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The Maldives, with its immense biodiversity, is one of the most coveted destinations for divers from around the world. Want to swim with fearsome sharks and majestic rays? Admire huge schools of colorful fish or quirky corals? To get acquainted with the inhabitants of the ocean at night, observe them during the hunt and see how the underwater world changes under the light of lanterns? Study the remains of sunken ships? Try your luck and go meet an extravagant hammerhead shark? Can't choose from this list and want to get everything at once? The Maldives will easily give you this opportunity!

To make your diving experience a vivid and unforgettable experience, we have selected the best diving locations in the Maldives for you. So let's go!

Jailam Rashad
Jailam Rashad

Ari atoll

Ari Atoll, located in the west of the archipelago, offers some of the best diving spots in the Maldives. Adventure seekers can meet stingrays, turtles and a variety of schooling fish here. However, the main feature of these sites is the opportunity to dive with different types of sharks, including reef sharks, leopard sharks, whales, nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks.

Broken rock

One of the most famous diving locations in South Ari Atoll gets its name from the canyon that divides the reef in two. The place is known for its abundance of soft corals. The large fan corals protruding from the walls attract divers' special attention. Moray eels, napoleon fish, barracudas, shoals of perches, turtles and many other inhabitants of the ocean are found here.

Best time to visit: December to May.

Islands nearby: Vilamendhoo IslandDhigurah.

Vilamendhoo Island Resort
Vilamendhoo Island Resort

Maaya thila

This location, located at a distance of about 8 kilometers from the island of Ukulhas , is rightfully considered one of the best not only in the Maldives, but also in the world.

The dive site is suitable for both day and night dives and boasts a beautiful reef made up of colorful soft and hard corals, sea fans, algae and an amazing variety of sea creatures.

It is home to colorful nudibranchs, stonefish, butterfly fish and clown fish, triggerfish and parrotfish, turtles, moray eels and octopuses, eagle rays, gray reef and whitetip sharks. After sunset, the local waters are filled with a large number of fusiliers, who come here in search of food, which, in turn, increases the activity of sharks.

Best time to visit : December to May.

Islands nearby : Kuramathi Island, Ukulhas, Halaveli, Maayafushi Island, Bathala, Bodufolhudhoo, Nika Island .

Kuramathi Island
Kuramathi Island

Fish head

This location, also known as Shark Point, has protected area status and is one of the best for shark watching. In the past, the local waters were a feeding ground for gray and white reef sharks, so predators accustomed to regular meals gather here in large numbers in search of food, which arouses great interest and admiration among divers.

In addition to sharks, you can see a series of caves and ledges between them, flocks of blue bass, bats and fusiliers, eagles, barracuda, napoleons and tuna, as well as admire large gorgonians.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but the ocean is most calm between December and May.

Islands nearby : Ukulhas, Maayafushi Island, Bathala .

Gangehi kandu

This narrow, sandy-bottomed canal, located about 3 kilometers from Mathiveri Island, is 2.5 kilometers long and is considered the longest in the Ari Atoll area. The northern part of the channel is covered with rocks and has a small cave. The site also has several colorful reef formations. Sand and whitetip reef sharks, leopard and whale sharks, mantis shrimp and schools of triggerfish are quite common. The cave is inhabited by stingrays and various species of sea bass, occasionally turtles and manta rays can be seen.

Despite its shallow depth, this site is recommended for experienced divers due to the strong, unpredictable currents.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but the best time is from December to May.

Islands nearby : Ukulhas, Bodufolhudhoo .

Hammerhead Point (Madivaru corner or Rasdhoo Madivaru)

This popular location has a beautiful reef with caves and ledges inhabited by various inhabitants of the depths, including stingrays and barracudas, sea bass and mackerel, moray eels and lobsters. However, the main highlight of the dive site is the large number of hammerhead sharks, which should be set off early in the morning.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but the best time is from December to May.

