The Maldives Far North Dive Sites
The far north atolls of the Maldives are very remote with few dive boats visiting the sites. The area has great shark diving and manta ray sightings.
The Maldives far north dive sites are an excellent place to escape from the crowds. Liveaboard cruises here are more than likely to be the only vessels and divers at any dive site. For a very popular dive destination like the Maldives, this is unusual and refreshing.
Guests onboard the luxury cruises can rest and relax by getting away from the more touristic atolls.
The diving in the far north can be more challenging with the sites open to currents meaning stronger drift diving. The larger pelagic life is prolific and manta and shark sightings can occur at many of the atolls.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
The Maldives Far North Dive Sites - 8 LIVEABOARDS
Duke of York
Duke of York in Maldives is a 36m luxury vessel with four decks that offers twin, double or triple on request setups, all with en suite bathrooms and climate control. The dining area provides al fresco dining with Italian and local cuisine with shade. There is an indoor saloon with a bar and comfortable sofas, a full entertainment system and even a dance floor. There are outdoor relaxation areas over the three decks in the shade and sun.Book Now
Dhoni Stella 2
Dhoni Stella Two Liveaboard in the Maldives is a 23m small but luxurious that can offer custom designed cruises for up to 6 guests. She has two en suite cabins which have a single and a double bed in each. Dining is alfresco, and there is a partly shaded sundeck to relax on. The diving itinerary is optional depending on guests’ requests and can be any length from 3 consecutive nights onwards.Book Now
Dhoni Stella 1
Dhoni Stella One Liveaboard in Maldives is a 23 metre small but luxurious vessel that can offer custom designed cruises for up to 4 guests. She has two en suite cabins which are either a twin or double bed set up. Dining is alfresco and there is a partly shaded sundeck to relax on. The diving itinerary is optional depending on guests’ requests and can be any length from three consecutive nights onwards.Book Now
The diving in the Maldives far north is on the atolls of Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu. They offer uncrowded dive sites, excellent visibility and plentiful marine life.
Haa Alifu Atoll Highlights
Haa Alifu Atoll is a great area for shark diving with a variety of them being seen here regularly. Look for grey and other reef sharks along with black and white tips. The sites are generally suitable for all levels of divers as the channels are wider and drop-offs shallower. For experienced divers, there are some fast drifts in strong currents. A great place to spot mantas in the season.
Baarah Thila has some unusual fish for this area with Andaman sweetlips and blackfin barracuda. The hard coral reef with a sandy bottom is a place for leopard sharks to rest during the day. The main highlight of the dive is the manta rays visiting the cleaning station. Sometimes up to 30 mantas can be spotted in one dive in the fast moving water around the submerged boulder formation.
On Lohi Island located on the inside of the lagoon, there is a cave dive with many overhangs on the wall. Large sea fans and flower corals with colourful sponges cover the rocks, look for frogfish here. Mobula and manta rays can be seen over the area. Anemones with their many different clownfish are also found here.
Lohi Canto is a channel dive to the west of the Atoll with strong currents. Here is a place for sharks with silver tip, white and black found here along with tuna, trevally and napoleon wrasse. At the end of the channel is a pinnacle covered with hard corals where grouper, emperor and parrotfish are abundant. In the sandy seabed look for fields of garden eels
The inner reef to the northwest of the atoll anemones are found in large numbers, covering a considerable area. Here many morays eels are found with giant, white mouth and yellow margin being a few. Black corals are home to longnose hawkfish and leaf fish with gobies in the sand.
Filadhoo Wreck is at 14m of depth and coated in both hard and soft corals, and the area is surrounded by table corals. Schooling fusiliers and snappers swim around the vessel structure, and groupers hide in the wreckage. Eagle rays have been known to pass by with white tip reef sharks.
Heaven and Hell
Heaven and Hell is a pinnacle dive starting at 18m then descending to 30m. With coral covered overhangs the reef is colourful and full of life, made even more so by the turtles and manta rays that swim around it.
Ihavandhoo Channel has a shallow pinnacle that is also a cleaning station for manta rays that appear when conditions and currents are correct. The reef itself has soft corals and a multitude of macro life plus there are swim-throughs and caves.
Haa Dhaalu Atoll Highlights
Theefarido Thila is one the best walls in the area that offers divers protection from the currents nest to the soft coral and sea fans growing over it. Nudibranchs can be found here along with lobsters in the crevices. Swarming fusiliers and snappers cover the wall hiding the anemones which anchor onto it with their clown fish.
Anemone Thila is off Theefaridhoo Island and home to leopard sharks which are pretty much a guaranteed sighting here. Marble and other stingrays can be seen on the 30m ocean floor but Napoleon wrasse favour the soft coral area coverings of the walls of the site along with the trevallies. Anemones are in high abundance here and give the site its name, look for pipefish, morays and lobsters in the crevices.
Nellaidhoo Thila is a photographers delight, the top of the pinnacle has both black and white tip reef sharks feeding on the smaller reef fish in plentiful supply here. Manta rays are also here gliding above the many batfish and giant trevallies. The pinnacle itself has morays and nudibranchs on the surface to look for as you fin to the east for the leopard and guitar sharks on the sandy seabed.
Magic Mushroom can be dived both at day and night time offering two different insights to this dive site. During the day a depth of 28m is possible around the pinnacle that starts at 13m. Look for nudibranchs many types of shrimps and macro life along the wall part of the dive.
At night the pinnacle is the primary exploration area with morays and red coral crabs now exposed from the usual hard coral coverage and sea fans. Look for sleeping parrotfish, snappers and angelfish.
Buda Cave on the west of Naiuassdhoo Island is at 30m to 25m of depth, and the mouth is 60m across. Access is easy, and divers can enter up to 15m inside with a torch to look at the sleeping nurse sharks, swimming white tip reef sharks and marble rays. There is a hard coral encrusted wall with Napoleon wrasse outside the cave where turtles and manta rays can often be spotted.
The liveaboard cruises in the Maldives offer snorkelling when the boat is moored and beach visits. Some cruises have a BBQ on the beach.
Marine Park and Conservation in The Maldives
The Maldives has three Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that were formed in June 2009 by the Maldivian government. The Baa Atoll area is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are plans to increase the size of this area by making the whole of the Maldives a UNESCO marine reserve.