The 10 Most Beautiful Dives in the Maldives

The Maldives is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world for diving, with a diversity of marine life and enchanting underwater landscapes. If you’re wondering where diving in the Maldives is best, here are the top 10 most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives, ideal for both beginners and experienced divers.

Where to dive at North Ari Atoll, Maldives?

Among other things, the North Ari Atoll is good for diving from a liveaboard sailing the central route.

1. Maaya Thila

Maaya Thila is often considered one of the best dive sites in the Maldives. This place is famous for its rich marine life, including white-tip reef sharks, basking jacks and barracudas. It is also a great place for night diving, where hunting sharks and other animals such as octopus can be seen. This site offers a mix of overhangs, caves and a spectacular coral reef.

Most beautiful dives Maldives Fish Head  2. Fish Head

Fish Head is another iconic dive site in the Maldives, located in the North Ari atoll. This underwater mountain or “thila” is a marine protected area with an abundance of species such as gray reef sharks, fusiliers and snappers. The dive begins with a spectacular descent through walls of fish and offers the chance to explore numerous overhangs and corals.

Where to dive at South Ari Atoll, Maldives?

The South Ari Atoll is also easily accessible from a liveaboard sailing the central route. But, this atoll is also easily accessible from various resorts such as the Shamar Guesthouse and the more luxurious Villamendhoo!

Most beautiful dives Maldives Kudhimaa Wreck3. Kudhimaa Wreck

The Kudhimaa wreck, located in the South Ari Atoll near Sun Island Resort, is a sunken cargo ship that serves as an artificial reef. The wreck is 30 meters deep and is accessible to both beginners and experienced divers. Overgrown with corals, it attracts diverse marine life, including batfish, fusiliers, stingrays and nurse sharks. Its well-preserved structure offers interesting opportunities for underwater photography. With good visibility and mild currents, the Kudhimaa wreck is a popular and fascinating dive site.

Most beautiful dives Maldives Whale Shark Point4. Whale Shark Point

Whale Shark Point, located in Maldives’ South Ari atoll, is a top destination for whale shark spotting, especially from May to December. The giants, which can grow up to 12 meters long, often swim close to the surface, allowing snorkelers and divers alike to observe them closely. In addition to whale sharks, the site offers rich marine life, including manta rays and colorful reef fish, with excellent visibility and mild currents. Easily accessible via boat trips, Whale Shark Point falls under marine protected areas, making responsible diving and snorkeling practices essential to preserve the environment.

Where to dive at Male Atoll, Maldives?

The Male Atoll is the atoll you arrive on when you land at Malé. Did you book a liveaboard that sails the central route? Then chances are you’ll be diving here.

Most beautiful dives Maldives Khadooma Thila5. Kandooma Thila, South Malé Atoll

Kandooma Thila is known for its strong currents and pelagic action, making it one of the most exciting dive sites in the Maldives. Here you will find large schools of eagle rays, white-tip reef sharks and occasional tiger sharks. It is an ideal place for experienced divers who love a challenge and want to experience the diversity of marine life.

Most beautiful dives Maldives Banana Reef6. Banana Reef, northern Malé atoll

Banana Reef is one of the oldest recognized dive sites in the Maldives and is known for its beautiful coral formations, cliffs, caves and a rich variety of fish. This location is perfect for both beginners and experienced divers who want to enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives.

Where to dive at Vaavu Atoll, Maldives?

7. Fotteyo Kandu, Vaavu atoll

Fotteyo Kandu offers some of the finest diving in the Maldives. This location has strong currents and rich biodiversity, including manta rays, whale sharks and vibrant coral formations. It is a challenging dive site suitable for experienced divers.

Rianne with a nurse shark at Alimatha Jetty8. Alimatha Jetty, Vaavu atoll

Alimatha Jetty is an excellent dive site, especially famous for night diving. Here you can see nurse sharks, stingrays and jacks up close. This location is popular for its easy accessibility and abundant marine life, making it a must-visit for any diver in the Maldives.

Where to dive in the North & South of the Maldives?

School of manta rays at Hanifaru Bay9. Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll

Hanifaru Bay is located in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Hanifaru Bay is famous for seasonal gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks. From June to November, large numbers of manta rays migrate to this bay to feed on plankton, creating a spectacular sight. Sometimes more than a hundred manta rays can be seen at the same time. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, also often come to this bay to feed. In addition to manta rays and whale sharks, Hanifaru Bay is home to a wide range of other marine animals. Divers and snorkelers can see colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, turtles and several species of sharks.

Tiger shark in Fuvahmulah10. Tiger Zoo, Fuvahmulah Atoll

Fuvahmulah is one of the few places in the world where divers are virtually guaranteed to see tiger sharks. These amazing beeste can grow up to 5 meters long and are known for their striped pattern. Diving with tiger sharks here is safe, but requires experience and following strict safety instructions.

You can dive at Fuvahmulah via a liveaboard sailing the southern route or from a resort.

All photos in this article, except at dive site 8, come from the Carpe Diem Fleet. They have as many as 3 liveaboards sailing through the Maldives. The Carpe Novo, the Carpe Vita and the Carpe Diem. They usually sail the central routes, but in the right season they also go north or south.

The photo at dive site 8 Alimatha Jetty was taken by Roel v.d. Mast. In this photo, Rianne Poessé, co-owner of EWDR, is busy filming a nurse shark.

Want to learn much more about diving in the Maldives? Then be sure to check out our complete Maldives Diving Guide.

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