Islands nearby : Kuramathi Island, Ukulhas, Thoddoo, Rasdhoo .

Maahid Photos
Maahid Photos

Kudarah Thila

It is part of a water reserve and one of the most impressive dive sites in the Maldives. Divers will not be left indifferent by the caves framed by large gorgonians, black corals, as well as soft pink and orange corals. Here you can watch moray eels, tuna, bats, sea bass, turtles, and, of course, swim accompanied by whitetip and gray reef sharks.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but the best time is from December to May.

Islands nearby : Vilamendhoo Island .

Vilamendhoo Island
Vilamendhoo Island

Fesdu Wreck and Halaveli Wreck

For fans of wreck diving, we recommend diving to the sunken ships Halaveli and Fesdu.

The 33-meter freighter Halaveli, sunk in 1990, looks majestic and breathtaking both during the day and during night dives. The ship is covered with colorful corals and rests at a depth of 28 meters under the reliable protection of stingrays, sea bass, moray eels and lionfish.

The 30-meter fishing trawler Fesdu was sunk to create an artificial reef and today is home to a variety of corals and sponges, butterfly fish, lionfish, moray eels and groupers.

North Male

Diving sites in North Male are known for the rich coral reefs, caves, wrecks and frequent encounters with the curious and mysterious manta rays that the Maldives is so famous for.

Manta Point

Located in the southeastern part of the atoll, this cleaning station is great not only for observing manta rays from close range, but also for exploring barracudas, octopuses, moray eels and reef sharks, turtles and other sea creatures.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but the ocean is most calm between December and May. Since November, the currents intensify, which leads to an increase in marine flora and fauna.

Islands nearby : Bandos Maldives, Paradise Island, Male .

Banana reef

It is considered one of the first dive sites to open in the Maldives. The reef has a banana-like shape curved in the western part, hence its name. The site is dotted with caves and ledges. The underwater landscape is decorated with soft corals and sea fans, and manta rays, sharks, sea bass, barracudas and striped snappers, moray eels and lobsters organically complement this picturesque picture.

Islands nearby : Bandos Maldives, Paradise Island, Kurumba Maldives, Male .

Maldives Victory Wreck

This huge cargo ship sailing from Singapore has been resting on the ocean floor for over 30 years, attracting many underwater adventure seekers. The ship's hull is covered in coral, and at the crash site you can spot turtles, large sea bass, bats, flocks of fusiliers and lionfish. As you finish your dive and ascend to the surface, be sure to look down for a breathtaking view of the nearly 100-meter sunken giant.

Islands nearby : Paradise Island, Kurumba Maldives, Male .

South Male

With its convenient location from the airport and a large number of interesting dive sites suitable for both beginners and experienced divers, the South Male Atoll area is very popular with scuba diving enthusiasts.

Cocoa corner

Cocoa Corner is one of the most popular dive sites in South Male. Diving conditions and the abundance of underwater inhabitants in this location are very dependent on the current. This place is chosen for meeting large marine inhabitants, including eagle rays, tuna, barracudas, as well as gray reef sharks.

If the current and skills allow, you will be able to slide along the edge of a steep cliff, feeling not only a conqueror of the depths, but also of underwater peaks, gaining a new unique experience and emotions from diving.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round, but best between December and May. The rainy season usually lasts from June to November.

Islands nearby : Maafushi, COMO Cocoa Island, Fihalhohi Island Resort, Biyadhoo Island Resort .

COMO Cocoa Island
COMO Cocoa Island

Kandooma thila

This beautiful coral-covered summit, located near the island of Kandooma, offers divers an encounter with trevally, sea bass, barracuda, eagle rays, turtles, gray reef sharks and whitetip sharks.

Best Time to Visit : Available all year round.

Islands nearby : Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, COMO Cocoa Island, Fihalhohi Island Resort, Biyadhoo Island Resort, Maafushi .

