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Dive Review of Kaito Divers/Heritance Aarah in
Maldives/Raa Atoll

Kaito Divers/Heritance Aarah: "Good holiday diving in the Maldives but poor value for money", Nov, 2019,

by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB (Top Contributor Top Contributor 41 reports with 22 Helpful votes). Report 11376.

Photos Submitted with this Report

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Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was a family holiday, not a dive trip as such. However, being the Maldives, I took the opportunity to do some diving with my son.

We were staying at the Heritance Aarah resort in Raa Atoll. The resort is fairly new and claims to be a five star, all-inclusive resort. The infrastructure, rooms, dining, gym, spa and bars are all very good. The food was generally pretty good. However, the service could be a bit hit or miss!

The on site dive operation is Kaito Divers. They have a good set up with reasonable quality rental gear. Generally, they use 12 litre tanks but larger 15 litre tanks are available. They insist on a quick check dive beside their pier to test basic skills, which is fair enough.

The diving is from a traditional Maldivian dhoni, which was very spacious and we never had more than 8 divers on board, frequently less.

They offer a morning two tank dive and an afternoon one tank dives. Night dives are available although we didn’t go.

Over 9 days we did 7 dives in total, two morning two tank dives and three afternoon one tank dives. Nitrox is available and generally consistent at Nitrox 32/33, although it does cost extra.

Three of the dives were very good, with a squadron of 12 devil rays on one of the afternoon dives on the house reef! We saw several grey reef sharks and the odd whitetip. There were plenty of turtles and lots of morays and several octopus. Most sites were very “fishy” and the corals were in good shape. We had a couple of advanced thila (underwater sea mount) dives, where the thila topped out at about 14m deep. The first had loads of grey reef sharks; the second was full of fish life but, with absolutely no current, there were no pelagics. We tried a manta site but it wasn’t quite manta season in the area, so we saw none.

Overall, I’d describe the diving as average to good. The dhoni crew were, as usual, terrific. They help you on and off with gear and are attentive. The guides were good and safety conscious. However, they didn’t do a huge amount of spotting and some ploughed ahead when we were pausing briefly for photo opportunities.

My real complaint was the cost of the diving. I have been to the Maldives (resort based and liveaboard) quite a few times and I understand it is not a budget destination (although some liveaboards do represent quite good value). However, the cost per dive was about $150. You pay for nitrox and you also pay for “boat rental”. On the two tank morning dives we would go a reasonable distance (about 45 minutes) to a good site. However, we then cam back to the resort after the first dive to pick up more divers and then went another distance for the second dive which was inevitably on a not very challenging or interesting site.

This was not good value for money diving.

We saw lots of dolphins on the resort's morning "Dolphin Hunt"

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos; Socorro; Palau; Sipadan; Truk; Malapascua; Komodo; Ticao Island; Maldives; Red Sea; Caribbean; Cuba; Hawaii; Florida; Cozumel; Spain, Seychelles, Mauritius, Oman, GBR; Raja Ampat
Closest Airport Male Getting There Maldives are a distance but relatively easily accessible from airports in Europe, the Gulf and Asia

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 15-30 M / 49-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes maximum per dive
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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