Best of Maldives Itinerary
Lankan Beyru (Manta Point)
The main attraction of the site are manta rays coming to the cleaning station during the southwest monsoon. The dive site is relatively easy to access, with small currents and is very often considered as a good dive to start the week. The cleaning station itself is a large coral block covered with anemones and full of fish life. It is also very common to come across whitetip reef sharks, turtles and napoleons.
Large and shallow plateaus (10 - 20 ft) on the west side of the atoll, right next to the wide lagoon of Rasfari. It is covered with hard corals and hosts a cleaning station during the northeast monsoon. The most common way to do the dive here is to start on top of the reef, which is protected from the currents and after spending some time with the mantas continue the dive towards the wall that drops down to about 75 feet. The wall is nicely covered with hard corals, rich with fish life and popular with turtles.
SOUTH MALE ATOLL
Definitely number one in the ranking of the best dive sites in South Male atoll. Long thila, located in the middle of the channel, offers spectacular conditions to observe grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, big schools of jacks and snappers both with incoming and outgoing current. North side of the pinnacle is nicely covered with soft corals with the top of the reef being home to many reef fish and green turtles. This area can have lots of current.
Channel dive between Rasdhoo island and Madivaru offering a spectacular ridge facing the ocean to observe grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays and large dogtooth tunas. More pelagics are visible during strong incoming currents, the use of current hooks is advisable. The ridge dropping down to 150 feet on the outside, expands to a sandy bottom inside the channel where it is common to see stingrays.
If dived during the first rays of the sun, with incoming current and a bit of luck it is possible to encounter hammerhead sharks. In this case the dive starts in the blue. Depending on the air consumption guests will dive on the ridge and then drift into the channel.
NORTH ARI ATOLL
The thila (a pinnacle) is about 240 ft wide in diameter and is considered one of the best night dives in the Maldives. Top reef at 15 feet makes it easy to access even with current. The upcurrent side is always very active and busy with fusiliers and snappers. Big jack fish, whitetip reef sharks, stingrays and moray eels can be spotted easily. Some overhangs around the thila provide shelter for turtles. Even though it has a reputation for a night dive it is also quite popular during the day. A few separated coral blocks south of the thila create a tunnel and are full of beautiful coral bushes. With the right current this is a place to spot grey reef sharks. Due to its exposure to the currents it offers rich presence of fauna and flora. Big schools of jacks and fusiliers on the upcurrent side as well as difficult to count amount of blue striped snappers hiding from strong currents inside the overhangs all around the thila are the highlights of the place. It is also popular with grey reef sharks, schools of barracudas and dogtooth tunas in the blue as well as turtles and moray eels on the top reef. With strong currents negative entry is recommended and current hooks should be ready to use.
Long coral ridge in the middle of a channel, extended from the outer reef and sloping gradually down to 25 meters and deeper offering good conditions for observing grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays and napoleons as well as schools of jacks and fusiliers. The dive site is active during both incoming and outgoing currents but might be more challenging during outgoing currents of northeast monsoon. Negative entry required and divers are recommended to hide below the depth of the top reef to protect from the current. Current hooks strongly recommended.
SOUTH ARI ATOLL
Moofushi Kandu (Manta Point)
Drift dive with a chance to see manta rays hovering over the cleaning stations at a depth of around 40-75 feet. If mantas are spotted it is recommended to use current hooks and stay around the cleaning station for a longer time. The dive site is quite popular during the northeast monsoon. Whitetip reef sharks are common visitors around the deeper part of the cleaning station with blue striped snappers and fusiliers being permanent residents.
The thila is a part of the Marine Protected Area and is often considered the most beautiful site of the atoll with exceptional diving conditions. Overhangs rich in sea fans and the top reef nicely covered with healthy soft corals are the highlights. It is also known for big schools of blue striped and midnight snappers, fusiliers and jacks. It is worth it to have a dive light and look inside small caves where often you will find large grouper hiding.
The Kudhimaa Wreck is a 150 feet long cargo ship lying on a sandy bottom at around 90 feet. It was sunk in 1998 and already offers beautiful coral growth and a large variety of species living on it. Nurse sharks, batfish, stone fish, lion fish and moray eels are permanent residents and can be spotted around the wreck. There are a few entrances allowing to penetrate the cargo hall as well as the wheelhouse. The site is nicely protected from the current.
Maamigili Beyru (Whaleshark search)
Located on the southern tip of Ari atoll within the Marine Protected Area of South Ari atoll. Shallow and very easy dive which might turn into a very exciting one as it is known as the best location in the Maldives for spotting Whale Sharks. Whale Sharks can be seen cruising along the reef all year round. Once spotted from the surface, divers enter the water, go down and start swimming along with them.
One of the channel dives that you don’t want to miss. With strong incoming current the list of possible encounters is impressive. Mainly grey reef sharks but also whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleons and tunas are quite common and with the visibility reaching 120 feet during the northeast monsoon it can be the highlight of the trip.
Alimatha House Reef
This is considered one of the best night dives in the Maldives. Every night there is a show performed by a big number of nurse sharks, stingrays and massive jacks. Definitely not to be missed.