South Male Atoll
South Male (36 km long and 19 km wide) consists of 30 islands, three of which are inhabited by people, 17 are hotels, and the remaining 10 are uninhabited. The administrative center of the atoll is the island of Maafushi, on which the capital of the Maldives, Male, is freely spread over two square kilometers. Kandooma Resort, popular among surfers, is located near the Guraidhoo Nature Reserve. From March to September, there are good waves near its shores.
The best local hotel for divers is Anantara Resort Maldives. Near the island there are 20 coral reefs, where a boat with an instructor goes twice a day. The dive center teaches even beginners and issues PADI certificates. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Maldives.
Diving in South Male
There are two marine reserves near South Male Atoll: Embudhoo Kandu and Guraidhoo Kandu plus several worthy dive sites:
- Reef Kandooma Thila, shaped like a drop. On the northern and western side, it forms interesting grottoes and ledges, and in the western part you can meet all kinds of inhabitants of the deep sea.
- Canyon Emboohoo Canyon, formed by a huge coral block that broke off from the reef. In the reef wall you can find a long cave, which was chosen by the fish.
- Guraidhoo corner: flocks of tunas and barracudas, eagle rays, gray sharks and white-finned sharks.
To the north of Himmafushi Island there are also some good diving spots in the currents, in particular Himmafushi Corner. Nearby, on the south side of the Girifushi Island National Reserve, on H.P. Reef, beautiful soft corals grow, you can meet stingrays, barracudas and flocks of tuna. Paradise Manta Point is also very close – a place where manta rays come to feed and clean themselves.
To the north of Hulhule Island there are two banana-shaped reefs called Banana Reef. Under water there are beautiful reef walls with caves and impressive rocks where reef sharks are found.
Near the capital, in the south of the island of Hulhule, there are several interesting dive spots. In addition, a few years ago, the ship Maldives Victory “successfully” sank there with a cargo of food for hotels. It is literally within reach, and it lies only at a depth of 35 meters, so it is available to divers with AOWD qualifications – at least for external inspection.
Baa and Raa Atoll
Flightsto Baa and Raa atoll at the best
The length of Baa Atoll is 42 km long and 32 km wide, it consists of 10 inhabited and 41 uninhabited islands. There are also three well-known hotels throughout the country. Sonevafushi Resort & Spa is the largest in the whole country and a very beautiful island hotel. Reethi Beach Resort, where divers prefer to settle, because dolphins go in schools there (not around the hotel, of course, but in coastal waters). And finally, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a newly built luxury hotel. Baa has excellent diving, and local shops and shops sell beautiful lacquer miniatures, which are considered the best souvenirs of the Maldives.
Raa (Raa) is another atoll far from civilization, notable for the fact that it has only one island-hotel Meedhupparu, but with a full range of spa services. The inhabited islands of the atoll are located mainly on the eastern side, while the reefs are located inside the atoll itself. In total, Raa has about 15 inhabited islands, the most famous of which is Alifushi, where fishing boats (doni) are built. Another large island, Kandolhudoo, is located on the western side of the atoll and is famous for its fishing industry.
How to get to Baa and Raa atolls
The flight by air taxi (seaplane) from Male takes about 40 minutes.
Popular dive sites include Milaidoo Reef with underwater caves and colonies of corals and sponges, Kakani Thila coral settlement, Digali Haa where you can see gray reef sharks and anemone thickets with parrot fish and Madi Finolhu with black corals and manta rays. By the way, the latter is perfect for beginner divers.
Nunu and Shaviani atolls
Nunu (or Noonu) is located about 150 km from the airport and consists of 71 islands: 13 are occupied by local residents, two are hotels, the rest are uninhabited. The most convenient way to get there is by seaplane: in this case, the journey will take only 45 minutes.
The atoll attracts with its wildlife and unique (who would doubt it) underwater world. The main local attraction is the Christmas Rock reef, shaped like a Christmas tree. There you can meet sharks, rays, Napoleons, moray eels. For safety reasons, it is better to dive on the reef only with an experienced guide.
The nearest neighbor of Nunu, Shaviani Atoll consists of 51 islands: 16 of them are inhabited, and one is occupied by a hotel. The most interesting and largest reefs are located in the western part of the atoll. The peculiarity of Shaviani is that all the islands are located at a considerable distance from each other, which allows tourists to feel in complete solitude.
Night dives are possible on the house reef of Velidhoo Island.
The main attraction of Nunu Atoll is a coral reef with a very telling and festive name Christmas Rock. This is explained simply: in its shape, the reef is very reminiscent of a Christmas tree.