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8 of the world's most spectacular scuba spots

Feb. 4, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
School of Kashmir snapper in Maldives

Photo: Mal B/flickr

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Maldives

The remote nation of the Maldives boasts an idyllic tropical setting. These islands in the Indian Ocean are home to some amazing beaches and the type of clear, warm water that tropical vacation aficionados from around the world dream about. Yes, this is a beach-goer's paradise, but that's not all. A variety of reefs, channels and changes-in-depth around the islands of the Maldives makes for some very interesting dive sites. Fish flock here thanks to nutrients and food sources being swept through the archipelago by ocean currents. The reefs are shallow and packed with a variety of sea life.

For divers seeking the kind of colorful reef life that is usually only seen on diving specials on television, the Maldives is a great destination. However, the reefs, as attractive as they are, are only part of the story of this Indian Ocean destination. Major large marine species swim in the deeper waters near the Maldives. In channels and open water, divers can see huge manta rays, whale sharks and more.