Every once in a while, you visit somewhere so beautiful that it doesn’t seem real. The Maldives was one of these places. Having been lucky enough to explore every country in South East Asia and having spent an entire year searching the ocean for wildlife, we thought we had seen it all.
Until we went to the Maldives.
It is hard to describe the feeling of heading out to sea for the first time after arriving in the capital Male and making our way onto one of the tiny islands. Gliding through perfectly calm water, the first thing that hits you are the colours. The sea is that beautiful shade of turquoise blue and green that Instagram promised you. And then, out of the sea rise a tiny sand bar. Its perfect white sand poking no more than a few inches above the waves.
But it is when you jump off the boat into the water that things get really exciting. It is hard to explain how clear the water in the Maldives is. Or how teeming with life the seas really are. And it is not the same old fish you saw in Thailand and the Philippines. The sea is full of creatures I have never seen before. Fish with tails unlike anything I have ever seen. Lobsters, Lion fish, brightly coloured star fish.
Diving in the Maldives is something that most backpackers would automatically write off as being out of their budget. But it is not. You can take a beginners discover dive from a public island for less than $75 USD, or do your PADI Open Water diver course for less than $500. And we can show you how to book, travel and enjoy the Maldives for a little more than the cost of going to Thailand or Malaysia! (see how at the bottom of this page!)
We took our first dive with Manta Divers on the tiny island of Guraidhoo. Manta Divers is run by a local called Abbo and his Spanish business partner Pablo. It was Abbo who took us diving for our first dive. With 11 years of dive experience, and with an estimated 8000+ dives, Abbo was a great instructor. Everything about Manta Divers is very professional, to the way they conduct themselves, to their shop and the quality of their dive gear.
We absolutely loved the dive and it was one of the true highlights of our time in the Maldives. I cannot recommend this enough! I have no words to express the amazing things we saw and we only did a discovery dive. You could easily spend a lifetime exploring the sea here.
As well as one-off dives you can also take your PADI course or even your PADI Open Water course with Manta Divers.
Manta Divers currently charge:
•£58/$70 USD for a discovery dive (35-45 mins).
•£42/$50 USD per dive for PADI qualified divers.
•PADI Scuba Diver course – £259/$310 USD.
•PADI Open Water divers course – £417/$500 USD.
•PADI Advanced Open Water divers course – £417/$500 USD”
We loved the Maldives so much that we wrote an ebook to teach people how to travel the Maldives on a budget. You can check out Quit Pack Go’s: Backpacker’s Guide to the Maldives in our shop or in the Amazon Bookstore. The guide is packed with exclusive discounts, including discounts on diving with Manta Divers!
Readers can use code EARLYBIRD10 for 20% off the guide in our in our shop!
Find out the best kept secrets when travelling to the Maldives on a budget and experience everything the exotic islands have to offer, including:
1. The best time to visit the Maldives on a budget
2. The cheapest way for backpackers to get to the Maldives
3. How to use public transportation while in the Maldives
4. Which islands are the most budget-friendly. Including detailed profiles on six of the most accessible islands:
5. Where to stay, eat, and book your trip
6. Find out which supermarket items could land you in serious trouble with Customs Officials in the Maldives
7. Over 160 photos included, so you can see everything for yourself!