Fun for little swimmers and adult water babies

Maldives Promotion House – For active families with little adventurers in tow, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives has just launched a new PADI Skin Diver Course, available for adults and children as young as eight. While snorkelling is limited to peering down from the surface, this short course enables avid water babies to venture deeper, making frequent surface dives to interact up close and personal with aquatic life.

Located in South Malé Atoll, Olhuveli is a beautiful island retreat with stunning beaches, abundant sandbanks and its own house reef. While on the skin diving course, guests will be provided with information on the equipment, dive science, the environment and safety – and then the fun starts. The best part is learning to use the mask, fins and snorkel so not a moment of action below the surface is missed.

The resort’s house reef, easily accessed from the jetty, provides a safe, current-free environment from which to discover the underwater world. Residing just metres beneath the warm, clear sea, it is inviting and unthreatening – even for little mermaids and mermasters. Basking in sunlight, bright corals line the sandy seabed, offering the perfect habitat for restless damsel fish, bat fish, baby sharks and even turtles. Children will delight in chasing shoals of tiny silver fish from the shallows to the deep, while sea creatures of all types and varieties can be discovered, such as sea cucumbers and endangered giant clams.

The PADI Skin Diver course takes just over two hours, and is available from US$30 to US$60 per person, (including equipment and excluding taxes and service charges). On completion of the course, guests receive a PADI Skin Diver certification card, so they are ready for their next adventure.

Back on dry land, at night guests can watch manta rays, which seasonally come to the jetty to feed on plankton that is attracted by the floodlights. This is a wonderful spectacle for families to encounter after a day of watery adventures.

In addition to a five-star PADI dive centre, Olhuveli offers a fantastic watersports centre with fun tubes, banana boat rides, stand-up paddle-boarding, wake-boarding and the first licensed kite-surfing school in the Maldives. Additional facilities include a selection of restaurants and bars, two large pools, a Sun Spa and a free, daily kids’ programme.

New for 2013 and for the ultimate family celebration or romantic dining experience, the resort has just launched a ‘sand horizon’ destination dining experience, whereby seats are dug into the sand to dine on the beach, creating a beautiful ambiance.

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