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Animal encounters

Diving in the Maldives at Centara Resorts

Zoe Betchley May 19, 2017

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced scuba diver the warm waters of the Maldives is a dream destination for exploring the big blue. With shallow crystal-clear lagoons, house reefs and shipwrecks and participation in environmentally responsible diving initiatives to preserve the precious ecosystem, we couldn’t think of a better place to experience a life aquatic.

Why snorkel or scuba dive on holiday?

If you’re looking to unwind, scuba diving or snorkelling is one of the best ways to switch off during a holiday. No dive is the same and you spot creatures you seriously never knew existed. The weightlessness is the closest you’ll feel to flying, in an environment where you’re focused solely on breathing and what you see around you. Not only can you explore coral gardens teeming with rainbow-coloured sea creatures, turning you instantly into a marine biologist, but shipwrecks also create a lasting impression. If you’re visiting the Maldives be sure to take a peek below the waves; it’s an experience you will never forget. Here are two amazing resorts to make your dreams come true.

Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa – a paradise for families

The adventure begins the moment you step onto your seaplane flight from Malé airport. Flying above these island dots for 25 minutes provides unparalleled views of this island nation before you land at your resort in style.

The South Ari Atoll upon which the Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa is situated is a world of barefoot bliss, a laidback island offering both activity and relaxation in equal measures, whose Ultimate All Inclusive package delivers so much more than champagne breakfasts and sunset cruises – scuba diving can even be included on the generous package. So not only do you get to tick the Maldives off your travel wish-list, you also have the opportunity to explore a world that many people do not see.

Highlights

  • Three complimentary dives per person per seven day stay
  • Green Fins Certification for environmentally responsible diving
  • Stunning family overwater villas
  • Camp Safari Kid’s Club featuring extensive activities
  • Fishing trips, sunset cruises and champagne breakfasts included

Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa has everything you could desire from a tropical paradise.  Notice the sun-blanched timbered walkways, the thatched roofed buildings including various restaurants such as The Reef situated next to the infinity edge swimming pool or the Azzuri Mare Restaurant perched over the lagoon, perfect for dining on fresh caught seafood. Traditional Maldivian music and dance provide cultural entertainment especially at the Aqua Bar as the sun sets over the ocean.

The resort is a fantasy island for children, an exotic playground of swaying palms, powder soft sands dotted with scuttling ghost crabs, plus indoor play zones, fish feeding and arts and crafts and a weekly programme that allows them to discover more of the island. Family-sized overwater villas are a rarity in the Maldives; here they perch over a safe shallow lagoon offering a source of endless fascination to young, enquiring minds. Whether staying in a beach villa or an overwater villa, there’s always a connection to the water.

Best island for diving in the Maldives?

Above the waves there’s a range of watersports and the blue lagoon provides the ideal marine playground. Use this as the perfect opportunity to take up windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and fishing, plus stand-up paddleboarding can also be ticked off your wish-list. We recommend the beach-chic luxury of a Sunset Water Villa with steps providing direct access to the water. Children can snorkel to spot turtles, rays, octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish and more.

We believe this is one of the most accessible locations for diving holidays. Beginners can gain internationally recognised PADI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water certification here, exploring the enchanting house reef and shipwreck dive sites just off shore; an easy escape to a kaleidoscopic underwater world.  

Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa – barefoot bliss

One reason why the Maldives is such an amazing destination for those who love the ocean is the immediate connection you have with the sea upon arrival. The experience begins with an exhilarating 15 minute speedboat journey from Malé to Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa, a serene and intimate adult’s only paradise in North Malé Atoll. As you bounce across the waves, watching as the tiny dot of green palm trees and white sand shoreline looms larger on the horizon, you’ll see a pristine island of light and airy villas bordered by a shimmering lagoon. With a romantic, castaway ambiance in evidence, the beach villas dotted among the vegetation take full advantage of those sensational ocean views. Choose the overwater villas and you’ll spend most of your time on the decking pointing at gorgeous sunsets.  

There’s a range of dining options from Thai cuisine to fresh caught seafood, on the beach under the stars or brought to your villa for privacy and comfort or served at one of many restaurants lining the shore. When not exploring the ocean, couples and honeymooners can spend their days relaxing in the Cenvaree Spa or taking advantage of the fitness centre to stay active and healthy.

Highlights

  • A serene adult’s only resort
  • A short speedboat transfer from Malé
  • PADI certified dive centre with all equipment provided
  • Stunning house reef just off shore
  • Amazing dive sites within a 20 minute boat ride
  • A wide range of world class dining options

Out to sea

A full package of water bound activities include night snorkeling to spot creatures who are more active after dark and snorkel safaris that are the perfect education to expand your undersea knowledge. For those who’d like to take their PADI dive certificate, the crystal clear waters of the North Malé Atoll are the ideal marine environment to take your first steps into a new undersea world, especially when average water temperatures are 29 degrees Celsius.

Numerous fascinating dives sites are situated close to the island, some as little as five minutes away are accessible by dhoni boat ride. These include the Giraavaru Cave, Shark Point, Lion’s Head and Kikki Reef. The Black Coral Reef and Maldives Victory Wreck are also less than an hour away.   

Have we tempted you to grab your flippers and a mask and dive straight in? To explore more of the Indian Ocean, either above or below the waves, visit our Maldives pages or call our Destination Specialists for advice and inspiration to live out your dreams of a life aquatic.