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The Best Maldives Resorts for Snorkeling we’ve seen & a Small Guide to Snorkeling

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High Listed in the TOP 10 Tropical Destinations in the World for their surreal Picture Perfect landscapes and extraordinary Resort collection, the Maldives are also equally famous for their underwater wonders, bringing Diving and Snorkeling as key assets in the search for a Dreamy holiday in the archipelago.

Maldives Snorkeling - Best resorts
Snorkeling in Maldives…Welcome to Wonderland | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

A lot has already been written about Diving in Maldives and I am sure you will easily find your ideal Resort. Diving is absolutely everywhere. Some Atolls are better than others, but the diving site diversity is so huge that the only “difficulty” resides in the Resort choice…and the budget of course ( Note for Divers : refer to this Diver interview Series for more ).

This said, let’s come to the main focus of today : Snorkeling…

The easiest way to explore Maldives Underwater World.

The Maldives fascinate, attract and often make you become a snorkeler even you’ve never done it before. How many of us have tried it there for the first time ? Many and no matter the age.

Maldives spectacular Reefs for snorkeling Aerial View
Maldives Snorkeling Reefs from Above

The country 26 Atolls and 1000’s Paradise Islands are an endless and fascinating playground with countless kilometres of reefs, populated by myriads of small and big sea creatures.

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Here at Dreaming of Maldives we frequently receive requests from readers looking for particular resorts that also offer snorkeling at proximity.

Dear Reader,

If you are also searching for this kind of Resort then this list is for you.

We have gathered the Best Maldives Resorts for snorkeling we’ve seen so far. There are more, but I do not wish to feature them here as we do not know them or did not visit them for too long.

Note : If you are a regular Maldives traveller you can jump to the list, but If still you wonder about snorkeling in Maldives, then you should read what follows.

Fantastic Turtle encounter during a snorkeling trip - Baros Maldives
Fantastic Turtle encounter during a snorkeling trip @ Baros Maldives

Snorkeling: What to Know Before You Go,

Essential tips and advices

Where can I snorkel in Maldives ?

You can snorkel everywhere in Maldives just as diving. But not always directly from the island shores.
Sometimes, you have to take a boat to go on a snorkeling trip. In 99%, it is a paying excursion.

To sum-up, you will basically find 3 types of Island Resorts :

1 –  TYPE 1. The one with a close-by House-Reef everywhere around the island.
2 – TYPE 2. The one with a huge blue lagoon everywhere around the island.
3 – TYPE 3. The one with ( what I call ) the Dreamy Duo : a close-by house-reef + a wide Lagoon.

The 1st one is the Ultimate choice for purist.
The 2nd one is extremely impressive for the eyes and a Dream for swimming and sailing but you will have to go on a snorkeling trip by boat.
The 3rd one is a mix of both that will suit everybody and all ages due to its multiple range of water sport activities, including snorkeling close to the beach.

Who can snorkel in Maldives ?

Everybody !
Why ?

Because you have a huge opportunity to start and explore in calm and crystal clear waters. The Maldives are such a beautiful and endless natural Aquarium.

maldives natural aquarium
Maldives Natural Aquarium

No need to go far and deep to experience these wonders and get dazzled.

Maldives offer a fantastic visibility and have some of the clearest waters on Earth with all year round water temperature at 20°-30°C (68°-86°F), and lagoons often reaching 32°C (90°F).

According to the resorts, it can be just at a step off your villa, close to the Island shores, just walking in the lagoon.

– If you are not a swimmer then just put your mask on, walk a few steps inside the lagoon and bend down to look inside the water…you’ll probably spot some life around. No waves, no danger, even for the smallest and oldest ones.

– If it is your first time, you can already start to enjoy these beautiful sceneries by simply having a mask and fins and wading your way along the surface of the waters.

– If you’re a bit more comfortable, just grab your gear composed of 1 mask, a pair of fins, a snorkel tube and according to the circumstances ( physical condition, age, currents ) a snorkeling vest. Just go in, alternate between floating and swimming and look. Explore, dive in, practice your apnea !

What Can I see Under ?

Practically everything. The variety of sea species is too big to be listed here. But some days, you will meet or see from afar some Dolphins, Rays, Reef sharks, Hawksbill Turtles, stunning coral plates in some resorts ( a rare beauty nowadays ) , Morays, Napoleons, reef fishes of all colours and sizes, alone or in groups, micro creatures, squids…there is so much to see down there.

Black Tip Reef Shark ...A common encounter in Maldives
Black Tip Reef Shark – Snorkeling @ Baros maldives

Resorts with close-by snorkeling will often offer dramatic drop-off, home of thousands of creatures and various coral formation.

