The Republic of Maldives, a country that lies in southwest India is a magnificent destination for scuba divers. This country is made up of at least 1200 coral islands. Given that the largest part of the Maldives is covered by water, it offers an all-round experience within its multiple scuba diving sites.
Apart from the pristine beaches and beautiful scenery, you also get to enjoy a wealth of marine life and unbeatable visibility in clear blue waters.
Among its exciting marine creatures are the enormous Manta rays, whale sharks and reef sharks. The Indian Ocean currents in this area play a pivotal role in bringing out the best of the marine life for you to see. In short, there is plenty to marvel at once you are on the islands.
There are 19 atolls in the Maldives, with each one offering a distinct experience. Depending on your abilities and preference, you have a lot of scuba diving sites to choose from in the Maldives.
This can give you a selection headache. However, this article seeks to list for you the top 10 scuba dive sites in the Maldives. At the end of it, you will unquestionably have a clue on which site would suit your interests.
1. Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll
This is a dive site that offers divers the ultimate adventure. It is endowed with a fascinating canyon that divides the reef into two sections. The canyon makes a good swimming channel. However, swimming through this canyon requires you to be a skillful diver. More so, currents are common in this site and your buoyancy dexterity is likely to be tested.
The highlight of this site is the rocky areas on top of the reef. This means that while you are on your diving expedition, you can find a nice spot on a rock to enjoy the great view of the fish. So what kind of marine life should you expect to see at this location? You can encounter the Butterflyfish, Anthias, Pufferfish, humongous Napoleon wrasse, Morays and Angel Fish.
2. Maya Thila, South Ari Atoll
Do the nurse sharks, barracuda, and stingrays sound like something you would look forward to? If they are, this is definitely your go-to scuba diving site. Its depth is estimated to be at least 100 ft. If you want to have a superb diving experience, the ideal time for action would be after sunset.
Once you dive in the waters at night you will be dismayed by the sight of rich marine creatures. This is because you will catch them during their feeding time. Rest assured, you will have an unforgettable exploit.
3. Five Rocks, South Ari Atoll
This is an exciting scuba diving site located at Higurashi Kandu. The name Five Rocks has something to do with the historical formation of the site. Though it was said to have been a single pinnacle in ancient times, it later broke into five pieces over an extensive period of time.
This pinnacle has numerous spectacular overhangs. Fusiliers and jacks grace the water in this area. There are also undercuts and caves.
The walls of these rocks are covered with an out of this would topography. Anthias and squirrelfish traverse the water body in this site nonchalantly. You will appreciate catching a glimpse of them or even taking pictures. Moreover, stingrays and white-Tip reef sharks are common in the deeper sections.
4. Miyaruga Thila
Among the largest Thilas in the Maldives, Miyaruga Thila simply tops the list. The site lies on the Southwest of Kudafolhudhoo Island and stretches to about 0.05 miles with a typical depth of 100 ft.
One of the most amazing features of this site is the two tunnels at the center of the Northside. They are just not tunnels lying there. In fact, they cross over each other. Due to the darkness of the tunnels, you should carry a torch.
Further to that, this isn’t the kind of diving sites that you can just explore by yourself even if you have a lot of experience. It’s recommended that you go on this excursion with a professional guide.
If you are a photography enthusiast, this is the perfect site to take impressive photos.
5. Akobe Thila, North Male Atoll
Aktobe Thila is a remarkable scuba diving site situated at the southeast Thulahagiri. Some people call it the Barracuda Thila.
It is comprised of three awe-inspiring pinnacles.
This site is suitable for both beginners and experienced divers. The kind of depth you have to work with as a diver is about 100 ft.
While diving in this area, you can look forward to white-tip reef sharks as well as the massive moray eels.
If you have never seen the popular long-finned batfish, prepare to be awed. Also, you should carry a torch so that you can explore the interesting detail walls of the pinnacles.
6. Fotteyo Kandu, Vaavu Atoll
If your scuba diving is your forte, the chances are that you are always in for the next thrilling escapade. This means that besides the marine life, you also like structured sites. Fotteyo Kandu barely disappoints. It is positioned within the eastern edge of the Vaavu Atoll. And apart from the bountiful variety of sea creatures, you are in for a profound cave exploration expedition.
The corrals are yellowish and you get to enjoy a number of overhangs as you swim. If you are lucky, you may come across the great sea Anemones, Snappers, Jacks, and Tuna. You should consider this site when planning to take a trip to the Maldives.
7. Kudah Rah Thila, South Ari Atoll
Although this location falls under a marine protected area, nothing can take away its beauty. Upon arrival, you will be stunned by its appearance. Your eyes will scan this area with utter disbelief as you impatiently prepare for the dive.
Once in the water, you will be greeted by different species of reef fish. This may include the snapper, Fusiliers, Snapper, and Anthias. There is also plenty of moray eels, triggerfish, turtles, and nudibranchs. Nonetheless, this area is sometimes hit by strong currents. It, therefore, calls for advanced diving skills, which makes it more ideal for experienced divers.
8. Kandooma Thila, South Male Atoll
This site is seen as one of the best scuba diving areas in Male. It is famous for its teardrop-like, pinnacle and the thrilling current which is formed as a result of a channel found between the reef and the pinnacle. If you are adventurous, you would definitely love the action.
The depth of this site begins at about 42 ft and goes as deep as 130 ft.
It has a number of coral blocks. Usually, most reef fish treat the coral blocks as a cleaning bay. For this reason, you are likely to see countless species of fish on this site.
On the western side of this site, there is a famous area known as Jack Corner. This name came about as a result of the many huge-eyed jacks found in this section. In addition, there are stingrays, snappers, reef sharks, barracuda, and groupers.
The top of this pinnacle is also graced by the Napoleon Wrasse and turtles.
9. Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo, North Ari Atoll
Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo offers a diving experience like no other. No wonder it is globally acclaimed for different forms of diving, including snorkeling. If you are an inexperienced diver, there is no need to shy from this site. It is a good scuba diving location for starters. Besides the biodiversity of the marine life, house reef divers can get a glimpse of a wreck that is within this site.
10. Maamigili Beru Reef, South Ari Atoll
South Ari Atoll is one of the most popular destinations in the Maldives. Moreover, the Maamigili Reef is laden with an enormous species of fish. These astonishing sea creatures can be seen at any time of the year.
One of the reasons why this site never disappoints is that it is relatively easy to see the whale sharks. If you don’t want to miss out on them, it’s best to have your resort plan the expedition for you. The guides are well equipped to know the zones where you are likely to find them.
However, there are lots of other great offerings that both experienced and inexperienced divers can enjoy. With the blue clear water, you are certainly going to have lots of fun as you move through the waters.
The Maldives is a world class scuba diving destination. If you have been longing to have an all-inclusive diving experience, your purpose will be best served by the richness of the Maldives Islands. This can be attributed to the fact that the island harbors a multiple of diving sites, which means that if you don’t like one, you can always head out to the next. It is also the only place that you are less likely to miss out on seeing the Manta Rays.
Rest assured, you would have one of the most memorable scuba diving excursions. You might want to carry your best camera to capture the magical moments.