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Going to the Maldives with kids

Going to the Maldives? With kids? Is that even a possibility? Are the Maldives a couples-only destination? A perfect honeymoon retreat? A paradise where you can sit, relax, eat, drink and swim all day? Or is there much more to do and see? Would our kids get bored? Would we get bored? …Can we even afford to go to the Maldives with six kids??

Our kids running in our backyard / the beach at Hard Rock Hotel Maldives

Snorkeling with kids in the Maldives

We went to the Maldives for two weeks and we were determined to spend a lot of time snorkeling in the magnificent Indian Ocean. One of the reasons why we went to the Maldives was to experience its amazing and abundant sea life.

Me and my son Gyan snorkeling in the Maldives

The first week we stayed at Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, a luxurious, expensive resort on all-inclusive base. We loved the relaxation and getting spoiled at a resort. However, after a week, living on 4 square kilometers even when those kilometers are paradise, we were felt like seeing more and doing more. At our resort we went from restaurant to the beach to the swimming pool to the bar, back to a restaurant and so on.

An all-inclusive resort is amazing, but it is also a ‘fake world’ and you do not get to know the real, local life in the Maldives.

The famous watervilla's in the Maldives

Our stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives had been great and luxurious, but we did not swim amongst the fishes. We did watch many fishes, sharks, and stingrays every night when we walked on the bridge connecting Hard Rock Hotel to Crossroads Maldives, but we did not while snorkeling close to the resort. It was not allowed after sunset to snorkel or dive since it was dangerous, many sharks and stingrays were attracted to the lights on the bridge.

Watching sharks, stingrays and many more fishes from the bridge

The second week in the Maldives we went to the local island Hulhulmale and stayed at a 4-star hotel. Hulhulmale is only a 10 minutes’ drive from the international airport Male.

The second week at a local island, we only spent one-fourth of the money we spent in the first week at a resort! It is very affordable to stay at local islands in the Maldives! It is different and stricter regulations apply to clothing and outfits, but these rules are not in charge when you take a snorkeling or diving tour from the local islands. Read more about the local islands.

We found several snorkeling and diving tours on the internet, but many were quite expensive too. We hoped to find an affordable tour operator in Male or Hulhulmale.

However, we did not even find one snorkel company in Male. With 6 kids in the burning sun, you simply can’t explore Male thoroughly. Read more about Male.

Opposite of our hotel in Hulhulmale, just right across the street, there it was! Dive Center Maldives at Furuba Beach. The perfect, family friendly tour operator that we were searching for!

Opposite our hotel in Hulhulmale, the stretched Furuba Beach offered amazing views of the Indian Ocean.

We went over to have a chat with the staff of Dive Center Maldives. They offer many packages, like snorkeling and diving adventures, dolphin watching tours, sand banks tours, and fun tubes adventures. We chatted along with the very friendly manager at Dive Centre Maldives and he suggested a package of 4 days in which we would explore several snorkel sites and also spot dolphins and go fishing! We were super excited about the upcoming tours!

Dive center Maldives offers accommodation as well, besides the tours. They own Whale Shark Villa, located at Ari Atoll Fenfushi island. This area is known for its abundance of underwater life, huge manta’s and famous for its whale shark sanctuary. Sadly enough we couldn’t stay at Whale Shark Villa since time was limited. We would have loved to swim with the manta’s and watch more sharks!

Staff at Dive Center Maldives helped us pick the right snorkel excursions

Little did we know back then, how much we would become attached to the amazing staff of Dive Center Maldives.

We ended up spending four days and many hours together, in which the staff members became our friends, it almost felt like being with family. They were so much involved and caring about us and our kids, far beyond our expectations!

The next morning after breakfast at our hotel, we went to Dive Center Maldives. The so-called limousine of the company picked us up and transferred us to the boat. This day, we would snorkel in Fish Tank and then in Maagiri. 

We were very excited and ready for our first snorkeling adventure in the Maldives!
Transfer to the boat

Upon arrival at the ferry terminal, the friendly staff of Dive Center Maldives helped us aboard and our journey started!

Since the boat of Dive Center Maldives  is not massive, the tours were private or almost private and each guest received personal attention.

The staff helped us onboard and off we went to our first snorkeling site! 

Comfortable and safe onboard

Onboard there is plenty of space to move around and everything is clean and well-organized. 

Getting ready!

Soon, we arrived at Fish Tank. Our youngest girl, only three years old, was afraid to snorkel at start. The staff of Dive Center Maldives took complete care of our girl. They offered her some bread to feed the fishes and this was incredibly fun to Ishita. She still remembers feeding fish in the Maldives.

Ishita having lots of fun while feeding fishes!

Fish tank was amazing in every way. We could not believe what we saw the moment we looked below the surface of the sea!! An abundance of underwater life, literally everywhere around us! 

We had not expected to see countless fishes the moment we looked underwater. We were literally surrounded by all the underwater life! Below are some images showing the abundance of fishes all around us.

We were deeply impressed when we spotted several stingrays. Stingrays can be dangerous and we were asked beforehand not to touch them , since they can attack with their stings. It was just amazing to watch them glide through the ocean. 

After fishtanks we headed to Maagiri, which was a different experience. There were less fishes, but more the feeling of pure nature since fishtank attracts more snorkeling people. 

What we really loved about snorkeling with Dive Center Maldives, is that we were given the opportunity to be in the sea altogether. The staff took excellent care of our little ones.

The staff also took many photos and videos of our family and the fishes with our GoPro. They were truly supportive in every way! 

Then it was time to return after 5 hours. We had had a fantastic day and we talked about it all night long! 

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