Scuba Diving in Maldives
The Maldives is a low-lying nation with dreamy white sand beaches and excellent reefs with an abundance of marine life. Scuba diving is done at a leisurely drift pace as the Indian monsoon current sweeps along the island chains, moving nutrients and divers along. This rich water flows up along the walls, feeding the soft coral clinging to the rock sides.
At cleaning stations, wrasse and shrimp service manta rays, with a giant turtle and whale shark sightings common.
Dive into a remote and wonderful world, where the sea drives nature's forces and creates the most magnificent living organisms. The Maldives offers some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see in your life. More than 95 % of Maldives consists of the sea, which makes it one of the lowest nations on earth. Meanwhile, large areas are also at risk of being submerged one day due to rising sea levels.
Scuba diving in the Maldives offers some great reefs and marine life and is known for currents, wide-angle photography and plentiful pelagics such as mantas, reef sharks and whale sharks. Visibility early in the year can be outstanding, well over 100ft.
Scuba diving in Maldives is about exploring pristine coral reefs and pristine blue water. The Maldives offers blue water early in the year, perfect for wide-angle photography. While there is some macro life here, I would think of it as mainly a "wide-angle" place to see coral, whale sharks, mantas, eagle rays, and schools of fish. There has been some coral bleaching in the shallow reefs.
With medium to strong currents, drift dives are common in the Maldives. So put your skills to the test and have a negative entry, which means you must descend to the bottom of the sea on entry. This can be an exciting dive for intermediate or experienced divers.
The Maldives are world renowned for diving and snorkeling. With a unique marine environment, the island nation boasts a wide array of dive sites and fantastic diving conditions. Our itineraries often include several days dedicated to diving, with the ability to set your own schedule within those days.
When in the Maldives, you can dive with mantas year round. The best time to swim with mantas is during the July-November southwest monsoon when manta rays congregate in large flocks to feast on plankton - at times, you may be able to see as many as 10 or more manta rays a day. In addition to manta rays, whale sharks (seasonal), turtles and reef sharks are commonly seen at this dive site.
Basically, you’re likely to see common dolphins; turtles (hawksbill and loggerheads); manta and eagle rays; and whitetip reef sharks every month of the year.
Hammerhead sharks are most likely to be seen between December and April, with some sightings possible between May and November. Leopard sharks can be seen every month except June and July.
Where to dive in the Maldives
This part of the Maldives is known for its clear blue water and accessibility, but there's more to its dive sites than pristine visibility. The southern end of Ari Atoll, for example, is home to Maaya Thila, which consistently ranks as one of the best sites in the area. During the day you can enjoy marine life like barracuda, stingrays and more — if you're diving after sundown bring along some food to attract reef sharks.
The Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with dive sites for both beginners and advanced divers. Divers should have the opportunity to see the ever-popular manta rays and whale sharks, as well as marvel in the atoll's overhangs and swim-throughs. One popular site is Hanifaru Bay, where whale sharks congregate to mate and where divers can dive with masses of manta rays.
Fuvahmulah is home to one of the most unique and least-explored dive sites in the Maldives. The atoll's numerous reefs are home to a variety of sharks and even the occasional turtle. With its rich marine life, this makes for one of the best places on earth for experienced divers.
Top Dive Sites in Maldives
This is a great site for both advanced and novice divers. The pelagics love a current so expect school of tuna, trevally in the deeper blue water. Eagle rays flying past in formation and grey reef sharks are also a possibility. Not to mention the odd turtle here and there.
If you’re looking for a great night dive, then try the Alimatha Jetty. Nurse sharks, giant trevallies and marble rays cruise around and between divers, whipping themselves into a feeding frenzy. Sometimes, the creatures even bump divers accidentally because of their excitement.
Kandooma Thila is a reef system of towering coral and oddly shaped boulders. Even though the site is dominated by green sea turtles, it draws in many other types of marine life due to its proximity to a channel which draws in the current. You will find many types of sharks and rays here including manta rays. The coral here is spectacular with soft corals hiding an abundance of life.
Fish Head is unique in that it is accessible from shore and allows you to explore reefs close to shore, as well as deep drop-offs. Fish Head is packed with prolific marine life including schooling fusiliers, trevally, barracuda, and huge Napoleon wrasse. Coral aficionados will love the sea fans and black corals while those looking to find Nemo will revel in anemone city at the top of the reef.
Bathala Thila is an exceptional diving location where divers can experience macro life like never before. Tiny nudibranchs, flatworms, slugs, sea hares and shrimp are just some of the species you’ll encounter on this dive.
Kuda Giri Wreck
If you have a taste for adventure, you’ll love this dive. The pinnacle is full of mystery and there are so many creatures that it feels like you’re diving in a huge aquarium! Keep your eyes open for turtles, humphead wrasse, glassfish and frogfish on the deck.