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  4. Freediving in the Maldives: the best places and hotels to explore the Indian Ocean

The Maldives is one of the best freediving destinations in the world. This is a coral kingdom located in the Indian Ocean. 26 atolls and 1,200 islets surrounded by magnificent reefs make the Maldives a mecca for underwater life lovers. More than 1000 colorful exotic fish, whale sharks, sea turtles, dolphins - all this is part of the Maldivian reality. The colorful reef fascinates with its diversity: over 180 species of coral and 400 species of mollusks! The clear water allows you to examine in detail all the beauties of the coral kingdom.

There are over 200 diving sites in the Maldives, most of them near coral reefs.

Freedivers dive without equipment like divers. This sport - breath-holding diving - is available to everyone. Even beginners who swim only with a snorkel and a mask can do it. Experienced freedivers can dive to a depth of several tens of meters, while beginners try to swim their first meters down, practicing their breathing.

The upside of freediving is that the dive allows the diver to see marine life in the same way as the diver, but without equipment. Experienced divers can explore the beauty of the reef while holding their breath. Freediving gives freedom to snorkelers who are not ready to wear heavy diving gear.


The best freediving spots in the Maldives

Cocoa Corner

This corner is famous for the fact that it is just here that you can see a real shark show. It is best to view the underwater world at a depth of 25-30 meters. The visibility just reaches 30 meters. The site is pretty calm, only 1-2 knots. It can be viewed from different angles.

Banana Reef

The second name of the freediving paradise is Gaathugiri. One of the oldest sites in the Maldives. On its eastern side, you can find angel fish: whole flocks swim in front of the eyes of admiring divers. There can be a thousand fish in one school: freedivers sometimes lose their bearings when they find themselves inside a flickering school. Also, the site will introduce you to sea bass, moray eels, colorful coral fish.

The reef is interesting for experienced freedivers because of the coral in the western part, which drops off abruptly to a depth of 25 meters. It looks like a semicircular wall that houses a cave. It can be found at a depth of 10-15 m. It is home to squirrel fish, perches, moray eels, sand grains and other exotic fish.

In the northeastern part of the reef, there are seamounts with spacious caves, steep slopes and gutters. This part of the site is interesting for freedivers who like to dive deep. Here you can meet reef sharks. When diving, you need to be careful, because the site is always full of boats with tourists.


Bathalaa Maagaa Kan Thila

A popular dive site for sharks and rays. Interestingly, soft and hard corals can be seen in this area. Suitable for both experienced freedivers and beginners: the depth of the site is from 5 to 30 m. The most beautiful view opens from the eastern side of the reef: a variety of corals and many marine life. It is the home of reef sharks, barracuda, horse mackerel, sea bass. Although it is possible to dive at any time of the year, the most favorable months for exploring the dive site are from November to April. Just at this time, a current from the east comes into the corridor. Visibility usually depends on the season. At this point, it is 20-40 meters. This corner is not for beginners: the currents are quite strong, but will appeal to experienced freedivers.

Broken rock

One of the most interesting places near Ari Atoll, which looks like a broken rock. It is divided by a canyon, dividing the site into western and eastern parts. The canyon is two meters wide. The upper part of the dive site is rich in tropical fish and invertebrates, turtles and barracuda. And you can dive in this place to a depth of 32 meters. But this site is only for experienced divers, because strong currents can be a dangerous obstacle for beginners. The maximum diving depth is about 30-32 m. Due to the strong currents, it is worth diving only for experienced freedivers. Visibility is variable - from 6-7 m to 20 m.

Coordinates: 3.434306, 72.800944

Dhevana Kandu

A must-see for those visiting Vaavu Atoll. Many caves, overhangs and a rich underwater reef with colorful corals attract freedivers here. It is worth going to meet reef sharks, rays, colorful coral fish. And even poisonous puffer fish, angel fish and lizard fish can be found in the south of the dive site. You can dive up to 15 meters. The colorful reef wall and living reef cushions make this site special.

Coordinates: 3.606944, 73.293083

Shark reef

If you fancy seeing sharks up close, head to this dive site. This is the best location for observing reef dwellers. Their refuge is a cave located at a depth of 33 meters. Nearby there are ledges from which you can watch the life of gray reef sharks. But if their proximity does not appeal, then there are many other marine life: huge tuna, glass fish, puffer fish. You can find them on the north side. And on the south side there are soft corals. As for visibility, you can consider beauty up to 20 meters, and the recommended diving depth is up to 30 m. The currents are quite strong, so this place is only for professionals.

Coordinates: 3.862250, 73.379306

Fesdhoo wreck

Interested in ancient sunken ships? A 30-meter fishing boat rests here. It has long been chosen by fish and corals. Only a professional capable of diving up to 29 meters will be able to see him. The ideal time to dive is in the morning, because the hammer fish is showing up with the first rays of the sun. Good visibility will allow you to see everything in detail and get acquainted with moray eels and reef sharks.

Coordinates: 4.010528, 72.809889

By the way, the W Maldives resort is located very close. Book your villas in this 5-star resort!

W Maldives

W Maldives

Freediving training in Maldives

The island resorts have certified diving centers where they teach the basics of freediving and talk about safety.

  • Freediving for beginners.

As a rule, the first attempts of freediving take place on the slopes of the reef or inside the atoll. Most of the hotels are surrounded by so-called house reefs, which are located around the hotel island. Perfect for freediving, especially for the first steps. Beginner training takes place in shallow parts of the lagoon, within the house reef. Then they discover new depths for themselves. In just one training course, with the help of professional instructors, you can achieve good results.

  • Experienced freedivers.

