DIVE TRIP DESCRIPTION
Maldives: Best Of The Northern Atolls
Explore the Best of the Northern Atolls of the stunning Maldives in the Indian Ocean with us. Venture to the less-travelled atolls of the far north, a mainly uninhabited region with beautiful scenic reefs and soft corals. A delight for underwater photographers. As you journey between the central and the northern atolls, experience a shift in topography, corals and colours.
Expect to see mantas, black and whitetip reef sharks, giant trevallies and colourful nudibranchs, and even a chance to see whalesharks around Baa Atoll. The diving in the north has less channel dives and more fringing reefs and submerged thilas, dotted with caves and overhangs.
DIVE TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
Excellent channel diving in the north with sites closely located together. Lhaviyani Atolls hoses some of the Maldives wreck diving opportunities including the two coral encrusted wrecks at ‘The Shipyard’ and the exhilerating drift dive of the Kuredu Express. A site for the more experienced diver.
Raa and Noonu Atolls
Here the islands and reef systems are closer together and double chained, changing the underwater topography and offering shallower reefs, soft corals with spectacular drift dives. The north east is peppered with submerged pinnacles covered predominantly in soft corals, whilst the west will see you surrounded by jacks and snappers. Keep an eye open for sharks and rays at 30m! Notable dives sites include…
– Alifushi and Ifaaru (on the North West of Raa): mantas!!!
– The seven kings: a stunning labyrinth filled with fish life and pristine hard and soft corals.
– Long ridge at Noonu Atoll: classic shark cleaning station.
– Queen’s rock: beautiful xmas tree thila.
A UNESCO biosphere reserve with significant biodiversity makes this a great place to spot whale sharks and mantas. Notable sites include…
– Hanifaru Bay: An unusual phenomenon of underwater diversity because of plankton blooms between the months of May and November attracts manta rays by the hundreds. At any one time at Hanifaru Bay, there can be up to 200 manta rays feeding off the coral reefs as well as plenty of whale sharks which do the same! PLEASE NOTE: From January 2012 scuba diving is not permitted in Hanifaru Bay, however you will be able to snorkel in this area for a $20 fee (per person for approx 45mins).
Haa Alifu, Haa Daalhu and Shaviyani
These atolls are the oldest of the Maldives archipelago and form a single chain of widely spaced islands that clear deep blue water, small thilas packed with fish life, undercut ledges with excellent corals and beautiful white sand floors. Notable dive sites include:
– Thakan: a deep ridge adorned with soft coral and excellent shark spotting opportunities.
– Fssp: a shark cleaning station with huge schools of batfish, trevally and eagle rays.
– Pink Canyon and Heaven and Hell: have stunning soft corals for excellent wide angle photography.
– The wreck of Captain Pentalis: resting on a shallow reef, this wreck is home to an astonishing amount of fish life and every afternoon pods of common dolphin are often seen passing by.
– Magic Mushroom: miraculous macro life and a stunning night dive.
– Island Hideaway: mantas…
– Moroshi Thila and Handi Thila: provide action packed dives with sharks, fish life and excellent corals.
You must be certified to dive to a depth of 30 meters as well as be experienced and comfortable with diving in medium to strong currents. Please refer to our itinerary checklist for additional information.
All dives sites are subject to weather conditions. Adverse weather can affect this route which includes several overnight sailings. Subsequently final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.