Baa Raa Noonu Atolls

Baa Raa Noonu Atolls
Indian Ocean - Maldives
From £2225 inc. flights*
    
  • Remote northern itinerary
  • Great for Mantas
  • Steel hull boart
  • Combine with Kuredu!
Baa, Raa and Noonu atolls are infrequently visited by most Maldivian liveaboards, which means scuba diving here is an exploration of the finest quality reefs cushioned in peaceful isolation. Stretching north west from Lhaviyani atoll, these 3 atolls create a unique Maldivian liveaboard itinerary with some extraordinary sightings along the way. Fish of all shapes and sizes await under the aqua seas, from the smallest macro to the largest plankton eaters. Realise your Maldivian dream on a scuba diving holiday with world class diving to remember - look no further than Scuba Travel's unequaled Baa, Raa and Noonu Atolls itinerary.

During July - November the boat stops at Hanivaru, where up to 100 manta (and sometimes whalesharks) mass to feast on dense plankton. Always keep your eyes out for passing manta on the reefs in Baa as sightings are frequent. Moving north to Raa Atoll, the pinnacle of Fenfushi Giri is waiting. The neighbouring Atoll of Noonu is entirely left over to nature. Whole families of grey reefs sharks can be found at Orimas, a nursery and cleaning station. Leopard and white tip sharks feed on the sandy bottom at Christmas Tree Rock. Green turtles fly in and out of the shallow overhangs at Kuredu Caves in huge numbers, earning this dive site locally the nickname "turtle airport". Diving in the Maldives is a fish lovers paradise!

This is a brilliant introduction to the Maldives with a bit of everything (drifts, pinnacles, channels, manta & sharks). The sheer volume of marine life in region makes this itinerary a great choice for photographers. Baa, Raa are secluded and scuba diving in this region takes you away from the stresses of every day life. Scuba Travel's expert dive team have picked out the very best dive sites, visiting each at their seasonal best. This itinerary delivers only the most exquisite diving throughout the entire year. Adding to the excitement, the guides and crew are constantly on the hunt for new dives sites. When it comes to diving in the Maldives, the Baa, Raa and Noonu itinerary has all the ingredients needed to satisfy even the most adventurous spirits.

Quick Facts

  • Average Water Temp: 27 - 29 C
  • Average Air Temp: 28 - 30 C
  • Average Visability: 10 - 25m
  • Good for: Manta, Whalesharks, Big Fish
  • Suitable for beginners: Yes

Highlights

  • Discover these seldom dived atolls with vibrant reefs, current swept walls, a secret shark station and the famous Hanifaru lagoon.

Testimonials

  • "It is one on the hottest tickets in diving right now: the amazing aggregation of mantas at Hanifaru lagoon in Baa atoll."Alex Mustard
  • "The diversity of wildlife was superb. just when you think it's finished, there's something more to see. We didn't want to surface."Lynne Grey
  • "Thanks for your co-operation in organising the Liveaboard that we recently returned from, the diving was fantastic as well as the food."Robert Brown

This is a typical example of the Baa Raa Noonu Atolls 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.


Baa Raa Noonu Atolls Map

Scuba Travel run the Baa Raa Noonu itinerary nearly every week of the year so there is always a date to suit!

Embarkation
Aquarius will alternate between starting the Baa Raa Noonu itinerary is Kuredu island jetty.

Trip Duration
All of our Baa Raa Noonu trips run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.

There are normally 4 dives a day apart from on your first and last day. There is usually an opportunity for to night dive most evenings. There are around 20+ dives on an average week but this can vary depending on local weather conditions.

Arrival
If your trip departs from Male you will be met on arrival from your international flight and taken directly to the seaplane terminal. These depart regularly during the day - you may have a short wait at the seaplane terminal but there is AC and a bar so you can relax in comfort until your flight. We recommend to have your camera in your hand as hand luggage is often stored in the back of the plane.

There will be a full welcome briefing on arrival and you can set your kit up. If you have prepaid any rental equipment this will be given to you on arrival. There is then your first dinner and you can settle in for the evening.

Depending on arrival times you may or may not dive on the arrival day.

A normal Baa Raa Noonu itinerary will dive at the following areas but the exact dive sites and order will vary week by week depending on what people enjoy, where the best sightings have been and reflect diver experience levels.

Kuredu
Depending on your arrival time, you should be able to make the afternoon check dive on the Kuredu house reef- a great dive with lot of life (including eel garden) and a wreck as well. With all on board, Monsoon will depart from Kuredu and sail down the west coast of Lhaviyani and anchor behind an island overnight ready for the morning dive.

