To explore more snorkeling in the Maldives than your house reef is recommended to travel to some popular snorkeling places in your area. A boat transfer is needed most of the time so you will need to book in advance.
Snorkeling safaris are the best chance to encounter famous ocean creatures.DIVETIP
We took a day safari to Makunudu reef. The island is a nesting place for the turtles which brings them back to the birthplace. This is a popular destination for guaranteed turtle observation with very friendly turtles that are not disturbed by snorkelers.
During our approximately 1 hour session we encountered at least 15 turtles with some of them sleeping in shallow water or feeding at various depth. The swim was easy as the current was low and we could drift easily along the edge of the reef.
The best chance to see mantas while snorkeling is to find a feeding or a cleaning station. We took the safari for the point where they feed with plankton but it never guaranteed to find the mantas. We were lucky enough to arrive in time and to find manta.
They are shy and to maximize the time you can observe them is very important to keep calm, avoid sudden moves and not try to follow them.
If you never experienced night snorkeling, Maldives is a good place to start. The only extra gear needed is a torch.
Even that night snorkeling can be done in the house reef it is not recommended to go on your own. It is safer for both you and the sealife to follow a snorkeling guide.
When we jumped into the water there was not much activity but in couple of minutes our light attracted large Jack-fishes. The Jacks movement attracted all kind of sharks like blacktip and nurse.
Being in the dark we were able to get closer than in daylight to the big predators. Also we could watch them trying to hunt reef fishes hidden in the corals. Morays and lionfishes are nocturnal animals and meeting them is very likely.
While you are in the water the bioluminescence of the plankton can be seen. You only have to turn off the lights and shake your hand through the water to generate some movement.
Check my night snorkeling experience:
Read about snorkeling in the Maldives in the full review here.