Scuba Diving in the Maldives
Brimming with biodiversity and home to marine creatures large and small, the Maldives are a world-renowned diving and snorkeling destination. Crystal-clear waters with consistent temperatures between 26? and 29?C (78? and 84?F) make this archipelago a year-round paradise for underwater explorers.
Experienced divers come here for thrilling channel dives, where they can see a variety of pelagic life. Beginners get an awe-inspiring introduction to the underwater world with pinnacle and wall dives. Regardless of skill level, divers will find themselves face-to-face with aquatic species of all sizes and types, plus big schools of fish and fascinating corals.
When to Visit
The Maldives is an all-year-round destination with two essential seasons, each with its own advantages.
The northeast monsoon runs from November to May and typically boasts clear skies and almost no rainfall. During these months, conditions are good for channel dives on the eastern side of the atolls, while the atolls’ western sides are ideal for viewing manta rays drawn to their cleaning stations. This is an in-demand time for European and North American tourists escaping frigid winter temperatures.
During the southwest monsoon from June to October, you’ll enjoy better pricing and a less crowded atmosphere. This period is when manta rays visit the cleaning stations on the eastern sides of the atolls, while the western sides provide the right conditions for channel dives.
At Scubaspa, we adapt our diving schedules according to the monsoons and the tidal calendar, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience any time of year. No matter when you come, you’ll see a variety of marine life, such as manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, not to mention a wide array of tropical fish.
Diving with Scubaspa
At Scubaspa, each of our yachts is accompanied by a separate 20-meter dive boat (also called a dhoni), which ensures our floating hotels remain undisturbed by the noise and activity of the dive preparations. These two vessels carry all the required equipment, including the dive gear and air compressors, yet they’ve been designed for ultimate comfort and a relaxing experience. Each has plentiful seating, multiple entry points, a stern platform, sundeck, and onboard bathroom facilities.
We’re truly dedicated to customizing dives to each diver’s experience level. Though we welcome beginners, more experienced divers will not feel overlooked by any means. Our expert dive guides are eager to lead you on exhilarating challenges through intense currents, where big sharks are known to make an appearance. Count on our entire dive crew to cater your Maldives scuba diving experience to your comfort and skill level.
Please note: The maximum depth of the dives is limited to 30 meters. Diving with a computer is mandatory, and it is prohibited to dive alone or do decompression dives. Night and deep dives (deeper than 18 meters / 60 feet) are available only to divers with advanced diver certification. You can upgrade your certification level with one of our PADI instructors at anytime during your stay onboard.
Scubaspa Dive School
Scubaspa offers a variety of diving courses, from single introductory dives to beginner and advanced certifications. Both of our yachts are the only vessels in the Maldives awarded PADI 5-Star Dive Resort status.
Our seasoned, multilingual dive instructors provide expert instruction at a level suited to each individual. Children as young as ten can learn how to scuba dive, and snorkeling is available to anyone who can swim.
Living aboard a luxury dive boat offers the opportunity to visit many different reefs and dive sites throughout the Maldives and Scubaspa vessels cover a wide area including the following:
North and South Ari Atoll: There are many Maldivian atolls where pelagics and big schools of fish can be seen, but Ari Atoll may be the place with the greatest reliability. Whale sharks, mantas, hammerheads and eagle rays are frequent visitors, as well as large residents like the napoleon wrasse, grey reef and white tip sharks, plus large schools of blacktail barracuda and batfish. Broken Rock in North Ari Atoll is a unique formation with a canyon that breaks the reef in two. Look for large fan corals in the canyon and turtles, scorpionfish, moray eels and good coral growth on the reef.
In the South Ari Atoll lies the Kudhimaa Wreck, a medium sized steel wreck lying very close to the Machchafushi house reef. Purposely sunk in 1998 the wreck has easy access to the cargo holds on both sides. On and around the shipwreck live schools of batfish, puffer fish, box fish and the customary large lion fish. The wreck is bursting with macro subjects for budding photographers and film makers.
Vaavu Atoll in the South, features deep channels with nutrient-rich, fast-flowing currents. At any time of year encounters with schooling reef sharks as well as several different shark species including the occasional hammerhead can be expected. The area boasts Fotteyo Kandu - considered by many to be the best dive site in the Maldives with its swim-throughs, caves and overhangs. Expect to see tuna, trevallies, unicorn fish, snappers, triggerfish, eagle rays, mantas and groupers.
North Male Atoll was one of the first to be discovered for its scuba diving delights and comprises some of the oldest and most popular sites including Gaathugiri, also known as Banana Reef. Breath-taking topography with magnificent rock faces, numerous caves, steep drop offs and precipitous overhangs await exploration. The marine life is just as awesome with sharks, manta rays, trevally, black snappers, grouper, schooling bannerfish, large morays, squirrelfish, soldierfish and Maldivian grubfish. South Male Atoll includes Kandooma Thila, a large teardrop shaped pinnacle with dramatic scenery and prolific fish life. The walls are covered with soft corals and patrolled by schools of red bass and big-eye trevally. Grey sharks, white-tip sharks and eagle rays frequent the area, whilst on top of the reef green turtles and batfish swim around undisturbed.