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Your Guide to Diving Maldives

All of Undercurrent's information on diving Maldives, including articles, reader reports, Chapbook sections, ...

Diving Maldives Overview

These 7000 low-lying coral islands in a 1200-mile chain southeast of Sri Lanka will be among the first to disappear when global warming raises sea levels significantly. The reefs in the Maldives have suffered significant coral bleaching, but liveaboards still find exciting fish life by going to current points in the channels between the reefs where sharks tend to congregate. Many of the 200 inhabited islands have classy resorts catering to Europeans, with good to excellent diving. Permission is no longer required to visit nonresort islands and for the more hardy there's often a cheap local bed and breakfast option -- along with plenty of mosquitoes! Despite the resorts being of the highest standards with fabulous international cuisine, travelers who participate in water sports and scuba diving should be aware that rescue services might not be consistent with international standards. The rainy season is during the second half of the year. During the early part of the year, there are powerful currents resulting in very clear water and plenty of pelagic life, but it can make the diving arduous so take a reef hook and a delayed surface marker buoy.

Maldives Seasonal Dive Planner

It is possible to dive around the Maldives all year, but the wet monsoon brings wind and rain squalls in May through to November, with the current passing through the atolls from the northeast. The dry monsoon is from December to April when seas look calm, but ocean currents are at their strongest. The current flows then in from the southwest, with clear water from the Indian Ocean, when underwater visibility in the western atolls can exceed 100ft (30m).

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Diving Maldives Reader Reports and Feature Articles

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Latest Reader Reports from Maldives

from the serious divers who read Undercurrent

All Reader Reports from Maldives

All 10,000+
Boutique Beach Hotel Report in Maldives/Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll
"Great Liveaboard Alternative for the Maldives"
filed Apr 20, 2024 by Hugh E Aaron (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 25 reports, Sr. Contributor )
5 stars

This was our first trip to the Maldives. We were told that traditionally most people dive the Maldives on liveaboards or from all incl... ... Read more Photos available

Explorer Ventures/Bandos Report in Maldives/S Male Atoll
"Return trip"
filed Nov 10, 2023 by Frances Lewis (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 10 reports, Sr. Reviewer )
5 stars

My 4th time in Maldives. I did 2 nights in Bandos Resort to get over travel exhaustion. I'm 76 and recovering from a serious medical is... ... Read more

Horizon 3 Report in Maldives/The Deep South Maldives - Addu LiveAboard
"Horizon 3"
filed Oct 4, 2023 by Michael Francis (Experience: 251-500 dives, 6 reports, Reviewer )
3 stars

[None] The good- we saw many pelagics such as mantas and sharks and eagle ray and turtles. A highlight was encountering tiger sharks.... ... Read more Photos available

Aggressor Fleet Report in Maldives/Best of Maldives LiveAboard
"Best of Maldives on Aggressor"
filed Sep 22, 2023 by Jeffery E Snyder (Experience: 501-1000 dives, 6 reports, Reviewer )
3 stars

I didn't realize how long the travel and layovers were going to be. That's on me, it just seemed to take a long time to get there. La... ... Read more

Blue Force One Report in Maldives
"Whale Shark - Bucketlist Checked Off"
filed Sep 17, 2023 by Mason Hollcroft (Experience: 251-500 dives)
5 stars

The travel to the Maldives is very long and taxing. If flights and schedule allow, arrive a day early. If finances allow fly business ... ... Read more

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Complete Articles Available to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving Maldives Articles - Liveaboards

Volunteering for Maldives Whale Shark Research, 7/23
Manta Populations Improve Manta Populations Improve -- Publicly Available, 2/23
Fiji, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Molokai, we’re diving the world once again, 7/22
MV Emperor Voyager, Republic of Maldives, manta madness and sharks galore, 1/22
Where Are the Maldives?, 1/22
Blue O Two a Casualty of COVID, 1/22

Available to the Public
When Diving in the Maldives Disappoints, the right information guides expectations, 6/18
Fiji, Iceland, Maldives, Raja Ampat, trouble in Cozumel, a bad critter-handling policy in Kauai, 5/15
Maldives Princess, The Maldives, a long way to see whale sharks, but worth it, 5/14
Maldives, Hawaii, Indonesia . . ., some dive operators who need to change their rules, 11/13
M/V Carpe Diem, Maldives, the abundance of fish is worth the cost and travel time, 6/12
Thailand, Cocos, Hawaii, Maldives..., Thai tech dives, an easy wreck dive and El Niño’s ups and downs, 8/10
The Baani Adventure’s Lethal Air Compressor, 7/08
The Baani Explorer, Maldives, a bargain for big fish, 1/06
The Maldives Aboard the Manthiri, great diving despite El Niño, 5/01
Bleached Maldives, 3/99
Diving in the Maldives, Aboard the Barutheela and the Manthiri, 8/98

