Best Diving sites in Maldives

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If you have dived in Maldives before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

Scuba Diving around the Maldives has recently become hugely popular among the diving community. The hundreds of isolated and deserted Islands offer an enormous playground for divers to explore.

Between the Islands, there are channels connecting the Indian Ocean to the Lagoons. This water coming from the ocean is full of plankton and nutrients which, in turn, attracts an incredible marine life. The coral is beautiful in Maldives but what makes it so special is the high density of marine life!

You are likely to be able to spot Eagle Rays, Napoleon Wrasses, lots of pelagic fishes such as the Giant Trevally or the Barracuda, the magnificent Manta Rays and the very rare Whale Shark!

You will also encounter the Whitetip and the Grey Reef Shark, and if you are very lucky the rare Hammerhead Shark! The best location for big pelagic fishes is called the Ari Atoll and most of the liveaboards visit it.

Inside the lagoon, the shallow water has a teeming fish life with myriads of reef fishes and bright, colourful coral gardens.

The water is very clear around Maldives and you can expect a visibility ranging from 20 to 40 meters. That combined with the amazing marine life, makes Maldives an excellent destination for Underwater Photography.

Discover more HD Videos on Scuba Diving on YouDive.TV .

Most of the dives are drift dives, making it more suitable for experienced divers. However there are also very good dive sites in the lagoon for beginner divers too.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Maldives.

Photos Maldives

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Best Dive Review

Macro Diving

The Maldives is not really a destination for critters lovers and macro photography. However you can still encounter Frog fishes and colourful Nudibranchs.

If you are looking for amazing Macro Diving Destinations, try Lembeh Strait or Wakatobi in Indonesia and Mabul Island in Malaysia.

Wreck Diving

Maldives offers very few wrecks and not very spectacular so it is not really the right destination if you are a wreck fan! Better try the Yongala Wreck in Australia or the Liberty Ship in Bali, Indonesia!

This a Wreck, diving review in Maldives

How to dive Maldives?

There are two ways to dive the Maldives:

Liveaboard

If you come to Maldives especially for diving, a liveaboard cruise is the best choice. It will allow you to dive all of the best sites and discover the best of what the Islands have to offer. If you want to spot Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, this is your best chance of doing so.

A Liveaboard trip can also be cheaper than an expensive resort as the diving packages are all inclusive. A typical liveaboard trip starts in the capital, Male. From there you will head to various locations around the 1,190 surrounding islands!

As an example, you could explore South Male, North Male or Ari Atoll which is the best place for big fishes, Manta Rays and Whale Sharks!

You will find in this article more information about your next Divin trip to the Maldives.

Hot Tip:

  • Book your trip well in advance as the Liveaboards are often full!

This the Carine Liveaboard for a diving trip review in Maldives

Resort

If you come to Maldives to relax and just to have a few fun dives in your own, the best choice is to book into a resort. You will dive at local dive sites where you can explore the lagoon and shallow coral gardens. You will have the choice between 100 different resorts, from very basic to very luxurious accommodation. Some of the resorts are even dedicated purely to diving.

This is a scuba diving resort in Maldives

Best time to dive in Maldives

It is possible to dive in the Maldives all year round:

  • The Wet Season with rain, winds and waves runs from May to August reducing the visibility, but diving is still good. It is usually heavy short rains followed by sunshine ;-)
  • The Best visibility and dry weather is from December to March
  • The Hottest season is from April to June
  • The High Plankton density in May reduces visibility but does attract Manta Rays and Whale Sharks!

The best season for scuba diving is from January to April with very good visibility and excellent sea conditions.

Most of the Liveaboards operate from November to May.

Scuba Diving conditions

The conditions are generally good all the year around Maldives.

Air temperature:

26°C to 32°C year round.

Average Water temperature:

Ranges from 27°C to 30°C year round

Average Visibility:

You can expect from 15m to 40m depending on the season and location. The visibility is not as good during the rainy season (May to August).

Current:

Depends a lot on tide and location, ranges from none in the lagoon to very strong in the channels.

Depth:

From 5m to 40m. The coral reef is shallow and most of the dive sites are between 10 and 20 meters deep.

Manta Ray Maldives Scuba Diving Review

Snorkelling in Maldives

The Maldives is great for Snorkelling! There is a shallow coral garden wherever you stay to snorkel in front of your resort. They can also arrange for you snorkelling tours to take you to the best spots around the Island. You even have the chance to spot baby harmless Blacktip Reef Sharks while snorkelling!

