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Last updated : Nov 2009
Maldives Sports
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Watersports

Excellent and very accessible underwater life makes the Maldives among the world’s best diving and snorkeling destinations. Every resort has professional dive courses, taught by well qualified multilingual instructors providing many different courses, ranging from new learners to full PADI certification. All resorts provide standard diving equipment and many have underwater cameras available for rent.

Dive schools offer year round daily boat trips to dive sites throughout the islands. Special trips and night dives for more skillful divers are also offered. Most resorts have glass-bottomed boats for reef sightseeing trips.

The following are the best dive spots in the Maldives:

  Maldives Victory Wreck: Sank in 1981, the Maldives Victory Wreck rests on the west side of Hulule Island at 35 metres or 115 feet deep. Because of strong currents, this dive is only suitable for expert divers.

 Mushimasmingili Thila (Shark Thila): Situated in the northern part of Ari Atoll, near Fesdu, Maayafushi Halaveli and Ellaidhu Islands. Well known for its plenty of fish, particularly the grey reef shark, tropical reef fish and giant snappers.

 Guraidhoo Corner: Close to Losfushi, Guraidhoo and Kandooma Islands, this reef sits on the east side of South Male Atoll. Since the vertical currents are strong, this dive is suitable for expert divers only. The reef is renowned for its large fish, such as grey reef sharks, eagle rays, large snappers and sailfish.

  Kuda Rah Thila (Broken Rock): Situated in the southernmost tip of Ari Atoll, near Dhigurah and Dhangethi Islands. Excellent for novice divers since the currents are quite weak.

  Banana Reef: On the eastern side of North Male Atoll, close to the islands of Fullmoon, Fushi, Farukolh, and Kurumba. Powerful currents make this abundant with marine life, including reef sharks, oriental sweetlips and banner fish.

The huge lagoons surrounding many of the islands are perfect for windsurfing, a sport available in all resorts with windsurfing schools offered in most of them. Surfing has currently become popular and many resorts on the atoll tips have great waves, especially those in the north of South Male Atolls.

Many resorts operate frequent boat trips to surf breaks. The ideal time to surf is during November to April (the northeast monsoon). An index of the best surfing locations can be obtained from the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (see Contact Addresses section).

Most resorts also offer water-skiing facilities and catamarans for hire. Many of the major resorts also provide facilities and classes for parasailing. To allow tourists to see more than only one of the Maldives’ many islands, various types of sailing is offered including relaxing cruises or diving safaris cruises around the atolls.

Many boats provide luxury rooms with all the modern conveniences, while others offer more standard amenities. Additional information is available at the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (see Contact section).

Note: Travellers should be aware that the Maldives enforces a strict reef and marine conservation policy. Severe penalties can be imposed for abusing the environment (see also ‘Prohibited Items’ in the Duty Free section).

Fishing

For the population of the Maldives, fishing is a lifeline and, with more than 99% of the Maldives’ total area consisting of water, the country enjoys some of the world’s best fishing. Many resorts provide fishing trips aboard modern speedboats suitable for big game fishing. Night fishing for snappers, groupers, squirrelfish or barracuda is especially popular. Fishing trips usually end with a barbecue at the resort with the day’s catch being cooked and eaten.

Note: For conservation, sport fishing is only allowed using the tag and release method. Harpoon guns and hunting of marine mammals like dolphins, whales and large fish such as the whale shark is sternly prohibited. Fishing and collecting the following is also prohibited: turtle, berried and small lobster, Napolean wrasse, giant clam, conch and black coral.

Excursions

Various types of excursions are offered. Island hopping tours normally lasts a half or full and often combine a trip to a fishing village with a visit to an uninhabited island (where a beach barbecue is usually served). Speedboats and dhoni, the traditional boats can be privately hired. Options are available for spending a solo day and night an uninhabited island.

Aerial excursions frequently combine aerial sightseeing with diving. Photo flights are also a possibility. Additional information can be acquired from the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (see Contact section).

Other

Some resorts have sport facilities such as tennis, volleyball, football and badminton.
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