Dive sites in Southern half of the Maldives
"Best of the Maldives"
The Best of the Maldives does just what it says on the label - you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a single week of relaxing liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls. This is a dive holiday in the Maldives to remember that hits all the seasonal hot spots of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Dive the many channels, drifts and pinnacles, encountering the manta, whaleshark and reef residents as you go. The exact order of things is left flexible to ensure that no matter what time of year your holiday to the Maldives is; the breath-taking world underwater is unveiled in all its perfection.
The Best of the Maldives itinerary aims to mix big fish, manta and shark dives with scenic reefs dives, hunting out the smallest reef fish, morays and macro life that are so abundant here. Cleaning stations allow you to get up close to impressive mantas, and dives at Manta Point, Dhonkalo Thila and Madivaru provide just such opportunities. Maaya Thila is one of the best-known dive sites in the Maldives and for a good reason. This pinnacle descends to reveal sharks and fish in great numbers. Night diving here is hard to beat and should not be missed. Log yet more pelagic sightings, as grey reef sharks patrol the Ari Atoll area. The boat will also take some time to look for whalesharks that you can snorkel with.
The Best of the Maldives is an ideal itinerary for any visitor to the Maldives. You should be comfortable with drift diving but no minimum number of dives is required. All diving is made from dhonis to give precision entry and exits points. Night diving is limited to sheltered moorings, but well worth jumping in for. With so many excellent and remarkable sites in and around North - South Male Atolls and the Ari Atolls, the Best of the Maldives is a route that can be dived time and time again. From the tiny creatures that thrill macro lovers, to the elegant and inspiring big fish, there is more than enough to keep you coming back for more.
Best of Maldives
Day 1 – Pick up and Checkin from 13:00 at Male Airport
Day 2 – Dive North Male Atoll, cross to Rasdhoo Atoll
Day 3 – Dive Rasdhoo Atoll and North Ari Atoll Grey Reef Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks
Day 4 – North Ari Atoll Mantas and night dive on the famous Maaya Thila
Day 5 – South Ari Atoll Mantas and Whalesharks
Day 6 – South Ari and Male Atolls Sharks and Pelagics Desert Island Dinner
Day 7 – South Male Atoll Pelagics, afternoon tour of Male city
Day 8 – Check out at 09.00, Male Airport
South Male Atoll
Crossing the Vaadhoo channel from Male we come into South Male Atoll, one of the best know diving areas with many narrow channels on the East Coast and also a variety of Giris and Thilas. Popular dive locations would include Embudhoo Express, an exiting channel dive, Guraidhoo Corner known for its sharks, rays and dolphin encounters, Kandooma Thila on the outside of Cocoa Corner, with sharks, turtles, excellent coral and schooling fish, and the Kuda Giri Wreck.
A small Atol North of Ari, Rasdhoo has an interesting channel dive with big tunas, barracudas and grey sharks. On the outside of Rasdhoo Madivaru it is possible to encounter hammerheads coming up from the surrounding deep water in the early morning.
Whether an enthusiastic and experienced diver or a more casual new recruit to the sport, Ari Atol has something to offer everyone. In the North East Monsoon the Mantas frequent many sites on the west side, which is also the best area for hard corals, notably table corals stacked layer upon layer. Inside the Atoll are the well know sites of Fish Head and Maaya Thila, reputed to be one of the best night dives in the Maldives. Kudarah Thila is also notable for it’s soft and hard corals and shoals of blue line snapper. In the South of the Atoll Rangali Madivaru is a huge cleaning station frequented by large numbers of Mantas in the North East Monsoon. Maamigili is where whale sharks frequently patrol the out reef year round.
Known for it’s spectacular channels on the North East side, Felidhoo is a favourite Atol to visit in the North East monsoon, with visability up to 40 metres and a whole range of shark action, including Hammerheads at Fushi Kandu. Another site worth a visit is Fotteyo in the East , noted for its many soft coral encrusted caves.
Further South toward the Equator are Wataru Atol, Mulaku Atol Lamu Atol and Thaa Atoll, still largely unexplored. Across the other side of the One and a half degree channel is the larger Huvadhoo Atol, which is the deepest Atoll in the Maldives. Good channel diving on both sides of the Atoll, some with huge Gorgonian forests. The Coral here is in very good condition, and this area unlike the more Northern Atolls in inhabited by Leopard Sharks. This area is best dived in the North East Monsoon.
The most Southerly Atoll in the Maldives is Addoo Atoll, with for channels an several wrecks including the British Loyalty a 5 and 1/2 thousand ton Oil tanker, torpedoed by the Japanese in 1944. There is a commercial airport at Gan, which used be a British Airforce base.
Deep South: Touring the Huvadhoo area minimum 10 nights
Season: February March
Day 1 Meet and Greet at Kahdheedhoo Airport, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll
Day 2 Dive Thinadhoo area, Dhevadhoo area, Villingilli area anchor at Whaleshark spot
Day 3 Vilingilli Kandu area
Day 4 Nilandhoo Kandu area and night dive on Hyatt Reef
Day 5 Mareehaa Kandu area
Day 6 Gazeera Thila, Vaadhoo Corner, Vaadhoo Thila
Day 7 Mareehaa Kandu area
Day 8 Kondey Kandu area
Day 9 Mareehaa Kandu area, cross to Kahdheedhoo
Day 10 Depart from Kahdheedhoo Airport, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll
South Central: Touring the Male, Vaavu, Meemu, Thaa and Laamu areas
Season: January – April
Day 1 Meet and Greet at Male/Kadhdhoo Airport
Day 2 – Dive North and South Male area
Day 3 – Dive Vaavu Atoll with it’s beautiful coral formations
Day 4 – Dive Vaavu Atoll, with exciting channel dives and a night dive with Nurse Sharks
Day 5 – Dive Meemu Atoll
￼Day 6 – Dive Thaa Atoll
Day 7 – Dive Laamu Atoll
Day 8 – Checkout at 09.00
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