Your underwater adventures in the Maldives will encompass sea mounts, called thilas, which are found outside and inside of channels or passes. Those inside the channel or pass are usually the diving spots with the strongest current but also the ones with the most interesting sea life.
All dives in the Maldives are 100 feet or less in depth. Diving is lead by dive guides, typically no more than 7 divers to a guide, and conducted from a large, well-equipped tender called a dhoni. Diving around the thilas which rise from the bottom to a coral-encrusted, somewhat flat top between 10 and 50 feet in circumference, is similar to wall diving. Most thila dives start between 70-80 feet from where you work your way up the 'wall' until reaching the top. Often the safety stop is done at the top of the thila, which allows you to continue diving during the safety stop.
The reefs of the Maldives are teeming with life, both large and small. It's not unusual to find sleeping white tip reef sharks during the day dives and then see them hunting at night. Though probably best known for the larger pelagic creatures like whale sharks, mantas, sea turtles and many other species of sharks, the reefs are also home to a surprising number of fish varieties. Anemone fish, octopus as well as many species of moray eels can also be found hanging around. The dive guides are very good at finding rare creatures like blue ribbon eels, frog fish and scorpion fish. The coral reefs in the Maldives are healthy and colorful with schools of beautiful tropical fish in abundance.
Diving itineraries in the Maldives typically begin in the central island atolls of North and South Male and Ari and then head either north or south. The central itineraries are recommended for fist time visitors to the Maldives. These adventures include visits to Ari and often Vaavu (south of Ari) where you'll have the opportunity to see whale sharks and mantas. Head north and you'll increase your chances of manta feeding stations and some exploratory diving. Head south and the further you go, the more channel diving with stronger current you'll encounter along with more species of sharks! Top this off with the possibility of a wreck dive or two and you really can't ask for more. A few of the longer itineraries going north and south are one-way itineraries requiring one or more domestic flights.
With over 26 atolls spanning over 90,000 square kilometers in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives truly offers a unique experience. Let us be your guide through this magical land!