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Your Maldivian holiday would be incomplete without one of those exciting diving trips. Maldives is a virtual paradise for divers worldwide as much as a Mecca for marine biologists out to explore the rich flora and fauna in the waters. Some of the best known dive sites in the world, as also professional diving schools, are located among many Maldivian islands. A diving trip will get you to see the magnificent coral gardens with their multi-hued fishes moving in the clear waters. With the average visibility ranging from 30 m to 60 m, turtles and sharks, rays and seaweed, and many more such marvels will effortlessly come into your view.

The fascinating coral reefs and marine life apart, your diving trip will most often offer you a chance to see some amazing historical or geographical attractions in Maldives, including:

Banana Reef: One among the most famously known reefs worldwide, Banana Reef lies to the east of North Malé Atoll, close to the Full Moon Island and the islands of Farukolh, Fushi and Kurumba. It teems with a variety of marine life including banner fish, reef sharks and oriental sweet lips. With large lagoons girdling the islands, Banana Reef is among the most preferred spots for surfing and windsurfing. Most resorts offer windsurfing facilities including training schools. Resorts nesting on atoll edges with good waves offer surfing facilities, an increasingly favourite water sport, ideally done from November to April. They arrange boating trips to take enthusiasts to the best surf breaks.

Guraidhoo Corner: To the east of South Malé Atoll, near the islands of Guraidhoo, Kandooma and Losfushi, lies Guraidhoo Corner reef. It is specially noted for large fish varieties such as eagle rays, grey reef sharks, sail fish and snappers. With strong vertical currents common here, it is a spot recommended only for experienced divers.

Kuda Rah Thila: Also known as the Broken Rock, this is a reef that is safe for amateur divers due to relatively weaker currents. It is located near the islands of Dhangethi and Dhigurah in the southern tip of Ari Atoll.

Maldives Victory Wreck: To the west of Hulhule Island lies the wreck of the Maldives Victory, 35 m deep on the seabed. This ship that sank in 1981 evokes memories of the glorious past of Maldivian history. Known for its powerful currents, this spot is recommended only for experienced divers.

Shark Thila: Also known as Mushimasmingili Thila, this reef is noted for its fish variety including giant snappers and grey reef shark. It lies near the islands of Ellaidhoo, Fesdu, Halaveli and Maayafushi, in the northern fringe of Ari Atoll.

Should you need more information about the location of diving sites and surfing spots, please contact your resort or the Tourism Promotion Board of the Ministry of Tourism. They can also give you information relating to marine life, wreck sites, safety and environment, and so on.

Other water sports: Among the other water sports that you get to enjoy in Maldives are water skiing, sailing and parasailing. You can use catamarans on hire, while most resorts have courses and arrangements for parasailing. Also available are a variety of sailing cruises such as diving safaris, island safaris that let you go around several islands among the atolls. Your resort can arrange a boat to suit your taste, ranging from those with luxury space to others with basic amenities.

Please note that Maldives has a stringent policy relating to reef and marine life conservation. Any violation of the environment would attract severe penalties.

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