Maldives Seasonal Sensations - Indian Ocean

  • Water temp 27-28C
  • Air Temp 30C++
  • Visibility 10-20m
  • Good for... Mantas, Whales Sharks, nurse Sharks
  • Suitable for beginners Confident begninners upwards
  • Highlights The Maldives Seasonal Sensations itinerary wends its way between Male and Baa atolls, cherry picking the highlight dive sites and including snorkelling at Hanivaru Bay. Brilliant for divers and snorkelers.

About Maldives Seasonal Sensations

The Maldives Seasonal Sensations itinerary wends its way between Male and Baa atolls, cherry picking the highlight dive sites for that season. Timing is everything - dive the east side of the atolls, when sites that are at their seasonal hottest for sharks, manta and gorgeous coral reefs. Make this time of year stand out for all the right reasons. Though the visibility is often decreased, the increased plankton means it can be the best time and place in the Maldives to see manta rays and whalesharks... more than making up for the reduced viz.

There are two ways to experience these seasonal sensations. One is a looping itinerary, leaving from Male, heading right up to Baa atoll in the north, and then coming back to Male to end your trip. Alternatively, you can catch a domestic flight from the domestic airport at Dharavandhoo (Baa atoll)- only minutes away from Hanivaru. This itinerary has it all. Hunt for hammerheads at Rasdhoo. Speed through channels in Ari. Look for manta in Baa. Or dive the stunning coral reefs of Raa. There's even a small wreck dive in South Male! On a select number of dates, this trip will end in Maamagili as well as visiting Baa. This is a super location for whalesharks. There is a domestic flight linking Maamagili and Male.

This is also traditionally manta feeding season. Nowhere is this more evident than at Hanivaru bay. As the currents sweep plankton rich water into the shallow lagoons around the Maldives, manta and whalesharks follow in vast numbers to gorge on the feast. Due to it's protected status you can only snorkel at Hanivaru, but this normally allows you to get closer to the fast moving manta. We cannot of course guarantee manta sightings. However, our experienced boat operators run this itinerary only in the months when mantas are most likely to be in the lagoons. If the currents are running the wrong way, and manta are not in the lagoons, there are good chances that the rays will be found on nearby reefs, which will be offered as alternative dives. The exact areas visited are entirely at the boat operator discretion based on the weather and current conditions, to ensure you get the most possible interactions with manta and whalesharks.

You don't need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives. Currents can be strong. All your diving is made from dhonis or zodiacs to give precise entry and exit points. It is entirely at the boat's discretion as to which sites and atolls they visit - the aim of this trip is to take you to the seasonal highlights and as such, the boat operators will pick the most productive sites possible from these atolls, but may not necessarily dive each and every atoll. Between them, our guides have decades' of experience diving the Maldives - whatever time of year! Allow them to show you a side of the Maldives that many people miss. Prepare to be blown away by the sensational seasonal dive sites!

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Scuba Travel offer the Maldives Seasonal Sensations itinerary when the timing is the best.

We cannot of course guarantee manta sightings. However, our experienced boat operators run this itinerary only in the months when mantas are most likely to be in the lagoons. If the currents are running the wrong way, and manta are not in the lagoons, there are good chances that the rays will be found on nearby reefs, which will be offered as alternative dives.

Your trip will depart from either Male or Daravandhoo airport (Baa atoll).

Trip Duration
Maldives Seasonal Sensations trips usually run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.

On 10 night variations, you will usually also include Lhaviyani and Noonu atolls.

There are normally 3 dives a day apart from on your first and last day. There is usually an opportunity for a night dive during the week. There are around 17-18 dives on an average week but this can vary depending on local weather conditions.

The boat operators may elect to substitute a dive with an opportunity to snorkel with manta or whalesharks instead.

If your trip departs from Male you will be met on arrival from your international flight and taken directly to the boat. This will take approx 20 mins by boat.

If you trip departs from Daravandhoo, you will be met on arrival in Male and assisted to the domestic flight terminal. We endeavour to keep the transition between flights to a minimum, but you may need to wait for your flight at the terminal. There is a cafe for your comfort.

There will be a full welcome briefing on arrival and you can set your kit up. If you have prepaid any rental equipment this will be given to you on arrival. There is then your first dinner and you can settle in for the evening.

you do not usually dive on your arrival day.

A normal Maldives Seasonal Sensations itinerary will dive at the following areas but the exact dive sites and order will vary week by week depending on what people enjoy, where the best sightings have been and reflect diver experience levels.

North Male Atoll
The check dive starts the diving fun for the week and where better than at Lankan Manta Point? This is usually the first of many manta dives to come during this week! This is a cleaning station, but keep your eyes peeled behind you. Eagle rays quite often pass on the edge of the slope.

Baa Atoll
Baa atoll is one of the northern atolls of the Maldives. The aim of the day is to look for the massive manta congregations. There will be 2 dives made but you can also snorkel with the manta in the lagoons just as easily as dive (max 8m). Due to the thick plankton, this is also a great chance to find whalesharks.

There is a local charge for snorkelling at Hanivaru - the park fee of 20 USD pp for 45 minutes of snorkeling (diving is not allowed), which must be paid directly to the park rangers

If the lagoons do not have the big fish, there is great diving on the local thilas and very good chances that the manta will be found on these reefs instead.

Raa atoll
Fenfushi Giri is a shallow tiny site but with an amazing amount of fish. Often exposed to some current there are shoals of baitfish constantly hunted by Jacks and bonitos producing great viewing. After the diving there is another island visit planned - the uninhabited Fenfushi has a beautiful crescent shaped beach, stroll along this remote strip and watch the sun set. Reethi Thila is an exciting anemone smothered site with masses of fusiliers hunted by tuna and jacks.

North Ari Atoll
The famous North Ari atoll is one of the classic, all time great Maldives atolls. The diving here is especially good for sharks and eagle rays but also for more manta. Look for hammerheads at Rasdhoo or watch passing whiteips and greys as Hafsa Thila. Maaya Thila is one of the most famous dives in the Maldives. During the day look for the big marble rays that live on the top of the reef. And then splash in at night time for a night dive that is simply incredible. Hunting whitetips make for a thrilling dive.

North Male Atoll
Get your final manta fix as you dive sites such as Kan Thila or Kuda Haa. Depending on the necessary desaturation times, there may also be a chance to dive a wreck close to Male. These might be the last dives of the trip but are excellent, especially for the big pelagics.

You will normally leave the boat after breakfast on your last day and be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home. If you have a domestic flight at the end of your trip, you will be given your ticket locally and flight time confirmed. Please do speak to the travel consultant at the time of booking to confirm the exact last day arrangements.

Alternatively, why not add an extension at one of the many beautiful resorts in the Maldives or even a second liveaboard.