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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2019
Headline for 2 Best Seasons to Scuba Dive in the Maldives - Best Times of Year to Enjoy a Scuba Diving Trip to the Maldives
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Joanna James Joanna James
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2 Best Seasons to Scuba Dive in the Maldives - Best Times of Year to Enjoy a Scuba Diving Trip to the Maldives

As one of the world's top scuba diving destinations, the Maldives is home to countless marine species. Here are the two best seasons to experience scuba diving safaris in the country.

1

Northeast Monsoon Season

One of the best seasons to enjoy scuba diving in the Maldives is the north-eastern monsoon season which falls between the months of December and May. This is the time when the winds blowing in from the northeast halts for a period and the lack of wind means calm water conditions and sunny weather are a constant. The sunny climate and the lack of wind which makes the water a lot less tidal means visibility are at its best, especially in the eastern portion of the atolls. Scuba divers can expect 20 to 30m of visibility during the north-eastern monsoon months while the western side offers 15m to 20m of visibility.

2

Current and Species

The time between the last month of the year and March also sees the currents of water travel through the atolls, flowing to the west from the east. This also helps create excellent visibility conditions for those diving in the eastern atolls. The current during this period is at its peak strength and different varieties of sharks congregate in the entrances to the channels while manta rays are drawn to the western side as plankton flows freely out into the open water.

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Southwest Monsoon Season

The other time of year that's well-suited for scuba diving activities is the period from June to November when the southwest monsoons are in effect. The key areas to frequent during this time include areas the likes of Hanifaru Bay. Marine species such as whale sharks and manta rays are abundantly visible to divers who head out into the water in these months. The marine creatures flock to consume the plankton that mushroomed in the area during the southwest monsoon season. Visibility wise, the western side of the atoll enjoys the best conditions. Although rainy days are part of the season, the sunny days are not a rarity even if the cloudy days are more common. The surface swells in this period is about 2m with June and July bringing the heaviest rains.

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Making the Most of the Season

Regardless of which season of the two best periods to scuba dive each traveller selects, it is important to make the most of the experience by basing oneself in a hotel or resort close to popular diving sites. Whether one selects the Adaaran Club Rannalhi Maldives or any similar property, ensure the resort's location is not too far from the best dive sites in the country. While venues near Male may be near the top Maldives places to visit, divers should prioritize their favourite activity above sightseeing potential.

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Other Factors to Consider

Diving in the open seas off the coast of Maldives is relatively safe for those with prior diving experience but those with basic skills may want to sign up for a few practice dives before heading off the deep end. Water sports centres and diving schools are part and parcel of the Maldivian tourism landscape so finding an instructor or course will not prove difficult.