the house reef and the ocean life around it. Most snorkeling resorts are very careful, but this one is certified as such.

The turquoise lagoons give you clear water to see everything from colorful fish to sea turtles, reef sharks, whale sharks, moray eels, manta rays, and more.

3. Vilamendhoo Island Resort Water Villas

Couple snorkeling in Maldives

Stay in the luxurious water villas of this South Ari Atoll resort, and you can get snorkeling as part of your package. They are known for their shallow lagoons that make it easy to head out for close snorkelers that don’t want to go deep. Their house reef is stunning, the waters are crystal clear, and the marine life is plentiful, making this one of the best resorts for snorkeling in Maldives.

Here, you can bring the whole family to a classy 4-star resort. Enjoy the views and the excellent service while you’re there.

This is also a great dive resort in Maldives.

4. Biyadhoo Maldives Snorkeling Resort

Biyadhoo Snorkeling Resort

Do you want to be able to see eagle rays and dolphins, along with the other colorful life of the Indian Ocean and Maldives? This is another resort in the North Male atoll, and it gives you a unique experience from villas to other parts of the island. It’s just a short speedboat ride from the Male International Airport to find breathtaking beauty at your fingertips.

The location is known for the rays, dolphins, Napoleon wrasses, and their Maldives house reef.

5. Anantara Kihavah Private Island

Anantara resort snorkeling activity

This private island resort spa in Maldives for snorkeling is one of the best resorts because it’s the ultimate luxury destination. It’s a Maldives all-inclusive resort in the South Ari Atoll. Snorkeling in the Maldives will be a blast at island resorts like this one. Snorkelers love this island resort spa because they get the best of reef snorkeling paired with the luxury of a destination Maldives resort.

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Hot Spots for Snorkeling in Maldives

Snorkeling in reef

Head to Maldives for snorkeling and forget about focusing on the Maldives resort as the focal point. Yes, island resorts in Maldives have excellent snorkeling opportunities. But there are plenty of locations for snorkeling in the Maldives that don’t require you to stay at certain island resorts.

These snorkeling spots are the best Maldives spots for snorkeling and taking in the underwater world, away from the best resorts.

  1. Manta Point
  2. Banana Reef
  3. HP Reef

None of these locations require you to stay at specific island resorts in Maldives to go snorkeling. You can choose the best resorts, but just know there are other snorkeling options too.

Manta Point

Take in the underwater world and the house reefs with a focus on the manta rays of the Indian Ocean. Here, snorkelers get up close and personal with the rays with their snorkeling adventures. There will be some of the biggest manta rays in the Indian Ocean at this snorkeling location in Maldives. Some of the rays get pretty friendly, providing you with an up-close view of the gentle giants.

In addition to rays, you might also see some reef sharks, whale sharks, and other tropical fish among the local house reefs of the area.

Banana Reef

Banana Reef is a reef that is shaped like a banana, and that’s where it got its name. The marine life here is brilliant and colorful, giving you some of the best snorkeling adventures you could ask for. The South Male atoll has some great options, but to visit Banana Reef, you’re going to jot over to the North Male Atoll.

Here, you will certainly see coral reefs, the best Maldives fish sightings, rays, Surgeonfish, and more. There are not typically a lot of reef sharks here, but it is possible to see some.

HP Reef

HP Reef is also in the North Male atoll. It’s comparable to the North Ari atoll, which is not far off. This provides some of the best snorkeling for brilliant and colorful fish life that really stands out to anyone snorkeling in Maldives.

The vivid colors contrast brightly against soft corals to bring you amazing views. This reef is also sometimes nicknamed Rainbow Reef because of those lush colors.

Snorkeling in Maldives is an Unforgettable Experience

Snorkeling experience

When you go snorkeling in Maldives, you dive into the water, which is perfectly blue and crystal clear. You’re surrounded by a whole different world located underwater. This underwater experience brings you sights you will never experience topside.

As you head underwater, there will be so many things to see. This is certainly an underwater experience, and you are not ever going to forget the adventure. Well, there are a few things.

What makes it so unforgettable? 

  • House Reef
  • Marine Life
  • Top snorkeling spots
  • Scuba diving alternatives

House Reef

A house reef is not referring to a reef in a house or even tied to a specific resort in Maldives. These are typically near an island, which could be a resort island. Most of the time, a house reef is directly in front of a specific island location, and often in front of a resort as well.

The reason that house reefs are so popular for snorkeling in Maldives is that they tend to have calmer waters thanks to the protection of the island against wind and other weather. Any house reef that you might come across in Maldives snorkeling adventures is going to be teeming with brilliant ocean life.

These are phenomenal locations and some of the top choices for Maldives snorkeling excursions.

You could also head to check out our very own coral frame. Read more about it on our sustainability page.

