The Maldives Islands lie Southwest of India. Scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the gem-like islands of the Maldives depict the rare vision of a tropical paradise. With a year round water temperature of 27-30ºC the diving is most plesant. The big attractions, for us divers, are the schools of fish that patrol the reefs in colorful packs and the reef's larger inhabitants, including sharks, rays and occasionally even Whale Sharks, are often seen cruising in the blue.
The Maldives Islands lie Southwest of India. Scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the gem-like islands of the Maldives depict the rare vision of a tropical paradise. Palm fringed islands with sparkling white beaches, turquoise lagoons, clear warm waters and coral reefs teeming with abundant varieties of marine flora and fauna, fascinates visitors as it has for thousands of years.
There are three distinctly different types of diving: inside the atolls, outside the atolls and inside the channels or passes, which is where the currents are strongest and you'll find the greatest congregation of fish life. Most intriguing are the cleaning stations, found around every corner and under every ledge. Groupers, Snappers, Surgeonfish, Eels, Parrotfish, even Giant Napoleon Wrasse park casually in corners, oblivious to all, (including cameras) while armies of wrasse, shrimp and other assorted cleaners pick at debris in their open gills and cavernous mouths. The big attraction, however, are the schools of fish that patrol the reefs in colorful packs: Humpback and Black and White Snappers, Trevally Jacks, Barracuda, Batfish, Unicornfish, Yellowback Fusiliers and Harlequin Sweetlips almost comical in design. The reef's larger inhabitants, including sharks, rays and occasionally even Whale Sharks, are often seen cruising in the blue.
South Male AtollKandooma Thila - Definitely number one in the ranking of the best dive sites in South Male atoll. Long thila, located in the middle of the channel, offers spectacular conditions to observe grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, big schools of jacks and snappers both with incoming and outgoing current. North side of the pinnacle is nicely covered with soft corals with the top of the reef being home to many reef fish and green turtles.
Vaavu AtollMiyaru Kandu - One of the channel dives that you don’t want to miss. With strong incoming current the list of possible encounters is impressive. Mainly grey reef sharks but also whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleons and tunas are quite common and with the visibility reaching 40 meters during the northeast monsoon it can be the highlight of the trip. Outgoing current offer worse visibility but the sharks are still there. Most of the time you will spend at the depth 70 - 90 feet.Alimatha House Reef - One of the best night dives in the Maldives, every night there is a show performed by a big number of nurse sharks, stingrays and massive jacks. Maximum depth will not exceed 50 feet and most of the time you will be kneeling on a sandy bottom waiting for the sharks to come closer. Definitely not to be missed.
Meemu AtollMuli Corner - The reef is known as home to a lot of sharks during incoming currents but it also welcomes manta rays on a large cleaning station during outgoing current.
Thaa AtollWhaleshark point - There is no specific place where diving would guarantee an encounter with a whale shark but the common practice is to use a strong light in the evening at the back platform of the boat to attract the zooplanktons which will further attract the whale sharks. Scuba diving while having the shark at the back of the boat is rather discouraged as the bubbles may disperse the mass of the plankton. The best experience is to grab a mask, fins and gently enter the water on the side of the boat, not to scare the whale shark away and then enjoy the view while snorkeling. Sometimes the whale shark will stay for hours, more than one visitor is also possible. Instructions given by the dive guides have to be followed and a code of conduct must be respected by all snorkelers to enjoy the moment to the fullest.
Laamu AtollFushi Kandu *** - The most spectacular channel dive of the atoll. There are a few different ways to dive it but crossing the channel offers the most exciting encounters with big fish. Although it might seem very easy it is not recommended for not experienced divers due to washing machines created by the current. Staying close to the dive guide and same positioning will make crossing the channel easier. Negative entry is recommended.
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