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Explore the best dive sites of the Maldives

If you are looking for an extreme diving adventure, the Maldives is the place. From soaring manta rays, massive whale sharks, and ripping current dives, the Maldives has it all. What was once an “off the beaten path“ vacation spot has now become one of the world’s best diving destinations. Coral covered “thilas“ (small underwater islands) are scattered throughout the Maldives’ gin-clear, warm waters. The richness and variety of species encountered among the hundreds of islands in this small nation are unmatched. The best way to enjoy diving the Maldives is aboard one of the many liveaboard dive boats that go out for one to two weeks at a time, taking divers to some of the most remote, untouched dive sites on the planet. Whether you are looking for thrilling, fast-past, current-ripping underwater expeditions, or shallow, lengthy, relaxing dives, the Maldives is waiting for you.

This “Thila” is in the middle of the kandooma kandu. From 2000 to 2009 this dive site was ranked world 10th place of shark diving. The top of the reef is full of hard corals. The sides of the “Thila” are covered with soft corals. The currents are strong here and highly recommend for Advanced and Nitrox divers.

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Maaya Thila

Once this dive site was on the top 10 best in the world. Due to this rating many divers dived this site and specially at night. The damage on the top of this Thila (diver error) is bad, but as from 12m acceptable. At night many giant trevally and some white tips hunting.

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Kuda Giri (Wreck) / Potato Reef

The Kuda Giri is a very pretty, old wreck accessible by short swim from the pinnacle. This is a boat dive with an excellent, small wreck sitting next to a very well established giri (pinnacle) with lots of small caves and overhangs.

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One of the interesting attractions during the northeast monsoon, this site offers a wide variety of big fish life. The entire channel is a marine protected area. Be well prepared for several downstream washing machine currents when drifting to the inside channel.

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Lankan is a cleaning station for manta rays and scuba divers visiting often get to see an amazing manta show, one of the highlights of any trip to the Maldives.

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Madivaru Corner

This dive site starts as a wall dive and leads into the channel, here you can enter the channel to enjoy a deeper dive or stay on the drop off point of the channel where you can enjoy all the fish life in the current.

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Rasdhoo Channel

Suitable only for advanced divers, the channel between Kuramathi Resort Island and Rasdhoo offers world-class encounters between 22 and 30 meters deep. This dive works best with a medium current pushing mainly across and slightly in toward the atoll. Divers should follow the edge of the channel.

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This dive site has many names, Fish Tank, Fish Factory, Stingray City and they all fit! There is actually a fish factory on the island and this is the reason why there are so many rays and moray eels.

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Madivaru Channel

Rasdhoo Madivaru is a channel located at the intersection of the local islands of Rasdhoo and Madivaru. Dive along the edge of parallel or perpendicular reef formations across the channel and explore the sandy areas.

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Your best dive at Cocoa Corner will be when the northeast incoming ocean current hits this Atoll, which then only requires you a minimal fin kick to cruise along. This can be a long drift or a short drift dive. Make sure you do not miss the corner. An ideal spot for a early morning dive to see hammerhead sharks.

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Discover the world’s most fascinating aquatic life

Aquatic life under our oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams is amazing! From microscopic zooplankton to the largest animal on earth, the blue whale, underwater life comes in all possible shapes and sizes. With 71% of the earth being covered with water, it is no wonder we are so fascinated with what lies beneath the surface. In fact, scientists estimate that there are nearly 1 million different species of aquatic animals. Freshwater ecosystems are home mainly to fish, invertebrates, and reptiles, whereas the ocean contains a wide array of marine life including fish, mollusks, crustaceans, reptiles, sharks, and marine mammals like whales, dolphins, seals, and manatees.

The whale shark is not only the largest of all sharks, but also the biggest fish in the world. It can grow up to 20 meters long, weigh 34 tons, and live for over 100 years. Its back can appear gray, brown, or blue in color and is covered with bright white stripes and spots arranged in transverse lines.

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The grey reef shark is one of the most common reef sharks in the Indo-Pacific and is frequently seen cruising shallow coral reefs, especially near steep drop-offs. These animals may have a slightly white-tipped first dorsal fin, however, they are clearly distinguishable from other shark species because they lack the distinct black or white markings on the tips of their fins and are a more uniform grey color. These agile predators are fast swimmers and feed mostly on bony fish and cephalopods that they hunt along the reef.

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Reef manta ray

The reef manta ray is the second largest ray species in the world next to its close relative, the giant oceanic manta, growing up to 3.5 m (12 feet) wide, or more. In fact, these two types were considered a single species until 2009 when they were officially split into two distinct species. Reef mantas can be found in tropical and subtropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Unlike the deeper dwelling giant oceanic manta, they prefer shallower waters and are typically found cruising over coral reefs and other coastal habitats.

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Like manta rays, eagle rays are among the largest rays. The best known and most popular species is the spotted eagle ray, one of the most beautiful rays and among the most desired to be seen by divers. These animals have the unique ability to move both forward and backward using their pectoral fins. You will never forget observing these majestic movements while diving with eagle rays.

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With over 500 different species of rays identified, this group of cartilaginous fish are more varied then their cousin the shark. Stingrays derive their name from their long, skinny tails, many of which have poisonous stingers used for self-defense. Due to these predominant stingers, please take caution when diving or walking through waters with stingrays. As long as you keep a safe distance, you can experience beautiful dives with them. They are mostly found on the seabed where they hide under the sand and feed on fish, crabs, worms, snails, and other mollusks.

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The green sea turtle, also known as the green, black, or Pacific green turtle, is one of the largest species of sea turtles and has a wide population distribution throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical seas. There are two distinct populations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but they can be found throughout the Indian Ocean as well. They are unique in that they are the only species that are strict herbivores as adults, feeding mostly on algae, seagrass, and seaweed.

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One of the most fascinating fish on the reef, moray eels come in nearly every size and color from the tiny, bright blue ribbon eel, the smallest averaging only 25 cm long, to the black speckled giant moray which can grow up to 4 meters in length! In fact, there are nearly 200 different species. Most morays are marine dwelling fish, but several species have been seen in brackish water, and just a few are found in fresh water. They are clearly distinguishable from the other reef fish with their long, slithering bodies, pointy snouts full of sharp teeth, and long dorsal fins that run the entire length of their bodies. No matter the species, these animals are always an exciting site to see while scuba diving.

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Lionfish are native to Indo-Pacific waters and are usually found hiding under ledges or in shallow caves at depths between 2 and 60 meters. They are diurnal, meanings they hunt both during the day and at night but often stay hidden until sunset to avoid predators. Unfortunately, lionfish have become an invasive species in the western Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In fact, despite their menacing beauty, lionfish have become a huge problem in the Caribbean as their population has spread tremendously in just a single decade. In fact, the Science Channel has claimed they are “one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet.” These flashy predators are considered fairly aggressive and harmful to humans so take caution when diving with lionfish and keep a safe distance.

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