Exploring the ocean and the many wonders within it is a passion for many. The Maldive islands host some of the most vibrant and unspoilt diving sites in the world, making it the ideal dive holiday destination. The tropical climate and the Indian Monsoon current of the region ensures that the waters are ideal for fish breeding and coral growth, allowing parrotfish, fusiliers, jacks and snappers, not to mention whale sharks, mantas, and turtle species to thrive.
With professional instructors providing dive gear and guiding you through, both novices and experts can explore the curves and ripples of the ocean floor studded with colourful corals as its residents come out to swim with you. Whether you come back from your holiday a licensed PADI diver, or you go on your first dive, there will be plenty of stories to share about the mysteries of the ocean.
While the best dive sites are concentrated around the South Ari, Vaavu and North Male’ atoll, the best spots for whale shark encounters are located in South Ari atoll. For a swim with mantas, be sure to head to Baa, Haa Alif or South Ari atoll. For shark enthusiasts, Fuvahmulah area is the place to be. Some of the best dive sites in the Maldives are:
Kudarah Thila, South Ari Atoll
The marine protected area is known for it’s soft coral formations and colourful fish species. One is sure to find an array of reef fish including fusiliers and snappers. Swim through the famous arch bejeweled with corals and the overhang here. A torch in hand, dive in further to find moray eels, nudibranchs, puffer fish and grown turtles hunting for their prey around the overhang.
Fotteyo Kandu, Vaavu Atoll
Arguably the best dive site in the Maldives, Fotteyo Kandu promises encounters with schools of shark species, including the occasional hammerheads. The site is a diver’s paradise complete with overhangs, swim-throughs and caves to explore while jacks, tunas and schools of snappers, unicorn fish and eagle rays trail around you. Keep an eye out for the yellow soft corals growing on the overhangs, and black coral bushes.
Okobe Thila, North Male’ Atoll
Consisting of three main pinnacle sections, the currents here will carry you spiraling your way up and around. Prepare yourself to be greeted by white tip reef sharks and moray eels bobbing their heads out for food. Schools of banner fish and batfish are also known to make appearances. In addition to the holes and cavities in the pinnacles, you will also find lots of interesting coral formations to explore here.
Kandooma Thila, South Male’ Atoll
A dive here will leave you breathless, and for all the right reasons. This teardrop shaped pinnacle does not hold back. It boasts schools of red bass, grey sharks, white-tip sharks, eagle rays and dogtooth tunas. Keep an eye out for the turtles that come out to greet you. The west point of the Thila, Jack Corner is a great spot for barracudas, and further down, a cave known to house snappers and big-eye trevally beckons you.
Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll
With a canyon that breaks the reef into two, the current is quite strong here. Here divers can swim through the canyon as schools of fish whizz past them. Look out for the pastel coloured soft coral formations on the canyon while jacks, butterfly fish, angelfish, moray eels, scorpion fish, puffer fish and the occasional napoleon wrasse comes out to play.