Things to do – Veligandu Island
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Hidden gems five minutes away from Veligandu Island

Are you looking for some exciting adventures to try during your visit to Maldives? You are on the right article. Veligandu is a top romantic beach resort in the Maldives where you can be as relaxed or as active as you like. Veligandu offers plenty of adventures within the island itself, but if you desire to explore more, here are six of the top recommendations by the Veligandu team. These Must-Visit wonders are just 5 minutes from Veligandu.

  1. The Manta Cleaning Station
  2. Finding Hammerhead Sharks
  3. Wonder Rock Expedition
  4. Turtles Encounter
  5. The sea anemones – Finding Nemo
  6. Dance with the Dolphins under the sunset hues
1. The Manta Cleaning Station:

A large congregation of Manta Rays can be found at The Manta Ray Cleaning Station located just 200 meters northwest of Veligandu, reachable by a 3-minute boat ride. This easily accessible manta sighting spot suits all levels of snorkelers and divers.

Read more on Manta Cleaning Station »

2. Finding Hammerhead Sharks

Diving in Hammerhead Shark Point is an adrenaline-filled deep blue dive experience. This is an adventure only suitable for passionate, advanced scuba divers with excellent buoyancy.

The Madivaru Corner, world-famous Hammerhead Shark Point, is just a 3-minute boat ride from Veligandu. Here, mostly seen are Scalloped Hammerhead sharks traveling in schools. Occasionally, Great Hammerhead Sharks are also spotted. These giant sharks are sighted all year round at a depth of 30 meters. The best time to spot them is early morning, before sunrise; particularly from December to April. The diver must hover in the deep and wait patiently for the hammerheads to appear from the depths.

Tip: A plethora of blue plankton is a surefire sign that the Hammerhead sharks are nearby. Hammerheads pose no threat to divers and feed in deeper waters at night.

3. The Sea Anemones – Finding Nemo

The fluorescent sea anemone with tentacles is a trendy spot for vibrant clownfish to hang out. Visit the sea anemones to find the clownfish-Nemos hiding in the Veligandu house reef and at Madivaru Corner. The Madivaru Corner is just a 3-minute boat ride from Veligandu. The good news is that you can see them any time of the year, day and night.

4. Searching Turtles

The turtle reef is on the east side, between Madivaru Island and Veligandu. Sometimes there is a nice ocean current making it very suitable for drift dive. There is no specific time to spot the turtles. However, there is a high chance of spotting turtles from November to April.

Tip: A plethora of jellyfish, sponges, and seagrass is a surefire sign that a turtle is nearby. Batfish are often seen around turtles because they love to feed on sea turtle poop.

5. Wonder Rock Snorkeling Expedition

The Wonder Rock is a twin coral rock formation in the crystal-clear lagoon of the breathtaking sandbank, Madivaru Finolhu. You can reach this wonder in 5 minutes via a speedboat from Veligandu. Here you are guaranteed to find Bluestripe Snapper, Lionfish, Moray eel, Anemone fish, Blue Surgeonfish, Glassfish, and many more colorful fishes. Often our snorkelers have spotted turtles and stingrays here. Our expert team member will be your snorkel buddy and guide you throughout the exploration. This fascinating expedition is suitable for beginner to advanced-level snorkelers.

6. Dolphin Sighting and Dolphin Cruise

Join the Sunset Cruise and dance with the Dolphins under the sunset hues on a traditional Dhoni.
The possibility of seeing dolphins are all year round but the best time is during or right before sunset between November to April when the sea is calm. The likelihood of seeing dolphins in the open ocean depends on the weather. The dolphins tend to hide if the ocean is rough and in June to August, the dolphins tend to hide away in the deep sea.
There are two to three spots around Veligandu where you can spot an abundance of dolphins swaying and twisting. The dolphin show starts around 6 pm and is 3-5 minutes from Veligandu.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to observe these majestic creatures and unique experiences in their natural habitat. Most importantly, don’t forget to capture all your moments for your adventure memory book.
Let’s say you don’t have a GoPro, this is the moment we say options are limitless and the choice is yours. You can either;

Use your phone with an underwater cover – you can find the water-resistance covers in the Veligandu Gift Shop

Buddy with one of our professional photographers

We love the sea. It brings the most beautiful feeling of connection. Do you feel the same? It is also one reason why so many of you are visiting us. It is also one reason why we have frequent explorers from all around the world.
Remember, you have never completed your visit to Veligandu until you have explored these wonderful wonders near the island.


  • These are wild animals in their natural habitat and there is a chance that they will not be found.
  • The Maldives bans all forms of shark and turtle fishing.

Visiting Veligandu?

The island will reopen on November 1, 2024. Contact for future reservations.

When the resort reopens, guests can directly access the house reef to see turtles from their villa or islands beach by taking an excursion with Veligandu or with the Veligandu dive centre.

