Spread out across approximately 1200 islands in the Indian Ocean on the south side of Asia, this is Maldives – the chain of 26 natural atolls that pose as great diving sites. Just after they became a republic, the islands were reinvented and developed for tourists matching liveaboards and diving lifestyles. Today Maldives Liveaboards offer lots of itineraries for tourists who wish to go on diving trips and explore remote destinations during the year. With the way the atolls are fashioned out and the tropical monsoonian climate of the Maldives (averaging 80% annual humid and 82°F), you can rightly say that the Maldives were built to be true paradise for divers.
Atolls in the Maldives
The Male Atoll and the Ari Atoll are the ones of the most popular and most visited by liveaboards in the Maldives. On the Maldivian islands, there really is no preset routines, so the etymology behind the atolls found in the Maldives isn’t as meticulous as their pronunciation. The natural atolls were named by the first settlers of the islands around which the atolls are formed or after the name of the main island itself.
Diving itineraries in central atolls
When it comes to itineraries, The Best of Maldives is always the pick of divers due to its excellent choice of vessels and durations. Major events include manta cleaning stations, whale shark encounters, and mesmerizing drift dives. On a 7-night diving trip on a liveaboard you will visit all central atolls. The routes can be planned taking into account currents, seasons, winds in order to catch the best underwater.
Diving features in the central atolls
South Male Atoll: South Male is characterized by fast currents and big fish! The South Male atoll was the first explored through channels that connect the interior of the atoll with the open ocean. The drift in the channels is quite powerful since the water moves quickly, so if you’ve never dived in the area before, get ready!
Vaavu Atoll: This central atoll certainly brings stable and pure diving atmosphere. Along the Vaavu is the Fotteyo Barrier Reef which sprawls across 50 kilometers along the open ocean. This atoll features beautiful night dives with Nurse Sharks.
Ari Atoll: The Ari is the most popular for whale sharks and manta rays. It is one of the most visited by liveaboards in the Maldives. It passes for the pelagics capital of the central atolls.
Rasdhoo Atoll: this atoll is located northeast of the Ari. It has a spectacular feature which is the presence of hammerhead sharks! These beautiful creatures swim along Madivaru Island giving a sight not so common even among most atolls and coral reefs anywhere.
Meemu Atoll: for this atoll, there are beautiful channels with pelagic action, Grey Reef Sharks, Sailfish, beautiful soft coral and Eagle Rays. Manta cleaning station is a must visit point here.
Year-round diving adventures
While you think you may have experienced the best diving sites yet, the Maldive atolls promise so much more. With accessible liveaboard tours and itineraries, diving can be scheduled to go all year round. From December all the way to May, the sea is at its calmest, with the best visibility. However, June through to November carries the lowest odds of the whale shark and manta sightings for your thrill.
Visit our blog for more inspirational content about diving on South of the Maldives.
Just have a look at these three liveaboards we picked for you:
Blue Force liveaboards
Blue Voyager Liveaboard
Southern Atolls of the Maldives will bring you to the wildlife paradise with much more sharks. If you are ready, please check our article Deep South Atolls of the Maldives