The best time of scuba diving in Maldives

 

You plan to visit the Maldives and of course, you want to travel at the best time. To help make your decision, you first have the define what you mean by best. Generally, for many tourists, the best is the most amount of sunshine and the least amount of rain, but for a scuba diver, the best time can mean something different.

The best time to see Manta Rays; the best time to see Whale Sharks; the best time to see Hammerhead Sharks; the best time for great visibility; the best time to make a trip to the North Maldives or the South Maldives. To understand the best time, you need to know that the Maldives from North to South is about 960km and from East to West is about 120km, with 22 geographical atolls comprising of about 1,200 islands. Each atoll has is OWN best time for something.

Climate

Climate is divide by two different monsoons.

  • The North-East Monsoon "Iruvai" is a dry and sunny season which runs from October to April.
  • The South-West Monsoon, "Hulhangu" is a rainy and windy season which runs from May to September.

But, the climate is not the same over the whole of the Maldives the same time. There is a huge difference between the North Maldives, Central Maldives and the South Maldives due to the distance between the north and south is almost 1,000km. When you look in your own country and compare the climate between two places with a 1,000km distance between it, you will also see a different climate.

The best weather

In general, we can say that the best time to have the most hours of sun and the less volume (mm) rainfall in the Maldives, will be between February and April. But like you can see in the charts there are some differences between north, central and south atolls in the Maldives.

Hanimaadho = North Maldives
Hulhule = Central Maldives Atoll
Gan = South Maldives

 

 

The best diving

There is NO best time for diving in the Maldives. There is a high season and low season for tourist arrivals but this is not based on the best time for diving in the Maldives. Every atoll, or a part of it, will have its own best time and even when it’s not the best time, it can still be great diving.

What has to be understood is there are two possible ways to dive in Maldives – diving land-based and diving from a liveaboard. The liveaboard will plan their routes based on weather conditions. A liveaboard dive has many highlights during the trip, but they have to cross channels and not all channels are safe to cross 12 months a year. That’s the reason that liveaboards are sighted during the north-east monsoon in the deep south and not during the south-west monsoon.

Land-based dive centres in resorts and on local islands are not moving anywhere. They will offer diving 12 months of the year in the same location and this can also be an advantage. Dive Centres who are located land-based, are diving 12 months a year and use the same dive sites and are the experts in this area. Ask the land-based dive centres what is the best time to dive in their area.

Remember, that during high season you will always be with more divers at the same dive site compared with the low season, and this fact can make the low season the best time for diving – we all want to see marine life instead of 100 divers at the same spot.

My advice

Check the Maldives from North to South and ask a local dive centre for the local dive conditions. Check with your liveaboard operator or your Scuba Diving Travel Agency for the best chances of making an unforgettable scuba diving dive trip to the Maldives. I mention chances  the Indian Ocean is not an aquarium, but with the right advice, it will come close to it.

Diving around a full or new moon will give you stronger currents which bring more big fish in the channels, like Manta Rays and Sharks.

Moon Calendar 2020

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