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Featuring one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, the Angaga Island Resort and Spa will please every ocean lover. The island is compact, it can be walked around in 10 minutes and its house reef is just a few steps away from the beach where you can discover vibrant corals and rich marine life including colorful reef fish, sharks, turtles and rays. If you are considering going snorkeling in Angaga Island, here are some useful things to know.
Where is the Angaga Island Resort and Spa?
The small resort island of Angaga is situated in the South Ari Atoll in the Maldives which is known for its excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities since it is located within an area that manta rays and whale sharks regularly visit. With lush, tropical vegetation, white sandy beach and a vibrant house reef, Angaga Island has fantastic conditions for a relaxing, yet adventure-filled vacation.
How to get to Angaga Island?
Angaga Island can be reached by seaplane from Male International Airport. The journey takes about 30-45 minutes depending on how many additional stops your flight includes if it includes any.
The Angaga seaplane docks lie directly next to the island so after your hydroplane flight you will be transported to the island with a short, approx. 2-3 minutes long boat ride.
Note that seaplanes are operating in daylight hours only so if your international flight arrives in the late afternoon (usually after 3:30pm), your island transfer will be scheduled on the next day, and you need to spend one night in a hotel near Male.
Snorkeling Angaga Island House Reef
Angaga has an extensive, marine-life-rich coral reef running around the island making it one of the most popular Maldives resorts for snorkeling. The best area to snorkel is on the islands’ eastern-north-eastern side, in front of the beach villas and around the spa as marked on the Angaga Island Snorkeling map.
Knowing how devastating was the latest bleaching event in the Maldives was, we were happy to see that the island’s house reef shows good signs of recovery; there are growing corals all around the island with a good variety of aquatic life including big shoals of fish, sea turtles, rays and of course shark species.
Entering the water is the best next to the main jetty. During high tide, it is possible to swim over the reef, but during low tide, you need to use the designated passages where the coral/rocks were removed to allow safe entry/exit. We stayed in bungalow 107 which had a perfect location in terms of snorkeling since the reef was literally at our doorstep with a passage directly in front of our room.
The water is not too deep in the main snorkeling area (to the right of the wooden jetty and near the spa) and there is usually no strong current. These features make Angaga’s house reef ideal for beginner snorkelers too. However, pay attention when around the jetty as there may be boat traffic.
What to See while Snorkeling in Angaga Island?
Besides various reef-building coral species (mainly hard corals), you can encounter the following marine animals during your Angaga Island snorkeling vacation:
- common Maldivian reef fish
- various shark species; black tip reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, nurse sharks
- groups of eagle rays, stingrays
- turtles (hawksbill and green)
- moray eels
- feather stars
Best Time to go Snorkeling in Angaga Island Maldives
The best time to visit Angaga Island (and generally the Maldives) is the dry season that runs from mid-December – early January till the middle-end of April. During these months, you can expect blue skies with abundant sunshine and clear, calm waters with little chance of rain.
Temperatures are constant year-round, the air is around 78-91F (26-32C), while the sea is around 80-86F (27-30C).
From May till November, there is monsoon season in the Maldives when cloudy days are more common, the sea can get rough, there can be strong wind and the visibility can be very bad.
To be honest, this isn’t a bad time for a Maldives snorkeling vacation as even in the wet season it is not raining every and all day and if the conditions are not too bad, underwater activities are also doable.
In fact, many people intentionally schedule their trip for these months as the currents bring up so nutrient-rich waters that the chance of encountering big pelagic species is a lot higher than in the dry season. However, it is advisable the avoid the transition periods (from mid-April till mid-May and in November) as those can bring heavy rainfalls and strong winds.
Lately, the weather got unpredictable so the monsoon timings can differ from what is forecasted. We visited the island at the beginning of May, which is considered a not ideal time to go to the Maldives but had only 2 rainy days in one week.
Angaga Island Resort Snorkeling Trips
If snorkeling at the house reef would not be enough for you, the island offers excursions for those who want to explore more. Discover the nearby reefs, swim with mantas or whale sharks; the choice is yours! These tours can be booked by adding your room number and name to the relevant list at the reception.
