diving sites in maldives

The extraordinary marine life, beautiful underwater topography, paradisal landscape, and abundant diving sites in Maldives have been always on the dream checklist of travelers and adventure seekers from all around the globe. With hundreds of magnificent luxury resorts in Maldives, surrounded by dazzling blue water, this archipelago has left no stone unturned in making your holiday dreamy and unforgettable. With so much to choose we have enlisted some of the most famous diving sites in Maldives for exploring adventure like never before.


Maaya Thila, North Ari Atoll

mayaa thila diving site in maldives

Covered with a vibrant coral reef, Maaya Thila is one of the most prominent scuba diving sites in Maldives. With an approximate diameter of 80 meters, Maaya Thila can be easily circumnavigated in a single dive. The top of the reef starts at six meters and then drops from 12 meters to depths of 30 meters and more. On the northwest and south edges, there are various coral outcrops. Around the Thila, there are a lot of caves and overhangs.

Sights: White reef shark

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Night / Pinnacle

Marine Life: Beautiful reefs made up of colorful soft and hard corals, sea fans, algae, nudibranchs, stonefish, scorpionfish, butterflyfish, batfish, clownfish, Moorish idols, triggerfish, parrotfish, turtles, moray eels, octopi, giant frogfish, mantas, barracuda, and much more. Gray reef sharks and white tip sharks are frequent guests in the deeper areas.

Best time to visit: Dec-May


Kuredu Express, Lhaviyani Atoll

Kuredu express diving spot in Maldives

Named after the strong current, flowing along the sandy channels, Kuredu Express is amongst the most prominent diving sites in Maldives at Lhaviyani Atoll. The sandy channel leads to a junction between the channel and the vertical reef where several terraces of varying depths provide an excellent platform for spotting vivid pelagic life. Just 5m from the top of the reef, to about 35m of depth, there are plenty of areas to explore with some pretty impressive marine life.

Sights: Eagle Rays, Tuna, Grey Reef Sharks, Stingrays, and Barracuda

Level: Intermediate

Diving Environment: Channel, Reef, Drift

Dive Type: Cave / Wall

Marine Life: Grey sharks, dog-tooth tuna, Napoleon wrasse, schooling jacks, snapper, butterflyfish, leaffish, eagle rays, stingrays, barracuda, jackfish, collared butterflyfish, humpback snappers, and much more.

Best time to visit: Jan-April


Sun Island, South Ari Atoll

sun island maldives

Sun Island is one of the best diving sites in Maldives to see whale sharks. The island welcomes both snorkelers and divers, so no prior scuba experience is required. The island’s southern shore opens to the Indian Ocean and has a shallow plateau of 5-10 meters deep, making it simple to detect passing whale sharks. For the best experience, it’s best to visit around the full moon.

Sights: Whale Sharks

Level: Beginners

Diving Environment: Shallow Reef

Marine Life: Occasional manta, shark, turtle, and much more.

Best time to visit: Nov-April


Five Rocks, South Ari Atoll

five rocks, south ari atoll maldives

Formed by a pinnacle that has been bisected into five sections over the centuries, Five Rocks is best-loved by photographers for its dramatic underwater landscapes. These rocks range in height from 40 feet below sea level to 130 feet at the sandy seabed. The abundance of overhangs and ocean swept currents thrive the perfect environment for a plethora of reef fish, whitetip reef sharks, and vibrant corals.

Sights: Whitetip Reef Sharks, Stingrays, and Red-tooth Triggerfish

Level: Intermediate

Diving Environment: Pinnacle

Marine Life: Whitetip reef shark, Vibrant corals, Reef fish, and much more.

Best time to visit: Jan-April


The Victory Wreck, North Male Atoll

the victory wreck diving site in maldives

In 1981, a cargo ship (of about 100m in length) from Singapore sank in the North Male Atoll of Maldives after hitting Hulhule reef. Currently, the Wreck of Victory sits between 12-35 m and is home to a beautiful coral reef system. The wreck is located into the channel, the currents are quite strong for which the shipwreck can provide an appropriate shelter for divers.


