Ari Atoll Maldives

Broken Rock - Maldives

Broken Rock starts at about 12 meters and goes down to 25 meters. When you drop down, you immediately understand why they choose this name. The reef consists out of a big structure with a diagonal split in the middle. Most dive guides will bring you straight in the canyon. It has beautiful delicate life throughout the dive site. A variety of Soft corals, gorgonian sea fans and sponges grow in the canyon. Marine life that is often spotted here are turtles, Napoleon wrasse and moray eels. A little to the east of this rock is another set of rocks that is worth exploring. Here are often barracudas and schools of snappers to been seen. When you dive here between November and April, there is even a chance to spot a whale shark on this dive.

Broken Rock Summary
Type: Drift dive, Canyon
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 12 - 25 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Fesdu Wreck - Maldives

The Fesdu Wreck is a 30-meter long fishing trawler. It was put there as an artificial wreck and lies on the bottom from 27 meters to a maximum depth of 30 meters. It is possible to penetrate the Fesdu, but many guides choose not to. The exits are limited and the passage narrow. The wreck has developed into an excellent dive site with plenty of marine life. You can see many kinds of corals that have been growing on there over the years. From sponges and hard corals to beautiful soft corals. Have a close look at the wreck because numerous nudibranchs are crawling around. The schools of glass fish that hang around attract other fish like the lionfish and travelies. After exploring the Fesdu Wreck, you can swim to a Thila nearby. The top of the thila is 12 meter where you finish the dive before going up for your safety stop.

Fesdu Wreck Summary
Type: Wreck
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 12- 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Shark Point - Maldives

Shark Point located in North Central Ari Atoll. It's a small pinnacle with the top on 10 meters to a depth of 35 meters where it reaches the sandy bottom. This dive site is considered to be in the top 10 dives of the Maldives. It became popular because of the encounters with Grey reef sharks. Before it was a marine protected area, it was common to feed the sharks.
Nowadays 16 residential Grey reef sharks are cruising around the dive site. The pinnacle itself has many caves and overhangs which offer a perfect place for the large schools of blue-lined snappers the hang around. Other marine life on Shark point is hump head wrasse, batfish and fusiliers. Spotted eagle rays are also quite common to see here.

Shark Point Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 10 - 35 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Hafusa Thila - Maldives

The Hafusa Thila is a small pinnacle in the Northern Ari Atoll. The top of the dive site starts between 10 -15 meters and goes to a depth of 30 -35 meters. To get the best out of this dive, you need some current. Then the white tip reef sharks or more lively in general at the bottom of the pinnacle. Grey reef sharks or also common to see on Hafusa Thila, but in general likely to be more in the shallower part of the dive site. If the current is too strong to get around it is also an option to use a reef hook and see the fish pass. Eagle rays and Batfish get up and close. Just be aware on this dive for scorpion fish they have a perfect camouflage and easy to be missed.

Hafusa Thila Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth :10 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advanced

Halaveli Wreck - Maldives

Halaveli Wreck is a 33-meter long freighter. It sunk in 1990 and has become one of the favourite dive sites in the Maldives. Dropping down a line to a depth of 20 meters you find the deck. You will see wreck is covered in soft corals and has a great marine life that hides all throughout the wreck. The main thing divers come here besides Halaveli are the blotched fantail rays. They made it their home, and there are plenty of them to see. The afternoon is probably the best time to dive because the rays are more active during this period of the day. Near the wreck is a reef that you could go to if your deco time is getting low and you still have enough air left.

Halaveli Wreck Summary
Type: Wreck
Visibility: 10 - 20 meters
Depth: 20 - 28 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Hammerhead Point - Maldives

Hammerhead Point is an early morning dive. As the name would suggest already, this is the place to see schooling hammerheads. The dive site starts at a depth of 10 meters which continues down to 30 meters. The ridge has some overhangs and caves to explore during your decent. Just make sure you keep an eye out into the blue to see some big fish. Besides the hammerheads, there is plenty of other big fish. Not rare are the Dolphinfish, dog-toothed tuna and schools of snappers. With a little bit of luck, you might be able to see a sailfish. Hammerhead Point is probably one of the best wake up calls you will ever have.

