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pakman

Maldives: If you were forced to stay at a resort...

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I know, I know... better to do a liveaboard...

 

Anyways... Which atoll/ resort would you recommend that has some nice diving around Christmas? Not just boring house reef stuff but maybe daytrips out to various channels for big stuff?

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hi pakman,

 

there is no question: best atoll is ari atoll. in winter season both is good: north and south ari. mantarays will be on the west side of north and south ari . and diving conditions very good.

 

i personally like the channels in the west of north ari a lot: gorgeos softcorals, good fishlife (lots of schooling fish) and MANTA nonstop. so any resort in the middle of the atoll or in the westside is good.

 

i don't know your budget ... but the resort i am staying (W Retreat, Maldives) is very good: we go frequently to the channel, do double tanks and care a lot about photographers. we are in the western middle of north ari and go to all the western channels plus to the two most famous dives in maldives: fishhead (big napoleons) and maaya thila (very close sharks, whitetip, grey and occasionaly juv. silvertips). but any other resort in that region will do just fine as well.

 

hope that helps,

 

serge

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Serge,

What are the chances of Manta encounters at Panettone at the end of November and the begining of December, am I gonna be a bit early?

 

Pakman,

Check out Thudufushi, Atharuga & Fesdu in the southwest Ari and Bathala in the North Ari these are superb resorts with access to the channels and all those big fishies.

 

Nige.

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thanks for the info... ooh... there's a W hotel in the Maldives... Hope the gf doesn't see this thread...

 

phew... no availability for that week... thank goodness at $900+ per nite... :)

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I had a good time at Vilamendhoo. The island is right on the edge of the channel.

 

Unlimited shore diving is available with if memory serves me 8 different entry points round the island. I saw several mantas while shorediving.

 

There is also a full program of boat diving.

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@nige: panettone is a nice place. but not specially for manta. they are there in that period ... but the better places for that are the thilas in the channels a bit more north (donkalo thila ... plus our manta point ... dont know the official name). or a bit south next to hilton (madivaru mantapoint).

 

but bathala and villamendoo are on the eastern side and not good for manta encounters in that specific period.

 

good islands would be (i have never been and dont know the dive base but from the geographic point of view): madoogali, meerofenfushi, athuruga, Moofushi, Thundufushi, Mirihi, Hilton, Angaga, W Maldives (=Fesdu), Nika

 

greets, serge

Edited by serge

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Look Maayafushi, you are close to all best dive in northeast ari and you have one of the most wonderfull dives at Ari (Maaya thila) as your house reef. Halaveli and Bathala are close too

Edited by ripli

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Thanks Serge

I had my first encounter with Mantas at Madivaru in 1995. I would love to get back there on this trip.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the first two weeks in December aren't too early.

 

Nige.

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dont worry nige,

 

we've had the first sightings of odd manta already last week. usually the first ones arriving end of november. if you know madivaru already, check the channel between Himendoo and Maalhos island. good manta diving there. 20 meter deep thila, strong current. a bit more challenging than madivaru. but more rays, less people.

 

serge

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We stayed at Bandos for a week in July and did a couple of dives at Manta Point, aka Lankan Reef (though I would have preferred to do a lot more!)

 

Great dive centre setup with free nitrox for certified divers. Nice, friendly resort with good facilities and great food on "full board".

 

PM if you want more info :)

 

cheers

Leander

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Wow Serge

 

How unusual are Manta sightings at this time of year?

This Global Warming thing is getting really scarey.

Having said that its great news for Pakman and me.

 

 

Thanks Serge, might see you in the water in December you cant miss me I'll be the diver who's housing is bigger than he is.

 

Nige

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thanks folks for all the suggestions... now to do some serious googling and researdh...

 

Serge, LOL, oh and it seems the gf already knew about the W Resort... seems some friends of hers had a honeymoon there and have seen the pics from the resort... [gulp...]

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