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Maafushi Scuba Diving

Diving in Maldives


With their rich ecosystem, perfectly blue waters and the ideal temperature for diving throughout the year, Maldives is without a doubt in the top list of every diver from all parts of the world. As a world-class diving destination the country boasts an abundance marine life: colorful corals, fish, macro and giant species such as sharks, rays, turtles and other pelagics.

Many divers, who often visit various world's diving destinations do not really know what to expect from Maldives' underwater world. What unique creatures can be spot there? Sharks? Everywhere is enough! Manta rays, there are many in other oceans! Turtles, countless numbers! Other pelagic species? Name the kind! So why do you need diving in the Maldives?

Honestly, there is no clear answer to this question. But for an unknown reason, scuba diving in the Maldives is the dream of every diver. And it would be unforgivable to miss on Maafushi this fun activity that can become one of the most striking adventures of your trip to the Maldives.

night diving in maafushi

Best Time

Diving in Maafushi is possible all year round, but the best time for dive from January to May. The rainy season begins at June and lasts until November. The average air temperature is 29-30C, and water, as a rule, is about 26-28C. The strength of the current is from mild to moderate. In high season (November to May), the dive sites in the South Male Atoll may be crowded with divers due to the fact that most are located in a small area on the east side of the atoll. During low season (June to November), some of the best prices in the Maldives are offered by both hotels and dive shops. If you are visiting from May until July, make sure the dive shop on your island will be operating. Many liveaboards will migrate to another atoll during these months.

What to see under water? The waters around Maafushi are a haven for various types of reef sharks, hammerheads, sea turtles, barracudas, giant tunas, manta rays, napoleon wrasse and whale sharks. Of the small interesting species, expect Moorish idols, octopuses, fish surgeons, many colorful nudibranchs and fish squirrels with tiers of color and texture of various hard and soft coral and sponges where table, fan and staghorn corals can be found. Wherever you dive, the wild ride known as the South Male Atoll is sure to give you at least one “wow” moment.

guitar shark

Dive Centers

There are five dive centers PADI on Maafushi: Maldives Passions diving school, Maafushi Dive & Water Sports, Arena Dive Club, Maafushi Dive, and Shark Diving. All schools are members of the International Association of PADI, and provide a full range of courses and certificates, including children's diving (Bubble Maker for kids from 8 years old). From Discover Scuba to the dive master, Maafushi's dive shops can offer a wide range of courses for safe and fun diving.

Teams are formed from professional local instructors and highly qualified Europeans, and high-quality equipment is used for dive. On the menu: night-, drift- and wreck diving, to name a few.

Must-See Dive Sites

There are many dive sites with picturesque steeps and caves along both sides of the channel (thila) that divides the North Male and South Male Atoll, as well as another 18 channels along the atoll's Eastern and Western edges. Predictable currents at the entrances to the channels attracts barracuda, gray reef sharks, whitetip sharks, groupers, giant perches, trevally (GT), napoleons and rays. Maafushi will be interesting for divers of all levels. The most popular dive sites around Maafushi are Kuda Giri Wreck, Cocoa Corner, and Guraidhoo Corner. The depth of the dive sites varies from 7-35 m. Also worth exploring is Kandooma Thila and Embudhoo Kandu.

Miyaru Faru

Miyaru Faru or "Shark Reef" is a popular dive site is 15-minutes by boat from Maafushi Island. Miyaru in Dhivehi means shark, and "faru" is a local term for a reef. The name of the site gives you to understand that there are reef sharks, manta rays and much more! After a short briefing - dive into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and a slow descent. The reef's walls are adorned with huge sea fans, among which one can find random pelagics and other tropical species, such as barracudas, snappers, wrasse, large puffers, triggerfish and macro creatures, including shrimps and nudibranchs. There is a very strong current in this area, that also attracts schools of eagle rays and sharks.


