Dive Sites around Maayafushi

Following are the dive sites around Maayafushi Island as described by the Maayafushi Dive Base in their log book. We've added our own information and photos for all the dives we've done for ourselves. When only one of our opinions is stated, the other one simply didn't do the dive. Happy reading!

Maayafushi House Reef

The house reef of Maayafushi Island can be reached by two channels, which are also marked by a buoy. When the current is strong, you can enter at the first buoy and let yourself drift to the second one. Beautiful corals can be seen here, and there are plenty of fish. Especially late in the afternoon, there are often Sharks around. Mantas can also be seen cruising by sometimes, and we had the luck to see a Mobula Manta once and Mirjam saw another, bigger Manta on a second occasion.

Our housereef-turtle surrounded by butterfly fish

Maaya Thila

Dive Base Description: A small divespot, just 25 min. away from the island, with lots of fishes and black coral trees. Always when we go there, we can see Grey Reefsharks, Whitetip Reefsharks, Batfishes, Barracudas, and Eagle Rays. Also you find Turtles and Sepias. It is an easy divespot, also recommended for beginners. The reeftop is at 7 m.

This is what you get at Maaya Thila!!

Our Opinion: Our favourite divesite, very close by. We did this dive once together and Ferry did it a second time. There are also nightdives on this spot sometimes but we didn't go on those trips. The first time we were welcomed by lots of doctorfish bathing in our bubbles. This is a beautiful thila, with Grey and Whitetip Reefsharks all over the place. The reeftop makes for a perfect place to empty your tank and do your safety stop. Up there, we saw a Turtle, an Octopus, and a yellow small Moray. We could have dived this place every day without being bored. GO THERE!!

Mirjam looking for sharks

Kuda Thin Thila

Dive Base Description: The smallest of three thilas, but a wonderful divespot. By this reef the reeftop starts also at 5 m and falls down very steep. Turtles, Napoleonfishes and Sharks you can meet usually here. This reef is so small that you can swim around 2-3 times in one dive. Also recommended for beginners.

Medhu Thin Thila

Dive Base Description: The middle sized of three thilas makes divers surprised about the formation. The reeftop starts at 5 m and falls down very steep with some caves where it is possible to dive through. Napoleonfishes, Sharks and Eagle Rays are not rare. Also Electric Rays and Groupers are often seen, as well as Nursesharks somtimes. Also recommended for beginners.

Bodu Thin Thila

Dive Base Description: In a channel between two Farus in the south of Bathala there are three thilas. This is the biggest one. The corals and the anemonegarden, as well as the cleaning station made the divers enthousiastic. Also the formation and the great overhangs. At the cleaning station you can manicure your fingernails. There are some Shrimp who will do. Also recommended for beginners.

Ferry's Opinion: A very nice dive, where we were welcomed by a field of Garden Eels who vanish simultanuously when you come too close. On the wall we saw an Octopus and some Morays, and a little bit away from the wall were a few beautiful Whitetip Reefsharks who kept their distance. This dive resembles Maaya Thila a bit, and that's good!

Kandholhudhoo Thila

Dive Base Description: This reef is top-secret. Diving instructors call it "Surprise-Thila". A small reef with colorful softcolors and sponges. Stone- and Scorpionfishes are more than corals. If you have good luck, a Manta or Dolphins will guide you under water. A Turtle will also be there as well as Black Coral Trees. The reeftop starts at 3 m. Therefore it is easy to stay at the end of the dive for a safety stop and look around. Also recommended for beginners.

Now which one was my buddy?

Our Opinion: When we were there, the main surprise was poor visibility. On the boat we were told that schools of Mobula frequent the site, but there were none when we were there. The current was easy, and we did see some nice big clamps and very big angelfish.

These guys really posed for us like this!

Fish Head (Mushimasmingili Thila)

Dive Base Description: A must for all divers. The most famous divespot in the Maldives. Grey Reefsharks, big Napoleonfishes and lots of small swarm fishes will guide us by this dive. It is a very small thila, so that you can swim around in one dive. The reeftop starts at 10 m and is falling down to 35 m in a 75 degree angle with lots of caves and overhangs. Also recommended for beginners.

