How to get your thrill on in the Maldives
Made up of 1,192 islands, almost 99% of the Maldives’ territory is clear, blue and turquoise water. This eye-popping destination features long stretches of shoreline and numerous lagoons that offer spectacular options for thrill-seekers and water worshippers. Whether you’re an aquatic sports pro or amateur adrenaline junky, the Maldives is the ultimate tropical playground.
Venture below in an underwater scooter
The Maldives’ colourful reef ecosystem includes coral gardens, sea fans and starfish, and is typically filled with Moray eels, groupers, parrot fish and manta rays, as well as the endangered giant Hawksbill and leatherback marine turtles. A great way to see these aquatic wonders without any scuba skills is on an underwater scooter. These vehicles have self-contained breathing environments and can travel to depths of 5 metres at a speed of up to 2 kph. Similar to a land scooter, the rider sits on a seat with their legs at the side and steers with handlebars. These unique, easy-to-use scooters can be an unexpected thrill, giving visitors a different perspective of underwater life. Visitors can rent them at various locations throughout the Maldives.
Test your skills with free diving
Free diving is the act of holding your breath while diving under water. While it’s pure fun today, free diving is actually an ancient practise in the Maldives, where locals have been doing it for centuries. The lagoons around the Maldives are excellent places to swim under water in a single breath, and with so many lagoons to choose from, finding your perfect area to explore will be easy.
Paddle away via canoe or kayak
Cruising around the Maldives in a canoe or kayak can be an exhilarating experience. Areas like the Haa Alif and North Ari Atoll beaches have calm, clear waters that allow paddlers to take a peek at the aquatic life below. South Kaafu Atoll is also a great paddling location with equally serene water. Visitors can rent canoes and kayaks from a number of places in and around the Maldives. You can even find them with transparent bottoms so you can get a great look under the surface.
Balance atop a stand-up paddle or try kitesurfing
If the wind conditions are right, try kitesurfing — a combination of wakeboarding, windsurfing, paragliding, skateboarding and a little gymnastics, too. The best Maldives islands for this thrill ride are those with wider lagoons, like Meedhupparu and Kuramathi. They’re ideal because the water surrounding the lagoons is typically more glass-like, and with the right wind, kitesurfers can experience a perfect ride. For something a bit more calming — yet still challenging — stand-up paddleboarding is an excellent option in all the same locations.
Head out on a surfing safari
The Maldives is famous for its surf, and several of the best surfing spots within the atolls are conveniently nearby resorts. While the waves here aren’t considered super powerful (the swell normally reaches shoulder- to head-height), there are usually plenty of barrels and long, fun waves, making the destination great for intermediate and advanced surfers.
The three best areas for surfing in the archipelago are Malé Atolls, Central Atolls and South Atolls, each containing several options for intermediate to professional surfers. The Malé Atolls are especially popular with surfers thanks to a variety of spots that stay fairly consistent — meaning the waves are typically the same size. While the prime surf season for most atolls is between April and September, South Atolls have a more extended season from February till November.
With so much water throughout the Maldives, it’s only natural that visitors can find an ocean’s worth of adventure in this aquatic wonderland. With so much to do and a great place to stay, the Maldives is the perfect destination for water sports.