Diving Maldives Articles - Land Based

Available to the Public
Not Getting Enough Time Underwater?, 10/19
Raja Ampat, Bonaire, Maldives, Cozumel . . ., and endless trash spilling into the water, 7/19
Underwater Statues Are Unwelcome in the Maldives, 11/18
Costa Rica, Montserrat, St. Eustatius . . ., hidden gems, bad air and the jerk of the month, 7/14
Key Largo, Maui, New Zealand . . ., maiden voyage kinks in Thailand, a rude photo pro in Bonaire, 5/13
Tsunami Damage, 2/05
Caught in the Wave, 2/05
Hiding in the Maldives, 8/98

Maldives Sections from Our Travelin' Diver's Chapbooks

Reader Reports filed for that year

Maldives Liveaboards

For Members Only

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For Public

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2005 2004 2003 2002 2001      

Land Based Dive Resorts in Maldives

For Members Only

2024 2023            

For Public

2022 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2004 2003 2002 2001        

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Maldives

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Fish of the East Indies Reef Fish of the East Indies
by Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman

It's got a list price of $250 and a weight of 14 pounds, but the price and the poundage will be worth it to add this three-volume set to your library. Renowned marine biologists Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman have combined 60 years of surveys, fieldwork and research to create the most definitive guide of the Coral Triangle to date, perhaps forever. The 1,292 pages of text and 3,600 photographs (40 percent of which are of fish not seen before in print) gives comprehensive information on every known reef fish species from a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. An essential reference for any scuba diver.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Four Fish Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape
by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

This dynamic duo's book describes 130 dive sites of Raja Ampat, Triton Bay and Cenderawasih Bay, while offering practical information about the area. The detailed descriptions of the sites, complete with GPS coordinates, explains the terrain, how to dive the site, and the kinds of animals, coral and critters you can expect. Excellent photographs will help you identify many of the critters you will encounter.

If you have been to Raja Ampat, or dream about going, this thoughtful and well-illustrated book is for you.

The book is not available at the moment.

Diving Southeast Asia Diving Southeast Asia
by Beth & Shaun Tierney

This just-published, 302-page, soft-bound guide by Beth and Shaun Tierney, is a must for anyone contemplating diving in Indonesia, Malaysia or Thailand. Where is Sipadan? Raja Ampat? Komodo? Richeliu Rock? Maps make it easy to pinpoint dive destinations and travel routes. Destination and 250 dive site descriptions (with tables on depth, visibility and currents) help you determine whether you’ll see big fish in the blue or pygmy seahorses in the muck. There’s a lot of supplemental information such as travel tips, health tips, and resorts and liveaboard descriptions.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.

I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.

Malaysia Macrolife A Diver's Guide to Underwater Malaysia Macrolife
by Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari

We just discovered the ultimate guide to Indo-Pacific macro life. It was published late last year by marine photographers and writers Andrea and Antonet La Ferrari, who have several other winning books in their portfolio. They picture and describe in full detail 600 different species, focusing on those found in the South China, Sulu, and Sulawesi seas. From colorful nudibranchs to cleaner shrimps and pipe fish, to larger species like cuttlefish and clown fish. Each description offers an insight on distribution, habitat, size, life habits, and U/W photo tips. Illustrated with more than 800 extraordinary color photographs and written in a clear, concise, informative style, this book is both a macro and fish field guide for all serious divers from the Maldives to Australia. A must for traveling divers.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Reef Fish ID Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Gerald Allen, Rodger Steene, Paul Humann, & Ned Deloach

At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches.

Click here to buy it at Amazon.

Diving Southeast Asia There's a Cockroach in My Regulator
by Undercurrent

The Best of Undercurrent: Bizarre and Brilliant True Diving Tales from Thirty Years of Undercurrent.

Shipping now is our brand new, 240-page book filled with the best of the unusual, the entertaining, and the jaw dropping stories Undercurrent has published. They’re true, often unbelievable, and always fascinating. We’re offering it to you now for the special price of just $14.95.

Click here to order.

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.


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