How to Choose a Dive Base
Every resort in the country has a dive centre (also called a base or school). Each is stocked with new or next to new, top-of-the-line equipment. The centres are regularly checked and they adhere to the regulations. In short, there are no cowboys in the Maldives. You can be assured of your safety.
If diving is not a high priority or you don’t have very many dives on your logbook, you don’t really have to make a choice. You will be delighted wherever you end up. Equally, anybody wishing to take their Open Water certification couldn’t find a better place to do it. Just about every resort island has a gently sloping lagoon which is ideal for teaching at the different depths.
What to look out for
For the more experienced or particular diver, there are a number of things to check out before making your choice:
Is the resort near to renowned dive sites or near to the place where you might find what you are looking for? Do you know where to go to see the bigger fish? Are they mostly one type of dive or is there a variety within easy reach?
Do you have to walk a long way up a jetty and back? Carrying all your own equipment? What about washing and hanging up? On some resorts the staff will do this for you.
How much information have they got on all the dive sites and how well displayed is it? Can you choose where to go?
Care and attention
How many boats go out at one time? How many instructors or dive masters are there to divers? How well are divers briefed on the boats?
Does the base do house reef dives? Night dives? Multi-tank dives? Dive safaris? Nitrox diving? Rebreathers?
What is the base’s reputation for friendliness and professionalism? Is there a chance to meet up with the staff and divers in the evening?
These are the things that can make a big difference to your diving experience, and the answers to many of these questions are included in my resort reviews. If you don’t know where to start, try the top 7 dive resorts – all outstanding diving centres for a number of reasons.