Outrigger Maldives House Reef: A Snorkeler’s Review 

by | Last updated Mar 24, 2024 | Best Snorkeling Maldives, Maldives

My husband and I are experienced snorkelers and love planning “snorkations.” Some of our favorite spots are Belize, Bonaire, Bora Bora, and of course the Maldives! We booked the Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort for its great house reef and shark action. Here’s an account of our firsthand experience and where to snorkel.

* Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All recommendations are from first-hand experience that I feel will deliver value to you! Thank you for your continued support.

FOLLOW & SHARE WITH A FRIEND!

Outrigger House Reef Rating 

House reef at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

House reef at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

All of my snorkeling guides include my personal ratings. I realize this will be subjective, but it does give you a sense of what to expect.

Please see my snorkel rating key for interpretation.

Outrigger Snorkeling Report Card:

Snorkel Rating: 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿

Fish Soup: 🐠 🐠

Big Marine Life:  🐢 🐢 🐢

Where’s Waldo: 🐙 🐙

Unique Snorkel Encounters: Whale Sharks, Manta Rays

Map of Where to Snorkel at Outrigger 

Map of where to snorkel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Map of where to snorkel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

We spoke to the dive shop and asked where to snorkel. They provided us with this nice map to show us where the entry/exit points in the reef are located.

If you love snorkeling, I strongly suggest staying in the Overwater Villas with Private Plunge Pool. I’ve marked the location of our villa on the map. See my full Outrigger Resort review here if you want to know what it’s like staying in one of these rooms.

We initially swam out to the reef directly from our villa.

However, we later discovered there was a platform and ladder at the end of the pier, which led into the water. That’s the closest you can get to the reef, which requires only a short swim.

ROOM TIP:  The further you stay at the end of the pier of the Overwater Pool Villas, the closer you are to the drop-off at the reef.

Platform and ladder at the end of the pier of the Overwater Villas with Private Pool at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Platform and ladder at the end of the pier of the Overwater Pool Villas

I included this Google satellite map to show there are clear cuts in the reef to help you navigate to those entry/exit points.

Map of where the reef cuts are at the Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Map of where the reef cuts are at the Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Also, look for the buoys that mark the entry/exit points.

Buoy marking the reef cut across from the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Buoy marking the reef cut across from the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort (the weird color is from the red filter on camera)

Three Snorkeling Routes

I created three routes. Refer back to the snorkel map for orientation.

Route #1 is quite a swim. Start at the end of the pier at the Overwater Villas with Private Pools and snorkel clockwise to the right and exit at the reef cut right in front of the property’s swimming pool. You’ll deserve a hearty lunch after this snorkel.

Route #2 is short and sweet. Start at the end of the pier again and snorkel counterclockwise and exit at the next reef cut BEFORE you hit the Sunset Jetty.

Do NOT swim past the Sunset Jetty. This is where the boats go back and forth.

Juvenile sharks love to hand out underneath that jetty, and there are usually LARGE schools of fish. This is also where we saw a nurse shark!

There’s also a deep sandy area in between the overwater pool villas and the jetty where the stingrays love to bury in the sand.

Route #3 is another fun swim. Walk through the property and enter the water at the Sunrise Jetty (photo below). The snorkel counterclockwise past Moodhu Grill and exit at the reef cut in front of the swimming pool. This is where we saw a turtle and lots of schools of fish.

By the way, if you are nervous about snorkeling on your own, the Outrigger does offer a 1-hour guided house reef snorkeling tour for $70.

Our safari ranger and tracker at Lion Sands River Lodge

Sunrise Jetty at Outrigger Maldives

Outrigger House Reef Snorkeling Photos

Now, the fun part!

All snorkeling photos were taken with my favorite underwater camera.

If you need help identifying fish in the Maldives, do not miss my fun Maldives Fish Chart.

