Best snorkeling in the Maldives for underwater photography

Angsana Ihuru Resort - Ihuru - North Male (Kaufu) Atoll - The Maldives

Totally recommended as a holiday destination generally and especially for underwater photography

Ihuru is in the south-western quadrant of North Male Atoll (north-west of the Maldivian capital, Male)

25 minutes by speed boat from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.   The airport itself is on Hulhule island which is right next to the Maldivian capital, Male.

Ihuru is a small island (as are many Maldivian islands), with 45 villas.   10 minutes and you can walk around it.
The company runs Angsana Ihuru resort and the more established Banyan Tree resort on the nearby Vabbinfaru island.

There is free boat transport (10 minutes) to the sister resort.   This provides a nice change and more opportunities for both day and night snorkelling.   Link to page on the Banyan tree.

What no pictures can convey is the friendliness, service and enthusiasm of all the resort's staff.   The dive centre is excellent (Hi Moosa).

powder blue surgeonfish
Angsana Ihuru - accommodation is luxury, modern and refined but also, seemingly, in sympathy with the island and, as for the staff ...

Food - some nights a buffet with some cooked 'while you wait', other nights - a menu.

The buffet offered a wide variety and overall the food was very good, with a similar level of service.   There's a nice bar with a sand floor.
WIFI available everywhere.   How can you complain that it is slow when it is free?

But fish and coral pictures for identification are usually big and I'm impatient.

If you are a tele addict, or just want to catch up with the world news, then forget it.   Television is internet based and rarely worked properly (2013).

Fish are not the only attraction.   The house reef is magnificient.

The corals from the jetty, past reef access points 2 and 1 and all up the right hand side are the best I've experienced in the Maldives.

The house-reef is relatively narrow and adjacent to a steep drop-off from about 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock on the map.

This means the strongest current, but the best visibility, the best corals and terrific fish which either live amongst the corals or come up from the deep.   Expect to see rays, turtles and reef sharks.

The house reef widens from 7 o'clock (ie RAP 3), around to 12 o'clock.

During our stay, this meant less current, reduced visibility and a substrate of coral outcrops in amongst sand and coral rubble.   On a good day this offered fun photography.
map of Angsana
You could lie on the sandy bottom (if weighted), and compose shots of the coral or the fish, on and in, an adjacent coral outcrop.

Naturally, the fish life was not up to that of the other side.

I have no idea what the drop-off is like here.

The whole island can be circum-snorkeled in an hour (without photographic stops).

Note that to snorkel from RAP-1 to RAP's 4/ 5 would take half an hour.   This has to be taken into account when deciding on the RAP entry and which way to head.

Swimming over the actual reef is restricted for obvious reasons.   This island is passionate about preserving its environment.

At high tide you could swim across the reef without touching anything, if you had to.   You couldn't do this at mid to low tides.

Look for the current.
Watch other snorkellers etc.   Is it going left to right, right to left, is it strong or barely running and choose your RAP.
Access - is a doddle.   Walk in from the beach, sort yourself out in the shallow lagoon between the beach and the house reef, and swim to your chosen access point.
The very shallow lagoon can provide photographic opportunities right adjacent to the start of the coral reef proper.
Link to Angsana Ihuru Resort.

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Best snorkeling in The Maldives
Banyan Tree - Vabbinfaru
(captions below needn't be read as you will have seen them with the gallery pictures - repeated below so are visible to Google/ search engines)
captions to Angsana Ihuru 'fish and critters' gallery pictures

captions to Angsana Ihuru 'seascape' gallery pictures

captions to Angsana Ihuru resort gallery pictures