Ferry's Opinion: It took quite a long boat trip getting there and the reef is somewhat damaged because of so many divers visiting, but it was worth the trouble! There were a few other divers down when we arrived, but not too many. The Batfishes, Morays, Napoleonfishes but most of all Grey Reefsharks made for a dramatic sight. The Sharks come pretty close but still seem to totally ignore you. If you don't mind the boatride you have to visit this one!

Halaveli Wreck

Dive Base Description: A 33 m freighter was sunk at Halaveli. It is lying at 28 m on the sandbottom. Midship there are two open doors through which you can dive inside the wreck. As an attraction some Stingrays arrived. They are really nice and allow the divers to touch them. Moray and Groupers will make this dive unforgettable. Also recommended for beginners.

Large stingray on Halaveli wreck

Ferry's Opinion: There was only one downside to this divesite and that was a stiff current, which made it impossible to circle the deck of the wreck. You had to hold on to the wreck in order to stay in place. The wreck itself is beautiful, with a Moray hidden in the front deck, but the Stingrays are really something! They are huge and come up to you to see if you have some food. I liked them best when they hovered above us effortless while we were holding on to the wreck. After leaving the wreck there is a wall where you can finish your dive. Don't miss this one!

Bathala Maga Faru

Dive Base Description: Also this reef is recommended for driftdivers. A 800 m drop off is falling down to 35 m with lots of caves. The divers should give more attention to the small things as searching for big fishes. Inside the cavbes you will find Lobsters and big Groupers. In some of the caves there are small windows through which the sun can drop in and bring the corals to beautiful colors. Also recommended for beginners.

Bathala Thila

Dive Base Description: A small reef outside Bathala. This reef is not frequented by the big fishes but most of the time we can see Whitetip Sharks, Eagle Rays and Snappers. The reeftop starts at 10 m and falls down in a 75 degree angle to 30 m with small caves. On the beautiful reeftop you can find sleeping Nursesharks and the biggest Stonefish of this area. Also recommended for beginners.

Sleeping beauty (or rather nurseshark)

Ferry's Opinion: This was the first boat dive I did and together with two of our friends we needed a little bit of getting used to the circumstances, because we missed the reef top on our first descend, due to a fairly strong current and reduced visibility. The boat picked us up and brought us back to the reef where we had a second try, which was much better. This is a nice reef, and we would have liked to examine the reeftop, but the current made this difficult. We did however find a sleeping Nurseshark on the reeftop, and that made the dive a succes after all.

Taffa Faru

Dive Base Description: This drop-off is falling down to 35 m with big caves and nice corals. This reef is situated at the outside reef-edge in the eastern part of Ari Atoll near Bathala. It can always happen that a group of Eagle Rays or other big fishes will pass you during the dive. It is very easy to dive there and therfore recommended for beginners.

Kari Beiru Thila

Dive Base Description: Directly at the outside reef this very long reef is situated. We only dive in the southern part. It promises always a fantastic dive with lots of fishes and good visibility. Napoleonfishes and a tame Titan Triggerfish as well as Sharks and swarmfishes are not rare here. Also recommended for beginners.

Thuroka Thila

Dive Base Description: A nice coral covered reef with lots of caves and overhangs where we only dive at the south side. There is also a big chimney starting at 24 m and coming up to 8 m where we can dive through. Barracudas and Turtles we will meet always here. It is very easy to dive here but sometimes there might be a strong current. Also recommended for beginners.

Moray Eel (taken on Maayafushi housereef)

Beiru Madivaru

Dive Base Description: The housereef of Madivaru is recommended for driftdivers. A drop-off with big caves is falling to 30 m. In the caves we find always Nursesharks and Lobsters. Also the completely intact roof of the reef is recommended for more than one dive. It is beautiful covered with big Tablecorals. Also recommended for beginners.

Ukulhas Thila

Dive Base Description: A divespot out of Ari Atoll in the north. In the winterseason from the end of December till the middle of April we can meet here Mantas very often. As the reeftop starts at 16 m and there might be a very strong current, beginners should always ask the dive center whether they are already able to do this dive.

