Reethi Faru House Reef in Maldives: A Snorkeler’s Review

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

We can all agree the Maldives is absolutely gorgeous. Exotic. Pristine beaches. Water so clear you can see straight down to your toes wiggling in the sand. There’s more to the Maldives though than world-class beaches, and that is the vibrant underwater world! The Reethi Faru Resort has a pretty incredible house reef. Here’s an account of our firsthand snorkeling experience, which includes where to snorkel and what cool sea life you might encounter.

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Reethi Fari House Reef Rating 

House reef at Reethi Faru Resort in the Maldives

House reef at Reethi Faru Resort in the Maldives

To give you a sense of what marine life you might encounter, I have included personal ratings in all of my snorkeling guides. 

Please refer to my snorkel rating key for interpretation.

Reethi Faru Snorkeling Report Card: 

Rating: 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿

Fish Soup: 🐠 🐠 🐠

Big Marine Life:  🐢

Where’s Waldo: 🐙

Unique Snorkel Encounters: Manta Rays

Map of Where to Snorkel at Reethi Faru

Map of Where to Snorkel at Reethi Faru Resort

Map of Where to Snorkel at Reethi Faru Resort

If you look at the Reethi Faru Resort map, you will see there are 9 entry and exit points on the island (marked by the salmon pink color dots).

Route #1 is considered one of the best snorkeling routes. Start from Nala Bar and exit just after Dhiyavaru (the overwater fine dining restaurant). Lots of fish soup.

Route #2 is another decent snorkeling route. Start from the beach at Vakaru (the main restaurant) and exit before Nala Bar.

Route #3 involves snorkeling around and UNDER the overwater villas. Start at the beach villas (in the 300s) or directly from your overwater villa and exit just after the Sunset Bar.

My husband saw quite a large shark (it was definitely not a blacktip reef shark) near the end of the overwater villas. Although we didn’t see them, fellow travelers have also spotted eagle rays and octopus in/around the overwater villas.

We really enjoyed staying in the overwater villas. See my detailed Reethi Faru Resort review if you want to know what it’s like staying in this room type.

Reethi Faru House Reef Snorkeling Photos

Now on to the fun part!

What will you see? I created a Maldives Fish Chart of the 42 species of fish you might encounter. The chart was created with my personal snorkeling photos from several resorts we stayed at in the Maldives including Reethi Faru.

Here is a sample of all the cool sea life at Reethi Faru we captured with my favorite snorkeling camera:

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BABY REEF SHARK

Baby black tipped reef shark at Reethi Faru Resort in Maldives

Baby blacktip reef shark

My husband and I were walking along the beach at Reethi Faru and saw this baby blacktip reef shark right at the shoreline. I jumped in to get a quick photo.

This cute little guy was not interested in sticking around and immediately swam away from me. You can see in the photo he was swimming around in pretty shallow water.

We saw a few adult-sized sharks while swimming around our overwater bungalow. They always kept their distance, as did we.

Although I am a little more comfortable around sharks now (we even did cage diving with great white sharks!), my heart still races at the sight of them.

Before I went to the Maldives, of course, I googled “Maldives shark attack” to see if there had been any incidents.

Surprisingly, I found there have been no recorded shark attacks on humans in the Maldives.  The theory is the Maldives is situated in a very food-rich area of the Indian Ocean. In other words, the sharks are happy because they have no problems keeping their bellies full.

I like happy sharks!

By the way, if you like a lot of shark action, do not miss my review on the house reef at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort.

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ORIENTAL SWEETLIP

Oriental sweetlip in Maldives

Oriental sweetlip at Reethi Faru Resort in Maldives 

How cool is this fish? Its beautiful body pattern is like a cross between a zebra and a leopard. These fish have puffy swollen lips, hence the name sweetlips.

This was definitely one of my favorite fish species that I saw while we snorkeled in the Maldives.

They are little divas and usually prefer only live food. Supposedly, this tasty fish is considered a delicacy in the Maldives.

