Best Diving Sites in Male Atoll (Kaafu), Maldives

September 16th, 2009

Some of the world’s best diving sites are in the Male Atoll (Kaafu), Maldives!

The Maldives features literally hundreds of stunning dive sites, though some are better than others, and known by scuba dive instructors, liveaboard captains and scuba dive enthusiasts as the best diving sites in the Maldives!

Maldives dive sites not only range in depth and level of expertise, but they also vary in coral life, marine life and underwater vegetation, ensuring that every scuba diver will have an unforgettable diving experience!

Check out the best diving sites in the Male Atoll (Kaafu) Maldives and feel free to write us if we’ve left out your favorite!

Malé Atoll (Kaafu) Best Diving Sites, Maldives

Maldives Victory Dive Site

Sea Turtle at Maldives Victory Wreck Dive Site Maldives 300x225 Best Diving Sites in Male Atoll (Kaafu), Maldives

Sea Turtle at Maldive Victory Wreck Dive Site Maldives

Depth:  35 meters

Visibility:  15-25 meters

Currents: Strong during ascent and descent

Season:   Year-round

Arriving from Singapore to the Maldives on a Friday the 13th in 1981, an unlucky 110-meter steel cargo ship named Maldive Victory ran aground onto the southern tip of the Maldives airport island. Unfortunately for the vessel, it sprang a leak and rapidly sank to the ocean’s floor. Fortunately for scuba divers, it is now one of the Maldives’ best dive sites, featuring a large amount of marine life, such as batfish, barracuda and fusiliers. It is not unheard of to see a sea turtle gliding through the rooms of the sunken ship.

Due to the extremely strong currents, the Maldive Victory Wreck dive site is limited to experienced divers, all of which must  descend and ascend along a dive line. Be sure to bring a flashlight and divemaster that knows the sunken cargo ship well!

Banana Reef Dive Site

Depth:  30 meters

Visibility:  Excellent

Fish Life:  Abundant

Experience Level:  Novice

Banana Reef is one of the oldest and best dive sites in the Maldives. Suitable for both beginner and advanced scuba divers, you can expect to see a wide array of marine life, including Oriental Sweetlips, Giant Squirrelfish, Bannerfish, Napolean Wrasse and many more.

The best diving at Banana Reef is on the banana-shaped area in the northeastern section, where you can explore caves, gutters and overhangs abundant with fish life and soft coral. It is recommended that you spend as much time as possible near the coral heads. Maldives Dive Travel suggests that you begin the dive with your left shoulder pointing towards the reef, resulting in an excellent way to discover all that the Banana Reef dive site has to offer!

Maagiri Caves

Dive Type: Drift Dive

Depth:  30 meters

Experience Level: Novice

The Maagiri Caves dive site features a wall reef with an enormous rock in front, creating an awe-inspiring canyon, not to mention an extraordinary scuba dive! No wonder this is among the best dive sites in the Maldives.

As you drift among the soft coral and small, cozy-looking caves, keep an eye out for schooling yellow snapper, giant and honeycomb moray eels, fusilier and the impromptu eagle ray.

Potato Reef

Depth:  28 meters

The Potato Reef dive site, only about 100 meters in diameter, gets its name due to the reef’s shape, which is unsuprisingly that of a potato.

The Potato Reef is one of the Maldives best dive sites due to its unique composition. One side of this inside-reef features an array of soft slopes covered with anemones and soft corals, while the opposite side is teeming with sponges, soft-corals and a myriad of miraculous colors.

Marine life of the Potato Reef include massive moray eels, as well as the extremely rare ghost moray. The lionfish are abundant and dense, and if you really keep your eyes peeled, you can see some stonefish. The clownfish, banner fish and the blue jackfish offer this delightful dive site an explosion of color.

Lankan Caves

Depth:  20 meters

The Lankan Caves dive site is an extension of Lankan Reef. Lankan Caves is one of the Maldives’ best dive sites because it features a collection of impressive overhangs and caves, where parrotfish, travally, surgeon and emperor fish drift among the hard and soft coral in large numbers.

Divers can also expect to catch a glimpse of tunas, jacks and the ocassional napolean wrasse and sea turtles.

Colosseum

Depth:  30 meters

Type of Dive:  Drift Dive

The reef of the Colosseum dive site features an initial steep descent, which is carpeted with hard coral. However, once inside the channel, the reef’s slope becomes more gradual. The appearance of playful, colorful soft coral becomes more intense as well.

This is one of the Maldives’ best dive sites because the marine life is rich with pelagic species, sharks, eagle rays and all kinds of reef dwelling fishes.

Aquarium

Depth:  30 meters

Type of Dive:  Drift Dive
The Aquarium Dive Site is located along the southern edge of Lohifushi Island, and is considered one of the best dive sites in the Maldives due to its abundance of marine life, which features an enormous selection ranging from the very smallest underwater creature to large pelagics. Aquarium dive site is also a fantasic location for night dives…Just be sure to bring your torch!

The Aquarium dive site is well known for its coral barrier at 18 meters, just before the channel, that stretches upt to a sandbank at 28 meters, where you will encounter raccoon butterfly fish and squirrelfish in large numbers.

Scuba divers can also expect to see golden moray eels, napolen wrasse, oriental sweetlips, turtles, and other large pelagics!

Embudu Canyon

Type of dive: Reef / drift

Depth: 30 meters

Visibility: 25 meters

The Embudu Canyon dive site, sometimes spelled Embudhu or Embudhoo), features a partially collapsed reef. Where reef once was is now a 15 to 20 meter gap, which local marine life treat as a sort of watering hole! Embudu Canyon dive site is one of the best dive sites in the Maldives due to the enormous amount of marine life that congregate here.

Colorful soft coral and cozy-looking caves make Embudu a favorite meeting place for schools of yellow snappers and oriental sweetlips, not to mention the occasional eagle ray, napolean wrasse and reef shark. Expect to run, or swin, into fusiliers, trevallys, tuna, surgeonfish, batfish and rock cod as well.

Giravaru Caves

Type of dive:  Drift Dive

Depth:  30 meters

The Giravaru Cave dive site is one of the best dive sites in the Maldives because divers can experience some picturesque, unique views of the spectacular blue sea from within the caves…A truly magical experience!

The dive site features an incredible drop off with large overhangs and caves, the perfect place for large schools of playful fish to zip to and fro among the hard and soft corals. Midnight snappers, pelagic fish and eagle rays are common visitors to the caves.

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