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Maldives, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this travel insurance as they offer worldwide coverage as they offer worldwide coverage and cover scuba diving up to 50 metres deep, as well as snorkelling and many more water activities.

Review by Julien, creator ofBlog de Plongee

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Maldives Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

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16 dive logs in “Maldives

  1. We are coming to the Maldives from October 20-28 and are trying to find the best place to go. I will be with my wife and two teenagers (16 and 13). We very much are interested in Mantas and Whale Sharks. We would appreciate your specific ideas as to where to go to achieve this. Thank you.

    • If you are planning on visiting the Maldives I would very strongly recommend you book your resort or liveaboard before your arrival. Staying in the capital, Male is not much fun and you will waste quite a lot of time transferring there and back to the airport before getting to your resort. Just do some research first to select the perfect island or boat for your family and you will have a better holiday experience.

  2. Dear Julien,

    My name is John (I am also a passionate diver) and I would like to introduce myself a little bit. I am part of the Itnig team in Barcelona. We are the tech partners of “Submaldives, specialized in diving safaris guided by experts”. Recently we have just launched a new website and a corporate blog. Please, feel free to take a look: http://www.submaldives.com

    During the last months we have been working very hard in order to achieve a very well designed and attractive website focus on diving safaris in Maldives. Although the site is brand new, Judith de la Rosa and Hassan Shareef created Submaldives 7 years ago, both with many years of experience behind them.

    In order to spread the word about Submaldives, we would like to collaborate with you. Please, let us know if you are willing to collaborate with us. We are aware of your great content with publications and news about diving issues so we believe this could be a situation with a win-win approach.

    Collaboration ideas:

    After a whole life diving all over the world, the Submaldives dive masters, Judith de la Rosa, Hassan Shareef, Stefania Oddone and all their team, have many interesting things to share about diving. They would be very grateful to write any kind of article about anything related with diving.

    Carlos Suárez, the amazing underwater photographer is collaborating with Submaldives due to the strong friendship relation with Judith de la Rosa.

    We strongly believe that Submaldives has a lot to offer and we are looking forward to collaborate with Dive Zone. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best,
    John

    • Hi, John!
      I checked your website and I think it looks promising. You have nice content in your website. I’m pretty sure there are lots of people who are interested in diving safaris especially in a beautiful and mesmerizing island such as Maldives. I enjoyed looking at the photos especially the group pictures. It seems that most of the divers are having fun! :-)

  3. Dear Divers Buddy,

    At this time when I wrote this comment, me and my family are still staying at TAJ Excotica and SPA, Maldives.

    We came for holiday and we end up having great time Exploring the wonderful Maldives and At the end of our 6 days Vacation (today we are heading home :-( ) we did Finally Manage to “graduate” and earned our PADI Certificate.

    We had ZERO experience on diving; yet Miss ROBIN BLACK and ABDULLAH The Instructor and Dive Master at TAJ Resort very thoughtful and with tender, teach and assist me and my wife and 12 years old son to feel “comfortable” with this wonderful new discovery of sport.

    We end up with 3 Diving, and all of us agree that from now on we will explore more the wonder of Under Sea World.

    Maldives is a must place to visit in this earth. Just looking on the map Maldives Location; we already feel we are on the other planet.

    We met many divers came from around the world and Maldives is one of the safest place on earth. With wonderful people and delicious food.

    We came from INDONESIA where its consist of 14.000 Islands in Tropical Zone Area, so we are sure we will use this PADI certificate to explore more about Indonesia and the rest of the Under The Sea World.

  4. Hi, im looking for some advice. Myself and my boyfriend completed our ssi open water in Thailand this year, we are hoping to make the maldives our next trip. Would the end of November be a good time or would it be worth waiting until January to April? Its much easier for me to get the time off work in November. We like the idea of a live-aboard for a few days but would it be worth it to find a resort to complete our advanced course before going onto a liveaboard dive boat?
    Thanks
    Laura

    • Dear Laura,

      I am a Newbie Divers,

      Yet just coming back from Maldives, I reccommend it is better for you to make your plan as soon as possible.

      For from newbie suggestion; I think if possible you can stay in a resort so you can enjoy also the daily activites such as wonderful food, evening in Bar, sunset, sunrise etc. The resort all are beatiful. You may not want to spend your entire vacation on live-aboard. But then again if you come for Total Diving Experience, that is the place. Exchanging information etc. And who said you can not have a party at live-aboard? Must ask Captain though ;-)

      Have the most memorable Maldives experience.

