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Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Naxxar, Malta
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Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Hi folks. I need your expert advise. My wife and I are planning to visit the Maldives this coming October (last week of October) and we are avid divers. We are planning in spending 7 night and do 5 dives. We are hoping in diving with whale sharks, hammerheads and any other big fish that comes along our path! :-) We also are willing so spending some time just douing nothing and enjoying the beach. So far we have pin pointed 2 resorts, LUX and COCO Palm that are sort of in our price range.

South Ari looks like the better place to dive however it is reasonably more expensive and am wondering if it is at all worth the extra expense.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Matt and Anthea.

Northern Ireland...
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1. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Lux has no house reef

S Ari is the preferred atoll for divers and to many, the only place worth considering for diving

Naxxar, Malta
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2. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Thanks - Do you recommend someplace else in the South Ari rather then LUX?

Divide, Colorado
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3. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

you absolutely want to be in the southern ari atoll ... preferably not lux. mirihi is the most diverfriendly island i know with regular divetime 75 mins - rather than the usual 50 or 60 mins, excellent housereef , amazing food and wonderful athmosphere.

athuruga would be my next recommendation .. all inclusive , good housereef , good diving - divecenter somewhat less accomodating than mirihi - but thats why mirihi is so special for divers.

you could also look at lily beach or for a more budget friendly resort with good diving and housereef : vilamendhoo

Kent, England
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4. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

For the best chance of seeing whalesharks you need to be in the South of South Ari near Mamagili......Lux is actually quite close so isn't a bad choice as long as you are happy to do all boat dives?

otherwise, Thudufushi, Vilamendhoo, Angaga, Vakarufalhi and even Mirihi.

Athuruga is quite far North in the atoll but still worth considering.

france
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5. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

In the south ari atol there is a number of very good resorts with good housereefs for diving and all relatively close for the manta and whaleshark sights.

Lux is on the whale shark channel but as mentioned above no housereef so boatdives.

Maafushivaru,Vakarufalhi, vilamendoo,centara grand. + more !

Slightly further from the whaleshark channel (Ithink) athuruga and thudufushi with reputed very good housereefs.

Mirihi often reported on here as having the best or one of the best housereefs gets highly praised on here.

Out of the above list I have only been to centara grand, it does have a lovely wreck on its doorstep, which for nightdiving is wonderful/and daytime! I recommend the dive centre Best dives a great team.

It really depends on the budget you want to spend on your holiday......

Naxxar, Malta
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6. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Thanks for your post. It is people like you guys who help newbies like me to have a good trip. So what is wrong with LUX? I gathered it doesnt have its own reef so you would need to do boat dives all the time correct? Is there a resort similar to LUX in the South Ari that is a bit less pricey and has better diving? What do you guys recommend? I looked at Mirihi just now and Athuruga - not sure if the resorts are any cheaper though?

Matt

Naxxar, Malta
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7. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Thanks CassieFrance for your input. I am looking for something slightly cheaper then LUX. We found COCO PALM to be in our price range but its not in the right Atoll! :-)

Perhaps you have any ideas re: resorts?

Matt

Stourbridge, United...
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8. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Will stand corrected but I don't think you will get whale shark or hammerhead at that time of year in south ari but definitely south ari is the better part for diving.

.....susie

Divide, Colorado
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9. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

too late to edit :

all the resorts mentioned above have access to the whaleshark site in the channel south of the atoll , including as far north as athuruga . lux has by no means a monopoly.

the wreck near centara is a lovely site for sure ... it is also dived from all resorts mentioned. centara as an island is my maldivian nightmare .. overbuilt to the hilt, unsightly wavebreakers , barely anything green left, very ittle beach .. all filled up with concrete . the island is also very very family friendly . however , it has some loyal guests.. so its really just a matter of personal taste. the housereef is quite good.. not in the same league as mirihi and athuruga but good.

mirihi has a wreck as well, just off the beach.

if you are avid divers , 5 dives is very very little for what the ari atoll has to offer. i suggest planning on at least double that.. you'll see why :)

i forgot to mention angaga as a wonderful diver's island .. within a reasonable pricerange

france
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10. Re: Maldives in October 2013 - South Ari or Baa Atoll?

Well, for less expensive than lux, Vilamendhoo,Angaga (as Jody mentioned) and possibly Vakurafahli - would all be worth a second glance.

Pricewise I think lux and centara are almost comparable, with lux being a prettier island, I am a huge fan of centara, but for many on this forum not their cup of tea!

You should get loads of help and info from divers on here and their island opinions, information overload soon.

happy researching!

one day I will dive the wreck on mirihi !! and its reef...

Edited: 21 March 2013, 14:08