- 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. Due to seasonal nature of the marine life, the exact dive sites visited on a Best of the Maldives trip may vary, but are all chosen by each of our liveaboards so you see the Maldives marine life at it's most exciting. All will usually dive North Male, South Male, South Ari and North Ari dive sites, and may stop at one (or both) of Vaavuu and Rasdhoo atolls. 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. Kandhooma thila and Medu Faru are hopt spots for eagle rays. 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 north and south ari Atoll area. Radhiga thila, Maalhos thila and Hafsa thila are just some of the stand out dives in this 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! Maamagili Beyru is one of the best places to see whalesharks on this itinerary.
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 embark and disembark for Best of the Maldives at Male.
Carpe Diem, Carpe Vita and Carpe Novo embark and disembark for Best of the Maldives at Male.
Emperor Atoll and Emperor Voyager embark and disembark for Best of the Maldives at Male.
ScubaSpa embark and disembark for Best of the Maldives at 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. Don't worry, you will get all the best diving for the time of year you are visiting, but the exact sites will vary as the local conditions change throughout the year.
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. Eagle rays are frequently seen on the Emboodhoo Express. There is often a chance to dive the Kuda Giri wreck.
South Male has some excellent dive sites including Medhu Faru, Kandhooma thila and Guraidhoo Croner. 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 Maamagili Beyru are especially good. If you dive at Dhonkalo thila or Rangali Madivaru, look for more manta coming in to be cleaned. Or why not swim out at Fish Head looking for hammerheads.
There is a lot of fantastic thila diving in Ari too - Rehi Thila, Bathalla Maga Kan Thila and Maalhos thila are all great dives. You can nearly always find black tips at Hafsa thila. And Maaya 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, Carpe Vita and Carpe Novo 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.
The Maldives is a must see diving destination for any diver serious about getting close to those magical creatures, manta and whalesharks. Surely the only way to experience the absolute very best of diving in the Maldives is on b...
Carpe Diem combines superb service, exceptional diving and on board comfort at affordable prices. If it is mantas, whalesharks and speedy drift dives you are looking for, then jump aboard Carpe Diem for a voyage through the beauti...
New for March 2016: Carpe Novo is a luxury liveaboard built by divers for divers. From the moment you step on board, you know you're in for an incredible trip, where your every whim is catered for. Lovingly crafted, no detail ha...
Carpe Vita goes above and beyond the usual Maldives liveaboard. Your package here is one of the most comprehensive we've seen, with 4 dives a day, alcohol with your evening meal (2 glasses of wine or beer) and additional on board ...
Emperor Atoll is a traditional Maldives liveaboard. If you are looking for an affordable way to access the full range of dive sites in this world class destination, then look no further. She might be smaller than some of her sis...
COMING SOON AUGUST 2016: Emperor Serenity is a contemporary, spacious liveaboard where fine accommodation and service is standard. This sleek liveaboard was built in the Maldives specifically for divers. Stand out from the crowd...
Emperor Voyager is a 30m liveaboard that sails from Male every week to dive the very best the Maldives has to offer. This is your chance to get close to the Maldives' famous manta on their cleaning stations. But there is so much...
Leo is light and bright Maldives liveaboard that runs weekly departures to dive the classic Best of the Maldives. She's a popular choice with couples. Snorkellers are welcomed on board, and will receive a free snorkelling kit an...
Nautilus 1 is the original Nautilus vessel and deserves the quality reputation she has worked so hard for. Operating to the highest standards we have all come to expect, this Maldivian vessel has become the benchmark by which all ...
Nautilus 2 is a new name in the Maldives, but like her sister ship Nautilus 1, she has quickly become associated with only the highest standards. Built in 2007 to a traditional Maldivian design, this colourful yacht brings a splas...
Ocean Dancer has all the pedigree that makes the Peter Hughes fleet so respected. Custom built, she is the culmination of many years diving in the Maldives and has been designed by divers for divers. With a keen eye on safety and ...
At 39m from bow to stern, Orion is a generously proportioned liveaboard. She runs a range of seasonal itineraries, covering all of the hot spots that make the Maldives such a mecca for scuba divers. It's a relaxed atmosphere on ...
Scubaspa takes Maldives liveaboards to a whole new level. She's a classy lady with undeniable wow factor. Total relaxation is guaranteed with first class comfort and service. Whether you are there for the diving, spa and yoga o...
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