The Scuba Divers guide to

Finding the perfect Liveaboard in the Maldives

Map of The Maldives

Best time to go

It is possible to dive in the Maldives all year round. The monsoon season from April to October brings rain and therefore is avoided by some. The water temperature ranges from 26 to 30°C (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit)

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Are you still hesitating about the destination of your next liveaboard diving experience? Think no more, Maldives it is! Diving in the Maldives is one of the reasons for the success of the destination. One chooses the Maldives for its various underwater species. Its underwater fauna is very rich and prolific. The reefs are covered with beautiful hard and soft corals, gorgonians, and at every detour of the relief, you can make beautiful underwater encounters. The Maldives archipelago is spanning nearly 700 km from north to south and lies between the Lakshadweep Islands to the north and the Chagos Islands to the south. These three archipelagos forming an immense submarine relief composed of atolls and coral reefs...

Undoubtedly, the best way to discover the most beautiful diving sites in the Maldives is to go on a liveaboard. It is no coincidence that divers from all over the world come to the Maldives to practice their passion. The archipelago's location in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the warm waters, the beautiful coral reefs, and above all the diversified fauna make it a fantastic destination for scuba diving.

We'll help you find the perfect Liveaboard trip, that suits your needs:

It's difficult to choose wich liveaboard that will suit your needs and how to find the best price on that boat.

So we've gathered the best boats and made it possible to compare prices across all the different booking platforms. This way, you'll get the best boat for your needs at the best price.

Start by sorting the boats after your budget, and find a liveaboard that fits your budget and your needs:

Sort the liveaboards based on your needs

A diverse fauna and flora:

More than 240 varieties of corals, more than 1,000 species of fish, 5 species of turtles, etc. have been listed. Maldives has such a variety of underwater species that it is a safe bet that, as snorkeler or a diver, you will probably cross with huge napoleons, schools of barracudas, batfish, gaterini, tuna and jacks; a multitude of small reef fish, angelfish, ballista, clownfish, and colorful anemones.

  • Corals: Corals are very exciting to explore while diving. They form beautiful reefs with their original shapes and architectures. Despite the bleaching of hard surface corals, there are numerous areas of regrowth here and there. The corals of the southern atolls, deeper, have suffered less from the effects of El Nino. Numerous varieties of gorgonians, sponges and colorful alcyonaria will live up to your dives.
  • Sharks: In recent years, the government has passed a law banning shark fishing. The archipelago has no less than 26 species. The most common sharks are tip-white sharks, black-tips, and gray reef sharks. The thresher shark, guitar shark is often observed in some areas. Hammerhead sharks are visible in whole schools on some famous sites, such as in the Rasdhoo Atoll. Tiger sharks and leopard sharks can also be spotted. Additionally, according to the seasons and the sites, you will be able to encounter the majestic whale shark.
  • Rays: All rays are protected in the Maldives. The majestic manta rays are present in large numbers in the archipelago. The Manta Trust estimates the population at over 5,000 specimens. We can see them in all seasons, at different locations. In addition to the manta rays, you can admire squadrons of eagle rays passing or isolated rays here or there. Stingrays are also numerous.
  • Turtles: Although 5 species of sea turtles have been listed in the Maldives, there are 3 species that are most often encountered during diving or snorkeling. The green turtle is probably the one you will see most often. The hawksbill turtle is also present in the Maldives, although it is considered an endangered species. Furthermore, the leatherback turtle is the largest of the three, and is rarer to observe. The turtles come to lay eggs on the beaches of the islands, and if you are lucky, you will be able to observe this fabulous spectacle of the nature that is hatching.

Where to dive in the Maldives?

Diving in the Maldives offers a wide variety of dive sites and typologies. The bottoms are varied, the hard and soft corals line the reefs and the colored drop-offs. The fauna is rich: whether you are a big fish enthusiast or a lover of small creatures, there is something for everyone. The underwater world is everything but monotonous; you will explore caves, slide along the walls, and admire the beautiful overhangs that adorn the walls.

  • House-reef diving: All the islands are bordered by a coral reef; however it is more or less accessible from the beach, or the pier. Some diving centers installed in hotels allow experienced divers to go diving on the reef around the island. Among the most famous islands are Eriyadu, Filitheyo, and Huvahendhoo.
  • Diving in Kandus: The Maldives archipelago is made up of atolls made up of thousands of coral reefs. These coral barriers are cut outside by channels formed over time by currents changing with the seasons. These channels, called Kandu in the local language, present a fabulous playground and life for marine species. Everyone finds it in this very rich pantry. Corals, planktivorous fauna, and sharks cohabit in osmosis. Pelagic fish navigate solitary or in huge schools in search of food.
  • Diving in Thilas and Giris: Thilas and Giris are always inside the atolls. They arise from the depths of the atoll to the surface and attract a rich marine life. Covered with corals, they serve as refuge and home for many species but are the delight of predators. The show often takes place following the currents.

A diving liveaboard allows you to cover a wider variety of diving spots in record time. You can visit several atolls during the same liveaboard cruise, and depending on the schedule, you can concentrate the dives on a less popular area, as in the South or the Far North for example.

  • Classic center atolls: These diving liveaboards run a loop from Male. Generally, they allow discovering 5 atolls. Kaafu North and South, Alifu Atoll, Vaavu and Rasdhoo Atoll. The sites are varied. North Male includes beautiful reefs full of fish. On Alifu Atoll, in winter you can cross manta rays and why not the whale shark in Maamigili. South of Kaafu South, the Guraidhoo Pass should be on every diver’s bucket list for shark attendance in the channel. At Rasdhoo, we go especially for the hammerhead shark bank.
  • North atolls: From Male, you will visit the atolls of Baa, Raa, Noonu, and Lhaviyani. From May to October, Baa Atoll becomes an awesome playground for manta rays and whale sharks. The southwestern monsoon brings a significant amount of plankton. UNESCO has classified the area as a biosphere reserve. The other atolls are almost virgin, there are few hotels, and the fauna you can observe is representative of the Maldives, but in large quantities.
  • South atolls: The atolls of Faafu, Dhaalu, Meemu, Thaa and Laamu will be on the program of your Liveaboard. The dive sites are not very visited, and the dives in the passes guarantee an unforgettable sight. Gray sharks, albimarginatus, tigers, hammers, and thresher sharks, but also large schools of tuna and jacks. The dives are quite sporty and these cruises are therefore reserved for confirmed divers.

When to dive in the Maldives?

You can dive all year round in the Maldives. The air and water temperatures are almost constant because the archipelago is distributed on both sides of the equator. In the Maldives as elsewhere, it is difficult now to generalize and it is impossible to guarantee the good weather. However, there are two major seasons: The northeast monsoon from December to April, and the southwest monsoon from May to November. During the first, the rains are rare, and the sea calmest. On the other hand, it is between May and November that the rainy days are the most frequent. During the northeast monsoon, currents cross the atolls from east to west. The eastern parts therefore benefit from stronger currents, with a greater concentration of sharks and pelagic in these currents. Manta rays and whale sharks are rather happier in the plankton-rich parts of the South and West, but there will be less visibility. During the Southwest monsoon, currents move to the South and West. Sharks, schools of tuna, eagle rays and other pelagic species are concentrated in these southern and western areas. Manta rays and whale sharks move north and east.

So what are you waiting for you to book your next liveaboard in the Maldives? Warm water, around 28 ° C all year long, colorful lagoons, intense turquoise blue water with shades of celadon green, sand incredibly white and so fine that your feet will struggle to regain the rhythm of closed shoes after a few days, lovers of the seabed, we invite you to discover this paradise on earth!


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