Whale Shark Watching
The South Ari Atoll is a world-famous destination for spotting whale sharks year-round so those who want to swim with the biggest fish of the ocean should join a whale shark watching tour.
The area where the possibility is the highest to encounter these majestic creatures (around Dhigurah and Maamigili) lies just about an hour by boat from Angaga Island, so such an excursion can be done in half day and priced fairly (it is approx. 60 USD plus taxes per person); make sure to sign up for one when you are on Angaga!
Swimming With Manta Rays
Reef manta rays are year-round residents in the Maldives migrating across the country’s atolls. Although sightings are never guaranteed, there is always a good chance to find them so if you have ever dreamt of swimming with manta rays, joining a trip is a must for you!
Half Day Snorkeling Trip
Explore some of the nearby coral reefs! There are several excellent snorkeling spots near Angaga where half-day excursions are organized to.
The price of these snorkel trips is around 20USD plus local taxes. If you are on all inclusive, 1 half day snorkeling excursion is included in your package.
Private excursions can be arranged upon request too.
Angaga Island Resort and Spa offers 3 types of accommodation: 50 beach bungalows, 20 water bungalows and 20 superior water villas.
The Angaga beach rooms are situated around the island’s eastern, northern and western northern shoreline. Some are built directly at the beach (western side) while others a little further from the beach, behind the palm trees and bushes; these bungalows are actually really comfortable as they offer a bit of shade too.
Equipped with all you need during a tropical vacation (modern bathroom with shower and bathtub, private patio with swing and seating), the beach bungalows offer a comfortable stay while being affordable.
Some bungalows on the island’s west side are duplexes; these are perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together.
Placed at the western end of Angaga, the water bungalows may be the ideal choice for honeymooners or sunset chasers. When the ocean is calm, it is easy to access to house reef from them, moreover you can spot eagle rays, huge stingrays and resting nurse sharks in the clear, shallow waters around the bungalows.
Note that these water villas and the sunset bar at their end are currently under renovation and will be completely renewed by the end of 2023.
Superior Water Villas
Located on the island’s southern side close to the restaurant and water sports center, the superior water villas are perfect for those who want to stay the luxurious way when in the Maldives. The villas have direct access to the lagoon and feature private sundecks too.
There is one restaurant on Angaga (called Dolphin Restaurant) situated on the island’s southern side where buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Snacks can be ordered throughout the day at the bars too.
Angaga Island has two bars; the main bar is located next to the main jetty directly at the beach while there is a sunset bar at the end the water bungalows’ jetty on the western side of the island.
If you are on All Inclusive, you can order a wide selection of juices, soft drinks and cocktails from the All-Inc drinks list, but we found the regular prices affordable too; for example, you can get a beer for 4USD, while cocktails are around 8-10 USD, taxes excluded.
To rejuvenate your body, mind and soul, treatments can be booked at the island’s Thai massage center.
Whether you are a beginner who wants to go on an intro dive or an experienced diver who is looking to encounter big pelagic species, the on-site diving center will take care of your needs. Daily boat trips are offered to the nearby reefs as well as to the house reef.
Water Sport Center
Those who want to stay active or want some adrenaline can head to the water sports point where a wide range of activities can be tried using motorized and non-motorized equipment such as jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding paddle boarding and windsurfing.
Angaga Island Resort and Spa also has a souvenir shop, library, gym, volleyball and beach soccer court, tennis court and a game corner with table tennis and darts.
Note that there is no animation/evening entertainment or playground for kids.
We found snorkeling in Angaga Island Resort and Spa surprisingly good; the house reef is easily accessible with conditions that are excellent for beginners too. The corals are recovering nicely after the bleaching event, there is a lot of newly grown hard coral. The marine life is also fantastic; you will see all common Maldivian reef species including fish, rays, turtles and sharks within a small section. The island itself also met our expectations; the staff is friendly without being pushy, the service is good and there is a laid-back vibe. However, there is no animation/entertainment so this may not be a good choice for families, but rather for couples or travelers who want to enjoy the underwater world. We recommend visiting Angaga for those who look for an affordable resort island with a good house reef and want to stay in the area where it is easy to go on whale shark watching and manta ray swimming excursions.
This is not a sponsored post; we’ve organized and booked our stay ourselves and this article reflects our real opinion/experience.
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