Experiencing the underwater world of the Maldives is truly spectacular and incredibly memorable. I can still close my eyes and picture the colorful fish popping in and out of the labyrinth of intricate coral reefs, wishing I was still in paradise. There is no doubt as to why the Maldives has been a popular destination at the top of many traveler’s bucket lists. And we are no exception.
Both are located in the South Ari Atoll, which is one of the largest Atolls in the Maldives, and consist of 105 islands divided up into Northern and Southern sections.
From the moment we lowered our mask and snorkel covered faces into the Indian Ocean it was clear that we were about to become face to face with some of the most colorful and curious marine life that live in the South Ari Atoll.
With such a large array of reef inhabitants, including tropical fish, stingrays, sea turtles, sharks and coral, its no wonder the Maldives is known for some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. A real highlight for us was the incredible experience swimming side-by-side with the oceans largest fish species, the Whale Shark!
We did our whale shark excursion through The Amazing Noovilu and were so happy we did. Unlike most of the large groups coming from the resorts, we were a small group of seven on a speedboat. After getting the opportunity to swim with our new whale shark friend, we all hopped back on the boat for breakfast long after most of the resort Dhoni’s had already left.
One of our evenings we walked down to the beach on Mahibadhoo to witness the bioluminescent plankton sparkle as it washed ashore. The plankton reacts to tension or stress by emitting light from their cells, which to us, appears blue. We not only saw the blue sparks lights up as the waves crashed but during night snorkeling we all shut off our flashlights, waved our hands arounds and watched as the ocean around us flickered blue.
After a couple of adventurous days with The Amazing Noovilu, we checked in to Lily Beach Resort and Spa to experience a little bit of luxury in one of the over-the-water bungalows. I had dreamed about staying in one of these for a very long time and was glad that we decided it was worth the splurge.
Every morning I would wake up and excitedly check to see what sea life was swimming right below our bungalow!
Titan Trigger fish (Giant Trigger fish) Don’t get too close: these devils are aggressive. The one pictured took a chunk out of my flipper with his large sharp teeth. To his credit, I did chase him a bit to take this photo.
While on our way to swim with the whale shark, a large pod of dolphins swam and jumped all around our boat!
Seriously guys, this place is magical and often had me wondering, is this real life?
Of course you are going to want to be in the sun and ocean as much as possible so, as always, protect yourself from those harsh rays. Which are inevitably stronger in the Maldives due to its location just north of the Equator.
Make sure to apply lots of sunscreen and wear a rash guard when snorkeling. And don’t forget about the backs of your legs as those areas are the most vulnerable to the sun!
All these photos were shot with our GoPro Hero 3. Since then we have upgraded to the Leica XU camera and the GoPro Hero 4. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.