Diving in Central Atolls

The Central Atolls are the most well known and populated region of the Maldives. This area includes the capital city of Male as well as the atolls of, Baa, Rasdhoo Atoll Ari, Vaavuu, Meemu, Nilandhe, and Thaa.

Of these spots, Male, Baa, and Ari are some of the best-known diving spots not only in the Maldives but in the world. The Male Atoll is very accessible and traveler-friendly. In the west, the Baa Atoll, in the west, is one of the best manta ray spots in the world, especially during the wet season when feeding frenzies happen. Finally, Ari Atoll is known as the best scuba diving site in a country known for diving and you will find something for everyone here, as well as a denser population of fish than almost anywhere else on the planet.

As the tourism center of the country, you will also find a great experience out of the water as well in the Central Atolls regions. Here you can experience white sand beaches, beautiful resorts, a wide range of Maldivian culture and historical sites. If you spend time in Male, which you most likely will (at least when you fly in), you will be amazed by the colorful buildings, ornate mosques and fresh fish and produce markets.

Featured places to go in Central Atolls

Baa Atoll

Baa Atoll has over 1,200 types of reef fish and over 250 species of coral, the most in all of the Indian Ocean

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Vaavuu Atoll

Vaavu is the easternmost atoll of the Maldives and has diving areas for all levels of divers.

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Meemu Atoll

Mulee Island is generally considered the best diving location in the Meemu Atoll.

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Thaa Atoll

Thaa atoll has great coral gardens to explore with the Caribbean Garden and the Gorgonian Garden being the most famous ones.

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Thoddoo is an island that is part of the Alif Alif Atoll in the Central Maldives.

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Rasdhoo Atoll

Rasdhoo offers the most beautiful beaches in the Maldives and you have the unique chance to swim with hammerhead sharks.

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South Ari Atoll

The sun island in South Ari atoll has the biggest sharks in Maldives where you can spot the massive, docile whale sharks.

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North Ari Atoll

Considered the number one scuba spot in the Maldives, the northern section of the Ari atoll offers two very notable diving regions.

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North Nilandhe Atoll

The most recognizable channel in the Northern Nilandhe Atoll is Filitheyo Thandu, another protected marine area.

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Southern Nilandhe Atoll

A great spot for beginners to start their diving journey, the Southern Nilandhe Atoll is wider, shallower and has weaker currents than other areas of Maldives.

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Northern North Malé

North Malé offers some interesting dive sites like the Lady Christine shipwreck on the northwest side of Gaafaru.

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Northern South Malé

On the northern side of the South Male area is the Vadhoo Caves where you can explore the great assortment of marine life like unicornfish or turtles.

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Southern North Malé

North Male has two well-known dive spots: Manta Point and the Victory Wreck.

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Southern South Malé

Like its more northern counterpart, the southern piece of the South Male dive area has fast current too and is for advanced and experienced divers.

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Dive Sites in Central Atolls

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