Snorkelling and Diving with Whale Sharks in Vilamendhoo

The Whale Sharks of the Maldives

“I was lucky enough to see three Whale Sharks whilst snorkelling between dives and a vast array of marine life. Eurodivers were great. Reasonable value.”
– SpaldingUKTraveller, Spalding, United Kingdom, Jan 2021 – TripAdvisor

“We swam with one of the largest whale sharks in the region. We saw mantas, turtles, dolphins, octopus, and beside that, we had a lot of fun on the boat that day! Great crew, thank you guys.”
– AnaP1718, Dec 2020 – TripAdvisor

Whale sharks used to visit the Maldives during the Southwest Monsoon season. But now, they seem to hang around the warm waters of the Indian Ocean all year round, specifically in the South Ari Atoll.

Spotting a slow-moving whale shark beneath the Maldives’ clear waters and even snorkelling above or diving alongside one is truly an incredible experience.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a gentle filter-feeding giant that belongs to the shark family and is the world’s largest fish. They swim by moving their 12-ton bodies from side to side, unlike their agile relatives, the sharks, that use their tails for swimming. 

Whale sharks can be seen in the plankton-rich waters near Vilamendhoo, and the Resort arranges snorkelling excursions. Diving with these magnificent creatures is also possible via our dive operator, Euro-Divers, based on the Resort. Whale sharks tend to favour the Western side of the Indian Ocean archipelago from May to December and then move to the Eastern waters from January to April. They can be spotted around the South Ari Atoll’s Maamigili Marine Protected Area (MPA). Vilamendhoo is situated in the South Ari Atoll and provides a strategic vantage point for megafauna enthusiasts as the Resort Island lies just in the path of whale shark feeding grounds.

[Related: Vilamendhoo’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For South Ari Atoll Maldives »]

Contact Vilamendhoo’s SEA department for further information about these gentle giants, the best time to spot them and to ask for whale shark excursion reservations.

Follow us on Facebook and see the latest whale shark spotting and amazing images by other divers and snorkelers.

Are you planning to explore the underwater world in the Maldives? Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is one of the best resorts in the Maldives for diving and snorkelling. Book direct and enjoy an array of special deals with flexible cancellation.

Living in the ‘new normal’ – A Safe Holiday Experience In Vilamendhoo.
Quick Links
Your questions answered before you travel  |  Facilitating PCR Testing at Resort  |  Travel Flexibility & Cancellation Policy Update 

Spotting Sea Turtles in the Maldives with Vilamendhoo

Spotting the Sea Turtles of the Maldives

Vilamendhoo’s magnificent underwater world is best known for the large variety of tropical fish. It is not rare to see a few sea turtles swimming along the turquoise lagoon, right at the foot of your Jacuzzi Water Villa.

In the Maldives, 5 out of 7 sea turtle species can be found, including the Loggerhead, Leatherback and Olive Ridley. The Green Sea Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle are the most frequently spotted year-round in Vilamendhoo and on the islands house reef. Join our thrilling excursions to see which ones you can spot.

Snorkelling equipment can be rented from the Dive Center or purchase it from the Gift Shop. The following excursion is for swimmers only and the minimum age is 12. A parent must accompany children under 16.

See Vilamendhoo’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For South Ari Atoll Maldives »

Monday, Thursday, Saturday 1430 – 1530
Experience the excitement of seeing magnificent Turtles at Turtle Reef, 10 minutes by Dhoni Boat.
A 10-minute speedboat ride to boat ride to Turtle Reef and a chance to see, photograph and maybe swim with magnificent Turtles.
Learn More »

Thursday & Sunday 0900 – 1300
Add the excitement and possibility of seeing, photographing and maybe swimming with Mantas to your turtle adventures Snorkeling.
Learn More »

Ready to explore the best underwater world in the Maldives? Book online »

Discover Romance With A Twist of Adventure At Vilamendhoo

The Maldives is well-known for its honeymoon resorts and romantic hotels, but it’s much more than indulgent trips to the spa and dreamy candlelight dinners on the beach. The Maldives is also a place for trying new things and making memories that will last a lifetime. Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa has everything the Maldives is famous for but is perfect for adventure and couples seeking thrills.

How to discover romance with a twist of adventure:

Discover the ocean – Vilamendhoo offers some of the best snorkelling and diving in the Maldives. Visit coral reefs full of vibrant marine life by boat or discover the incredible house reef together from the shore. If you’ve never tried scuba diving before but don’t want to do a course, try the Discover Scuba Diving program with the team from the island’s dive operator, Euro-Divers, you will be a buddy team made in heaven!

Have fun on the water – if you’re a couple of adrenalin junkies, you’ll love taking the jet skis for a spin, or learning to windsurf together. Perhaps a more serene approach to the water is more your style? The kayak offers a unique way to explore the lagoon while the stand-up paddleboards will test your balance, but the most romantic of all water sports has to be sailing away together on a catamaran.

Explore the atoll – there are many opportunities for exploring at Vilamendhoo, go on a fishing trip or visit a local island to learn more about the Maldivian way of life. Cruise the atoll in search of manta rays, whale sharks and turtles on snorkelling adventures of a lifetime.

