Diving in the Northern Atolls

The Maldives are laid out north to south and the 26 atolls that make up the country can generally be broken up into three sections, the Northern Atolls, the Central Atolls and the Southern Atolls. The Northern Atolls’ best diving locations include Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, Shaviyani, Noonu, Raa, and Lhaviyani atolls. This is the least developed region of the Maldives and because of this, is little known to outsiders, making it ideal if you want to get off the beaten track. The diving and underwater life is the most pristine and untouched in the country and it is also the best place to see and experience the traditional ways and lifestyle of the Maldives. While diving in the Northern Atolls, it is not uncommon for a boat or group to be the only ones at a dive site at a given time.

The Maldives’ highest point is in the northern Atolls and the region is made up of smaller islands than the Central and Southern Atolls region. The north also as has a huge number of underwater ring reefs. Diving season in the Northern Atolls is best during the Northeast Monsoon season which runs from December to April and September to November can produce great conditions too. It is possible to dive in any month except for June in this area.

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Featured places to go in Northern Atolls

Wildlife in Northern Atolls

The Maldives offers an unbelievable quantity and diversity of underwater life. What you will come across while diving can vary greatly depending on both the time of year and location. The distinguishing feature of the Northern Atolls is a large number of shallower reefs. Here you will be able to see many of the Maldives 2,000 plus species of fish including colorful schools of reef fish such as parrotfish, butterfly fish, lionfish, and more. Reef sharks are one of the 14 species known to the Maldives and the Northern Atolls are one of the best places to see these sharks.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Whales
Pilot Whale
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Pilot Whale
Spinner Dolphin
Sharks
Whale Shark
Great White Shark
Great Hammerhead Shark
Scalloped Hammerhead
Silvertip Shark
Whitetip Reef Shark
Blacktip Reef Shark
Nurse Shark
Zebra Shark
Grey Reef Shark
Angel Shark
Rays
Giant Pacific Manta
Reef Manta
Eagle Ray
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Guitarfish
Turtles
Green Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Seahorses and Pipefishes
Pygmy Seahorse
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Tarpon
Sand Eel
Snake Eel
Ribbon Moray Eel (Ghost Eel)
Conger eel
Jackfishes
Panther Moray Eel (Dragon Eel)
Scorpionfishes
Snapper
Surgeonfish
Frogfish
Sweetlips and Grunts
Parrotfish
Soldierfish
Triggerfish
Damselfish
Goatfish
Tuna
Garfish
Porcupine Fish
Box Fish
Trumpetfish
Bannerfish
Flounder
Emperors
Molluscs
Octopus
Squid
Cuttlefish
Crustaceans
Shrimps
Lobster
Crab
  Jan - Mar Apr - Jun Jul - Sep Oct - Dec
Whales
Pilot Whale
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Pilot Whale
Spinner Dolphin
Sharks
Whale Shark
Great White Shark
Great Hammerhead Shark
Scalloped Hammerhead
Silvertip Shark
Whitetip Reef Shark
Blacktip Reef Shark
Nurse Shark
Zebra Shark
Grey Reef Shark
Angel Shark
Rays
Giant Pacific Manta
Reef Manta
Eagle Ray
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Guitarfish
Turtles
Green Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Seahorses and Pipefishes
Pygmy Seahorse
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Tarpon
Sand Eel
Snake Eel
Ribbon Moray Eel (Ghost Eel)
Conger eel
Jackfishes
Panther Moray Eel (Dragon Eel)
Scorpionfishes
Snapper
Surgeonfish
Frogfish
Sweetlips and Grunts
Parrotfish
Soldierfish
Triggerfish
Damselfish
Goatfish
Tuna
Garfish
Porcupine Fish
Box Fish
Trumpetfish
Bannerfish
Flounder
Emperors
Molluscs
Octopus
Squid
Cuttlefish
Crustaceans
Shrimps
Lobster
Crab

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