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Updated by Erin Hunter on Aug 26, 2014
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Erin Hunter Erin Hunter
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List of best diving spots in Maldives

As one of the world's top ranked diving hubs the Maldivian islands offer something for everyone. From shipwrecks to vast coral gardens this one-stop diving Mecca is a must-experience highlight.

1

Ari Atoll

Ari Atoll

Ranked among the most dependable and reliable destinations among Maldivian diving hubs, diving sites across the Ari Atoll offer avid divers encounters with vibrant marine life all year round. Renowned as a pelagic haven occupied by large schools of marine species diving in this particular region of the Maldivian oceanscape is well-suited for groups of travellers. Littered with soft corals and a wide variety of reef fish divers can hope to catch glimpses of the area's famed residents which includes manta rays, eagle rays and hammerheads as well. Whale sharks, white tip sharks and batfish are also known to occupy the kilometer long rocky confines of the Ari Atoll while larger fish species such as grey reef sharks, napoleon wrasses and black-tail barracudas are also frequently spotted. Diving expeditions in the area and others across the archipelago are organized by Kandolhu Island Maldives and other resort havens that offer diving lessons for novices as well.

2

Vaavu Atoll

Vaavu Atoll

A prime diving destination in the archipelago's Southern Atolls, Vaavu Atoll contains deep submerged channels that are known for their lightning speed currents. Rich in nutrients the venue is an active diving hub for most of the year where up close and personal encounters with a number of species of sharks is guaranteed. Reef sharks are the permanent residents of the area while hammerheads are also known to frequent this region of the Indian Ocean. Home to famed Fotteyo Kandu, arguable the best dive site in all of the Maldives divers can explore the vast expansive of overhangs, underwater caves and swim throughs of this renowned diving site when touring Vaavu Atoll. Snappers, manta rays, trevallies, tuna and eagle rays also occupy the ocean floors beneath Vaavu in addition to unicorn fish, trigger fish and groupers.

3

North Male Atoll

North Male Atoll

As a tried and true staple in Maldivian diving itineraries since time immemorial North Male Atoll's diving hotspots are some of the most documented venues in the country. Renowned as a scuba diver's paradise in decades past the locale has transformed in to an iconic diving Mecca complete with narrow drop offs and spectacular rock facades. Littered with steep overhands and innumerable underwater caves the hot pick dive sites scattered across North Male Atoll include famed Banana Reef or Gaathugiri. Black snappers, massive moray eels, manta rays and squirrel fish are frequent spotted here alongside sharks, soldier fish, Maldivian grub fish and schools of banner fish.

4

Vilamendhoo

Vilamendhoo

Reputed as a popular diving venue for beginners as well as seasoned experts, diving expeditions on Vilamendhoo Island include shore dives as well as deep sea dives on boat excursions. Littered with reef fish the shore dives mainly focus on the coral gardens occupying the ocean beds surrounding the island while the boat dives are conducted in areas with strong currents where larger species such as whale sharks are frequently encountered. A Maldives luxury resort is located on the island and is responsible for the organization of diving trips around Vilamendhoo.

5

Kuda Rah Thila

Kuda Rah Thila

Having the distinct honor of being the first protected marine area in the archipelago diving in Kuda Rah Thila is a true treat for the senses. As a small submerged peak the venue is abuzz with pelagic and other marine creatures the likes of snappers and white tip reef sharks. Banner fish and fusiliers are also inhabitants of the area in addition to colorful trevallies Massive overhangs on either side of the Thila make for a spectacular underwater setting while the small swim through also makes the topography and navigation of the site a more pleasurable experience