      Francois

  5. Spent our honeymoon 2010 October at the Olhuvelli Resort on the South Male atoll.

    The dive centre was Sundiving and they took smalls groups of around 12 people each day. With about 3 dive masters for the abilities, the groups sizes were great.

    We saw an abundance of Mantas on banana reef and went there a couple of times – even snorkeled with them on the surface interval :)

    We did our nitrox, so we could enjoy the bottom time. At just above 30m we could enter negatively drop straight down, hold onto the rock and watch countless reef sharks swim on by!

    Whilst we heard the dolphins, we didn’t catch them visually – that was an experience in itself.

    The vis is around 15-20 metres with the plankton blooms encouraging in the bigger chaps and all for the good.

    Much washing of ears when we surfaced to avoid any probs.

    Currents are quite strong on certain dives and not too tiring or uncermountable. Tobago and Thailand seem much stronger.

    Plenty of nudibranches and shrimps (we like the small stuff too)

    Even a quick snorkel on the no dive days uncovered small coral reef patches home to lionfish and many juviniles – pretty.

  6. Back from Maldives 2 weeks ago. 24 dives in 10 days. Viz wasn’t the best at this time of the year but we got lucky enough to enjoy 10 days of pure sunshine (it changed just when i left). Been diving on a regular basisi for over 3 years now but not in many different places apart from Thailand and a bit of Indonesia, so I was highly pleased with the different fish I got to see from my current experience: eagle rays, napoleon fish (a few times in different dive sites), leaf fish, turtles, many white tip sharks (never got lucky to see any grey reeef skarks), octipus, massive stingrays, massive scorpionfish as i have ever seen, zebra morays… and even if it is not a place for macro, i got to see a few cool nudis and a bunch of flatowrms, and little porcelain crabs and others in different occasions. Used as I am to plain calm waters where I normally dive, the currents in South Ari Atoll could be a big but awesome challenge sometimes. Enjoyed some drifts dives and managed to have a few encounters with mantas. A couple scuba diving and a couple of more times doing snorkelling -one occasion we were swiming with 8 mantas at once! That lasted a good while! Even the House Reef offers an splendid shore-entry diving where you can get to see even evil rays if you lucky!

    I can loudly say, for now, it’s been my best holiday ever! Not only underwater but outside: the crew was amazing, helpful, nice and superfriendly; the divemasters well experienced and dedicated, and well, what to say, I got lucky that my group of friends were all pro divers, which made the whole experience an unfogertable one.

  7. I did live aboard – MV Stingray – in August,2013. The viz and surface condition were not best, but still – the viz was more than 10 m on all dive sites. We stayed for 7 nights and had about 16 dives. We visited various dive sites around Atolls of North Male, North Ari, South Ari and South Male. We saw Mantas on three dives and had snorkeling with Whale Shark at Mamagilli. White tip reef shark on most of the dives and grey reef shark on couple of dives. It was fun to watch Majestic Napoleon very close to us on many dives.

    Very little macro life,as most of the dives were oriented for sharks and other pelagic. Mantas hoovering above the divers are the most cherished moments and consider us lucky to see them very close.

    For serious divers, i would recommend live aboard that covers South Ari. During May to October some Live aboard slash their rates. Rains and choppy sea conditions are likely and the viz is not best due to plankton, but chances to sea mantas are bright during these months.

  8. I was snorkeling in Maldives in February 2004. I choose Bandos because is a very little island close to Male, with a very good reef 50 mt or less from the shore (just out of my bungalow!) appreciated by diving excursions from other islands. Water always warmer in than out on the shore! Many colourful big reef fishes, sea turtles and a reef shark. I know that after my visit Bandos resort has been refreshed with new reef piers and over water rooms (see Google Earth).
    Place to return to.

  9. Hi, my friends are planning a dive trip in Maldives next year February. Is it possible to sight whale shark in February? LOB or resort is better? How long will it takes to travel to the dive site from the resort?

    • Hi Jasmine,
      as for my comment upside yours, one dive site in Maldives may be close to the beach or far away, it depends on the island you choose to stay.
      Good bubbles
      guido

  10. A few years ago, I spent two years a Director of the School of divers CMAS FIPS Alimatha the Maldive Islands , I have 500 dive behind all the passes and island seas of Felidu atoll, around the island of Alimatha and Digiri, great experiences and exciting diving , Laos

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