Kuda Giri

Kuda Giri is 15 minutes by diving boat to the west of Miyaru Faru. The main attractions of Kuda Giri are a small reef and a wreck (an unknown wreck) taht is at a depth of about 20 to 35 meters. The site is ideal for all levels, including novice divers and is one of the best sites for night diving. Into the wrack it is possible to penetrate in several places, and the fragments are covered with corals, algae, sponges, stars and ascidians. Fish and other marine life: frogfish, stone fish, leaf fish, clownfish, scorpion fish and nudibranchs, as well as colorful sponges and octopus resting on deck. Meanwhile, a neighboring reef with an inclined wall that falls to a depth of 40 meters is home to a wide variety of sea creatures. There is a good chance to see turtles, wrasse, parrotfish, triggerfish, you can find curious lobsters and sometimes a guitar shark.

maafushi wreck dive

Cocoa Corner

Cocoa Corner is a diverse dive site near Maafushi, which features a 400m long pinnacle and steep drop-off. It also features caverns, ravines, and overhangs full of beautiful marine life. The current ranges from minimal to very strong, which greatly affects the number of fish and conditions.

It is best to keep your eyes on protected places to enjoy a fantastic view and vibrant underwater creatures. Cocoa Corner is home to large sea animals such as manta rays, tuna, barracuda, trevally, and gray reef sharks. Divers can also often spot sweetlips, fish-pipe, groupers, and stone cod. This dive site is full of bright sponges and gorgonians.

maafushi wreck dive

Guraidhoo Corner

Guraidhoo Corner is a popular dive site in South Male Atoll (Maldives) that is famous for its beautiful underwater landscape, strong currents and unpredictable underwater turbulence. Coral walls with carpets of fans and gorgonians fall to a depth of 30m, channels and reefs play with all the colors and forms of healthy marine life.

The most frequent large species at Guraidhoo Corner are stingrays and gray reef sharks. Other interesting forms include moray eels, squirrel fish, parrot fish, and giant groupers hiding between black corals.

Embudhoo Kandu

Embudhoo Kandu is a channel in a marine reserve with a reef wall that is located in the northeast of South Male Atoll in the Maldives (6 km / 3.7 miles south of North Male). The site is famous for its guaranteed dive with sharks. The descent begins on the south edge, where divers can down to 30m. The wall is also replete with caves and caverns with tranquil conditions, where schools of colorful fish and macro creatures find shelter that are of great interest to underwater photographers. Here, starting in a narrow canyon at a depth of 15 m, divers can enjoy drift-diving, finishing then in shallow water.

Expect to see soft and hard corals and encounter gray reef sharks, white-tip sharks, rays, Napoleon wrasse, schools of marbled perches, soldier fish, colored sponges, and very often you can spot lion fish, giant moray eels and octopuses.

dive with shark

Kandooma Thila

Recalling the shape of a drop, in the heart of Biyadhoo Kandu, near the northern tip of Kandoom Island, is this magnificent thila that is considered one of the best dive sites in South Male. The thila's western edge is called Jack Corner, the best conditions for exploring this area are with a strong outflow that attracts barracudas, gray reef sharks, white-tip sharks, groupers, perches and giant trevally, while other fish are kept on the reef. Below Jack Corner there is a small cave at a depth of 23 m with large snapper schools, and big-eyed Crevalle jacks inside. Very strong currents (> 5 knots).

Among other forms of marine life, divers can see barracudas, grupers, reef sharks, whitetip sharks, perches, green turtles and eagle rays.

Maafushi Island

Maafushi Island nice bikini beach

The most popular budget destination in Maldives, South Male atoll, Maafushi is a typical local island, where under the hot sun you will find white sand, palm trees and clear turquoise waters - all elements of an authentic tropical reasonably priced. The densely populated island is 30 minutes by speedboat from Velana (Male) Airport and has more than 50 economy hotels and guest houses, and offers a wide dining options, as well as exciting cheap tours and excursions, and many water sports. The lagoon on the eastern side of the island offers snorkeling with whitetip and blacktip reef sharks, and the house reef on Maafushi's north-western edge is ideal for first time.. READ MORE

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