A cluster of more than thousands of small coral islands beautifully lying on the Indian Ocean, Maldives offers mesmerising scenic beauty, refreshing and soothing environment and adventurous sports to spend few special days of your lives. The island of Maldives presents amazing holidaying options to each and every one coming from different parts of the world and with varied purposes of their visit. There are many water sports that make your vacation exciting and a memorable one.
One of the most popular sports amongst tourists is snorkeling. Maldivian Islands offer exceptional conditions for the sport. The high visibility of the water, rich marine life along with favourable water temperature makes the sport all the more enjoyable. There are almost 70 different species of colourful coral reefs and more than 700 species of fishes and other aqua marine creatures in the Indian Ocean that can be spotted while snorkeling in Maldives. Some of the creatures that you can look are sharks, turtles, and anemones, schools of sweetlips, eels, octopus and rays. Dogtooth Tuna, Tuna, Trevallies, Jacks, Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Mating octopus, Wahoo and Fusiliers can also be spotted easily during snorkelling. If you are more interested in seeing mantas and whale sharks, Snorkelling during late summer and during the fall can be a good idea. Along with this, the high visibility which is up to 15 - 40 metres (50 - 130 feet) also make Maldives one of the best places to go for this sport. Months of March and April, just prior to the onset of the wet monsoon offer maximum visibility of water. The temperature of water is moderate too. It is 25°C (77°F) on an average creating a favourable situation for snorkelling.
The best place to go for snorkelling is the reefs. Features like cliffs, terraces and caves make slopes interesting to go for the sport. You also have the chances to see big fish species as the water gets deeper. Though you can go for snorkeling anywhere in Maldives, there are some sites which present exceptional conditions. These are Sunlight Thila, Rasfari and the protected marine sanctuary of Kuda Haa, shallow enough for the sport. Banana Reef also offers a good site, although has strong current.
Along with suitable natural conditions, Maldives have excellent facilities for the sport making itself one of the most sought after snorkelling destinations. Most of the resort and hotels in Maldives have highly qualified instructors along with all the necessary facilities and equipment needed for the sport. Equipment like mask, snorkel and fins are provided to all the tourists. Most of the resorts also have dive boats to take you to the sites good for snorkelling. If interested, you can also get lessons in shallow lagoons or swimming pools by the experts appointed by the resorts. There are various snorkeling trips also organised by the resorts and hotels such as half day snorkel trips, full day excursions and night snorkeling trips. While going for snorkelling you should take few precautions as well such as checking tide tables, as water depth and clarity will change with the tides and also tidal currents and speed.