The tropical island nation of Maldives is a paradise for holidaymakers of all kinds – its natural beauty of white-sand beaches, azure waters, thick greenery and vibrant underwater life attracts travellers from all over the world. This beach destination is one of the best places for a first-hand experience of the breathtaking underwater world. A look into the vibrantly coloured schools of fish, spectacular coral reefs and world-famous marine animals including turtles, manta rays and even sharks will be a treat for holidaymakers!
Here are some of the best scuba dive sites in the Maldives.
A must-visit dive site is the Maaya Thila, which is located in the Ari Atoll. It is one of the country’s most famous dive sites and is a fantastic daytime as well as night-time scuba diving spot. The level of expertise required to dive here as well as the type of marine life visible here depends on the currents flowing through Maaya Thila. It is an easy dive site suitable for less experienced divers when strong currents are not flowing. However, during strong currents, only advanced divers are recommended to dive, that too using a surface balloon! You can easily spot white tip reef sharks here, both during day as well as night diving. However, a night dive will show you moray eels, turtles, octopus and stonefish.
The Lhaviyani Atoll is a treasure for scuba divers as it has around fifty dive sites of different topography and features. The ocean around the atoll is home to different types of fish, including more than fifteen species of sharks – of which six are regularly spotted by divers, manta rays and green sea turtles. Explore the diving site of Hani Kandu, which is suitable for intermediate divers, in the Lhaviyani Atoll to spot stingrays, eagle rays, napoleons, soft corals and garden eels. Move on to the Vavvaru Outreef, which is suitable for all levels of divers, to spot green turtles, eagle rays, tuna, soldier fish, soft corals and morays. However, the Shipyard dive site is the spot to unravel the secrets of two ship wrecks and spot small blennies, emperor angelfish, anthias, damsels, butterfly fish, glassfish, scorpion fish and stingrays!
Explore the secrets of the Banana Reef, which is located at north Malé Atoll, to marvel at more than just an array of fish. The reef is named after the islands shape, which resembles a banana when viewed from the top. A dive here will take you to mysterious caves, overhangs and coral heads. As for fish spotting, the area is full of schools of bannerfish and fusilier among others. Quick tip: Dive at this spot when the ocean currents are soft, since its formation may lead to underwater turbulence.