For sea lovers, it doesn’t get any better than taking a well-deserved holiday on a pristine tropical island paradise. As well as enjoying bare-foot informality in a natural, lush setting, there are the activities like sunset dolphin cruises and sailing that help make the holiday special. Now Milaidhoo Maldives in Baa Atoll is actually taking that dreamy escape up a notch for those who love an underwater adventure in the mix. During mana ray season, which lasts from June to October, the adult-only hotel is giving guests the opportunity to get to know the majestic creatures via snorkelling and diving excursions.
Set within a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Milaidhoo is located just a 15-minute speedboat ride away from Hanifaru Bay, the world’s most renowned manta ray feeding station. The bay is the perfect location to witness the gathering of hundreds of manta rays, the largest rays in the world. Sea life enthusiasts get to study the gentle and graceful giants during the remarkable annual migration to the atoll’s plankton-rich waters.
The boutique luxury resort featuring 50 contemporary Maldivian style pool villas arranges private and small group excursions for guests to snorkel freely among the highly intelligent and threatened animals. The trips are co-ordinated with the Hanifaru Bay Marine Park rangers, and the experts ensure guests enjoy the most rewarding sightings, alongside Milaidhoo’s resident marine biologist who shares some fascinating insights into their lives.
In addition to offering snorkelling excursions to Hanifaru Bay, Milaidhoo has introduced a special manta ray exploration offer for divers in various spots. The Manta Ray Awareness Diver Specialty Course by PADI is available for all certified divers throughout the season. As well as getting up close and personal with the mantas, divers can also learn how to tell them apart and how marine biologists keep track of their movements. The special course consists of two theory sessions which cover insights on the species and their behaviour, as well as the efforts undertaken to protect them.
Encounters can never be guaranteed, but Milaidhoo’s Ocean Stories team is always ready for action whenever mantas are spotted nearby.
“It is a gamble with nature, as we can never be sure to find mantas,” Judith Hannak, Ocean Stories Dive Base Leader, says. “However, all the places which are known for mantas are also beautiful for diving – although the thrill of every dive is a Manta encounter. We are extremely excited as the season starts again and are looking forward to sharing our insights and knowledge about these wonderful underwater creatures with our guests.”
For reservations or more information, please visit www.milaidhoo.com, or call the reservations team on +960 660 0484 or email [email protected]