Patch of anemones with clownfish, Maayafushi house reef

Maga Thila

Dive Base Description: A breathtaking coral garden starts at 3 m. At the northside the reef is only one big overhang. Lots of small canyons going through the reef. If you have good luck, you can meet deepsea fishes, like the Deepsea Whitetipshark or the Sailfish, maybe also Dolphins. Recommended for beginners.

Ellaidhoo Wall

Dive Base Description: The housereef of Ellaidhoo is a 25 m drop-off with big caves. Near to the jetty at 30 m there is a wreck lying upside down. Lobsters, Stingrays, Groupers and Murans can be met here. The reef is easy to dive and therefore recommended for beginners.

Lionfish and Moray posing together

Our Opinion: This was our first boat dive together and we enjoyed it very much. Ellaidhoo has a beautiful wall with lots of species of fish. Among them were Morays, Lionfish, and Napoleonfish. There is a wreck at nearly 30 m which is not very special as it lies upside down. We stayed close to the wall most of the time and had a great relaxing dive (not much current).

Ellaidhoo Thila

Dive Base Description: A wonderful reef in the middle of the channel in front of the island Ellaidhoo. The formation of the reef is like a terrace, falling down from 8 m to 40 m, with lots of overhangs and beautiful Gorgonias. Sleeping Nursesharks, Frogfishes, Grey Reefsharks and Batfishes are the attractions here. Recommended for beginners.

Medhu Faru

Dive Base Description: Identical as Bathala Maaya Faru, but more caves in the shallow water area and 1 km longer. The drop-off to 35 m is ideal for driftdivers. Lobster, Turtles and Octopuses you will meet most of the time. As there might be any currents, you should be a little bit experienced in current diving.

Triggerfish, Maayafushi house reef

Kuda Faru

Dive Base Description: A reef for easy diving only 20 minutes away. We start the dive on a sandbank where the reef is falling down in a 45 degree angle. After 50 m there is a very nice coral needle, which alone is good for one dive. Whitetipsharks, Eagle Rays and lots of swarmfishes you can meet here. There is also a short drop-off with some caves. Recommended for beginners.

Mirjam's Opinion: This dive provided colourful corals on a slope as well as a wall with overhangs. No special fish encounters but a nice dive all in all.

Kuda Faru Thila

Dive Base Description: A reef for easy diving. Beginners can do their first experience in the open water. The reef is falling down in a 45 degree angle from 3 m to 20 m. There are some caves with Lobsters and swarmfishes as well as small Anemonegardens and Black Coral trees. Recommended for beginners.

Kuda Falhu

Dive Base Description: A reef which offers everything: Drop-off with caves to dive through, with nice corals and lots of fishes. Everything is possible here: Dolphins, Mobulas (a small kind of Manta), Turtles and Frogfishes you can meet with a little luck. Recommended for beginners.

Typical Maldivian reef scene

Mirjam's Opinion: Nothing really special on this dive, exept for MANY giant clamps. Nice corals too.


Dive Base Description: In 1984, a small, 13 m trawler was sunk. The wreck is nicely grown over with Softcorals, especially the screw. The wreck is down at the sandbottom in 29 m and a big swarm of Batfishes is living inside. Also sandeels living around the wreck. It is an easy dive and therefore recommended for beginners.

Degu Thila

Dive Base Description: By a fullday trip we can dive at this wonderful reef. Some big blocks of corals are built on this reef. Canyons and a cave through which we can dive from south to north are making this dive unforgettable. Also we find Turtles, big Tunafishes amd lots of small fishes. Only for experienced divers as there happen sometimes strong currents.

Unicorn fish, Maayafushi house reef

Himandhoo Thila

Dive Base Description: A big thila in a channel at the westside of Ari Atoll. Big overhangs with colorful Softcorals, unbelievable swarms of Wimpfishes, Sweetlips and always big fishes we find here. During the winterseason from December to April it is a Mantapoint. This thila is one of the best divespots at the westside. Only for experienced divers as there happen sometimes strong currents.

Malhos Thila

Dive Base Description: A reef like a fairy-tale from 1001 nights. The reeftop starts at 12 m with big overhangs falling down to 35 m grown over with white-blue Softcorals. You will get the impression to be in an icecave. Swarms of Bluestripsnappers and Sweetlips are making this dive unforgettable. Only for experienced divers as there happen sometimes strong currents.


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