Many people go to the Maldives for diving - this gives you the opportunity to see wonderful colourful fishes. Forget about corals: most have been "whitened" by el Nino so it'll take some years before they recover fully. So basically diving in the Maldives is only for the fishes... the wonderful fishes - playful and friendly - and so beautiful. All resorts offer at very competitive prices "test dives" for non-divers. Bathala's diving instructor (october 2004) is Chiara.
Equipment: Everything is given by the diving centre.
Snorkeling is how I spent my days in the Maldives - possibly I spent more time with my head underwater than overwater. The colours of the fishes near the reef - and the variety - was simple endless and unbelievable: I wish I knew the English names for them. My favourite, however, is the baby batfish in the picture: it stayed all its time under the south pontoon, away from the reef and other fishes. A very shy fish.
Equipment: Compulsory: fins, snorkel and mask.
Recommended: an underwater camera and a t-shirt in order not to get sunburn while snorkeling