COMO Cocoa Island
COMO Cocoa Island

Kuda Giri Wreck

While diving on this dive site, you will be able to explore not only the remains of the small wreck Kuda Giri, but also the summit, around which the sea life rages. The ship, sunk specifically to form an artificial reef, is inhabited by colorful sponges and corals. And the most frequent representatives of the underwater fauna here are glass perches, gobies, turtles, octopuses and moray eels.

Due to the weak currents, this location is suitable for divers with little diving experience.

Best time to visit : Available all year round, but the most favorable period is from December to May. Between June and November, there is usually more rain and waves.

Islands nearby : Fihalhohi Island Resort, Dhigufinolhu, Maafushi .

Fihalhohi Island Resort
Fihalhohi Island Resort

Addu Atoll

Addu Atoll (also known as Seenu) boasts over 30 world-class diving sites. This region is chosen for year-round encounters with manta rays, hawk and green turtles and, of course, sharks. Local coral reefs are considered to be some of the best in the country.

The British loyalty

One of the jewels of the underwater kingdom of Addu Atoll is the 134-meter oil tanker The British Loyalty, which has repeatedly experienced submarine attacks on its hull and is the largest wreck in the Maldives. Today, the tanker, proudly reclining at a depth of 33 meters, is adorned with corals and inhabited by marine life, including Bluefin tuna, turtles, parrotfish, perches and sharks.

Shark hotel near Hulhumidu island

Near Hulhumidu Island there is a place called Shark hotel or Shark Point where you can take an exciting dive in the company of gray reef sharks. On the underwater sandy plateau, you can see clusters of these curious predators in the amount of up to 20 individuals. On the outside of the plateau, there is a cliff reaching 60 meters deep, where sometimes larger shark species, such as the gray ocean shark, can be found.

Imkan Maldives Photographer
Imkan Maldives Photographer

Diving near Fuvahmulah

Diving near Fuvahmulah Island is highly regarded by divers from all over the world. In the waters surrounding the island, a parade of large marine life awaits you, the main participants of which are tiger sharks. Meeting with them is possible all year round and does not depend on the seasons and weather conditions.

Another feature of diving near Fuvahmulah is the thresher sharks. Due to this, a large number of these sharks (also known as a fox shark or a thresher shark) live in the local waters, which got their name due to the active use of their tail in hunting, with which they "thresh" and stun their prey.

In total, there are about 15 dive sites near the island, where, in addition to tiger sharks and threshers, there are hammerhead sharks, whale and gray reef sharks, barracudas, yellowfin tuna, black manta rays, turtles and dolphins, sailboats, marlins and huge schools of reef fish plying between colorful corals. By the way, the coral reef around the island is very beautiful and, unlike the reefs of most other atolls, almost did not suffer from global coral bleaching.

While diving with tiger sharks and threshers is possible all year round, it is better to choose the spring months to meet black ocean mantas.

Among the most popular dive sites are Raazva Faru (in the southern part of the island), Thoddoo (in the northern part), Rasgefaanu, as well as Neregando Fannu, where you can do not only diving, but also snorkeling.

In addition to rich marine life, Fuvahmulah is world famous for its unique beach called Thundi, the sand of which is formed of fine white pebbles. It is here that a phenomenon known as Bissaaveli takes place, where some of the beach sand moves from shore to the edge of the reef, creating a lagoon.

Jailam Rashad
Jailam Rashad

Baa Atoll

Diving near Baa Atoll includes exploring reefs, caves and thils, as well as encounters with whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, parrot fish and angel fish, fusiliers, triggerfish and many other underwater inhabitants. On the territory of the Biosphere Reserve Hanifaru diving is prohibited.

Baa's most popular dive sites include Dhonfanu Thila, Dhigali Haa and Rainbow caves.

Hoodh Ahmed
Hoodh Ahmed

For more useful information about diving for adults and children in the Maldives, read our articles .

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