10 Top Diving Sites In The Maldives – Expert Picks

Welcome to the Best Diving Sites In The Maldives.

Diving in the Maldives is an amazing experience.

The crystal clear and warm waters of the Maldives are a good place to see manta rays, whale sharks and an incredible abundance of tropical fish.

Kandus and thilas among these 1200 islands support both strong currents and protected coral reefs.

Almost every part of the Maldives has an ideal dive site for each interest and skills.

Diving in the Maldives is possible all year round, but the best conditions it is recommended to go from December to May.

Diving Sites In The Maldives

These months see the northeastern monsoon, when currents favor excellent visibility and a variety of species on the more popular, eastern sides of the atolls.

In this article we have listed the 10 dive sites in the Maldives, according to the rating of experts on diving.

Despite the fact that many of these spots can be submerged during your stay in a resort, the best way to explore marine life of the Maldives archipelago is to go with a scuba dive liveaboard.

Diving Sites In The Maldives

Let’s look at one of the best Diving sites in the Maldives.

Top 10 Diving Sites In The Maldives

1- Nassimo Thila, North Malé Atoll

The dive at Nassimo Thila follows the north side of a fine thila, also known as Paradise Rock, which has superb gorgonians and sea fans on coral.

Probably one of the best thilas in the whole North Male, known as paradise rock or virgin reef.

The life here both small and big is numerous so is common to find several dhoanis diving in the place.

There are several big pinnacles scattered on the north of the thila, where uses to be the current point, therefore where the main fishes are, along with beautiful coral formations and sea fans.

2- Kandooma Thila, South Malé Atoll

Kandooma Thila is a large, deep under-water pinnacle on the atoll’s outer edges whet top is located 13m from the ocean’s surface, while the sandy base is 35-40 meters deep.

This “Thila” is in the middle of “Biyaadhoo Kandu”, between the islands of Cocoa and Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort.

With full of hard corals on the top of the reef, the sides of thila are covered with different coloured soft corals.

The narrow channel between the thila and the reef usually creates a strong outgoing current directed from west to east.

This is the place where the underwater show begins, and where you must be.

The current ranges between medium to very strong and attract grey reef sharks, eagle rays and large schools of fusiliers.

Larger reef fish can be observed too, such as sweetlips, snappers and groupers. 

3- Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo, North Ari Atoll

The house reef of Ellaidhoo is globally known for its beauty amongst divers and thus, it is a true Eldorado for snorkellers too.

It does not matter if you put on a tank for the first time or if you are a traveled and experienced diver – you will be astonished by the breathtaking beauty of the house reef! With a length of 1600 meters, the reef leads around the entire island.

The Chaaya Reef has a consistent drop-off, good corals and amazing marine life. Mantas, sharks and even whale sharks were often seen near the island.

Just around 15 metres from the jetty is a wreck, which at 30 metres down is inaccessible for snorkelers but certainly adds something extra to the fine housereef diving.

As the visiting big fish would indicate, there are occasional strong currents here which guests need to be aware of.

Types of diving: House reef
Recommended Level: Beginners to Advanced
Sights: pelagics, sharks, fish, coral, macro 

4- Maaya Thila, North Ari Atoll

Maaya Thila is one of the best dive sites in the Maldives. lot With lots of caves and overhangs, this site can be dived in one dive depending on the currents.

This pinnacle lies at a depth of 6 meters from the ocean’s surface and falling down to 30 meters.

The site lies at a distance of around 5nm to the northwest of the island of Ukulhas, and it’s Protected Marine Area. Maaya Thila is home to an amazing diversity of marine life.

You can spot a dozens of white-tip and grey reef sharks, giant trevally, barracudas, snappers, eagle rays, and many other pelagics here. Also the reef has scenic soft corals and gorgonians.

Types of diving: Thila / night
Recommended Level: Medium to Advanced
What to expect: Whitetip Reef Sharks

5- Maamigili Beru Reef, South Ari Atoll

Maldives is one of the best places in the world for diving with whale sharks. And the best place in the Maldives to find these huge fish is the South Ari atoll.

Whale sharks are the highlight of any visit to South Ari Atoll and you can see these gentle giants can be seen year round.

The southern coast of the Sun island is open to the Indian Ocean and has a plateau at a depth of 5-10 meters, which makes it easy to find whale sharks that regularly patrol these waters.

For the best chance to see a whale shark, head out on a dive or snorkel trip organised by your resort, liveaboard etc.

Types of diving: shallow reef 
Recommended Level: first timers to Advanced
Sights: whale sharks

6- Fuvahmulah, Gnaviyani Atoll

Fuvahmulah is the only place that any diver must visit!

Fuvahmulah is a rock in the middle of the ocean, which plays the role of a huge cleaning station and mating place for big pelagic like Black Oceanic Manta Birostrics, Mola Mola, Pilot whales.

You can see sharks in Fuvahmulah all year round:

Tiger Sharks, Thresher Sharks, Hammerheads, Silver tip, Whale shark, Grey reef, White tip. Big schools of Barracudas; Yellow-Fin Tuna, Bonitos, Sailfishes, Marlins and millions of reef fish surround the local reef daily. But one one the main feature which makes Fuvahmulah amazingly attractive is Tiger Sharks.

There are many Tiger Sharks around this island and they clean the waste daily produced by fish market.

Diving with the tiger sharks is avaliable everyday and doesn’t depend on the Monsoon. Experienced dive guides lead this dive following all necessary safety requirements.

Types of diving: reef 
Recommended Level: medium to Advanced
Sights: tiger sharks, thresher sharks, Hammerheads and other pelagics. Normally best region to see 10 different kinds of sharks.

7- Embudhoo Express, South Malé Atoll

The currents here are considered to be really strong and the site is known to be one of the best drift dive spots.

You’ll finish the dive in a shallow coral garden to observe the butterflyfish, angelfish, wrasse, damselfish, surgeonfish and other species that are unique to these Indian Ocean waters and some lovely hard coral.

Types of diving: Kandu or channel drift dive.
Recommended Level: this is a site for intermediate and advanced divers
Sights: reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagics, corals 

8- Rainbow Reef, North Malé Atoll

HP Reef or “Girifushi Thila” or Rainbow Reef is a Protected Marine Area. I

t’s one of the best known and most beautiful dive sites on this island nation.

The site is located near the island of Himmafushi.

Types of diving: drift dive, cave
Recommended Level: this is a site for intermediate and advanced divers
Sights: reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagics, soft corals 

9 – Miyaru Kandu, Vaavu atoll

This may be the best place in all Maldives to face a hammerhead shark. In fact, “Miyaru” means a shark in the Dhivehi.

During the northeastern monsoon, a strong current draws pelagic species into the channel. With a reef on the right, look into the blue and you will see sharks, eagle rays and dog tooth tuna.

Types of diving: Drift 
Recommended Level: this is a site for intermediate and advanced divers. Experience level If the current is stronger
Sights: sharks, Hammerheads and other pelagics 

10 – Hanifaru bay, Baa Atoll

With high marine biodiversity, the only biosphere reserve in the Maldives, Baa Atoll is home to the ambundant of marine life and the underwater world of striking beauty.

This is the best place to see Whale Sharks and Mantas together! It’s a small bay on the reef of the Hanifaru Island.

The plankton bloom inside the bay from July till November attracts the gentle giants for feeding. Sometimes there are six to eight Whale Sharks together with hundreds of Manta Rays.

Types of diving: snorkeling 
Recommended Level: first time to Advanced
Sights: mantas, whale sharks

I hope you enjoyed reading the Best Diving Sites In The Maldives. if you have any question, feel free to contact us.

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