Explore the Maldives with a marine biologist

Extraordinary sea life beneath the crystalline waters


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Nestled on the picturesque North Malé Atoll in the Maldives’ archipelago, Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island is in the midst of the Indian Ocean, 645km south of Sri Lanka. Here, you’re perfectly placed to admire an extraordinary diversity of sea life – whether snorkelling, scuba diving or simply strolling along the powder-soft shoreline. Our dive centre’s marine biologist, Diana Vergara, is well versed in the region’s vibrant ecosystems; coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass. As our guest, you can take part in the dive team’s restoration projects. Below are the many ways you can explore our crystalline waters.

Take to the water

Wonderfully remote and secluded, the resort is ringed by a great expanse of turquoise ocean. Life here is enjoyed out on the water, making it all too easy to while away days exploring our coastline in a pedal boat or transparent kayak – or try windsurfing if you feel a burst of newfound energy. You can also take a tour in our private yacht to spot playful pods of spinner dolphins emerging from the waters around you in the golden tones of sunrise or sunset. Beneath the water’s surface, an array of thriving marine life exists, which you can examine while snorkelling, from our semi-submerged submarine or in an underwater photography masterclass. Our Island Hosts will be happy to enroll you into a PADI diving course with our PADI certified diving instructors

Private yacht at your villa at Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island


Snorkelling trips and PADI qualifications

Our experienced snorkelling guides and PADI certified diving instructors will ensure your safety as you explore the secrets beneath the shimmering waves and the beautiful house reef surrounding the island. Our Island Hosts can also book you or your loved ones into a snorkelling lesson to build your confidence. Sling on your complimentary snorkel mask and fins and take off on a manta ray adventure or a turtle quest. Divers can look forward to our PADI Dive School and PADI scuba diving courses and certifications, as well as boat dive trips to extraordinary dive sites.

Snorkel and mask on a sun deck in the Maldives


Marine life in the Maldives

Local marine biologist Diana Vergara dreams of catching a glimpse of a rare, adult leatherback turtle, the largest of all living turtles according to WWF. “I once saw an amazing leopard shark,” she explains, “and another day, I saw around 40 manta rays and two whale sharks on a private dive trip.” Dip beneath the waves and you’ll spot manta rays gliding alongside hawksbill or green turtles, which come ashore between December and April in the North Malé Atoll to lay their eggs. Diana’s team can take you out on private trips to the special manta ray viewing point in Boduhithi Thila. Snorkel or dive amongst our rainbow-hued coral and you may also encounter docile black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks drifting over the coral bed.

Teenagers and young children will be delighted to see schools of tropical fish in all the shades of a colouring book. Iridescent parrotfish shimmer like mermaid’s tails alongside butterflyfish, angelfish and clownfish, which your little ones will recognise from the Disney film Finding Nemo. Bannerfish and Oriental sweetlips are just as recognisable – as stripy as humbug sweets. 

Oriental sweetlips


Protect our spectacular shoreline

The region’s rich underwater culture requires our continued respect – even down to the pretty shells scattered along the shoreline. Though it's tempting to collect them as a holiday momento, they form an important part of the Maldives’ delicate ecosystem. It’s important to keep a respectful distance from sea life and avoid feeding marine life or touching coral with your hands, feet or flippers.

“Be mindful while walking in shallow areas,” Diana suggests, “as there might be coral, sea cucumbers, stingrays and other fragile marine life nearby.”

If you’re passionate about conserving our natural environment, you can attend a talk about the underwater world led by Diana and her team, or assist in planting coral to protect the reefs surrounding our island. Our Island Hosts will be happy to book this for you.

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll return home with special memories of your time in the Maldives – and hopefully some impressive underwater shots to show your loved ones.  


Speak to our concierge to discover more things to do in the Maldives, from fishing trips at sunset to paddleboard races and banana boat rides.