Maldives Itineraries:

Pelagic Encounters (7 nights)


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Dive sites: North Male - Ari - Vaavu - South Male
Duration: 7 Nights
Number of dives: Up to 3 dives a day
Ports: Male/Male

This itinerary travels further south to Vaavu with the purpose of seeking out the larger pelagics. More channel diving is offered to maximise your chances of 'big fish' encounters and manta cleaning stations are also visited.

QUALIFICATION NEEDED:You must be certified to dive to a depth of 30 meters as well as be experienced and comfortable with diving in medium to strong currents. Please refer to our itinerary checklist for additional information. If you have Open Water certification and experience with currents, we strongly suggest you complete Advanced Open Water or Deep Diver Adventure Dive either before or during your holiday so you can maximise your diving experience on board.


Itinerary Checklist:

Common sightings: Large fish and other pelagics
Reefs: Submerged reefs and channels
Wrecks: None
Night dives: Normally two during the week
Experience required: Moderate
Currents: Varies - None to strong
Important Information: Drift dives and negative entries required
Amount of travelling: No overnight sails


Sample itinerary:

**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All dive sites are subject to weather conditions and local seasonal knowledge and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.

Day 1 - Check dive (N. Male), Kuda Girri Wreck (S. Male)

Day 2 - Miyaru Faru / Kandooma Thila (S. Male), Miyaru Kandu / Dhevana Kandu (Vaavu) and Golden Wall / Fotheyo (Vaavu)

Day 3 - Fotheyo /Hurahu Kandu (Vaavu), Rakeedhu / Vattaru (Vaavu)

Day 4 - Kudarah Thila / Broken Rock (S. Ari), Maamingili Beyru / Holiday Beyru (S. Ari) and Bodu Finolhu / Beyru Thila (S. Ari)

Day 5 - Rangali Madivaru/Madivaru Caves (S. Ari), Matchafushi Wreck / Rangali Madivaru (S. Ari) and Gaaviyamas Thila / Matchafushi Wreck (S. Ari)

Day 6 - Omadhoo Thila / Vilamendhoo Thila (S. Ari), Feydhoo Wall / Kuda Haa (N. Male) and Back Faru (N. Male). Please note the final day usually offers 1 or 2 dives in the morning, in order to allow 24 hours before flying.


Itinerary highlights:

Fish Head - North Ari Fish Head also known as Shark Point or Mushimasmingili Thila, fits the classic definition of a thila - a large isolated flat top reef rising sharply from the inner atoll floor at 40m to 50m to around 10m from the surface. It is one of the best sites for seeing sharks. Features a series of caves and overhangs in between where you can see thousands of blueline snapper against a backdrop of black coral bushes and large gorgonians.

Miyaru Faru: Unsurprisingly given that 'miyaru' means shark in Dhivehi, sharks feature prominently at this North Male spot! At around 30 metres there is an overhang which can shield you from the strength of the passing current, and with an incoming current the visibility can be excellent and the parade of pelagics and local residents, impressive. You might see a number of grey reef sharks as well as barracuda, kingfish and tuna. Large groups of eagle rays and their larger cousins, the manta rays, are often seen here, filter feeding in the plankton-rich water.

Fotteyo Kandu: Many scuba divers consider Fotteyo Kandu (Vaavu Atoll) to be the best dive site in the Maldives and it is also rated among the top 5 dive sites in the world. The mouth of the channel is exposed to the ocean and during the north east monsoon when the currents are incoming, a good variety of fish species gather at the entrance to the channel. Animals commonly spotted here include grey reef shark patrolling the channel mouth, jack and tuna in the deeper water, schools of midnight snappers and red snapper form in huge groups. The wall features caves, overhangs and swim-throughs at different depths. These caves and overhangs are filled with a colourful yellow colour like soft coral, deeper caves and overhangs are filled with huge bushes of black corals.

Kandooma Thila: Shaped like a teardrop, Kandooma Thila is one of the most spectacular dives in the South Male Atoll, for scenery as well as for prolific fish life.

Guraidhoo Kandu South
Since the eastern side of this South Male channel is open ocean, large predatory fish can regularly be spotted here. This site is famous for sightings of sharks, schools of eagle rays and the occasional sail fish and hammerheads. The best condition to do the dive is when the current is flowing into the Atoll. The dive begins on the outer reef following the current into the atoll. Most of the pelagic species can be observed on the eastern side, where the reef drops off into the deep ocean. At the end of the dive in the channel, along the reef you can find overhangs with plenty of soft coral growth and small fish.


Itinerary Map:


Courses:

Want to explore these stunning dive sites for longer? Then why not complete your PADI Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) speciality course whilst on your trip? You can also learn how to make the most of the currents by completing your PADI Drift Diver speciality course onboard. Contact our expert travel team today for more information.

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Thanks to Dray Van Beeck for providing the featured underwater images.

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