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The central area of the Maldives - consisting of the atolls of Malé, Ari, Felidhoo, Faafu and the smaller Rasdhoo Atoll - is extremely popular for whale and dolphin watching due to the numbers seen.

Many resorts offer exceptional snorkelling opportunities from their house reefs, while sailing in the channels swept by powerful currents provides opportunities to encounter large pelagics. Sightings of numerous whale and dolphin species are common in the Central Atolls, and pods of hundreds of spinner dolphins are regularly seen, along with spotted, Risso’s and striped dolphins, and sperm, short-finned pilot and Cuvier’s beaked whales.

North Malé Atoll features some of the Maldives most quintessential and enduringly popular snorkelling sites, while Ari Atoll is considered by many to offer some of the most consistent sightings of big fish, including manta rays and whale sharks.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: spinner dolphin, spotted dolphin, Fraser’s dolphin, Cuvier’s beaked whale, false killer whale
  • Where: Around Malé, Maldives

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Whales, Dolphins & Mantas in the Indian Ocean

The tiny nation of the Maldives lies 650 kilometres southwest of the southern tip of India, made up of 1,200 exquisite islands and colourful coral reefs. Go in search of whales, dolphins, manta rays and the other marine life of the Indian Ocean on board an exclusive chartered voyage, led by Dr Charles Anderson.

  • When to go: Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Bandos Island Resort

Located on North Malé Atoll, this popular Maldivian resort is no more than a short transfer by boat from Malé, yet far from the bustle of everyday life. The accommodation varies from comfortable classic rooms to luxurious waterfront villas with exquisite views of the ocean.

Recommended cruise vessel:

MV Ari Queen

The Ari Queen is a comfortable liveaboard vessel operating in the clear waters of the Maldives. With 10 air-conditioned en suite cabins accommodating up to 16 passengers, she make a perfect base for snorkelling, relaxing and enjoying the fascinating marine life around the islands.