This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters of the Maldives, whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.
The Maldives are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean south-southwest of India and are considered part of South Asia. The territory of the Maldives comprises mainly water, with only 1% of the country being land-based. The land is spread over 1,192 islets, each of which forms part of an atoll. In total, there are 26 atolls in the Maldives.
Deep in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the entire country is formed by coral reefs and has some of the best diving on the planet. Prices for accommodation and diving services are expensive, though, and currents can be strong on the outer reefs.
Most holiday resorts in the Maldives have a scuba diving facility and there are a number of liveaboard operators offering scuba diving cruise holidays that take guests to many dive sites all over the Maldives. Whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks and moray eels, as well as many smaller fish and coral species can be seen.
Unlike most countries, the Maldives regulate recreational diving unusually strictly, and impose an absolute depth limit of 30 m and a prohibition on planned decompression obligations for all recreational diving in their waters. Divers are also required to comply with the buddy system. The Maldives Recreational Diving Regulations are required to be available for reference at all diving service providers.
Diving destinations and sites of Ari Atoll:
- Broken Rock
- Gangehi Kandu
- Hukrueli Faru (Rangali Madivaru)
- Kudarah Thila
- Maalhos Thila
- Maaya Thila
- Mushi Mas Mingili Thila (Fish Head)
- Pannettone (Kalhahandi Kandu)
Dive sites of South Male Atoll:
- Cocoa Corner (Cocoa Thila)
- Guraidhoo Kandu South
Dive sites of North Male Atoll:
- Banana Reef
- Kuda Haa