They are much more interested in the outer slopes of the reef. It is interesting to dive in the channels and straits between the atolls. It is there that you can meet mantas and whale sharks. But this is a pleasure for experienced freedivers, because in such places the current can be quite strong. Coral slides are also interesting for experienced divers. Such reefs have not become full-fledged islands, and in order to reach them, you need to descend by 5-25 meters. Their base is located at a depth of about 40 meters. It is there that there are many crevices and caves with the most outlandish inhabitants. The tops of the islands are of great interest to explorers of the ocean depths. Freedivers are attracted by sunken ships: they attract tourists from all over the world. There are hotels near which such boats are located: many divers and freedivers go there.

Anantara Veli Maldives
Anantara Veli Maldives

Lesson cost

The cost of the first freediving lessons will cost about $ 50. The lesson lasts about an hour and a half. This time is enough to get the skills for independent diving into depths with a mask and snorkel.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

Best freediving hotels in Maldives

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa

The hotel's house reef is of interest to freedivers by the remains of a nearby shipwreck. He was chosen by fish and corals: the ship is filled with lionfish, Napoleon fish, and swallow fish. And on the reef, you can meet a turtle, puffer fish. Ideal for both beginners and experienced divers. 

One of the most beautiful islands in the remote Lhaviyani Atoll . A serene vacation takes place among the white sands and gentle azure of the ocean.

  • 387 rooms
  • 2 spa centers
  • 7 bars and 7 restaurants

A unique hotel - almost the only one in the Maldives with its own golf course. High service and excellent service are guaranteed. The restaurants serve gourmet food, including Japanese cuisine. The teppanyaki-table deserves special attention, where fish and seafood are cooked in front of the guests on a hot surface. The hotel's cuisine is diverse: Greek, Spanish, Italian, luxurious tables are served. And in the evening they arrange bright parties. There are two spas for complete relaxation and relaxation. The choice of water activities and excursions is impressive. 

Transfer: the journey by seaplane will take 40 minutes.

Book the best hotel for your vacation now: choose your villa at Kuredu Island Resort & Spa.

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa
Kuredu Island Resort & Spa


With one of the finest diving centers in the Maldives, the hotel offers unique diving spots. Freedivers will be able to see bright colorful reefs, meet different types of sharks, and meet green turtles. There are more than 50 interesting freediving spots around the island, suitable for both professionals and beginners.

A small romantic island, immersed in greenery, with a well-developed infrastructure. It will appeal to fans of outdoor activities: from water activities to night fishing. The restaurants serve freshly prepared fish and seafood. The main restaurant operates on a buffet basis. Has its own spa with Thai, Indian and Balinese care systems.

  • 2 restaurants and 2 bars
  • Duniye Spa
  • Infinity pool

Water sports: such as surfing, catamaran, windsurfing. Fitness center, volleyball. By the way, this resort adheres to the concept of “adults only”. Only guests over 18 years old stay at the hotel.

Road: 40 minutes seaplane flight from the International Airport Whelan.

Find the perfect villa for your Maldives holiday: book it at Hotel Komandoo.


Hurawalhi Island Resort

The five-star certified diving center will help beginners to experience the world of underwater depths, and professionals to get the most out of freediving. Freediving around the island is an unforgettable experience as Lhaviyani Atoll is home to an incredible variety of marine life. The best dive sites are located here, including walls, colorful reefs and many canals for those looking for big fish. You can dive several times on the house reef during your stay, and there are more than 50 dive sites in the area. This is a habitat for coral fish, sharks, rays, turtles.   

The resort itself will give you peace and tranquility. It operates on an "adults only" concept and accepts guests aged 15 and over.

  • 98 accommodations
  • 3 bars and 3 restaurants
  • Wine Vault

By the way, the hotel has a center that deals with the protection and study of manta rays, and these marine life are often found near the island. The spa center will give you relaxation: it is considered one of the best in the Maldives. The highlight of the resort is the underwater restaurant located at a depth of 5.8 m, where you can taste haute cuisine.

The seaplane transfer will take 40 minutes.

Don't miss out on the finest villa at Hurawalhi Island Resort.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Try freediving at Lily Beach Resort is to reward yourself with the opportunity to see whale sharks and manta rays. They are frequent guests in the waters here. Also of interest are the reefs covered with colorful soft corals. A lush green hotel offers a world of luxury and pleasure, while an exotic house reef close to the coastline will allow you to enjoy the marine life off the coast, even if not everyone wants to freedive. This is one of the luxury hotels in the Maldives, where they provide high class service. The first resort to introduce the Premium all inclusive system.

  • 125 villas
  • 2 swimming pools
  • 4 restaurants

Guests are offered 80 varieties of wines from all over the world, French champagne, free excursions, an excellent spa and great beauty treatments. Water sports, wakeboarding, glass bottom kayaking. And for active - tours on Segway around the island, tennis courts and a fitness room.

Seaplane journey from Male takes 25 minutes.

Spend your holidays in a luxury villa: book the Lily Beach Resort & Spa.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

The legendary hotel is located near one of the world's best whale shark diving sites, Sun Island . You can meet them all year round. Interestingly, the southern coast of the island has a plateau at a depth of 5-10 meters. Therefore, it is easy for freedivers to meet whale sharks, which are frequent guests in these parts. Experienced freedivers and beginners alike can enjoy the meeting.

The hotel itself is known not only for its high service and luxury, but also for its underwater restaurant, built at a depth of 5 meters near a coral reef. There is also a fantastic underwater residence that has no analogues in the Maldives.

  • 151 room
  • 12 restaurants and bars
  • 2 infinity pools

The restaurants serve Asian, Italian, Japanese, Indian cuisine, grill. There are 20 thousand bottles in the wine cellar. From entertainment - catamarans, boat trips with a glass bottom, jet skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, wakeboarding and much more.

It will take 35 minutes by seaplane from Male.

Choose your villa for the perfect holiday in the luxury resort of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island


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