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Sun Island Resort, South Ari Atoll

Discussion in 'Maldives' started by matdiver, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. matdiver

    matdiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Belgium
    151
    69
    28
    Hi,
    I'm heading to Sun Island in South Ari atoll next month, hoping to see a whaleshark, finally.
    Does anyone have any experience of this resort? I had a fairly helpful e-mail from the dive centre already with prices etc (ouch!), but I was just wondering if there was anyone on here who could recommend particular dive sites I should be asking to visit. Main interest will be the bigger stuff, strong currents, etc. Anything else I should know about the resort?

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
  2. Divectionist

    Divectionist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Gold Coast, Australia
    242
    108
    43
    I was there as a teenager in 2006 - can't say much about dive sites but just a couple of memories...

    In general, bungalow/amenity wise there are certainly more luxurious one's out there but the island is nice and big with great waters around. Make sure you take the plane instead of the boat for your transfer. Prices for all sorts of watersport activities (which were based in a hut at the pretty eastern end of the island) were ridiculous, so I am sure that has not changed. Food was good.

    It's been a while, so my only experience with the dive resort was that they did not know my German VDTL certification, which prompted me to go PADI after that holiday, so the DM insisted on taking me around a check dive around the absolutely dead 'house reef' (I can only hope it somewhat recovered) before I could join them on the dive boats. From today's perspective, I actually like that they showed some responsibility there.

    Needless to say, you will need to jump on their boat trips to see nicer corners, and they are probably picking those in close to intermediate range based on how easy it is to manage and dive accounting for everyone they take. The boats where traditional Dhoni types but that may have changed, probably affecting capacity and range. But there are plenty of good sites around even close-by. I just hope they changed the practice of riding turtles and dragging them on-board the Dhoni.

    I trust you will enjoy your time there! Take that boat trip to the nearby 'indigenous' island for some Maldives-reality outside the resort world, and be sure to tip the locals well, they see the least of your money down there.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
    5,184
    2,807
    113
    I was there last month, not much to see. Check out the 3rd diving day section of my trip report: Maldives 9 - 16 December 2018 TripReport

    I did see a glimps of whaleshark when I was in Sun Island, as shown my Maldives trip video here:



    If you want to see tons of whalesharks, you need to go to Isla Mujeres (Mexico) in the summer time. There are hundreds of them there. See the drone pictures of the schooling whalesharks, below. The white specks are boats. So the whalesharks are as big (if not bigger) as the boats

    6DC95E33-E7A6-4DAF-BB95-A3776E6FACF6.jpeg 8A410308-3C58-4854-A5E2-F35CD49485BC.jpeg

    Here is a video of one of the whaleshark I took when I was in Isla Mujeres in July 2017.

     
  4. matdiver

    matdiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Belgium
    151
    69
    28
    Divectionist,
    Dan T,
    thanks a million to both of you!

    I'll post something on here after I get back. I'm mainly into video, and I'd really love to get one of those shots of a whaleshark face-on.

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
    5,184
    2,807
    113
    Please do.

    You may have a good chance to see one there.

    When I was there (Sun Island), I jumped into the water last. Everyone else was 10-15m out snorkeling. Suddenly they were starting to swim towards me. So, I looked down in the water. There it was swimming right beneath my feet. :D
     
  6. matdiver

    matdiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Belgium
    151
    69
    28
    So, it took me a while to edit my footage, but now it's finally online:


    Although I didn't have any luck with the whalesharks, others did. They are definitely there!
    Overall, I found the diving to be pretty good with a wide variety of marine life, and Sun Island's dive centre is excellent. In the video, the mantas are at the beginning and at 2:45.

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
    Tippytoes12 likes this.

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