You can swim now with the giant of the ocean while staying at this hotel
Spending your holiday just snorkelling seems passe now. A hotel in the Maldives now offers a one-of-a-kind experience, a swimming session with the extraordinary giants of the ocean — the Manta Rays.
Milaidhoo, located in Baa Atoll, offers escorted tours with the marine biologist so you can plunge into the sea and swim alongside these marine creatures
Despite the fear associated with Manta Rays, they are peaceful and pose no threat to humans. The Manta Ray season lasts from June to November, the time when they migrate in hundreds towards the Baa Atoll to feed in the plankton-rich waters at Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO world biosphere reserve.
Although Manta Rays can be seen on the Great Barrier Reef, in the Galapagos, Micronesia and Hawaii, the largest Manta Ray feeding station in the world is in the Maldives at Hanifaru Bay, a protected Marine Reserve just 12-minutes by speedboat from Milaidhoo.
These gigantic rays (from 12 to 24 feet in size and weighing up to 3,500 pounds) are filter feeders and listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Visits to view and swim with them are coordinated with the Marine Reserve rangers and conducted by a qualified team from Milaidhoo’s Ocean Stories Aquatic Centre.
Accompanied by the resort’s resident marine biologist, you can go on a group trip or book a private excursion, including a picnic on a deserted sandbank after swimming with these stunning creatures.
On good days it’s possible to see up to 100 Mantas Rays and you don’t need special equipment or a Scuba diving licence, just a mask and a snorkel. To conserve the environment and avoid disturbing the Manta Rays, visits are carefully managed and limited to a small number of visitors every day.
Set over 13 acres in the Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, each of Milaidhoo’s 50 private villas have been designed by a local Maldivian architect and each thatched-roof villa features generous private pools and is serviced by Island Hosts. The villas are just a short, barefoot stroll away to three world-class restaurants, incredible watersports, fitness, spa, yoga and world-class diving.
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