Biyadhoo: A Brief Encounter with Marine Creatures

ON MY SECOND DAY IN MAAFUSHI, I take a daytrip to Biyadhoo Island Resort, a short speedboat ride away. The resort is just one of the myriad choices of resort daytrips companies in Maafushi offer, but it is the cheapest (USD 48 gets you a whole day use of the resort’s beaches and a buffet lunch, plus USD 20 per person for the speedboat).

The lower price means you don’t get any water bungalows or infinity pools, but the beach is still spectacular, and if you’re more into nature than luxury, then the lack of these facilities aren’t discouraging factors either.

I arrive at shortly around 9 in the morning. (The resort’s time for some reason is one hour ahead of the official Maldivian time, so it was around 10 am when I arrived in Biyadhoo time.) After paying the entrance fee, I quickly head to the western part of the island where I finally lay my eyes on the tropical paradise I’ve been expecting.

Biyadhoo, a short boat ride from Maafushi, has some great beaches.
A pair of swings provide a different dimension to having fun at the beach.
Biyadhoo’s interior is covered with foliage.
Signs (left) guide visitors through the maze of pathways; a day-trip entrance to the resort can include a buffet lunch (right) at the restaurant.
The underwater scene is one of the highlights of a visit to the Maldives.
A melon butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifasciatus) swims on top of a lesser valley coral (Platygyra daedalea).
The unicornfish of the genus naso are known for the horn-like protrusion on some species’ foreheads.
The Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus) is easily recognized due to its long snout and distinctive color pattern.
The titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) is the largest species of triggerfish in the Indo-Pacific region. It is a very aggressive fish and known to attack divers and snorkelers who swim near the eggs.
A juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming near the shore is a common sight in the Maldives. The species feeds on small fish and is harmless to humans.

Due to its proximity to Maafushi, Biyadhoo has been a popular daytrip destination for budget travelers. Since this is a resort and not an inhabited island, bikinis and alcohol are allowed. More than this, though, the reef around the island provides snorkelers with the spectacular display of marine life the Maldives is famous for. You don’t even have to get your toes wet to see one – juvenile reef sharks can be seen swimming near the beach.

But go underwater and you’re presented with an amazing array of marine life. It’s one that certainly becomes the highlight of a trip to the Maldives for anyone with the slightest interest in marine biology.

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