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Join an amazing journey in nature and the ocean with yoga and snorkeling in a UNESCO world biosphere reserve. This once in a lifetime experience will also have a good cause; saving the manta rays. You will be able to swim with hundreds of them and explore the marine life and coral reefs. A portion of this retreat’s proceeds will support a marine life project. Get involved in a great cause and relax in the process!
During this retreat, you will be staying in shared accommodations. The hotel comprises sixteen spacious rooms over two floors, each tastefully decorated with minimal, modern interiors and equipped with double and twin beds, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, and en-suite bathrooms. Each room embodies the vision to create peaceful, tranquil sanctuaries to return to after a day in the sun and the sea. Single rooms may be possible to book but are subject to single supplement fees and availability.
Experience the beauty and magic of swimming with hundreds of manta rays in a special place in the Maldives where hundreds of manta rays congregate in a feeding cyclone. Only snorkeling is permitted there, so you will be taught the best way to swim with the manta rays with an introduction to free diving course, learning breathing techniques, and how to free dive in a safe and recreational way being one with the ocean in a single breath.
You will also explore the marine life and coral reefs with a snorkeling excursion and picnic lunch on a sandbank or picnic island to enjoy the turquoise crystal clear waters in the Maldives. As well, you will learn about the biology of manta rays and why the species is being threatened by extinction with a documentary in the evening and a presentation on manta rays biology from an experienced marine biologist.
Qi Retreats will pledge a portion of proceeds that will go to support the Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines (LAMAVE) Bohol Fisheries project.
Large Marine Vertebrates Project Philippines or LAMAVE aims to support the protection of marine wildlife in the Philippines through scientific research and education. Currently, the pelagic animals face significant threats in the Philippines as century-old mobula fisheries thrive on the island of Bohol. Although there is a law against targeted fishing of manta rays, they are still often caught as by-catch from mobula ray fishing, which continues to be a lucrative industry on the island.
A LAMAVE team is currently monitoring the mobula fishery in Bohol by recording daily catch and tracking fishing vessel routes to examine and address possible over fishing. One of LAMAVE’s principal goals is to work with the community to develop and promote alternative livelihoods.
The price of this retreat includes the chance to experience the feeding cyclone and two snorkeling trips; one with hundreds of manta rays in Hanifaru Bay, and another one to see the rich biodiversity of the waters in the Maldives, including turtles, eagle rays, maybe even sharks, and more rays. You will also enjoy a picnic on the island’s sandbank.
This retreat will take place at the Dharavandhoo Islands in Baa Atoll, Maldives. Baa Atoll is home to some of the richest waters in the Maldives and has been declared a UNESCO world biosphere reserve; an area of natural excellence recognized for its unique harmony between man and nature. As the only UNESCO world biosphere reserve in the country, Baa Atoll is a global ambassador for the country’s vast biodiversity and astounding beauty.
Chosen for the significant variety of wildlife species that inhabits its many reefs, the region is unique. The crown of Baa Atoll is truly the Hanifaru bay, which is home to some of the largest congregations of manta rays in the world. As well as being famous for its marine life, what’s above the surface is also fascinating. Large areas of fragile mangrove can also be found as well as one of only two precious roosting sites for the protected frigate bird.
The people of Baa Atoll inhabit only thirteen of the seventy-five islands and make up a population of approximately 12,000. They have much to be proud of and are also famed for producing some of the country’s most talented craftsmen and craftswomen, the local islanders produce beautiful lacquer woodwork and intricate woven cloth. Mainly fishermen by trade, the locals are skilled in all kinds of fishing techniques.
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The price of this retreat includes all daily meals made with local Maldivian ingredients, especially fresh seafood. Vegetarian meals can be requested. Please advise Qi Retreats if you have any dietary requirements in advance.
Although scuba diving is not allowed in Hanifaru Bay, you can scuba dive in the dive center in your free time for an additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE). Domestic round flight transfers from Nasir International Airport (MLE) to Dharavandhoo Airport (DRV) are included in the price of this retreat. Qi Retreats will need a copy of your passport to reserve the domestic flights and your flight itinerary to Male.