Level: Advanced

Diving Environment: Wreck

Marine Life: Ghost pipefish and nudibranchs, corals, turtles, pufferfish, batfish, schooling fusiliers, and much more.

Best time to visit: Dec-May


Fishhead, North Ari Atoll

Fishhead diving maldives

Fishhead (also referred to as Shark Point or Mushimasmingili Thila) is regarded as one of the top shark diving sites in Maldives and a must-do checklist dives amongst divers. Though the pinnacle is small and extends up to a depth of 36m, the walls are covered with corals featuring a number of overhangs and caves. As per an old tradition of feeding sharks (tradition has ended now) up to 20 gray reef sharks patrol the reef at a time, providing divers an opportunity of seeing the creatures closely.

Sights: Grey Reef Sharks

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Pinnacle

Marine Life: Sharks, fusiliers, trevally, barracuda, Napoleon wrasse, sea fans, black corals, and much more.


Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll

Broken rock diving maldives

The broken rock is one of the best diving sites in Maldives at South Ari atoll. The name of the location comes from a canyon that bisects the reef into two parts. The cracked reef has formed a big crevice in the center which forms a tunnel.

For swimming through the tunnel, divers require great buoyancy as the currents in the canyon can be unpredictable. While swimming through the tunnel you can see abundant soft corals lining the walls of the canyon.

Sights: Fan Corals

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Diving Environment: Canyon/Pinnacle

Marine Life: Fan corals, Turtles, Napoleon Wrasse, Moray eels, Barracudas, Scorpionfish, Triggerfish, Pufferfish, and Soft coral, and much more.

Best time to visit: Dec-May


Banana Reef, North Male Atoll

banana reef diving site in maldives

Banana Reef diving site was the first internationally acclaimed diving site in Maldives that started attracting divers from all across the globe. Now a protected marine site, the banana reef features a bit of everything from corals, caves, overhangs, and big fish. The reef begins at 5m and reaches a maximum depth of 35m. Divers can also discover deep crevices, cracks, and colorful coral-covered along the steep walls. The banana reef is suitable for both beginner divers and snorkelers.

Sights: Sea Turtles and Napoleon Wrasse

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Diving Environment: Reef

Marine Life: Moray eels, sharks, groupers, snapper, wrasse, barracudas, pinnacles, overhangs, caves, colorful coral formations, squirrelfish, bannerfish, oriental sweetlips, and much more.

Best time to visit: Nov-April


Alimatha Jetty, Vaavu Atoll

alimatha jetty scuba diving in maldives

The Alimatha Jetty is the perfect spot for night diving. For years Alimatha Resort Kitchen has effectively trained and fed the area’s marine life, cleaning fish from the pier and throwing guts into the water. As the sun goes down the night view of the jetty is spectacular, making Alimatha a top destination for nighttime underwater photography.

Sights: Nurse Sharks, Cowtail Stingrays

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Diving Environment: Channel, Drift, Wall

Marine Life: Nurse Sharks, giant trevallies, marble rays, Blacktip sharks, and much more.

Best time to visit: Nov-April


Kandooma Thila, South Male Atoll

kandooma thila scuba diving in maldives

Considered as one of the most magnificent diving sites in Maldives at South Male Atoll, Kandooma Thila features a beautiful teardrop-shaped pinnacle at the bottom of the channel with its top reef starting at 12m and descending to around 40 m depth. The underwater pinnacle is about 300m in length making it difficult to circumnavigate in a single dive. The eastern and northern sides are covered with beautiful soft corals and overhangs. You can also see green sea turtles napping or foraging at many rocky outcrops around the island. Due to the strong drift of currents, this site is suitable for professionals and experienced divers.

