Maafushivaru Maldives: the Best Place to Swim with a Whale Shark!

Before coming here for a few days, I had no idea that one of the biggest dreams of my travel life would come true very soon. A small, beautiful, laidback island with a ‘no-shoes-no-news’ attitude, located on the southern tip of the picturesque atoll of Ari, Maafushivaru welcomed me with contemporary indulgences.

Amzing Maarushivaru beach view

I was ready to just lounge by the pool for the time I was here but then I found out that this paradise island is located just few kilometres away from a whale shark area - and that they are here all year round!

Enjoying Maldives beach

The next morning, I skipped breakfast and was on the pier, first thing, ready for the biggest sea adventure of my life! But we were told by the island’s marine biologist when boarding the boat that there was no guarantee (oh no!) that we would see a whale shark. They are wild animals and don’t report their plans to the captain. But we were excited anyway! The captain told us that if we saw a whale shark (a huge dark spot below the water’s surface), we should immediately jump into the water and swim fast because whale sharks don't hang around waiting for tourists - they come to the surface briefly and then they disappear again, deep into the ocean.

Surfing lessons at Maafurshivaru hotel

We spent the first hour wearing fins and masks. Then we removed the fins. Then the masks. In two hours, we were ready to go home, completely disappointed, when we finally spotted a whale shark! It came up just near our boat and we jumped into the water... It was breath-taking! This animal is so graceful and so beautiful. For a few seconds, I swam just above it and I think I forgot to breathe... We saw a baby that was about 8 metres long, our instructor told us. The chance encounter was so fast - in just a few minutes, the shark swam deeper and we returned, ecstatic, to the boat. Our mission was accomplished, and I could enjoy the rest of my holiday being lazy and letting myself be spoiled by the Maafushivaru staff.

Library Lounge at the hotel

I loved spending time at the sand-floored Library Lounge or going to Lonubo Island, which is located in the same lagoon as Maafushivaru, just minutes away

Relax zone near the beach

Relaxing at Maafushivaru beach

Delicious coctails Maafushivaru bar

Maafushivaru hotel beach

The stunning deserted islet, exclusively for the use of Maafushivaru guests, offers an authentic Crusoe-esque experience. I would recommend booking a romantic lobster dinner here in the evening, just the two of you, on your own private island for the night.

Another thing you can't miss is dining in the intimate, overwater, Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, 135° East. The show is as memorable as the food is delicious.

Transmaldivian airways

So our stay here was just perfect – picture perfect!

Good to Know:

Rooms start from 500 dollars per night (full-board) – book here

25-minute sea plane transfer from Malé - 500 dollars return

WHALE SHARK SAFARI - US $70 per person

Best time to go - September to April

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I fell in love with traveling much earlier than I fell in love with my first man. And I'm still faithful to that love (But I have exchanged some men since my first one). I have never had a reason to regret my passion. I constantly dream of going further, it gives me indescribable emotions and meaning to my life.

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