Swim with a Whale Shark: the Majestic Giant of the Sea

The whaleshark – some weighing upwards of 20 tons, and growing up to 40 feet, is a majestic giant of the sea. The behemoth fish is actually a gentle and shy creature. Its sheer size is surprisingly thanks to a diet that consists only of plankton and tiny fish which it scoops up in its gaping, toothless mouth. 


The Maldivian archipelago encompasses of twenty six atolls, laid out like a garland of flowers over turquoise and blue jewel-toned waters. The serene islands behold beautiful scenic settings and are a haven for a bountiful variety of marine life. Sun Island Resort and Spa is the ideal place, if you are seeking to experience an unforgettably perfect island vacation. 

The transfer to the resort takes about seventeen minutes from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport via FlyMe/VillaAir domestic flight. Once at the lobby, you are welcomed to a glass of much needed refreshment, over which the check-in procedures to your rooms are effectively settled. 

Stretching 1.6 kilometers in length, the main means of transport on the island are bicycles. You will find it to be truly a pleasant place to ride around in – There is lush greenery on either side of the brick boulevards with arcs of pink and purple bougainvillea and if you are lucky you might spot the shy island birds striding on the green grass. 

With all the facilities available, the rooms are very comfortable. Stretch your legs on your lounging chairs whilst overlooking the pristine white beach and listen to the mellow sounds of waves crashing on the shore. Though you could easily spend an entire day doing absolutely nothing but sunbathing on the sweeping shores, I suggest trying a fun water activity from the ample that are offered. 

The azure-colored waters of the Maldives are teeming with underwater life, inviting you to go snorkeling. The water sports centre "Q Adventure" and dive centre "DiveOceanus" at the resort will swiftly arrange diving or snorkeling excursions to nearby reefs. Besides these, the water sports that can be enjoyed with your partner or family members include Parasailing, Jet Ski and Fun Tube rides. 

As the resort is nestled in South Ari atoll - a natural sanctuary for marine life - it is also a favoured spot for one of the largest fish in the ocean. The whaleshark – some weighing upwards of 20 tons, and growing up to 40 feet, is a majestic giant of the sea. The behemoth fish is actually a gentle and shy creature. Its sheer size is surprisingly thanks to a diet that consists only of plankton and tiny fish which it scoops up in its gaping, toothless mouth. The whalesharks love the tropical waters and many frequent the waters surrounding the resort. 

Swimming with a whaleshark is a must-do, when in Sun Island Resort and Spa. It is fascinating to see such a gentle giant and to be able to swim with one is definitely a moment to treasure. The experienced staff, who will accompany the excursion, are always on the lookout for a silhouette of the large fish from the dhoni (traditional boat). Once they see it, you will be signaled to jump in. Whalesharks are extremely docile creatures; they appear in lagoons only because they have to feed, so it is important to keep in mind not to touch or swim too close to them; any distress would result in them swimming deeper into the ocean and disappear. Being extremely important for the ecosystem and having been listed as a vulnerable species, the community as a whole is making sure that every interaction is a most nature-friendly one. 

After an awe-inspiring swim with a whaleshark you might want to relax at the Vani coffee shop, where you could enjoy a cup of coffee or fresh juice with a post card perfect view of powder white shores, sapphire colored waters and swaying palm trees. And of course, a variety of cuisine is served at the main restaurant – there is something for everyone. 

All the activities of the day might leave you wanting a good massage at the resort’s Araamu spa. The establishment beckons you with its warm wooden structures, soothing water fountains and air, dense with calming essential oils. The professionals at the spa offer massages that rejuvenate the body and relax stiff muscles. If you are there with your better half then the ‘Loabi Loabi’ massage is just for you – ‘loabi’ meaning love in Dhivehi language; there is nothing more befitting for a couple who wants rest and relax together. 

As the sun sets, the resort welcomes some special visitors – large groups of sting rays and sharks gather daily at certain points of the resort. Sting rays glide into the shallows of the jetty area awaiting their snack, fed by a trained professional. You could observe these beautiful creatures from the jetty or the beach. Or if you happen to be grabbing a savoury dish at the Sun Star Thai and Chinese restaurant, then you will be met with the black tip reef and nurse sharks that gather in the shallow lagoon below. After a filling dinner, you could sit back, relax and enjoy some good music at the beach bar. 

A pioneer luxury resort of the Villa Hotels, a winner of the world travel awards; considered by tourists and locals alike as one of the best resorts to spend a vacation at – Sun Island Resort and Spa is deserving of all its accolades. Enjoy the perfect island vacation in a luxurious setting that does not compromise its natural habitat and beings. Every moment spent here is nothing short of amazing.

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