One of the key attractions of a trip to Maldives is the serene oceanic magic that surrounds the islands there. Any trip would be incomplete without experiencing at least one kind of water sport the resorts have to offer.
Coco Bodu Hithi luckily has an in-house diving school called ‘Dive Ocean’ which is also PADI certified! So while you spend your trip lazing around and generally chilling at the pool side of the resort, you could also, as a bonus, get your very own diving certification. Awesome, no?
Maldives is famous for its crystal clear, deep blue waters and is perhaps the best destination if you are looking forward to take a plunge into the blue ocean. If you book the Coco Residence, you can literally go for a snorkel or dive right behind your villa. Each residence lowers into the lagoon and you have the ocean just one jump away from your lower deck. (Well, obviously, be careful too).
Being an environment friendly resort, Coco holds the belief that one must cut down and reduce the impact of having a resort right in the middle of the ocean, by giving back to nature. So the resort maintains its surrounding coral reef, and in fact even installs iron rods under the surface to let the coral grow. Also the guests are advised not to step on the corals while snorkelling as that could potentially destroy them.
During our stay, we were given access to snorkelling gear as part of our package, so we had it like a regular amenity at all times in our villa. Because we had the privilege to snorkel in the lagoon behind our villa, my husband would eagerly take a plunge whenever he felt like it 😀 I, however, was f-r-e-a-k-e-d out by the whole jumping-in-water situation as I have had the opportunity of drowning in just 3 ft deep water back home. So naturally, a person like me who is super scared of water, was not willing to take chances with dear life.
My husband, who happens to be the one who planned this whole trip, was pushing me to at least try it. So I gallantly one day decided to suit up and climb down into the lagoon. And we all know what must have happened: one foot down the ladder into the ocean, and I freaked out. This.Just. Was. Not. My. Thing.
So the next day, (thanks to my persistent husband), we booked a private snorkelling session with Lucia, the in-house marine biologist at Coco Bodu Hithi at that time. She took us to the House Reef where the water was not too deep, gave me a briefing on how to control my gear, how to balance myself underwater…basically, I think she taught me how to swim in under 10 minutes or so.
And when I got the hang of it, which, by the way, took me a while, I was ready to explore those deep blue waters on my own! I can’t express how happy the whole experience made me. We explored the corals, saw several kinds of fish and turtles, and even met a couple of divers who waved at us. Lol.
During the snorkelling excursion, the guests can take photos of the turtles they encounter and submit those to the resort’s database where they can be identified. This ‘Spot the Turtle’ activity is part of the Olive Ridley Project that the resort is partner with. The turtles and other species are basically identified by the different spots and marks over their skin — kind of like fingerprints are for identifying humans.
Thanks to Lucia, I was able to snorkel on my own and from that day onward, my husband and I would regularly go snorkelling at the House Reef. Believe me, once you go under those waters, you realize how amazing this Earth is. We don’t even know half the wonders that lie beneath those waves that we adore from the surface. It’s a magical experience to go places where you haven’t gone before and do stuff that you haven’t done before!
My only regret from that trip is that I did not get rid of my fear of water earlier. Had I done that, I would’ve had more days to go snorkelling and discover even more hidden gems below.
Some Tips Before You Go Snorkelling:
- Always wear a life jacket. You will always float with one on. Duh.
- Don’t be scared of the water. More so, DON’T freak out (like me).
- Take your time and get comfortable with your body in the water
- Don’t be scared of the fish and other creatures. They don’t even care if you’re there.
- Do not go into deep water without professional assistance.
- Have the time of your life, most importantly. This is a great chance to connect with nature.
Feel free to explore my gallery of fish and corals that we snapped on our first snorkelling excursion below!