The central region comprises Malé and Ari atolls, Felidhoo, Faafu and the smaller Rasdhoo Atoll. It is the most popular area for both dive resorts and liveaboards, with excellent shore diving from house reefs and large pelagics on drift dives.
Ideal for viewing: whale shark, grey reef shark, napoleon wrasse, spotted eagle ray, reef manta ray
This remote region receives fewer visitors than the rest of the Maldives and stretches from Baa Atoll up to Haa Alifu and Dhallu and includes Lhaviyani and Noonu atolls, as well as Hanifaru Bay, where exceptional numbers of mantas and whale sharks congregate annually.
Ideal for viewing: white-tip reef shark, napoleon wrasse, grey reef shark, black-tip reef shark, reef manta ray
Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Resort based diving, Shore diving, Snorkelling
This region has few resorts, and consequently is best explored by liveaboard. Diving itineraries focus on the pristine and unexplored atolls of Meemu, Thaa, Laamu and in season, Huvadhoo Atoll, which is one of the Maldives' premier shark diving locations.
Ideal for viewing: scalloped hammerhead shark, reef manta ray, grey reef shark, whale shark, napoleon wrasse
Maldives has a wealth of marine life to discover but here are the most popular animal species and marine life events. Let us know the ones you would particularly like to see…
The stunning and luxurious islands of the Maldives can readily be explored by resort, island hopping, or liveaboard. The Maldives are home to several world-class dive locations for those wanting to learn, or well-seasoned divers.
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your needs.
The Best of Maldives itineraries are a firm favourite amongst divers of all abilities, with a choice of vessels and durations. Highlights include manta cleaning stations, whale shark encounters and mesmerising drift dives.
Divers return again and again to the popular dive sites of the South Ari Atoll, Maldives, for photo opportunities of healthy reefs, prolific marine life and large pelagic encounters including turtles, sharks and rays.
Explore world-class dive sites from the comfort of a liveaboard, followed by a few days relaxation in a resort on North Malé Atoll. Highlights include manta ray and whale shark encounters in the central atolls.
A world-class destination, the Maldives offer the perfect conditions to learn to dive, with crystal clear blue waters, protected lagoons and prolific reef life. Choose from a number of resorts, guesthouses and dive centres.
Visit these legendary Maldivian atolls by liveaboard between August and October, when they become a playground for feeding manta rays and whale sharks, putting on a spectacular show for visitors at Hanifaru Bay.
Explore the remote dive sites of the southern atolls by liveaboard and treat yourself to a few days in resort after your adventure. Recommended for experienced divers, with some fantastic drift diving in the channels.
This trip idea is a great option for those looking to get away and unwind. The tropical paradise of North Malé Atoll is easily accessible and offers diving for all abilities, with coral gardens, wrecks and plenty of marine life.
When to go: Jan-Dec
Duration inc. flights: 9 days
Price inc. flights: From £2,145 pp
Tailor-made trip idea
When to go
The Maldives weather is influenced by two monsoons. Marine life is excellent throughout the year.
May to Nov: During the southwest season, the most spectacular diving is found at resorts with access to dive sites on the west of the ato
Dec to Apr: The northeast monsoon brings fast currents, superb visibility and prolific marine life on the eastern side of the atolls
Dec to Apr: manta rays commonly found on west side of atolls
May to Nov: manta rays commonly found on east side of atolls
Aug to Sep: whale sharks and manta rays gather around the Baa Atoll
Mar to Apr: Currents abate – the best time for a leisurely dive
Places to stay
We have loads of great resorts to choose from in the Maldives
Located on the unspoilt Faafu Atoll, and with an on site dive centre, the 4 star Filitheyo Resort is a popular choice for divers and snorkellers looking for big marine encounters and a relaxing time in paradise.
This unique retreat is located on the local island of Gan and is perfect for exploring the remote and untouched Laamu Atoll, where divers will find a number of undiscovered reefs and an abundance of macro life.
This award-winning all inclusive 4 star resort is located on Hudhuranfushi Island on the eastern edge of the North Male’ Atoll, and offers plenty of facilities for divers after their liveaboard holiday.
Located on the North Malé Atoll, this popular resort in the Maldives is a short boat transfer from Malé yet a million miles away from busy everyday life. Accommodation varies from cosy classic rooms to luxurious water villas.
Located within an almost untouched forest on the local island of Hanimadhoo in the northern atolls, this boutique resort sits alongside a stunning turquoise lagoon and offers the perfect combination of privacy and relaxation.
A tiny island located on the northwest side of the North Malé Atoll, Eriyadu is surrounded by a fine white sand beach and a crystal clear lagoon, and is ideal for those seeking a ‘get-away-from-it-all’ holiday.
Kandooma Island Resort, on the South Malé Atoll, offers a range of accommodation built at the water’s edge, together with plenty of facilities and activities, including a kids’ club, a surf break and great cuisine.
Located on the North Malé Atoll, this small resort offers a peaceful getaway and a great house reef. Accommodation is in thatched beach bungalows or modern water bungalows built over the turquoise lagoon.
The luxurious Carpe Vita liveaboard offers unique itineraries based on the best pelagic migration patterns around the central atolls in the Maldives, accompanied by a custom built 20 metre long diving dhoni.
Built and designed for divers, the Theia is a comfortable and practical choice for any divers wanting to discover the best sites of the Maldives in style. Week-long itineraries include up to 16 dives, including a night dive.
This contemporary, spacious liveaboard has been purpose built, offering exceptional standards and facilities, bringing a class of her own to Maldivian waters. Dive the best sites throughout the year from here.
This popular liveaboard and her crew give a personalised welcome to small groups of no more than 12 guests as the boat visits several atolls in the Maldives throughout the year, with three different itineraries.
Renowned for exploratory diving trips in the southern atolls, this authentic Maldivian liveaboard is a favourite choice for experienced divers, exploring the pristine reefs and channels in the Meemu, Laamu and Thaa atolls.
Travel and dive with the owners on board this luxurious 5-star boat as she cruises throughout the Maldives on unique trips to explore unspoilt dive sites and encounter mantas, turtles and whale sharks.