During the Southwest season from May-October diving on the west side of the atolls can be very active – good visibility typically attracts large schools of pelagic creatures including different species of sharks, tuna, wrasse, rays and turtles. Diving on the east side of the atolls can make this season very special. Though the visibility will be decreased due to the increased plankton, it is the best time and place in the Maldives to see manta rays and whale sharks, making up for the reduced viz. This is manta feeding season so there are usually more mantas during these months. June and July are the ‘official’ rainy season months. Because the Maldives is in the equatorial belt, severe storms and cyclones are extremely rare events.
Itinerary: Several to choose from – of special interest are the 7-night itineraries starting or ending in South Ari (these require a domestic flight, which is well worth it if you like avoiding crowds). Since most boats will be headed back to Male in the weekends, you’ll have time and space on the day before departure to snorkel in South Ari, hopefully with the whalesharks! And, don’t forget, any itinerary with Baa atoll will feature feeding mantas. Look for itineraries that start or end in Baa – you’ll have the same situation as in the one-way Ari trips except, if you’re lucky, in Baa you’ll be snorkeling with the manta rays on your day before departure!
Currents: The currents are not typically as strong this time of year or on these itineraries. These itineraries are recommended for those who may not be advanced divers or very comfortable in strong currents.
Visibility: Will be reduced, especially on the east side of the atolls, but, remember, reduced visibility means more plankton which means more mantas!!!
Sea life: As mentioned above, same creatures year round but there are definitely more mantas hanging out and feeding around Baa Atoll this time of year. And, don’t forget about the macro photography opportunities – this is not only a big animal destination…the little guys are here, too!
Amount of boats: In summer time many boats go for dry dock or do not offer trips, therefore making it less busy than in winter time.
Pricing: Rates for summer are lower than in winter.