Dive into the Manta Spa at Veligandu

Imagine the feeling of indulging in a spa day, the ultimate self-care experience. Well, guess what? Mantas are no strangers to the allure of relaxation either! Prepare to witness nature’s very own pampering session, and it’s a spectacle you won’t want to miss.

Welcome to the Manta Ray Spa, a haven for mantas, just 200 meters northwest of Veligandu – accessible via a quick 3-minute boat ride. Locally known as ‘Madi Gaa’ (Dhivehi for Ray Rock), this underwater oasis sits at a depth of 10-13 meters below the surface.

The area is a solitary boulder star coral block, rising about 2 meters from the seabed. It’s surrounded by sandy stretches and scattered coral patches, creating the perfect stage for a fascinating performance by the Mantas.

Picture this: majestic mantas gracefully circling above the coral block while tiny wrasses and parasitic copepods meticulously remove parasites, dead skin, and infected tissues from the mantas’ skin, gills, and teeth in a cleaning symbiosis. It’s a choreographed ballet of health and well-being, with the cleaners feasting on their hard-earned rewards.

You can spot mantas year-round around Veligandu House Reef, neighbouring reefs, and lagoons. However, the best time to catch this symbiotic show is from December to April during the Northwest Monsoon Season when zooplankton congregates in the Rasdu atoll’s western part, attracting scores of hungry mantas. These gentle giants filter-feed on zooplankton and krill, consuming massive quantities to sustain their colossal size.

Snorkelers can float gracefully beside the coral block at Madi Gaa, while adept free divers can venture deeper for a closer look. Scuba divers must stay low on the sandy bottom, keeping a safe distance of 3-5 meters from the coral block’s outer edge to avoid damaging the reef or startling any hidden Flounder fish.

Meet the elusive Leopard Flounder, locally known as “Velimadi” in Dhivehi. These unique creatures sport both eyes on one side and camouflage themselves beneath a thin layer of sand. With pigmented scales for disguise, they’re ambush predators that strike with stealth. Keep your eyes peeled for them but remember, no touching!

Unlike turtles, mantas are perpetual swimmers, incapable of stopping or reversing. Respect their path by approaching from the side and maintaining a minimum 3-meter distance. If they come your way, drift low or move aside, allowing these graceful giants to glide past.

Mantas are so tempting to touch due to their sheer beauty but resist the urge. Their delicate mucus layer is essential for their well-being, and your touch could harm it. So, let nature’s marvels mesmerize you by taking the Manta excursion on your next visit to Veligandu and allow these captivating sights to fill your eyes and heart with pure wonder. 

Visiting Veligandu?

The island will reopen on November 1, 2024. Contact for future reservations.

When the resort reopens, guests can directly access the house reef to see turtles from their villa or islands beach by taking an excursion with Veligandu or with the Veligandu dive centre.

Turtle Behaviour and Facts

The Maldivian archipelago is home to five of the seven species of sea turtles, green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The waters around Veligandu Island is frequented by the critically endangered Hawkbills and endangered Green Sea turtles.

Green sea turtles are the largest of all hard-shelled sea turtles. They can grow to about 120cm long and weigh between 135 and 160 kg. It reaches adulthood between 15 to 50 years of age.

Turtle Courtship

As seen at 1.29 seconds on the video
During mating season, males may court a female by nuzzling her head or gently biting her neck and rear flippers. If the female does not flee, the male attaches himself to the back of the female’s shell by gripping her top shell with claws in his front flippers. He then folds his long tail under her shell to copulate.
A unique communication method utilized by turtles is biting.

When some male turtles try to woo females to mate, they approach them underwater, and then the turtle will face the other and flutter or vibrate its front claws around the female turtle’s head. When the female turtle catches sight of this and is amenable to the invitation, they drop to the aquatic floor.

Sleeping and Resting

As seen at 2.38 seconds on the video
Turtles generally sleep for about 4 to 7 hours each night. They might also nap during the day or sleep for long periods if they’re hibernating. They may also rest in their basking area for long hours.

They swim to the ocean surface to breathe.
Sea turtles breathe air with their lungs. Even when they sleep, expect them to wake up frequently to breathe.

When snorkelling and diving, maintain distance from the turtles
Avoid touching turtles and corals
Avoid chasing turtles
Turtles can hold their breath for hours, but if we stress them by blocking or chasing them, they can drown in a few seconds.

Sometimes, they can be very curious

Turtles are solitary hunters

The hawksbill sea turtle has a narrow head adapted to get food from coral reef crevices. The jaws of a loggerhead sea turtle are adapted for crushing and grinding.

They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help to maintain the health of our coral reefs and the sea grass beds.

In Veligandu house reef, mostly hawksbill sea turtles are seen, and the Hotspots for turtles are In front of the main restaurant and Athiri Bar.

[Related: Veligandu’s Scuba Diving and Snorkelers Calendar For North Ari Atoll Maldives » ]

Visiting Veligandu?

The island will reopen on November 1, 2024. Contact for future reservations.