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BLUE STRIPE SNAPPER

Blue striped snapper in Maldives

School of blue stripe snapper in the Maldives

These brightly-colored fish with 4 vivid blue stripes love to hang around in groups around coral. We were able to swim quite close to them without scaring them off.

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WHITESPOTTED PUFFERFISH

Whitespotted pufferfish in Maldives

Whitespotted pufferfish in the Maldives

This was yet another beautiful fish we encountered during our Maldives snorkeling adventure.

The whitespotted pufferfish gets its name because of its ability to “puff” itself up by taking water into its stomach when a predator is around. These solitary fish don’t like to be bothered and will usually dart into a hole when approached.

Japan considers puffer fish a delicacy but only certain species. One is prized above the rest: the quite poisonous torafugu or tiger puffer fish.

Its toxin is more poisonous than cyanide! Only certified chefs can prepare and serve this fish. My husband tried fugu at Sushi Toro in Washington DC; luckily he’s still around to tell of the experience.

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BUTTERFLYFISH

Butterflyfish in the Maldives

Butterflyfish in the Maldives

Butterflyfish are gorgeous and have really interesting body patterns and long thin snouts. Many have dark bands across their eyes like a bandit and little dots on their body that could be mistaken as an eye.

This unique pattern often confuses predators, allowing the butterflyfish to escape.

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BLACKTAIL & BLUE SURGEONFISH

The Blacktail surgeonfish in Maldives

Blacktail surgeonfish in the Maldives

Don’t mess with a surgeonfish. They have a little spine that sits in a groove on both sides of their body. That spine will pop out like a scalpel if you make them angry. But only if you upset them. 

The surgeonfish is not aggressive and will move away when approached. We saw a lot of these fish during our snorkeling trips in the Maldives!

Snorkeling with a surgeonfish in the Maldives

Maldives snorkeling with a blue surgeonfish

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TITAN & ORANGELINED TRIGGERFISH

Triggerfish in the Maldives

Titan triggerfish in the Maldives

This is another fish you need to respect. We saw two types of triggerfish: the titan triggerfish (yes, he was a big boy!) and the orangelined triggerfish.

These fish will inflict a nasty bite if you provoke them. The time to be extra careful around them is during mating and nesting season.

Their nest is usually in a sandy area right next to coral. Pretend there is a big cone right above the nest and avoid it. If you venture into it, good luck.

How do you tell if you made the triggerfish mad?

It will suddenly do a face-off with you or roll onto its side to get a better look at you with its beady eyes. The best bet is to swim horizontally away, keeping your fins between you and the fish.

Orangelined triggerfish in Maldives

Orangelined triggerfish in the Maldives

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MOORISH IDOL

Moorish Idol in the Maldives

Moorish Idol in the Maldives

This shy fish supposedly got its name from the Moors of Africa. It kinda looks like an angel fish.

The graceful Moorish idol has a white long filament-looking crest that sweeps along the body. We didn’t see too many of these beauties. They tend to be solitary or in pairs.

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PARROTFISH

Parrotfish at house reef in Maldives

Parrotfish at house reef in the Maldives

This vibrantly colored fish gets its name from its beak-like mouth. And they love to chomp! Their teeth are constantly munching on coral to remove the algae, which they then poop out as sand.

One large parrotfish can produce 1,000 POUNDS of sand a year!

We saw quite a few parrotfish during our Maldives snorkeling trips.

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LONGFIN BATFISH

Batfish in Maldives under overwater bungalow

Batfish in the Maldives under our overwater bungalow

It took me forever to identify this fish. Our Longfin Batfish loved to hang around the steps leading down from our overwater bungalow and never wanted to show his face as I snorkeled close to him.

Although this one was playing hard to get, they are supposed to be social, friendly, and quite clever. When threatened, this fish can change color and even flatten itself out on its side in an attempt to look like a flatworm.

I later learned our little friend was a juvenile Longfin Batfish. Adults and juveniles look very different.

