It’s hard to imagine a more perfect destination for scuba diving than the coral reefs of the Maldives. An astounding variety of dive sites, reefs full of colourful fish and incredible bucket list sightings of whale sharks and manta rays await all those who embark upon a scuba diving adventure at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives.
Whether you’re already qualified to dive or are thinking about trying diving for the first time, here are 10 tips to get the most out of your diving adventure:
- Check with medical before you go – some pre-exisiting medical conditions will require a doctor to certify you as ‘fit to dive’ and this is much easier to organise at home.
- Rent your dive equipment when you arrive – no need to travel with lots of luggage, and remember the water is balmy so there’s no need to pack a long wetsuit either. If you want to take your own mask – get it properly fitted at a dive shop – there’s nothing that will spoil your dives more than an ill-fitting mask.
- Ensure you have the correct amount of weight – it’s very common for divers to have too many kilos on their weight belt – this causes poor positioning in the water, damaging corals and you’ll also use your air more quickly and so have a shorter dive – ask for a buoyancy check.
- If you haven’t dived for a while do a refresher – it’s a simple quick session with an instructor so you can ensure you are comfortable in the water and with the equipment before heading out on the boats to explore the reefs.
- Beginners – relax, you will be in very safe hands – the team at Euro-Divers are very patient and professional, the groups are very small and you’ll have the adventure of your life. Choose from full PADI Open Water Diver course or PADI Discover Scuba Diving program that requires no study – just fun!
- As well as looking at the life on the reef, remember to take a look into the blue water every so often – you might get lucky and spot some of the bigger pelagic creatures such as sharks, rays and tuna, cruising by.
- Don’t touch the coral or other marine life – not only will you harm it but it can also harm you if touched.
- Sharks in the Maldives are an encounter not to be missed – they’re not dangerous, it will be an encounter you’ll rememeber for many years to come.
- Those already qualified could think about furthering their skills with the Advanced Open Water course to learn a variety of new skills or complete the Rescue Diver Course to enhance your own confidence and be able to assist divers needing help.
- The PADI eLearning sysyem is available for all popular courses and means you don’t have to spend your precious holiday time in a classroom – learn at home, at your own pace.
Embrace the adventure while scuba diving at Vilamendhoo! Learn more about our dive centre here
Plan the perfect dive holiday for 2020 at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, one of the top diving resorts in the Maldives. Located in the South Ari Atoll, Vilamendhoo is a divers’ paradise and enjoys the best of what the Maldives has to offer as a world-renowned diving destination. The crystal clear water, tropical temperatures and uncrowded dive sites are just the start.
As soon as you dive into the ocean, the underwater world, full of colour and vibrance, will leave you awestruck. The coral reefs are teeming with life and diversity – from tiny clownfish hiding amongst the anemones to large, bright green napoleon wrasse cruising by. The clouds of fusiliers will mesmerise you as they move in unison, darting suddenly when a hunting party of jackfish appear. Hard coral structures provide the perfect hiding place for the smaller reef inhabitants while colourful soft corals adorn the dive sites.
Vilamendhoo is in an enviable location, close to world-famous manta ray and whale shark points. If these gentle giants of the ocean are on your diving bucket list, you will be glad you booked this resort. Whale shark search trips are available multiple times per week throughout the year – it’s always whale shark season at Vilamendhoo! If you’re interested in finding out more about the marine life, in particular, the majestic manta rays, you can visit the resident marine biologist from Manta Trust who will be happy to tell you all about the research they carry out at sites close to the island.
Vilamendhoo’s house reef provides a spectacular option for lazy days when you simply want to dive with your buddy without taking a boat trip; accessible from almost every point on the island, it’s home to more than 150 species of fish and great for underwater photography.
The dive centre on the island is operated by Euro-Divers, one of the Maldives’ most experienced dive operators and as a PADI 5 Star Centre, they offer the full range of PADI courses catering to all experience levels – from beginner to professionals. Daily dive excursions are available and with more than 50 dive sites accessible by boat from Vilamendhoo, including those to the nearby Marine Protected Area and the National Park, there are countless adventures waiting for you.
See you in 2020 for the scuba diving holiday of a life time!