This fauna is primarily found on the plateau between the Thila and the ocean during incoming currents. In the outflow, most sharks can be found around the cleaning station at more than 30 m depth to the northeast of the pinnacle.

Sights: Pelagics, Sharks, Green sea turtles

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Drift Diving, Wall, Cave

Marine Life: Green sea turtles, manta, eagle rays, soft Corals, red bass, trevally, big schools of fish, whitetip sharks, grey reef sharks, snappers, jacks, and much more.

Best time to visit: All year round


Miyaru Kandu, Vaavu atoll

miyaru kandu maldives diving

The word Miyaru means ‘Shark’ in the native language. And as the name suggests Miyaru is one of the top diving sites in Maldives for hammerhead sharks. The magnificent channel of Miyaru is a well-protected marine area featuring small caves on both sides of the channel and various overhangs.  Strong currents during the northeast monsoon drag pelagic species into the channel. Divers can explore gray reef sharks on the north side of the channel, and some large rocks covered with soft corals on the south side. On the perimeter of the reef, there are several caves and overhangs at deeper depths, making this place ideal for underwater photography. The boat drops divers at the end of the “Kandu” when there is a strong inflow current along the way. From there dive down in the middle of the blues to spot large pelagic fish such as sharks, tuna, and eagles.

Sights: Grey Reef Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Channel, Drift

Marine Life: Soft and Hard corals, Eagle rays, Tuna, Napoleon Wrasse, Reef fish, Whitetip reef shark, Black-tip reef sharks, Grey reef sharks, Hammerhead sharks, Tiger sharks, and much more.

Best time to visit: Dec-April


Hammerhead Point, Rasdhoo Atoll

hammerhead point maldives

Hammerhead point holds a treasure for experienced divers. Divers have a chance to be underwater with hammerhead sharks. Also referred to as Rasdhoo Madivaru, Hammerhead point is a rigorous dive in the outer reef as hammerhead sharks, mantas, and other large pelagics are known to be frequent visitors here. On the outer edge of the reef, the water is extremely clear and the depth can go down up to 200m. Hammerhead dives generally begin before sunrise and conclude about 6 a.m. for the best possibility of seeing the sharks.

Sights: Scalloped hammerheads sharks

Level: Advanced

Diving Environment: Wall, Reef, Drift, Wreck Diving

Marine Life: Manta rays, grey reef sharks, giant trevally, Schooling reef fish, and much more.

Best time to visit: Nov-April


Rainbow Reef, North Male Atoll

rainbow reef maldives diving

Also known as Girifushi Thila, the protected marine area of the rainbow reef in the northern Maldives is recognized as one of the best diving sites in Maldives. The site is known for its vibrant soft corals adorned walls, amongst which divers can also spot gorgonian fans and tunicates. The underwater topography includes caves, overhangs, and swim through, including the chimney which rises from 10-24m.

Sights: Reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagics, soft corals

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Drift dive, cave

Marine Life: Eagle rays, tuna, Barracuda, and Grey reef sharks, are Octopuses, Moray eels, Lionfish, Angelfish, snappers, and jacks, gorgonian fans and tunicates, soft corals, Trevally, Dog-toothed Tuna, and Eagle Rays, and much more.

Best time to visit: Oct-April


Cocoa Thila, South Male Atoll

cocoa thila maldives

Located to the east of South Male Atoll the pinnacle of Cocoa Thila extends up to 400m and slopes down to a depth of 30m. Due to the presence of a strong current, this site is considered a perfect Maldives dive spot for experienced divers. Apart from the rich marine life, the underwater geographical landscape of Cocoa Thila features craggy overhangs, ravines, and crevices, and much more.

Sights: Pelagic Fish, Strong Currents

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Diving Environment: Drift, Reef, Wall

Marine Life: Schools of tuna, trevally, eagle rays, grey reef sharks, turtles, rock cod, fusiliers, sweetlips, and snapper, and much more.

Best time to visit: Jan-April