Thanks to its clear warm waters, stunning coral reefs and rich marine life, the Maldives has come to be recognised as one of the world’s top destinations for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Boasting close to 1200 islets peppered with thilas, khandus and lagoons, there’s a lot to explore in the Republic of Maldives. The question is, when will you go? And where, of course.
In the Maldives, diving is possible all year round. For the most enjoyable experience, though, it is best to visit at times of the year when water conditions allow for maximum visibility.
Here are five top sites to visit for scuba diving in the Maldives…
Best Dive Sites in the Maldives
1. Five Rocks, South Ari Atoll
Five Rocks is a pinnacle in Dhigurashu Kandu that over hundreds of years has broken up into five pieces. The pieces or rocks extend from the sea floor at 40 metres to 12 metres below sea level.
At this dive site, scores of reef fish thrive among vibrant soft corals. Divers can spot oriental sweetlips, anthias and red-toothed triggerfish. Stingrays and whitetip reef sharks are also common.
The landscapes and marine life at Five Rocks are truly phenomenal. Photographers often frequent the location for this very reason. The scuba diving site is best suited to intermediate divers.
2. Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll
Another top destination for intermediate scuba diving in the captivating Indian Ocean Maldives is Broken Rock, which like Five Rocks is located in Dhigurashu Kandu in the Southern Ari Atoll.
Broken Rock takes its name from a large rock at the site’s centre that is broken in two. At the rock split, there is a channel that allows for swimming, where divers can explore for about 50 metres.
On a swim through Broken Rock, one may encounter moray eels, trigger fish, puffer fish and humphead wrasse, while taking in fabulous views of the soft corals and sea fans that line the rock walls.
3. Kudarah Thila, South Ari Atoll
Kudarah Thila is a popular scuba diving site in the Maldives, and for good reason. The pinnacle, which has been declared a protected area, features four coral heads that offer a lot in the way of sea life.
Divers exploring the south-east edge of the site can expect to see dartfish, groupers, trumpet fish and more. Those swimming further from the reef may spot greats such as grey reef sharks and sea turtles.
In addition to the many attractive reef creatures that roam the waters of Kudarah Thila, there is a plethora of colourful coral formations to admire. A beautiful, exciting dive. For more advanced divers, though.
4. Banana Reef, North Male Atoll
For a memorable scuba diving experience that is suitable for all experience and skill levels, visit Banana Reef in the North Male Atoll. This was actually the first diving site to be discovered in the Maldives.
Banana Reef has a depth range of 5 to 30 metres. It offers interesting features such as caves, overhangs and a pinnacle. There are also colourful coral formations, and the waters are teeming with fish.
Marine residents of the reef include bannerfish, squirrelfish and oriental sweetlips, as well as jackfish and humphead wrasse. Sharks and groupers also like to congregate in the crystal-clear waters.
5. Fotteyo Kandu, Vaavu Atoll
On the easterly edge of the Vaavu Atoll lies Fotteyo Kandu, a narrow Maldivian channel and dive site that many scuba divers, photographers and marine biologists regard as a little slice of paradise.
Fotteyo Kandu features dramatic overhangs, swim-throughs and caves with remarkable coral structures that make it really fun to dive. The site is also home to an abundance of amazing sea creatures.
Potato groupers, tuna and white trevally flourish in the waters of Fotteyo Kandu. One can also spot surgeon fish, swordfish and eagle rays, as well as titan triggerfish, hammerhead sharks and dolphins.
Interested in diving the best dive sites in the Maldives? Our professional instructors run daily dive and snorkel excursions to various sites in the Southern Ari Atoll. Contact us to learn more.