February 2020 The Maldives: Scuba Diving, Surfing, or Both?

The Maldives: Scuba Diving, Surfing, or Both?

Overwater freestyle at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.
Overwater freestyle at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.
The island nation excels in aqua adventures.
"There’s no place quite like the Maldives," says Sarah Lee, a Virtuoso travel advisor. "It’s so remote, yet it offers absolute luxury." Located in the Indian Ocean roughly 600 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, the string of nearly 1,200 coral islands is a utopia for divers, who can explore untouched reefs, pinnacles, caves, and exciting channels while swimming next to giant rays, curious turtles, and more than 1,000 species of fish. The archipelago also draws surfers to consistent swells that create seemingly endless breaks. The shimmering topaz water is incredibly clear (up to 130 feet visibility), and so warm “it feels like a bath,” says Lee.

One of the advisor’s favorite watery encounters during a recent visit was actually on shore, watching baby sharks swimming beneath her overwater villa. Such pinch-me moments are sure to become rarer, given the influx of visitors and the uncertain effects of climate change. Lee encourages travelers to stay at one of the Maldives’ eco-minded resorts and go as soon as possible for that singular sense of “truly being on an island by yourself, with nothing and no one else around you.”
Diving at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.
Diving at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru.

Underwater

Novice and expert divers alike discover pristine reefs at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. The 103-room resort offers a vast array of diving options and instruction, including a master program that’s considered the “PADI black belt” for recreational divers. Kids as young as 8 can get in on the underwater act via an extensive children’s program and learn through conservation activities with on-site marine biologists. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 spa credit, and a departure gift.
Learn to surf by the pros at Six Senses Laamu. 
Learn to surf by the pros at Six Senses Laamu. 

On the Water

Surf’s up at Six Senses Laamu, which recently partnered with Australian-based Tropicsurf to provide pro-coached lessons at the 97-villa outpost. Surfers of all levels can catch waves on eco-friendly Timbertek boards and enjoy nearly exclusive access to Laamu Atoll’s surrounding breaks, including the famous Yin Yang. Six Senses also works to track and conserve local wildlife species, including manta rays and sea turtles. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 dining credit, and a 50-minute massage.

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