Your guide to snorkelling in the Maldives

If you are looking for an extraordinary experience while on vacation, snorkelling in the Maldives should be on your bucket list. The Maldives is a beautiful group of islands, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. For anyone who loves the sea, a holiday here is a dream come true, but especially for those who enjoy snorkelling.

Here are some top things to see when snorkelling in the Maldives and where to find them:

Coral Reefs

The Maldives is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, and snorkelling is the perfect way to explore them. They are home to an array of sea creatures, including fish, sea turtles, and sharks. Some of the best places to see the coral reefs in the Maldives are the North and South Male Atolls, Ari Atoll, and Baa Atoll with most of the resorts in these atolls having their very own house reef just metres from the beach which you can easily explore.

Manta Rays

Manta Rays are majestic creatures and a must-see when snorkelling in the Maldives. These gentle giants can be found in several locations throughout the country, but one of the best and most well known places to see them is at Hanifaru Bay in the Baa Atoll. The ideal time to see Manta Rays in this area is from June to November, however many of our favourite resorts are in the Lhaviyani Atoll and the best time to see the Manta Rays here is actually between October and March.

Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and can grow up to 40 feet long. They are gentle giants and are a favourite sighting among snorkellers. The best place to see whale sharks in the Maldives is in the South Ari Atoll, where they can be found year-round.

Sea Turtles

Snorkelling in the Maldives is incomplete without seeing the beautiful sea turtles that inhabit the waters. There are seven different sea turtle species in the world, of which five can be seen in the Maldives including Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green, and Olive-Ridley turtles. These majestic creatures can be seen at various locations throughout the Maldives, including the Lhaviyani, Baa, and North and South Ari Atolls.


Octopuses are fascinating creatures that can change their colour and texture to blend in with their surroundings. They can be found in numerous locations throughout the Maldives and are also frequently seen on individual resort house reefs.

The Maldives is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit for snorkelling is from November to April. During this time, the water is crystal clear, the weather is mostly calm, and the visibility is excellent. If you are planning a snorkelling trip to the Maldives, there are several hotels that you can stay at that offer easy access to the best snorkelling spots. Here are a few of our favourites:

Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa

The South Ari Atoll, where Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa is situated, is one of the best locations to see whale sharks year-round. The resort also has its own house reef, which is a well-liked location for snorkelling. Aside from the snorkelling, Vilamendhoo offers an array of things to do including activities on both land and sea, excursions and evening entertainment. It also offers a unique Maldives dining option with a variety of regional and international cuisines. With affordable Full Board and All Inclusive options, you will be sure to enjoy a world-class dining experience.

Heritance Aaarah

At the five-star Heritance Aaarah, located in the Raa Atoll, divers and snorkellers can explore Hammerhead Point or participate in a turtle quest in the seemingly endless azure ocean waters of the Maldives. This premium 5 Star resort is ideally suited for couples, families or groups of friends with its excellent range of accommodation and facilities plus an amazing premium all inclusive meal plan.

Komandoo Maldives Island Resort

The Lhaviyani Atoll, where Komandoo Maldives Island Resort is situated, has several outstanding snorkelling locations and over 50 dive sites within a 40 minute radius. Additionally, the resort has a house reef where you can see a variety of marine life including turtles, dolphins, mantas, sharks and rays. It also offers a full range of land and water sports. This is a true romantic hideaway for adults only and one of the most intimate experiences the Maldives has to offer.

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa is located in Lhaviyani Atoll, which is one of the best places to find sea turtles in the Maldives. The resort also offers a range of snorkelling excursions to nearby reefs and islands. A large and vibey resort, Kuredu also offers 3.5 kilometres of beach and lots of activities to enjoy including a 6 hole Pitch & Putt Golf Course, the first in Maldives, and no less than 7 restaurants and 7 bars plus a Sai Kotari Tea House.

Innahura Maldives Resort

Innahura Maldives Resort is located in the southeast of the Lhaviyani Atoll adjacent to the Maldives’ longest coral reef and it offers easy access to some of the best snorkelling spots. This funky and vibey resort has a magnificent lagoon, 1.5kms of white sand beach and occupies a total area of around 25 acres. With diving, water sports, sunset cruises, vibrant marine life and stunning natural surroundings, it is the perfect spot for anyone looking for a laid-back and affordable Maldives escape.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

The magnificent five-star over water resort of Adaaran Prestige Vadoo features an amazing house reef located right in front of the resort’s dive centre. You don’t need to be a diver or even an experienced swimmer to explore here as there is a full rope system along the house reef allowing everyone to have an amazing experience. You can also decide to explore the reef via a seabob at your own speed or in the resort’s whale submarine – where you can be amazed by the underwater treasures of Maldives without ever getting wet.