Marine Life

One thing you will enjoy as part of Maldives snorkeling excursions is the ability to see so many different forms of marine life species. We could probably spend all day talking about what you will see in terms of the underwater life species.

Instead, here are a few examples of what species you could take in snorkeling in Maldives:

  • Maldives fish life (tuna fish, butterfly fish, trigger fish, etc.)
  • Reef sharks
  • Whale sharks
  • Manta rays
  • Coral reefs
  • Sea turtle
  • Eagle rays
  • Moray eels
  • Blacktip reef
  • White tip sharks

These are the most common species to find when snorkeling around Maldives. This paradise is not limited to what’s above, either. You may see other types of turtles, get close to a shark or two, see many tropical sea life, and swim (or snorkel) in the blue waters that are some of the best in the world.

There are more species of turtles, shark, fish, and other animals than we could ever name in a single guide. Swim with the turtles, respect the local shark life, and take in the sea life all around you in this tropical paradise.

Here you can learn more about Maldives wildlife and Maldives nature.

Top Snorkeling Spots

The best snorkeling and diving locations are scattered all throughout the Maldives. Whether you like to snorkel in shallow waters or you’ve never tried to snorkel before, there are plenty of options. We’ve already talked about some of the best snorkeling locations, but what makes them so great?

When you’re trying to decide where to snorkel, what should you look for? This snorkeling guide is meant to tell you everything you need to know to have the best snorkel adventure.

The truth is that Maldives snorkeling is going to be pretty awesome just about anywhere you go. From the North Ari atoll to the Baa atoll and so many spots in between, it’s completely magical.

The same goes for a Maldives resort. The resorts in Maldives are stunning and have great snorkel locations, but you aren’t limited to snorkeling there. Get to know the locations and figure out where you want to experience snorkeling while in Maldives.

Putter around the island, go diving into the world-class locations, swim with the white-tip sharks (and other sharks too), see the coral reefs, and take in a whole new visual of the sea and the islands. That’s what makes a snorkel adventure the best, whether it’s private, far out in the sea, or right along the beach of the islands.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Maldives for Snorkeling

Snorkeling in a resort

You can head out in the water to snorkel year-round. You do need to be mindful of the monsoon season as this might affect life in the sea as well as the tide and the areas around the beach. There certainly is a high season for snorkeling in Maldives water, regardless of whether you’re in shallow lagoons or out on a private tour somewhere.

If you’re looking for the best season to plan for snorkeling in paradise, most people recommend December to April. The resort islands will have a snorkeling guide always on the ready year-round, but this is when the water temperature is at its best, and the waters are also at their bests.

This timeframe is relevant close to the islands, along the beach and the reef, but also when you move away from the islands. This is also the busiest time of year for hanging out on the islands and the beach, which may affect your ability to go out snorkeling the reefs and other popular locations.

If you want to plan alternative times to go out in Maldives, you can enjoy any time of your choice. Just know that the Maldives season might affect visibility or what you see around the reefs and beach as well.

Planning for Maldives Snorkeling and Tips

Snorkeling is not the same as diving, although you might be able to go slightly deep in some areas. For shallow spots in the water, you will just need a mask and fins to get some of the best views. However, in Maldives, you could have the option to go as deep as 24 meters, or as shallow as 3 meters.

The cost of snorkeling can vary, but it is typically charged at a per-person rate in Maldives. Your Maldives resort may allow you to choose this excursion as part of your Maldives package, but it’s not always available.

In Maldives, you’re probably going to plan on paying $50 or more apiece when you snorkel. Maldives has some of the most astonishing views, so that Maldives snorkeling experience will be worth every single penny.

Add a Maldives Snorkeling Adventure to Your Itinerary

If you really want to enjoy the best that Maldives has to offer, this is a must. Snorkeling in Maldives isn’t just about seeing what’s beneath the surface but also about experiencing every part of Maldives that you can possibly take in.

Maldives is truly the trip of a lifetime, and a luxurious paradise meant for you to explore.

What part of Maldives do you look forward to experiencing the most?

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Does the Maldives Have Good Snorkeling?

Absolutely! Maldives is one of the top locations in the world to snorkel.

Can You Snorkel in Maldives if You Can’t Swim?

It’s best if you’re familiar and comfortable with water, but you can take lessons and stick to the shallows to enjoy a pleasant snorkeling experience even if you can’t swim. There might be some life vest options available, but we don’t recommend snorkeling if you can’t swim.

Can You Go Snorkeling from the Beach in Maldives?

Yes! You can snorkel almost anywhere in Maldives, although there may be some restrictions or limitations in certain locations.

How Expensive is Snorkeling in Maldives?

Plan for a minimum of $50 per person, but the rate could be much higher in some of the hotspots or during peak season.

When Should I Snorkel in Maldives?

April to December is the top timeframe and most coveted season, but you can go snorkeling year-round as well.

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