Baa atoll
A channel crossing south west takes Monsoon into Baa atoll where there are many sites to choose from. Dhonfanu Thila has a busy fish life and when current swept, sharks, eagle rays and napoleons will be seen. Dhigu Thila is usually the third dive of the day. A long ridge with good hard coral on top. In slack water it is a great photography dive, in pumping current a long drift revealing a series of pinnacles that takes you on to another reef. To round off the day a small excursion to the local island of Dhonfanu is organized. An idea is given of local life with examples of craft work seen.

During the Manta season at Hanivaru (July - November) one of the day dives will be substituted with a chance to dive or snorkel with this huge manta congregation. This is an incredible natural phenomenon and whalesharks are often also found, following the plankton into the lagoon.

Maavaru Kandu is a long north facing channel wall. The many overhangs are festooned with a stunning array of soft coral nicknamed Swedish reef. from the predominant blues and yellows. While you are having breakfast, small journey north to dive 2. Fares, a remote shallow reef with large pinnacles on the western side. A real activity dive swimming around and through these huge rocks with good fish life and great coral. In season, a repeat dive/snorkel at Hanivaru can be made. Get your camera ready!

Raa atoll
Fenfushi Giri is a shallow tiny site but with an amazing amount of fish. Often exposed to some current there are shoals of baitfish constantly hunted by Jacks and bonitos producing great viewing. After the diving there is another island visit planned - the uninhabited Fenfushi has a beautiful crescent shaped beach, stroll along this remote strip and watch the sun set. A night dive is then made on the Giri. With the previous experience of the day the colourful site can be explored with sleeping napoleons and thousands of shrimps watching your every move. Reethi Thila is an exciting anemone smothered site with masses of fusiliers hunted by tuna and jacks.

Noonu atoll
Only recently opened Noonu has some deeper sites producing some interesting and often challenging diving. Orimas Thila is in the middle of the atoll. It is a small deep site and is the home to a grey reef shark population. With current sweeping across the southern tip the sharks can be seen coming in to be cleaned of parasites. Many juveniles can also be found here. The site is full of surprises with visitors coming in from the deeper waters. The third dive is on the north west side of Noonu. Dha Thaa Faru is a channel corner. A great reef shape with drop offs, caves, tunnels supporting healthy coral and an abundance of life. The night dive will once again be taken on the same reef.

The boat will return back to Orimas Thila for the first morning dive. In the water as the sun breaks is a good time to catch the early activity as the sharks patrol the reef. A short journey south brings us to Christmas Tree Rock. This is stunning tiny pinnacle with large overhangs and festive decorations of beautiful hard and soft corals. Presents of sharks and sting rays can be found tucked under the tree on the sandy bottom.

Lhaviyani atoll
Kuredu Caves is a bite taken out of the outside reef with layers of shelves and ledges. This is the home to many green turtles. The object of the dive is to swim along these ledges and zig zag up the reef observing the turtles. As bubbles drift up the wall they disturb turtles resting higher up, the turtles head out and up to the surface to breath and then return to their shelf. The site is often called Turtle Airport as there are many take offs and landings. A night dive will be found on a protected reef inside of the atoll.

The last full day of diving is spent in Lhaviyani. Sites visited will depend on the season. In the north east monsoon when the current comes in strong from the east bringing in blue water, then the channels are fun to dive. Fushifaru Kandu is great dive. Leave the corner wall to paddle out into the blue current to observe pelagic action. Swim with sharks, rays, napoleon and jacks then get swept into the channel to finish on a small thila with aggregations of snapper and sweetlips. Zafari Reef. Donít expect herding wildebeest, but with a strong in a long easy drift takes you from the outside corner to a long wall with shoals of snapper, bat fish and much more. With little or no current, on the other side of the atoll is The Shipyard. An interesting reef with two wrecks, one lying on its side facing into the channel and the other stretching up the reef to break the surface some 6 meters. The shallow wreck is beautiful the last 9 meters is encrusted with coral and sponges and masses of sergeant majors fighting for territory. After the last dive Monsoon will moor by a deserted island and the evening meal will be on the beach as a BBQ, a perfect conclusion to the week.

Kuredu Express is an exciting channel corner and as one of the protected areas has an abundance of life. Prone to strong currents it can be an exhilarating drift with big shoals of jacks, grey reef sharks, rays and napoleons in the moving water. Monsoon will then moor back on the Kuredu jetty.

Disembarkation
After breakfast there is the additional option of diving the house reef again if the no fly time permits. The rest of the day can be spent either relaxing on board or exploring the facilities of the island resort of Kuredu. Meals are scheduled onboard.

Return transfers from Kuredu to Male airport are made in the morning before you board your international flight home or begin a land portion of your holiday at one of the many resorts Scuba Travel offer in the Maldives.


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.

Photos

Monsoon

Monsoon

Monsoon has all the hallmarks of Tornado Marine fleet quality. And this spectacular 36m steel hull motor yacht brings luxury liveaboards to the remote Northern Atolls of the Maldives. Monsoon takes pride of place as the first live...

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