Did you know that before, whale sharks would only visit the Maldives during the South-West monsoon season which runs from May to October? Now, they can be seen around the warm waters of the Indian Ocean all year round, particularly in the South Ari Atoll where Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is located. Our island’s prime location puts us in proximity to whale shark spots. Some guests have even been lucky enough to see whale sharks directly on our house reef!
Known as the largest fish in the world, whale sharks belong to the shark family. They swim by moving side to side, unlike sharks, which use their tails for swimming. As their bodies weigh around 20.6 tonnes, it is no wonder that they move so slowly. Despite their size, whale sharks are docile creatures. In Vilamendhoo, there are plenty of opportunities to swim with whale sharks. Through regularly scheduled excursions, you can take a trip to known whale shark points where if lucky, you can spot, swim and photograph these gentle giants. These excursions are the whale shark excursion, the family adventurer full day excursion and the ocean discovery full-day excursion.
While swimming with whale sharks, it is essential to remember to respect their space. Always listen to your guide, and do as instructed for your safety and the whale sharks’ safety. As a general rule, you should always stay 10 feet away from the whale shark’s tail, to avoid being accidentally swatted, and about 3 feet away from the head. Do not attempt to touch or feed a whale shark. Observing these safety rules will ensure you have a pleasant experience swimming with the majestic creatures.
Here are some of our favourite photos captured by past guests.
Image by @sergeykbn.
Image by @karel_frait.
Is the Maldives suitable for diving? This is a popularly asked question when guests are trying to plan their adventures. The answer is, ‘Yes! Absolutely!’ The Maldives is truly a diver’s paradise. The spectacular underwater world beneath the crystal-clear turquoise sea hosts a variety of marine life of unimaginable beauty, inviting adventurers to embark on unique adventures. The Maldives offers up a variety of dive sites from gently sloping reefs, plunging drop-offs with overhangs and so much more.
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, is located in the South Ari Atoll, a famed diving location. A magnificent house reef encircles Vilamendhoo, with direct access from almost every point on the island. A mere swim away from the beach, you will discover the stunning house reef, and spot an abundant variety of marine life including over 150 species of tropical fish. Be sure to bring along your underwater camera to capture the magnificence of this magical underwater world.
At Vilamendhoo, Euro-Divers operate our 5-Star PADI certified dive centre. The professional team provide a variety of services including a complete PADI instructional programme, regularly organised dive trips, equipment rental services and much more. The courses offered under the instructional programme include a variety of beginner and continuing classes for anyone above eight years. Further, the centre has professionals of various nationalities to help you learn in the language you are most comfortable with. Once you are ready to explore the sea, Euro-Divers provide different diving packages at very competitive rates. View the full price-list here .
While you dive, be mindful not to step on or touch the fragile coral reefs. Do not place your equipment on the coral and as always, respect the marine life.
We look forward to welcoming you to your next diving adventure!
Despite their size, manta rays are gentle, magnificent creatures. They are a flattened type of fish with wide fins that look like wings and no bones. They are found in tropical waters such as the Maldives. In Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, we offer a variety of excursions allowing you to hopefully spot, swim and photograph manta rays. Before heading out on this adventure, here are a few things you should know about manta rays.
Manta Rays, whose width exceeds 3 metres, are quite large. Female mantas are usually larger than their male counterparts. Manta rays have the biggest brains of all fish and do display some intelligent behaviour. They feed on plankton, which they filter through their gill-rakers.
Manta rays are peaceful and gentle creatures that do not pose any threats to humans. As they are very sensitive to disturbance, there are a few things to consider when swimming with mantas. Manta Trust advises swimmers to enter the water calmly and quietly, no closer than 10 metres away from the manta ray. Once in the water, keep your fins below the surface and avoid splashing as noise can scare away manta rays. Do not approach them any closer than 3 metres and always approach from the side, giving manta rays a clear path ahead. Finally, never touch a manta ray or chase after one.
As with most marine-life, we cannot predict their schedule. We do, however, have excursions that transport you to known manta spots where if you are lucky, you can see and swim with them. Join our Ocean Discovery or our Manta and Turtle excursions for great adventures. Should you happen to spot some manta rays and photograph them, tag #vilamendhoo in your posts so we can see too!