Northern Atolls Maldives

Diving Maldives Northern Atoll 

The Northern Atolls of the Maldives are a bit hit and miss for coral coverage. With areas that are full of healthy hard coral gardens to sectors that are average at best. With a great variety of fish and not as many divers as the Central atolls, this part of the Maldives is still a great diving destination. Baa Atoll is one of the better places to dive with manta rays in the Maldives. Many sharks encounter you will not have here apart from grey reef sharks at the Noonu atoll.

Northern Atolls Liveaboards

Serenity liveaboard maldives
Serenity

Serenity is a brand new liveaboard Maldives has to offer. She made her first cruise in 2015 with her first trip to the central atolls. With a

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diving maldives liveaboards voyager
Voyager

The beautiful and modern liveaboard, Voyager, is a 30-meter long vessel that sails from Male every week to dive the very best that Maldives has

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Carpe Novo Liveaboard Cruising The Maldives
Carpe Novo

Carpe Novo is a new liveaboard which started operations in March 2016. Carpe Novo is the upgraded sister ship of the Carpe Diem and Carpe

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MV Leo Maldives
Leo

MV Leo, a one of a kind luxury liveaboard is part of the Emperor Fleet operating in the Maldives. Built in the year 2009, Leo

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MV Orion Maldives
Orion

MV Orion Maldives Liveaboard designed by keeping the diver’s comfort in mind. It is the culmination of years of diving experience in the Maldives to

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Carpe vita liveaboard
Carpe Vita

Explore the beautiful Maldives in excellent comfort on board Carpe Vita! The beautiful 38 meters long safari yacht Carpe Vita entered the water for the

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Carpe Diem Maldives
Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem liveaboard is a beautiful and spacious 35-meter long wooden vessel built in the year 2008. On board Carpe Diem, you will be experiencing relaxing diving

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Amba liveaboard cruising the Northern atolls of the Maldives
Amba

AMBA; PIONEER OF THE NORTHERN ATOLLS Amba is a 33m luxury liveaboard with diving cruises in the areas of the Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu

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Dive site Description

Maavaru Kandu - Maldives

Maavaru Kandu is a dive site at the Baa Atoll. The reef starts at about 9 meters. It mainly consists out of plateaus and overhangs. The overhangs are big enough to swim under and covered in soft corals. In the shallower parts of the reef, you will find several other corals as Sea fans, Sponges and fish life is plenty with Fusiliers, small tooth emperor, moon wrasse and snappers. While swimming above the shallow reef of Maavanu Kandu thousands of orange basslets await you.

Maavaru Kandu Summary
Type: Drift dive, Sloping bottom
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 9 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Donfanu Thila - Maldives

Donfanu Thila is a submerged pinnacle near Baa Atoll. The pointy shape on top of the pinnacle makes the current go right around it. Deeper at this dive site you will be more protected from the current
and work your way around. Because of the strong water movements and the vast amount of cleaner wrasses. You better keep an eye out for manta rays and other big pelagic fish. At 25 meters starts a swim true up to about 18 meters. Pay attention while you dive truly it with several corals growing in it. Under the overhangs, you will find schools of yellow lined snappers hiding for the current. All in all Donfanu Thila is an excellent dive site with significant numbers of marine life.

Donfanu Thila Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Dhigali Haa - Maldives

Dhigali Haa is a pinnacle that starts at 7 meters. On the West side of this dive site, you have a couple of smaller pinnacles. While descending,  Several long nose unicorn fish that seem to enjoy the bubbles will follow you. On the reef, you will find travelies and jacks hunting for smaller bait fish. It is always spectacular to watch them move around. The spiral whip corals are a joy for the artistic underwater photographer. On the reef, you are likely to find the Maldivian sponge snail Crawling around. A strange looking blue coloured snail typical for the Maldives. Smaller fish like the anthias and basslets or hanging in the current on top of the pinnacle. Coral growth might not be as spectacular as other dive sites, but the diversity of fish in large numbers easily make up for it.

Dhigali Haa Summary
Type: Pinnacle
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 7 - 40 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Advance

Hanifaru Bay - Maldives

Hanifura Bay located at the East of Baa Atoll. It's world known as the "Manta Mania" together with the largest fish on earth the whale shark. Due to the plankton that builds up in the bay, it is a feeding fest for these animals. The best time to see the whale sharks and manta rays is between August and November. Divers from around the world come to here to see this spectacular site. Unfortunately for the diver at this moment of writing snorkelling is only allowed for less disturbance of these beautiful fish. Many liveaboards include this dive site for snorkelling so that you are still to enjoy the show.

Hanifaru Bay Summary
Type: Drift dive, Sloping bottom
Visibility: 5 - 20 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Madivaru - Maldives

Madivaru is a dive site west of Lhaviyani Atoll. The standard starting and exit point is at the reef that starts between 6 and 8 meters. Over the edge of the reef, there is vertical wall reaching to 30 meters. On the wall, you will find some barrel sponges and sea fans where you fill find long nose hawkfish and fire dartfish. Plenty of butterflyfish swim around the reef as well as Napoleon wrasse. Don't only keep focused on the reef because you might miss out on the barracudas, devil rays and eagle rays that swim past. This dive brings you enough variety not to only focus on 1 thing.

Madivaru Summary
Type: Drift dive, Reef, Wall dive
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 6 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner

Orimas Thilaat - Maldives

Orimas Thilaat located in Noonu Atoll. In general, In the Northern Atolls shark encounters are not frequent. This dive site is an exception to that rule. The dive starts on a sloping reef that goes to a depth of 30 meters. From there the reef goes over in a sandy seafloor. Following the current, you will get to a channel. On the way over there have a look out for eagle rays. In the channel is where the real action starts. Normally there are 20+ grey reef sharks spotted from 1 meter long juveniles to adults that can get as big as 4 meters. The best place to observe the sharks or at the edge of the reef down current. From here you can use a reef hook or hang around if the current isn't too strong. This way you can see them without disturbing them and get some great photos. A fantastic dive in the Maldives Northern Atolls to spot some sharks.

Orimas Thilaat Summary
Type: Drift dive, Sloping bottom
Visibility: 10 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Intermediate

The Northern Atolls are around 400 km North from the capital Male. It includes 8 Atolls Baa, haviyani, Raa, Noonu, Shaviyani, Maamakhundo, Haa Dhaalu and Haa Alifu.The most South of these Atolls is Baa Atoll and is a Unesco world biosphere reserve.

Haa Alifu is the most Northern Atoll and has 43 islands 14 of which are inhabitant.

 Because of the distance from Male to here, there is far less tourist coming then Atolls closer to the capital.

Some liveaboards leave from Male and slowly make their way to the Northern Atolls stopping at several dive sites on the way. After that, you take a domestic flight back to Male. Other trips will stay the full cruise in the Northern Atolls where you have to take a domestic return flight from Male. Check the liveaboards or send us an e-mail for more information.

Summary Northern Atoll

Best time to go: All year but best from November – April
Getting there: With a domestic flight from Male to Hanimandoo
Experience level: Intermediate – Advance
Visibility: 20 – 40 meters
Currents: Moderate
Water temperature: 26 -29 c