Juveniles are characterized by their long dorsal and anal fins that can sometimes look like floating debris or seaweed.

As they turn into adults, their fins shorten and they get a little bony bulge on the forehead.

In my opinion, the kids are more attractive looking than the adults.

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SCORPIONFISH

Scorpionfish in the Maldives

Scorpionfish in the Maldives

I am horrible at picking out small creatures and camouflaged fish. My husband, on the other hand, has an amazing eagle eye!

Thanks to him, I had the privilege of seeing my first scorpionfish while snorkeling in the Maldives. They literally blend into their surroundings, waiting for unsuspecting prey.

Scorpionfish have long elongated bodies with little protruding eyes. They have poisonous spines, so be respectful and keep your distance.

Stonefish are the MOST VENOMOUS fish in the world and can look similar to scorpionfish. However, they have more rounded bodies and literally look like a stone.

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UNICORNFISH

Unicorn fish in the Maldives

Unicornfish in the Maldives

You can’t miss this fish! Unicornfish have a huge pointy protrusion coming off their forehead. These playful fish don’t mind getting close. Watch your hands though because this fish also has scalpel-like blades at the base of its tail like their relatives, the surgeonfish.

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GOATFISH

Goatfish in Maldives

Goatfish in the Maldives

The goatfish is yet another easy fish to identify. I saw this one on the sandy bottom, using his long chin barbels (or goatee or whiskers) to probe the sand for food. This fish also has a distinctive forked tail.

They can rapidly change color and will turn a pale cream when hanging out in the sand to avoid predators (like in the photo below).

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CLOWNFISH

Clownfish in the Maldives

Clownfish in the Maldives

You cannot help but smile and fall in love with this adorable little orange fish as it darts in and out of the sea anemone playing peekaboo.

The clownfish aka Nemo has a symbiotic relationship with the sea anemone. The clownfish uses the sea anemone as a safe haven; in turn, the sea anemone uses the clownfish to clean its tentacles and fend off intruders like the butterflyfish.

The clownfish is protected from the sea anemone’s stinging tentacles by the thick mucous that forms on its body.

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COLORFUL CLAM

Colorful clam in the Maldives

Colorful clam in the Maldives

The Maldives has some beautiful giant clams like this bright purple one we passed by snorkeling at Reethi Faru. They feed on algae and can grow quite large.

Reethi Faru House Reef Video 

YouTube Video of Snorkeling at Reethi Faru House Reef

Bonus- Manta Rays! 

Manta ray

Manta ray

One regret was not taking advantage of the Manta Ray excursion. Fellow travelers loved it!

For $55, the dive shop will take you on a 3-hour tour of Manta Lagoon. Next time!

Although one of my ultimate bucket list items is to snorkel at Hanifaru Bay in the Maldives.

Hanifaru Bay is a marine-protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This reserve is the premier location to swim with the WORLD’S largest aggregation of manta rays.

From June to November, these graceful creatures swoop in and have a feeding party on the plankton that gets funneled into the channels of the atoll.

Sometimes whale sharks even join in on the feast. Besides the Maldives, here are the other best locations to snorkel with whale sharks.

Best Time to Snorkel in the Maldives

Overall, the best weather and driest months for snorkeling are January – April.

A Note on Snorkeling Gear

The snorkeling gear I put in the Stahlsac BVI Mesh Backpack

My snorkeling gear setup

You can rent a snorkeling gear set for $9, but if you flew across the world to the Maldives specifically for snorkeling, you may want to consider investing in the right gear.

There’s nothing worse than a constantly fogging mask or fins that keep digging into your legs.

Get properly fitted.

Here is a list of the 13 travel snorkeling gear items I bring on all of my underwater adventures!

Final Thoughts

Reethi Faru Resort offers an incredible variety of fish! It was certainly worth the 36 hours from the United States and a seaplane ride

If you want to discover more of the BEST snorkeling resorts in the Maldives, do not miss my post below! 

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