If you had the power to create your own islands, sea, and country designed specifically for diving, it may well look a lot like the Maldives. With over 1000 coral islands sitting in the nutrient-rich Indian Ocean, the dive sites in the Maldives are truly paradise.

By its geography and geology, the Maldives supports a wide range of marine life. From tuna to turtles, rays to wrasse, you’ll find it here. Divers flock to the country to see manta rays, tiger sharks and whale sharks. Mix this with the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, and you have one of the best diving spots on the planet.

A large Stingray resting on the sea bottom

The Best Islands and the Best Dive Sites in the Maldives

Below we’ll take a look at the islands and atolls that house the best dive sites in the Maldives.

Kuredu Island, Lhaviyani Atoll

Besides being considered one of the most popular resorts in the Maldives, Kuredu has some unmissable spots for diving. The island is surrounded by a coral reef home to manta rays, reef sharks, and turtles – to name a few of its inhabitants.

Hurawalhi, Lhaviyani Atoll

This couples-only retreat features the world’s largest underwater restaurant made completely from glass. This serious investment from hotel owners only goes to show how much they value the waters that surround the island. Scuba diving on Hurawalhi is truly an experience. Whether you’re diving the house reef to spot sweetlips and snappers or taking advantage of the regular excursions, you’re guaranteed one of the best dives of your life.

Fotteyo Kandu, Vaavu Atoll

Fotteyo Kandu absolutely had to make our list of the top dive sites in the Maldives. With its dramatic overhangs, swim-throughs, and caves, this is a remarkable dive place. The channel is also home to a myriad of sea life. One would expect the usual Maldivian marine residents, such as manta rays and coral groupers, but lucky divers will often glimpse a school or two of hammerhead sharks.

The largest undersea restaurant with beautiful blue waters of the Maldives
Image courtesy of Hurawalhi Island Resort

Dhigurah Island, Ari Atoll

Home to one of the longest beaches in the Maldives, Dhigaurah Island has become a diving hotspot. Set at the most southerly tip of the Ari Atoll, the waters surrounding this island are perfect for the elusive whale shark. In fact, over 200 whale shark sightings are reported off this coast each year. In addition to the majestic whale sharks that call the area home, you may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sailfish.

Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll

Hanifaru Bay, situated in Baa Atoll, is one of the best diving destinations for observing manta rays in their natural habitat. This bay is close to a deep-water channel near Dharavandoo island. Thanks to its natural keyhole reef shape, the bay acts as an enormous plankton funnel, providing an abundance of food for the manta rays. Just imagine diving in and watching the manta rays move through clouds of plankton, feeding with huge, open mouths.

Two divers having fun underwater next to two big anomones

There you have it—our top picks for the best dive sites in the Maldives. The reality is that the Maldives is a terrific spot for diving across the entire country. There are many great reefs, islands, atolls and channels to dive into. These are just our favorites so far, solidifying their reputation as one of the best dive sites in the Maldives.

Ready to explore the wonders of the Maldives deeper? Visit the PADI Dive Shop Locator to discover more of the best dive sites in the Maldives or book your dive resort or liveaboard trip directly on PADI Travel. Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime!

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