Discovering the Hidden Gems of the Maldives In 2024 ─ Off the Beaten Path Destinations

hidden gems of maldives

Want more than the basics of sun, sand, surf and spa in the Maldives? Consider incorporating these unique destinations and experiences into your travel plans.

A Playground for Young Manta Rays

The Maldives is known for its incredible marine life, and while snorkeling, you’re likely to encounter various marine species such as fish, turtles, and the occasional ray. However, close to the InterContinental Maamunagau Resort, situated in the Raa Atoll, lies a unique marine destination: the Maamunagau Lagoon. This lagoon serves as a feeding ground for squadrons of juvenile manta rays, offering a captivating and unforgettable experience.

Maamunagau Lagoon: A Feeding Ground for Mantas:

The Maamunagau Lagoon, located near the InterContinental Maamunagau Resort, serves as a haven for juvenile manta rays. These graceful creatures are drawn to the lagoon’s abundant food sources, creating an extraordinary spectacle for snorkelers and marine enthusiasts.

Collaboration with Manta Trust:

The InterContinental Maamunagau Resort has joined forces with the Manta Trust, a leading organization dedicated to the conservation and research of manta rays. This collaboration has transformed the area into an observation center, allowing researchers to study and collect data on these enigmatic sea creatures. Guests staying at the resort have the unique opportunity to witness the research efforts firsthand and learn more about the fascinating world of manta rays.

Breathtaking and Educational Experiences:

Observing squadrons of juvenile manta rays in their natural habitat is a truly breathtaking experience. Snorkelers can witness these gentle giants gracefully gliding through the water, feeding and interacting with their surroundings. The collaboration between the resort and the Manta Trust provides an educational aspect to the experience, allowing guests to gain insight into the biology, behavior, and conservation efforts for these magnificent creatures.

When you go snorkelling, you will undoubtedly see a variety of marine life from fish to turtles and the odd ray or two. However, close to the InterContinental Maamunagau Resort, which is located in the Raa Atoll), lies a unique marine destination ─ the Maamunagau Lagoon. It’s a feeding ground that beckons to squadrons of juvenile manta rays.

It’s truly breathtaking to observe. Furthermore, the resort and the Manta Trust have come together to use this area as an observation centre and collect research on these enigmatic sea creatures.


Have you considered a Liveaboard?

When planning a dream vacation to the Maldives, most travellers think of staying at one of the best resorts in the Maldives or at guesthouses on some of the inhabited islands. However, for a truly off-the-beaten-path approach to your Maldives holiday, consider moving off land-based accommodation options and onto nautical ones!

What do we mean by this?

Try a liveaboard. For the entirety or part of your stay in the country, book your lodging aboard a small sea vessel. Highly space efficient, these vessels tend to offer just enough space for you to have a private cabin (you certainly won’t be able to spread out as much as you would on a cruiseliner, for example). However, the beauty of liveaboards is that you can explore much more of the Maldivan waters.

Whether you and your family and friends are chartering an entire liveaboard (and therefore planning a custom route through the Indian Ocean) or are one of many travellers who have signed up for a stay, it’s a great way to visit many beautiful spots out at sea that may not make it into mainstream travel package tours of the Maldives.

What can you do on a liveaboard?

Granted, apart from sleeping, eating and re-charging, there isn’t much in the way of space or facilities on a liveaboard vessel. But that’s OK! The main attractions are meant to lie outside of the vessel. The most popular purpose of a liveaboard stay is to tour the waters of the Maldives to enjoy a diverse snorkelling and/or scuba diving experience.


Chasing the Maldives’ Sandbanks

Things that are fleeting are often all the more alluring to us, and it’s no different with Maldivian sandbanks.

What are sandbanks, you might wonder? A sandbank is formed when you have land of which part is submerged underwater while part protrudes above the waterline, thereby forming a sort of temporary isle.

Hidden gems of natural beauty, sandbanks have a timer on them as they are constantly being reshaped by the water currents.

Swap a round of jet skiing or snorkelling for a tour of the country’s most beautiful sandbanks with a local travel agency.


A Meal with a View

In the Maldives, most meals have views ─ great ones at that.

Many resort restaurants have outdoor seating areas with views of the ocean or are built in a way that invites the beach in. You can also request special private dining set-ups out on the sand by the waves and under the stars.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a view of a different kind, allocate time for an underwater meal at one of the Maldives’ marine restaurants that are situated metres under the tropical waves. A couple of the country’s luxury resorts have these.

To make use of the underwater restaurant, book a night or two at one such resort; alternatively, you can make a visit to a resort that offers this one-of-a-kind dining experience. In the latter scenario, do make sure to call the resort ahead of time to confirm that non-in-house guests are welcome and reserve a table to avoid disappointment!

Inspired to travel the Maldives differently? Start with these spots and experiences.

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