When the resort reopens, guests can directly access the house reef to see turtles from their villa or islands beach by taking an excursion with Veligandu or with the Veligandu dive centre.

Mas Riha – Maldivian Fish Curry By Chef Didi – Taste Of Maldives By Veligandu

For our guests who had tried this before and for those who love to cook, Veligandus’ famed and talented Maldivian chef Didi will guide you on how to prepare an authentic Maldivian Mas Riha (Maldivian Curry).  You can easily prepare this entire delicious meal in less than 30 minutes and bring the tropical Maldivian flavours to your kitchen with this luscious Mas Riha.

Here’s everything you’re going to need:

  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 Dried Gamboge
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp Sesamee seeds
  • 2 medium Onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Few Hikadhi Faiy (Curry Leaves)
  • 3 Raanba Faiy (Pandan Leaves), cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Maldivian chilli
  • 1 tsp fish curry powder
  • ½ tsp Chili powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 500g Fresh Red Snapper or any other firm fresh fish cut into small cubes. (Authentic Maldivian Fish curry is usually cooked with fresh tuna, Kaṇḍumas (skipjack tuna), but also Kanneli (yellowfin tuna) or Laṭṭi (little tunny)
  • Salt to taste (about ½ tsp)

Veligandu's Chef Didi cooking Mas Riha - Maldivian Fish Curry

How to cook:

  • Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat.
  • Add the dried gamboge, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, sauté for few seconds.
  • Once they start to splutter, add onions, ginger and garlic and stir. Add tomato, curry leaves, pandan and Maldivian chilli into the mixture. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the onion softens, add Curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and mix well. Stir for 30 seconds until the mixture becomes fragrant.
  • Add coconut milk and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Gently add fresh red snapper cubes and toss until all pieces of fish are well coated with the source, simmer without stirring until the fish is well-cooked, about 5-6 minutes. The fish is ready when it slightly resists flaking, to confirm, gently nudge the fish with a spoon.
  • Add salt to taste and stir gently. Simmer about 1 minute.
  • Plate up and serve hot with basmati rice or roshi (Maldivian traditional flatbread).

Mas riha is commonly eaten with steamed white rice or Basmati, but when eaten for breakfast it is served with roshi (flatbread) and eaten along with hot tea.

Tips: The real secret to a luscious curry is fresh spices. Blooming the spices is a crucial step to creating a delectable curry, as it releases the essential flavour to the curry.

Make your own Maldivian curry powder fresh at home: Roast coriander, cumin, funnel, chilli and cinnamon powder along with ground pepper and cinnamon seeds in equal quantity. Leave the mixture to cool down as you begin with your curry preparation.

Basically the fish is diced and cooked together over low fire with a mixture of sautéed onions and spices to which Coconut milk is added and left to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Once you nail the basic steps on how to make a curry, you can have your way and create your very own curry that suits your taste buds.

We will see you soon when the time is right, till then enjoy the taste of Maldives in the comfort of your home.

Mas Riha

Delightful Romantic Experiences In Veligandu This May

At the heart of Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, is our desire to create beautiful experiences that allow you to make extraordinary memories. Here are the beach dining affairs that you can be apart of in May.

For seafood lovers, the Madivaru Sunset Seafood Dinner on May 9, 2019, is the dinner not to miss. Served on the quiet and romantic beach, watch the sun go down as your waiter attends to you. Indulge in exquisite treats such as the yellowfin tuna nigiri tempura on seaweed salad followed by fresh lagoon prawns and finish off with a mouth-watering dessert.

On May 12, 2019, join us on the beach for our Mother’s Day Dinner. Our Executive Chef, Siegbert Horn and his team have created a sensational menu that will ensure you wrap up this special day in the most spectacular way. The incredible menu and the awe-inspiring setting by the sea will guarantee that you have a Mother’s Day to remember.

The Romantic Full Moon Dinner on May 18, 2019, and May 24, 2019, appeals to your romantic nature. The enchanting atmosphere under the moonlight, by the sea, as a cooling breeze blows sets the scene to enjoy dinner in the company of your loved one. Lose yourself in the wonder of the night and each other while you enjoy tantalising delicacies.

With the Bubbles & Lobster Dinner on May 31, 2019, Chef Sigi puts together a fantastic menu around the Maldivian lobster. Toast to the beautiful island life with a glass of Prosecco as you relish the delectable feast. Dig into the char-grilled prawns served with arugula salad, followed by grilled or steamed lobster served with asparagus pilaf rice, to mention but a few.

Finally, throughout the month, escape to a private location on the beach for the Signature Private BBQ Dinner. Secluded and idyllic, this highly requested dinner allows you to have the beach to yourself as you enjoy prime cuts or fresh seafood, expertly barbecued for you by your private chef.

To reserve any of these dinners, kindly email

Bon Appétit!

As you plan a visit to Veligandu, we have special offers  that you can take advantage of.


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