Top 5 Maldives Diving Spots – Maldives Scuba Diving Guide

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With the average water temperature being 28 degrees and the ridiculous amounts of things to see, scuba diving in the Maldives is a great place to dive or get your PADI. Visibility in January to May is approximately 20m – 50m and April to December is 15-25m. I also really enjoy diving without a wet suit and the great water temperature makes this possible in Maldives.

The dive centre on Meeru Island is run by Euro Divers who operate dive centres all around the world. The staff here were super helpful and always keen help you get the best from your dives. As for what you can see? Turtles, sharks and manta rays are just some of the options! I’ve been blessed enough to dive all over the world and the diving in the Maldives is some of the best, on par with Galapagos and the Bay Islands in my opinion.

On Meeru Island, Euro Divers offers morning and afternoon single tank dives along with full day and half day double tank dives. Just check the boards at the dive centre to see what’s coming up. They are pretty flexible so it’s worth putting a request in if there’s a specific dive site you want to do. They have a total of eight staff who can cover English, French, German and Chinese speaking guests.

Without further ado, the best dive spots in Maldives…

Top 5 Maldives Diving Spots

1. Aquarium

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Level of difficulty : easy to medium

Current : light to very strong

Torch recommended : yes

Features : nice corals, great numbers of fish, turtles, eagle rays, white-tip reef sharks

The dive site is located at the corner where the Lohifushi island outer reef bends into the southern channel. The site is fun both when the current enters the atoll as when it pushes seaward. Riding the current outwards, you jump in the channel down a steep wall where intriguing overhangs host writhing sea whips and other types of Gorgonian. A White-tip reef shark might be basking on the channel floor at 30 metres, or a Napoleon wrasse could pass by overhead. The sights are everywhere so keep your neck muscles loose. Before the corner, a plateau spreads out, presenting shrubs of black coral and juicy soft corals hiding all kinds of busy little Gobies. The plateau plunges at the corner where the outer reef begins. Huge overgrown limestone rocks set the stage for schooling Bannerfish. Oriental sweetlips contrast their polka-dot and striped jackets with the scribbled forms of coral they hang around. Enormous groupers laze and grouch among each other. A Mangrove whip-tailed ray may also be half-buried in this sandy bottom. If the current flows inward, this corner is where to start the dive, as the visibility is crystal-clear and the White-tip sharks and Eagle rays love to gather where the rush of water is at its most invigorative.

2. Colosseum

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Level of difficulty : medium

Current : light to very strong

Torch recommended : yes

Features : overhangs, white-tip reef sharks, eagle rays, morays, groupers, napoleons, very impressive with enormous amounts of fish

The “Colosseum” is located north of Thulusdhoo, or “Coca Cola Island”, from where the ubiquitous soft drink gets distributed in the Maldives. When the current flows into the atoll, the dive starts on the outer fringe reef and heads towards the channel entrance at around 25 metres’ depth. There are two overhangs. There is one yellow and one pinkish Leaf-fish living just in front of the second overhang. Look closely because they are well camouflaged. Swim onward and you will find a 30-metre fissure arcing horizontally into the reef slope. This forms the semi-circular rim of an arena that gives this dive site its name. If the current is medium to strong, this is the place to stay: Eagle rays, Black snappers and White-tip reef-sharks circle around here. A lone Great barracuda has been known to show up. Tuna and Trevallies also love the current at the corner, probably because of the school of fusiliers that are gobbling up the plankton in the stream. Above the Colosseum, large coral blocks form a base for a group of Napoleons, so stick around the corner. A sandy patch kicks off the drift into the channel, where more rocky overhangs await.