Hammerhead Point Summary
Type: Drift dive, Ridge
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 10 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Kudarah Thila - Maldives

Kudarah Thila is a pinnacle in the Ari Atoll. It's a relative small dive site located in a lagoon. The top of the pinnacle starts at 12 meters and goes down to 40 meters. Kudarah Thila is another marine protected areas in the Maldives, and that you notice when you jump in. With many kinds of fish life and great numbers, this is a great dive on your liveaboard trip. The top of the dive site has the most coral growth with Gorgonian sea fans, black corals and different colours of soft corals. Humphead wrasse and turtles are frequent visitors of this reef, and shark encounters with white tip and Grey reef sharks are not uncommon. When you start ascending for the safety stop, just make sure you shoot up a surface mark buoy so the Diving-Dhoni can spot you well in advanced.

Kudarah Thila Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 12 - 40 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Maamigili Beru - Maldives

Maamigili Beru is a drift dive over a sloping reef. The reef starts at about 5 meters and goes down to 30 meters. This dive site is probably not the most spectacular the Maldives have to offer. But one thing can quickly make up for this. It is very common to see Whale Sharks near the surface. Divers might see snorkelers point it out before you see it yourself. They come very shallowly, and it is great to encounter the biggest fish of the Ocean for snorkelers and divers alike.

Maamigili Beru Summary
Type: Drift dive, Sloping bottom
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Maaya Thila - Maldives

For most divers, the Maaya Thila is the best dive site in the Maldives. The pinnacle starts at about 6 meters and drops down to 30 meters. The top is probably best for macro lovers with numerous nudibranch, flatworms and frogfish. Turtles, clown triggerfish and batfish or also a resident of this excellent dive site. In deeper parts shark encounters common with whitetip and grey reef sharks. With a bit of luck, you might see formations of eagle rays. Maaya Thila also has swim-throughs, overhangs and caves covered in stunning soft corals. If the current allows you to come back to the start point of the dive you might find some other small critters before getting back on your liveaboard.

Maaya Thila Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 6 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Panettone Thila - Maldives

Panettone Thila is one of 2 Manta points in the Ari Atoll. The gently sloping reef is a great place to observe the Manta Ray. The best time of the year to spot them is between February and March. There is more than only Manta Rays to this dive site. In the reef, you will find some channels that are about 1 meter deep and 2 or 3 meters wide. In these channels, damselfish and other small fish greet you while hiding for the current. An excellent buoyancy is needed not to hurt yourself or the marine life around you. Further along, the reef look for the Manta's and other bigger fish that swim into the blue.Tuna, schools of rainbow runners or frequent sightings here as well.

Panettone Thila Summary
Type: Drift dive, Sloping bottom
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Diving The Ari Atoll Maldives

Diving Ari Atoll is not the place to look for beautiful corals. With lots of Thilas, giris and kandus where the current can be strong it is more a dive destination to encounter the bigger fish of the ocean. With Hammerheads, Manta Rays and on some dive spots Whale sharks.

The southern tip of Maamigilis is probably the best place to spot whale sharks With plenty of plankton in the water it is a feast for these fish to hang around. For Manta rays the Ari Atoll has several cleaning stations. With Donkalo Thila, Rangali Madivaru and Kudarah Tila to name a view. Although you can encounter them elsewhere in the Maldives, this is probably the best place to see them dance in the water.

The waters of Rashdoo Atoll are the best chance to encounter schooling of hammerhead sharks. With many other dive sites where you can see grey reef sharks and other pelagic fish. There are a couple of dive sites at the Ari Atoll where you can dive with your macro lens. Here you can find plenty of colourful nudibranchs, frogfish and other small critters.

The Ari Atoll is one of the most popular diving destinations in the Maldives. It is 30 miles from the capital Male and consists out of 105 islands. 20 of these islands or reserved for tourist resorts. The total coverage of the Ari-Atoll is 30 by 90 square kilometres.

Most liveaboards dive the Ari Atoll as part of a week-long cruise and depart and return from the Male harbour. In some cases, there can be trips that start or finish in Ari Atoll. When this is the case, you can take a short domestic flight from Male to Maamingili or the other way around.

Summary Ari Atoll

Best time to go: November – April
Getting there: By liveaboard from Male
Experience level: Intermediate – Advance
Visibility: 20 – 40 meters
Currents: Moderate
Water temperature: 26 -29 c

Ari Atoll Liveaboards

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