- Dive the famous Male and Ari Atolls
- Watch manta on cleaning stations
- Great for shark sightings
- Varied, smaller marine life on range of sites suitable for confident beginners upwards!
- Year around 28 degree water
Scuba Travel's Best of the Maldives itinerary aims to mix up big fish manta and shark dives with scenic reefs dives, hunting out the smallest reef fish, morays and macro life that are so abundant. Cleaning stations allow you to get up close and personal with massive Maldivian manta, and dives at Manta Point, Dhonkalo Thila and Madivaru provide just such opportunities. Maaya Thila is one of the best known dive sites in the Maldives and for a good reason. This pinnacle is about 30m diameter that descends to reveal sharks and fish a plenty. Night diving here is hard to beat and should not be missed. Log yet more pelagic sightings as grey reef sharks patrol the Ari Atoll area. The boat will also take some time out along the route to look for whalesharks you can snorkel with - grab your fins as these gentle giants can move fast!
The Best of the Maldives is an ideal itinerary for any first time visitor to the Maldives. Divers should be comfortable with drift diving but no minimum no of dives is required. All diving is made from dhonis to give precision entry and exits points. Night diving is limited to sheltered moorings but well worth jumping in for. With so many excellent and remarkable sites in and around North - South Male Atolls and the Ari Atolls, the Best of the Maldives is a route that can be dived time and time again. Surely no one can tire of the jaw dropping diversity and life on display. From the tiny creatures that thrill macro lovers to the elegant and inspiring big fish, there more than enough to keep you coming back for more.
- Average Water Temp: 28 - 30 C
- Average Air Temp: 28 - 30 C
- Average Visability: 5 - 25m
- Good for: Whaleshark, Manta, Reefs
- Suitable for beginners: No
- This is always a popular itinerary with year round departures that delivers what it says on the tin - the Best of the Maldives! Dive the classic sites that made the Maldives so famous. Focusing on the hottest sites around Male & Ari atolls, there are pelagics a plenty, with manta, sharks and even whalesharks.
- "The reception and the welcome was fine and the crew were extremely helpfull.The diving was incredible."Roger Carter
- "We all had a great time. Everything - flights, boat, crew, food and diving was all far better than we could have hoped for. It really was amazing. "Tanya Sherwood
This is a typical example of the Best of the Maldives itinerary. The schedule is subject to change according to prevailing weather conditions and is only given as a example of what you would usually encounter during your holiday.
Scuba Travel run the Best of the Maldives itinerary all year round so there is always a trip to suit!
Orion, Virgo and Leo will embark for the Best of the Maldives from Male.
Carpe Diem and Carpe Vita will embark for Best of the Maldives from Male.
Emperor Atoll and Emperor Voyager embark for Best of the Maldives from Male.
All of our Best of the Maldives trips run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.
There are normally 3 dives a day apart from on your first and last day. There is usually an opportunity for a night dive during the week. There are around 17-18 dives on an average week but this can vary depending on local weather conditions.
If your trip departs from Male you will be met on arrival from your international flight and taken directly to the boat. This is a short boat transfer and takes approx 20 mins.
The Best of the Maldives really is just that and as such the itinerary changes to suit the seasonal highlights and the precise sites visited is flexible and variable. A slightly different version of the itinerary will run Oct-Dec and Jan - May. Don't worry, you will get all the sightings you want but the boat moves to the best sites for this as the local conditions change.
North Male is a great place to get your toes wet at Kurumba house reef or Back Faru. After your check dive there is a chance to find your first manta at Lakan manta point. Stay low for the best sightings. Also keep your eyes out for small white tips here and eagle rays passing on the edge of the drop off.
South Male has some excellent dive sites including Medhu Faru, the Emboodhu Express and Lhosfushi Kandu. Get ready for some fast currents on the channel dives! And where you find currents you will tend to find sharks, eagle rays, barracuda, tuna and trevallies - enjoy the spectacle.
North & South Ari atoll
Ari atoll is the best place to find whalesharks and you will spend some time looking for whalesharks to snorkel with. Keep your eyes peeled and gear ready! The areas around 5 Rocks and Kudarah Thila are especially good. If you dive at Dhonkalo Thila look for more manta coming in to be cleaned. Or why not swim into the blue at Rasdhoo looking for hammerheads.
There is a lot of fantastic thila diving in Ari too - Rehi Thila, Bathalla Maga Kan Thila and Raiydhigga thila are all great dives. You can nearly always find black tips at Hafsa thila. And Maya thila has to be one of the best dives out there. During the afternoon it is a good place for macro (look for the long nose hawk fish in black coral) but at night comes alive with hunting white tips, huge marble rays and swimming morays.
Rasdhoo & Vaavu
Carpe Diem and Carpe Vita will usually include one of these two locations on the Best of the Maldives itinerary. All other boats will usually dive both locations, but this is not guaranteed, allowing the boats to focus on the seasonal hotspots.
You will normally leave the boat after breakfast on your last day and be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home. Please do speak to the travel consultant at the time of booking to confirm the exact last day arrangements.
Alternatively, why not add an extension at one of the many beautiful resorts in the Maldives or even a second liveaboard.
If you would like to add an extension, combine this with another product or tweak the itinerary give us a call so we can discuss your dream diving holiday.
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