3. Lankan Manta Point

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Level of difficulty : easy to medium

Current : light to strong

Torch recommended : no

Features : sloping reef, large & small boulders, manta rays, cleaner wrasses, turtles, whitetip reef sharks, tunas

Manta Point, on the outer reef of Lankanfinolhu (Paradise Island), is best to dive during the south-west monsoon between May and December. Of course, we can never give you a “manta guarantee”, but the chances to see them at this time of year are very good. Some large coral blocks at around 8 metres are home to many cleaner wrasse that nibble tiny parasites off the mantas, who circle the blocks for this reason. The reef-building corals may be stunted by the turbulence of the open sea surge, but they do hide Moray eels, the occasional Suzanne’s flatworm and Nudibranches. Large quantities of fish such as Tuna, Mackerel and Trevally race by the reef edge. A few White-tip reef sharks or Whip-tailed rays can be found in the flat coral garden at around 20 metres. You can also see Eagle rays come down from on high to snuffle around the bottom. Hawksbill turtles also haunt this reef.

4. Trix Caves

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Level of difficulty : medium

Current : light to very strong

Torch recommended : yes

Features : amazing overhangs, swim-through, incredibly colourful hard & soft corals, big-eye trevallies, spotface morays, leaf fish snappers, fusiliers, eagle rays

Trix Caves has been etched full of overhangs. Even with strong currents, there will always be a place to shelter and snoop between the sea fans and brightly coloured soft corals for ornate shrimps and different Nudibranches. Beautiful vistas appear with the play of colour and light when you rest inside the caverns and look out. The fans, whip corals and bushes of black coral show that this is a healthy reef teeming with life. Cup corals and midnight corals have their orange and green polyps in bloom in even moderate currents. Spot-faced morays provide a bright alternative to the common Giant and Honeycomb moray eels. Scorpion fish and Frogfish are worthy targets for shrewd fish spotters. Other reef fish like Wrasse, Parrotfish and Red-toothed triggers swarm the reef. Fusiliers cluster in plankton-rich currents.

5. Fairy Tale

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Level of difficulty : medium

Current : light to very strong

Torch recommended : yes

Features : huge caverns, soft corals, manta rays!, white-tip, reef sharks, a great diversity of marine species!

During the south-west monsoon, between August and November, the predominant current flows out of the atoll and Manta rays are attracted to the reef flat above Fairy Tale. Sometimes you can spend a whole dive at 5 metres watching these graceful giants stay at one cleaning station. See how Cleaner wrasse swim inside the Mantas’ gill vents and mouths. Watch the behemoths twitch or shudder when the cleaners pick at a sensitive spot. Other Mantas circle around and patiently wait for their turn. It is a fantastic spectacle.

Even during the rest of the year, Fairy Tale is a diver’s dream spot. You could start the dive in an often-encountered cloud of Fusiliers. There are two huge caverns covered with soft corals. Don’t be satisfied with their kaleidoscope of colours: look in between and try to discover colourful Nudibranches, Flatworms, and the skittish little Blennies and Gobies. Nooks and crannies in the caverns hide cleaner shrimps like the Banded boxer shrimp. Naturally, there will be some Moray eel taking advantage of their services. Fairy Tale also has a very nice coral garden on the reef flat to enjoy while doing your safety stop.

Bonus. Gasfinolhu Beru

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Level of difficulty : easy

Current : light to medium

Torch recommended : no

Features : sloping reef, rock & coral blocks, turtles, napoleons, Parrotfishes, snappers, fusiliers, nurse sharks, White-tip reef sharks, groupers, eagle rays

Gasfinolhu Beru is located on the outer-reef of Gasfinolhu Island. The top reef is a large plateau between 6 and 8m which then slopes down towards a sandy bottom. At one point the reef protrudes away from the main reef at a more gentle angle to form a plateau with numerous coral blocks. Here you can spend a lot of time exploring under & around the blocks of various sizes. You can find different species of groupers, sweetlips, snappers & soldier fish hiding. You might even find nurse sharks or white tip reef sharks sleeping. On either side of the plateau the sandy bottom starts at approximately 22m & 30m respectively. Take a look along the bottom here where it’s also possible to see White-tip reef sharks and stingrays lying on the sand. On the main reef it’s common to see turtles, Napoleon wrasses as well as honeycomb & giant moray eels. Don’t forget to look out into the blue where you can see Tunas, eagle rays, big schools of fusiliers & snappers. This is a very interesting dive spot for both beginners and advanced divers.

Content and images copyright of Euro Divers.

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