After the adventures, you may well find that a pampering session at the spa or that candlelight dinner table on the beach is exactly what you need.

Prepare to share a romantic adventure at Vilamendhoo.

Top Snorkelling Tips

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa has a magnificent house reef that is startling in its proximity to the beach and the volume of marine life that it houses. Snorkelling here is a truly wonderful experience and a highly recommended activity while in Vilamendhoo. Take a short swim, and you may spot sweetlips, triggerfish, butterfly fish, reef sharks and many more.
As you plan to take on the Vilamendhoo Reef, here are a few tips to ensure you have an enjoyable but safe time.

Get the right equipment 
To snorkel, you need a snorkel mask, fins and a vest. Pick the right mask that will allow you to breathe underwater, the right size of fins that give you swimming force and a vest that will help you stay afloat. The brightly coloured vests are also a safety precaution as they allow you to be spotted in case of an emergency.

Safety First 
Once underwater, it is very easy, especially for beginners to get excited and want to explore the ocean further. The underwater world is quite fascinating with lots of things to discover, but sometimes danger lies in the deceptively calm waters. It is important not to get carried away. Stick to the safe snorkelling areas and do not swim away from your friends. There is safety in numbers.

Respect The Marine Life 
While snorkelling, it is crucial to remember to respect the marine life. Coral reefs are extremely fragile so be careful not to bump into them. Similarly, once you spot turtles, fish or whale sharks, do not touch them or feed them. Keep a distance while swimming, to avoid offending or crowding them.

We have a regularly organised Snorkeling Boat Trip that allows you to enjoy swimming in nearby coral reefs. You can bring your snorkelling gear, purchase it from the gift shop or rent from the Dive Centre. Read more about this excursion here.

Take advantage of our exclusive offers if you are planning a visit to Vilamendhoo.

Experience the Magnificent Vilamendhoo House Reef

The Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa house reef is one of the main attractions that lures guests from far and wide. It boasts of an abundant and diverse marine life, most notably manta rays and whale sharks. Whether you are an experienced or novice diver, you are sure to appreciate the wondrous lagoon.

Your underwater playground in the Maldives awaits. Snorkelling is one of the ways to explore the magnificent reef that is brimming with lively corals and marine life. It is quite easy to get to the reef as it is only a short swim away. Snorkel through any of the ten channels through the reef to reach outside of the reef. The current is known to be strong at times, so if it feels beyond your experience or comfort, return to the inside of the reef and the beach. While snorkelling, you may spot sweetlips, triggerfish, butterfly fish, porcupine fish, the reef sharks that are locals in the area and many more.

The South Ari Atoll, where Vilamendhoo is located is famous for possible manta ray and whale shark sightings. Vilamendhoo is close to a manta ray cleaning station and the National Marine Park for whale sharks. This makes it possible to organise weekly trips that hopefully allow divers to spot, swim and photograph whale sharks and manta rays, a truly unforgettable experience. Divers are advised to respect the animals by keeping a safe distance and not touching them.

We have organised various trips that allow you to experience the wonders of the underwater world. Our Snorkelling Boat Trip is scheduled every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Our Whale Shark Excursion is on every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Finally, our Turtle & Manta Excursion is scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Family adventurers can take advantage of the Family Adventure Full Day trip that allows you to spend a day out at sea with your loved ones.
Euro-Divers offers PADI courses that are meant to introduce you to diving in a fun, memorable and safe way. Their services also include guided diving and snorkelling and equipment sales and rental.

If you go exploring the magical waters, tag us in your pictures using #vilamendhoo.

Are you planning a vacation to Vilamendhoo? Check out our latest special offers .

Spend A Day At Sea In Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is a bucket list destination. Here, you can embark on adventures every day, experiencing the magnificent lagoon. To help you get the most out of your time on our island, we have put together adventures that you can enjoy on both land and sea. One of the best excursions for snorkelling enthusiasts is the Ocean Discoverer- Full Day trip.

Embark on an adventure to the sea for a full day. With this excursion, you are transported by yacht. The scenic journey leads you to the two most famous snorkelling sites: Manta Point and Whale Shark Point. As marine creatures work with their schedule and not ours, it is not always guaranteed that you will spot manta rays or whale sharks. But on the occasion that you do, getting to swim with these creatures is a life-changing experience.

That’s not all. Aside from the two snorkelling spots, you also get to visit other popular reefs in the area to maximise your day out at sea. The tropical waters are home to a wide variety of marine life such as blotched fantail, torpedo rays, eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, zebra sharks, hawksbills sea turtles, green sea turtles and many more. Spinner dolphins have also been spotted from the yacht a few times. Every time you get into the water, a new and different experience is guaranteed.

With all there is to see underwater, a full day is not enough. As the Ocean Discover-Full Day excursion is organised every day aside from Friday, you can sign up as many times as you want and get your fill of the ocean. Lunch is provided on board, so you have nothing to worry about. Further, you can rent snorkelling equipment from the dive centre or buy it from our gift shop.

Read more about our excursions here .

As you plan your adventurous vacation to Vilamendhoo, check out our special offers and take advantage of the discounts available.

Happy adventures!


book your stay