In the more shallow waters you will also see plenty of small and sometimes bigger creatures. It’s a lot about luck and moments. Remember : There is no appointment.

Go as often as you wish, you will always get marvelled.

General Snorkeling Tips & Advices

Gorgeous Reefs - Snorkeling at Six Senses Laamu - Laamu Atoll Maldives
Gorgeous Reefs – Snorkeling @ Six Senses Laamu

1/ Good snorkeling skills are recommended if you plan to snorkel around an Island that has a close-by reef. Moderate to strong currents can be expected according to the island and season.
Before going for an exploration : Please visit the resort Dive Center and follow the panels for exits and current warnings.

2/ Apply a liberal dose of sunscreen ( mostly on your back ) about 10-20 minutes prior to snorkel -Choose an SPF of at least 30.
The Green Note about sun block cream : An Eco-friendly biodegradable sunscreen is a MUST. What is good for your body is also good for living Corals.
The ideal is to have a rash guard shirt, made for the water and protecting against ultraviolet sun rays.
However a white tee-shirt will do if necessary ( it has helped us several times ). Chose it tight to be able to swim and move comfortably.

3/ Pay a double attention to children. Keep them close to you, eventually hand-by-hand for the youngest or the ones who cannot swim well -yet and protect them well from the Sun too ( suncream + T-shirt).
A snorkeling vest is strongly advised if you plan to snorkel on the resort house reef.

4/ If you want to save money and feel comfy try to save space for your snorkeling gear in your suitcase.
All resorts have snorkeling equipment but it will cost you around 8 USD per day/ per person (exc.taxes).
Make the math for a couple or a family if you plan to snorkel several days, it can save you a lot of money.

Baby sea turle reaching the sea in Maldives
FRAGILE Maldives Nature. A baby Turtle walking towards the sea

 

The 2 Rules / Commitments to snorkel

DO NOT TOUCH what you see.
DO NOT STEP on Corals.

Resort Prices

Because of the wide range of Resort categories presented here, you will have to spend anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand USD

More information About The Resorts

We have essential Insider’s guides about many of the Resorts presented in this list.
For more Visit our section : Maldives Resorts – Our Selection with Insider Looks & Exclusive Contents.

More on Snorkeling and Diving :

– You will find a complete insider review, information and prices inside each Dreamy Resort feature.

– I’ve had the chance to interview many of these Resort Dive center Managers. Discover their Interviews here

The List

This List features 15 Resorts listed according to their Snorkeling Quality only, no matter their category.

From the simple 3 Stars to the Luxury 5 * Star Resort, they all offer great house-reefs and easy access to snorkeling areas from their beaches and/or their Villas.

About the Photos : I’ve tried to illustrate each Resort with an Aerial View.
Aerial views are very helpful to study Resorts Reefs and surroundings..

Resorts are listed in Alphabetical Order.

Anantara Kihavah Villas. Baa Atoll.

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Anantara Kihavah Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Anantara Kihavah Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives
Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives House Reef | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 1300 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Anantara Kihavah Villas

MALDIVES ESSENTIAL RESORT

OUR VISIT & REVIEW

Maldives Essential resort

Angsana Ihuru Maldives. North Male Atoll

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Angsana Ihuru Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives Island close-by House-Reef
Angsana Ihuru Maldives The Island close-by House-Reef | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Angsana Ihuru Maldives Best Island Resort for snorkeling in Maldives Reef exit
Angsana Ihuru Maldives one of the Resort Reef exit | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 700 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Angsana Ihuru Maldives
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Bandos Island Resort & Spa. North Male Atoll.

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 4* Resort

Bandos Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Aerial view
Bandos Maldives Snorkeling Reefs Aerial view | Photo courtesy Bandos Maldives

Bandos Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.villa
Bandos Maldives Villas | Photo courtesy Bandos Maldives

Average BUDGET 300 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Bandos Island Resort & Spa

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. North Male Atoll.

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Resort

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Aerial view
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru best resort for snorkeling in Maldives
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives. Villa | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 1000 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Baros Maldives. North Male Atoll.

Type 3 / Dreamy Duo : Close-by House Reef and Wide Lagoon

Category : 5* Resort

Baros Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Aerial view
Baros Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Baros Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Villa
Baros Maldives Water Villa | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 790 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Baros Maldives is a Partner Resort !

Exclusive Offer Baros Maldives
Baros Maldives

MALDIVES DREAMY RESORT

OUR VISIT & COMPLETE REVIEW

Baros Maldives Dreamy resort

Diving Centre Manager Interview

Interview Diver Maldives

Bathala Island Resort. North Ari Atoll.

