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Snorkelling vs Scuba Diving In Maldives: Which Is Better?

Manta Ray - Snorkelling vs scuba diving in Maldives

If you have a trip planned to visit The Maldives, you may be weighing up snorkelling vs scuba diving in the Maldives. There are pros and cons for both hobby sports, which includes the cost of doing each one, the level of enjoyment you get and what you might see when snorkelling vs scuba diving in the Maldives.

Snorkelling and scuba diving in The Maldives are both fantastic, as The Maldives is one of the best snorkelling and diving destinations in the world. For the best snorkelling experience choose a resort with a good house reef, whilst for diving it’s best to choose diving from a Maldives liveaboard.

The best way to dive the Maldives is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on Maldives liveaboards using the following window:

See below for an explanation of what a house reef is, together with a few videos of some of the best Maldives house reefs, which will some way to help you choose the best holiday destination.

Snorkelling vs scuba diving in Maldives

Snorkelling in the Maldives is free if you snorkel the resort’s house reef and have your own snorkel equipment. Whereas scuba diving in the Maldives is expensive, but will be cheaper if choose a resort with good house reef with good scuba diving, as you only need to hire your scuba equipment. (See Mirihi Maldives house reef video below).

Although to scuba dive your resort’s house reef you will need a dive buddy, so if you don’t travel with a diving buddy, you may need to find a dive buddy at the resort. Also, if you take some or all of your own scuba diving equipment, this will lessen the cost of scuba diving in the Maldives too.

Take a read of this article How do I get a dive buddy, which explains 6 ways you can find a dive buddy for your next Maldives trip.

But before you book your resort, check that the resort has a dive centre, and also confirm they will let you dive as a buddy pair without an accompanying dive guide. If the resort only allows diving with dive guides, this is when the scuba diving in the Maldives gets expensive, when the cost of of an organised dive trip is added to cost of hiring scuba diving gear.

Does Maldives have good snorkeling?

The Maldives has excellent snorkelling, which is made better when you choose the right resort where the house reef is excellent for snorkelling. So when you book your Maldives holiday, focus on the resort’s house reef. Also check into how good the coral growth is and what sea creatures you are likely to see.

But you don’t have to book a resort to enjoy The Maldives, as you can also spend a week on more on a Maldives diving liveaboard too. There will be plenty of snorkelling opportunities on a Maldives liveaboard, alongside the excellent scuba diving.

You may like to read this article that explains what a diving liveaboard is: What Does Liveaboard Mean. search Maldives-scroll

Is scuba diving good in Maldives?

The scuba diving in The Maldives is excellent, as the warm waters generally have gin clear visibility, the climate is warm and mostly sunny and there’s the opportunity to experience whale sharks, manta rays, reef sharks, tiger sharks and hammerheads, plus beautiful corals and coral fish and marine life.

The experience you get from scuba diving The Maldives will depend on the time of year you visit and on which resort you choose to stay, as different parts of the Maldives will generally have different marine life. One of the best ways to experience more of the underwater world of The Maldives is by booking a Maldives diving liveaboard.

If you’ve not thought about a diving liveaboard before, have a read of this page Liveaboard Diving In Maldives + Best Time To Dive. This article includes a handy table of Maldives liveaboards, together with recommendations of the best time to go. I’ve also includes a table of shark sightings and which months customers noted they’d seen sharks, this shark table includes whale sharks and manta rays.

But you might also like to take a look at the following window and scroll through these Maldives liveaboards.

What is a Maldives house reef?

The house reef on a Maldives resort is the coral reef that surrounds the island or atoll where the resort is built, which is easily accessible to snorkel or scuba dive from the resort itself. The house reef is usually just off the beach and is usually within an easy swimming distance.

Here are few videos of the best house reefs you may like to watch.

1. Hurawalhi Island Resort Maldives

2. Vakkaru Maldives House Reef

3. Baros Maldives

4. Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

5. Mirihi Maldives house reef

This is a long video, but worth a watch to see how Mirihi Maldives resort and house reef is one of the best house reefs for snorkelling and diving. In this video you will see turtles, dolphins, manta rays, sting rays, octopus, barracuda, amazing whale sharks, moray eels, black tip reef sharks, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays and a wreck dive…all seen from the house reef at Mirihi.

Table of liveaboard diving in the Maldives

This list of Maldives liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.

Sort by:
Total Records Found: 53, showing 10 per page
Discover LiveaboardCustomer RatingSDE Lux Rating %Flexible BookingDive CoursesDietary RequirementsNitroxGear Rental
Review: MV Scubaspa Yang; Book: MV Scubaspa Yang 9.6 87% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Emperor Explorer; Book: MV Emperor Explorer 9.6 63% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Theia; Book: MV Theia 9.5 85% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MY Princess Dhonkamana; Book: MY Princess Dhonkamana 9.5 79% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Scubaspa Ying; Book: MV Scubaspa Ying 9.4 87% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Sachika; Book: MV Sachika 9.4 83% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Emperor Serenity; Book: MV Emperor Serenity 9.4 60% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Soleil 2; Book: MV Soleil 2 9.3 96% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Emperor Atoll; Book: MV Emperor Atoll 9.3 77% YES YES YES YES YES
Review: MV Azalea; Book: MV Azalea 9.3 77% NO YES YES YES YES

The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.

Think about it like using when searching for the best hotel. also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10.

I hope you enjoyed this article about snorkelling vs scuba diving in Maldives

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. But in particular if you’ve been on the Master liveaboard. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about snorkelling vs scuba diving in Maldives), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkeling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.

Have fun and be safe!

Snorkelling vs Scuba Diving In Maldives: Which Is Better?

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been a scuba diver since diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1989. After his first dive he trained as a BSAC diver in the UK. He attained his Diver Leader certification with BSAC. He then went on to become a scuba diving instructor, teaching others how to dive and was voted as Diving Officer and Treasurer for the Saffron Walden BSAC club too. Russell has dived all over the world, including the UK, on liveaboards in the Red Sea, the Caribbean, South Africa and the USA. Russell is experienced in all dive types, including drift diving, deep dives that involved decompression stops and recreational dives too.

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