Here is what we saw on Outrigger’s House Reef:

Turtle at Outrigger Maldives Resort

Turtle 

School of Moorish idols at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

School of Moorish idols

Blacktip reef shark at the Outrigger in the Maldives

Blacktip reef shark 

A stingray hiding in the sand at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Stingray hiding in the sand in between the overwater pool villas and sunset jetty

Large moray eel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Large moray eel 

Large moray eel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Snorkeling with a blacktip reef shark near the pier

Longfin batfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Longfin batfish

Poisonous stonefish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Poisonous stonefish … it blends right in!

A blacktip reef shark cruising the reef at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Blacktip reef shark cruising the reef at the drop off

Parrotfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Parrotfish 

Parrotfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Snorkeling in the crystal clear waters with a blacktip reef shark

Painted coral lobster hiding under the brightly colored coral at Outrigger Maafushivaru Resort

Painted rock lobster hiding under the brightly colored coral

Painted lobster hiding under coral at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Closeup of painted rock lobster 

Juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming under the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming under the sunset jetty 

A clownfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Clownfish 

Sleeping nurse shark under the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Sleeping nurse shark under the sunset jetty

Oriental sweetlips at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Oriental sweetlips 

A juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming under the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming under the sunset jetty 

Snorkeling alongside brightly colored parrotfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Snorkeling with beautiful parrotfish

Swimming with multiple baby blacktip reef sharks at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Swimming with multiple baby blacktip reef sharks 

A regal angelfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Regal angelfish 

Turtle munching on the reef at Outrigger Maldives

Turtle munching on the reef 

Turtle munching on the reef at Outrigger Maldives

Hubby watching a blacktip reef shark

Blue surgeonfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Blue surgeonfish 

Baby honeycomb grouper at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Baby honeycomb grouper? Please let me know if this right

Curious blacktip reef shark checking me out at Outrigger Maafushivaru Resort

Curious blacktip reef shark

Surgeonfish giving his wife a kiss at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Surgeonfish husband giving his wife a kiss (at least that’s my interpretation 😊)! (love this photo)

Surgeonfish giving his wife a kiss at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Horrible photo because the shark was too far away, but I wanted to show you we did see 1 whitetip reef shark (long slender body and white-tipped dorsal fin)

Curious baby blacktip reef shark at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Curious baby blacktip reef shark

Bonus- Whale Sharks!

Swimming with a Whale Shark on the Outrigger Maafushivaru Excursion in the Maldives

Snorkeling with a whale shark in the South Ari atoll

The South Ari Atoll in the Maldives is one of the best places in the world to snorkel with whale sharks. And the Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort is located in the South Ari Atoll!

So of course, we had to sign up for the Whale Shark tour during our stay! The tours do not operate every day, so make sure to book with Outrigger’s dive shop as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Sightings are not guaranteed, but we were lucky and able to snorkel with this majestic, massive 40,000 pound fish for a good 5 minutes. They are fast!

This was our second experience snorkeling with whale sharks. Our first was at Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

This underwater adventure is #16 on my couples’ bucket list for exceptional travel experiences.

A playful dolphin swimming near our boat on the whale shark tour with the Outrigger Maldives

A playful dolphin swimming near our boat on the whale shark tour with the Outrigger Maldives

To make this experience even better, we saw a playful pod of dolphins on our return trip back to the resort. Pretty special day.

The Outrigger also offers a Manta Ray Excursion. We did not do this tour, but fellow travelers that we met did and loved it! I saw their video footage, which was pretty impressive.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it’s tough to find information on snorkeling destinations. I hope this snorkeling guide helped! We really enjoyed the house reef at Outrigger and would happily stay there again.

Also, if you are traveling across the world to have an exceptional snorkeling experience, do not forget to bring your own fitted snorkel gear. Properly fitted gear will elevate your underwater adventures to a whole new level.

Don’t miss my top 13 snorkel gear items I bring on all my snorkations!

Happy snorkeling!

Related Content

REACH OUT, FOLLOW, OR SHARE THIS POST WITH A FRIEND!

Questions about our snorkeling experience at Outrigger Maldives’ house reef?

Let me know in the comments below!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!