Many of the worlds top diving destinations claim to offer a truly unique form of diving, however few are able to substantiate it as easily as the Maldives. From the moment you first enter the water in the Maldives, you are surrounded by an almost magical underwater kingdom. A myriad of colourful reef fish, incredible corals exist alongside a wide variety of larger marine life including manta rays, whale sharks and many, many others. In fact, it is estimated that over 26 different types of shark can be found in the dive sites in the Maldives including the whale shark, the tiger shark and the hammerhead shark.

It is the unique geography of the Maldives that allows it to offer such incredible diving. The tops of an ancient submerged mountain range, the coral reefs and atolls of the Maldives now stretch across some 500 miles of the Indian Ocean from north to south.

The scuba diving in the Maldives tends to fall into two distinct categories, kandu diving and thila diving. Thila diving tends to focus around large coral formations or reefs which top out just under the surface of the water. These thilas allow divers the opportunity to dive or drift with the currents across and around these large reefs, often providing spectacular views of the prolific marine life and coral formations just below the surface. There are a number of excellent dive sites in the Maldives, which offer this thila type of diving. Some of the better known thila dives include Maaya Thila on North Ari Atoll, and Okobe Thila, together with its resident population of huge Napoleon wrasse.

The second type of diving for which the Maldives is well known is kandu diving, where divers can drift with the currents along the channels between the islands or reefs. In a typical kandu dive, the divers will enter the water just outside of the lagoon, allowing the currents to carry them into the calmer waters to be found inside of the atoll. With these currents drawing nutrient rich water into these channels from the open ocean, these kandu dives often provide the best opportunities to spot the various species of rays, sharks and other pelagic marine life which can be found throughout the waters of the Maldives.

Marine life throughout the Maldives is prolific, with an incredible array of tropical reef fish to be found throughout the region. Bannerfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish and surgeonfish mingle easily with the larger Napoleon wrasse and triggerfish which can be found here. Fans of the larger marine life will also find rich pickings in the waters surrounding the Maldives, and a wide variety of sharks and rays can be found throughout the hundreds of beautiful dive sites in the Maldives.

The climate in the Maldives does vary slightly between the north and the south atolls, with the Northern regions experiencing more extreme temperatures, and the southern atolls experiencing a slightly heavier average rainfall throughout the year. Water temperatures in the Maldives tend to remain consistent, ranging from 27 degrees to as warm as 30 degrees. The region experiences two monsoon seasons, which run from December to March, when the Maldives experience the warmer prevailing winds, and the wetter monsoon season which runs from May through to November.

If you are considering diving in the Maldives, it is highly likely that your resort will have an affiliated dive centre on the island. Recent years have seen an increase in the reputation of the region as one of the worlds best dive sites, and today there is a highly developed and extensive network of dive centres in the Maldives.