Best of the Maldives - Indian Ocean

  • Water temp 28 - 30 C
  • Air Temp 28 - 30 C
  • Visibility 5 - 25m
  • Good for... Whaleshark, Manta, Reefs
  • Suitable for beginners No
  • Highlights 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.

About Best of the Maldives

The Best of the Maldives does just what it says on the tin - you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a single week of sublime liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls. This is a dive holiday in the Maldives to remember that hits all the seasonal hot spots of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Dive the many channels, drifts and pinnacles, encountering the manta, whalesharks and reef residents as you go. The exact order of things is left deliberately flexible to ensure that no matter what time of year your holiday to the Maldives is, the breathtaking world underwater is unveiled in all its perfection.

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.

Carpe Diem

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... MORE

Carpe Novo

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... MORE

Carpe Vita

Carpe Vita is the upgraded sistership of Carpe Diem. At a generous 38m in length and a whopping 10m breadth, she's as spacious as she is well laid out. Carpe Vita has plenty of space for everyone. See for yourself the attention ... MORE

Emperor Atoll

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 siste... MORE

Emperor Serenity

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 as you moor in the pictu... MORE


Leo is light and bright Maldives liveaboard that runs weekly departures to dive the classic Best of the Maldives. She's a popular choice for those looking for a great, affordable liveaboard. Free nitrox is just one of the reasons ... MORE


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 ... MORE


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... MORE


Virgo sleeps only 18 divers over 30m, which has made her popular with those that prefer smaller groups on board. All diving is from the support dhoni. Cruise the heavenly atolls of Male and Ari without it costing the earth on a l... MORE

Scuba Travel run the Best of the Maldives itinerary all year round so there is always a trip to suit!

Constellation fleet/Emperor fleet 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.

ScubaSpa embark and disembark for Best of the Maldives at Male.

Trip Duration
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.

Seasonal changes
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
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
South Male has some excellent dive sites including Medhu Faru, Kandhooma thila and Guraidhoo Corner. 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.