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 3* Resort

Bathala Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Snorkeling House Reefs
Bathala House-Reef  | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Bathala best resort for snorkeling in Maldives
Bathala Bungalow with direct access to the reef directly form the beach | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 300 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Bathala Island Resort

Dusit Thani Maldives. Baa Atoll.

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Dusit Thani Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Aerial view
Dusit Thani Maldives Snorkeling & Island Aerial View | Photo courtesy Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit Thani Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.villa
Dusit Thani Maldives Water Villa with direct access to snorkeling | Photo courtesy Dusit Thani Maldives

Average BUDGET 850 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Dusit Thani Maldives

Filitheyo Island Resort Maldives. Faafu Atoll

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 4* Resort

Filitheyo Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives.Aerial view
Filitheyo Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View

Filitheyo Maldives Best Resort for snorkeling in Maldives
Filitheyo Maldives Water Villas with direct access to snorkeling | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 200 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Filitheyo Island Resort Maldives

Diving Centre Manager Interview

Interview Diver Maldives



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Kandolhu Island Maldives. North Ari Atoll

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Kandolhu best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial view
Kandolhu Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo courtesy Kandolhu Maldives

Kandolhu best resort for snorkeling in Maldives.villa
Kandolhu Maldives, Water Villa with house-reef access | Photo courtesy Kandolhu Maldives

Average BUDGET 590 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Kandolhu Island Maldives

Lily Beach Resort & Spa Maldives. South Ari Atoll

Type 1 / Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* All-Inclusive Resort

Lily Beach best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Lily Beach Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Lily Beach best resort for snorkeling in Maldives.house reef
Lily Beach Maldives House Reef & Water Villas  | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 680 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Lily Beach Resort & Spa Maldives.

MALDIVES ESSENTIAL RESORT

OUR VISIT & REVIEW

Maldives Essential resort

Mirihi Island Resort Maldives. South Ari Atoll

Type 3 / Dreamy Duo : Close-by House Reef and Wide Lagoon

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Mirihi best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Mirihi Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View  | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Mirihi best resort for snorkeling in Maldives.house reef
Mirihi Maldives Snorkeling Reefs around the arrival Jetty | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 500 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Mirihi Island Resort Maldives

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. Gaafu Alifu Atoll

Type 1/ Close-by House Reef

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Park Hyatt Hadahaa best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo courtesy Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. house reef villa
Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives Villas| Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 610 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa



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Reethi Beach Resort. Baa Atoll

Type 1/ Close-by House Reef

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Reethi Beach best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Reethi Beach Resort Maldives Snorkeling on the House-Reef | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Lily Beach best resort for snorkeling in Maldives.house reef
Reethi Beach Resort Maldives The Island | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 320 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

closetologo
Reethi Beach Resort

Diving Centre Manager Interview

Interview Diver Maldives

Six Senses Laamu. Laamu Atoll

Type 3 / Dreamy Duo : Close-by House Reef and Wide Lagoon

Category : 5* Luxury Resort

Six Senses Laamu best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
Six Senses Laamu Snorkeling Reefs ( on the left-side ), Lagoon & Island Aerial View | Photo Courtesy Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. house reef villa
Six Senses Laamu Water Villa | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 780 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

Six Senses Laamu

MALDIVES ESSENTIAL RESORT

OUR VISIT & REVIEW

Maldives Essential resort

Diving Centre Manager Interview

Interview Diver Maldives

W Retreat & Spa Maldives. North Ari Atoll

Type 1/ Close-by House Reef.

Category : 5* Resort

W Maldives best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. Aerial View
W Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Island Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

W Maldives best resort for snorkeling in Maldives. house reef
W Maldives Snorkeling Reefs & Spa Aerial View | Photo by Sakis Papadopoulos

Average BUDGET 830 USD price per Villa / night (for a Standard Villa)

W Retreat & Spa Maldives

MALDIVES DREAMY RESORT

OUR VISIT & COMPLETE REVIEW

W Maldives Dreamy resort

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3 Comments

  1. Dennis ter Braak

    My favorite housereef for snorkeling is by far ellaidhoo nort ari atol. We have been to 5 of the above lokations but none could match ellaidhoo

    Reply
  2. Wakooda

    This is a very informative post. Maldives is one of the best places to visit for everyone. Whoever will get the chance to see Maldives will surely be captured by its beauty.

    Reply
  3. Conor

    I stayed at Constance Moofushi and found the snorkelling from the room to be very good, and very close. I saw a shark and a stingray within 50 metres of the room. If the listed resorts have better snorkelling directly from the room, they must be amazing indeed.

    Reply

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