WanderlustThe best dive sites in the Maldives

Where best to explore dramatic caverns and ancient shipwrecks

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South Malé Atoll

South Malé Atoll, a cluster of verdant islets, offers plenty of caves, wrecks and marine life. On the eastern border, the dive site Cocoa Thila is home to red snapper, giant trevally, eagle rays and grey reef sharks sheltering from the strong currents nearby. Explore Vaadhoo Caves – towards the north of the atoll – to see unicorn fish, soldierfish and turtles, or join Jumeirah Vittaveli’s Best Dives Maldives, which guides beginners and advanced divers on a marine safari around Bolifushi Island.If you’d rather stay dry while viewing these underwater wonders, take the adventure on our semi-submarine.

 

Ari Atoll

For pelagic fish, Ari Atoll’s crystal-clear waters are teeming with graceful whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and manta rays, and the atoll’s submerged pinnacles and channels make it a popular Maldives dive site. For shark-spotting, Fish Head never disappoints, while the Maaya Thila pinnacle, covered by a coral reef that attracts vibrant shoals of fish, is equally atmospheric for night dives.

 

Baa Atoll

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Baa Atoll is formed of 75 picture-perfect islands, home to some of the most colourful dive sites in the Maldives. Beginners and advanced divers can head to Horubadhoo Thila to swim around colourful reefs, as schools of black jacks and fusiliers weave in and out. You can come face to face with midnight snappers, small-toothed emperors and lunar fusiliers around the rainbow reefs of Maavaru Kandu. In the centre of Baa Atoll is Dhigali Haa, a long, narrow reef home to barracudas, turtles, and schools of tiny silvery fish that glimmer in the sun’s dappled rays.

 

Lhaviyani Atoll

Lhaviyani Atoll offers fascinating shipwrecks, long, open channels and abundance of sea life, making it Maldives’ most adventurous dive site. The Shipyard is home to two wrecks, Skipjack One and Two, that sank in the 1980s; their rusted skeletons encrusted with coral, with angelfish and butterflyfish gliding around inside. For green sea turtles, stingrays and huge Napoleon wrasse, it’s hard to beat Kuredu Caves, nicknamed Turtle Airport thanks to its multitude of shelled residents.

 

Laamu Atoll

A quieter, relatively undisturbed atoll, Laamu is known for its vast shoals of fish. Deep passages offer plenty of nooks to explore and fewer channels result in excellent visibility. One of the most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives, Fushi Kandu hosts a marine medley of surgeonfish, eagle rays, barracudas and tuna. At Hithadhoo Corner, Laamu Atoll’s southernmost tip, it’s all about the mantas. The spot is a cleaning station for these gentle giants which makes it a prime place to swim with manta rays.

 

Discover the island paradise Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives.