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Maldives

Scuba diving in the northern Maldives

The Maldives North region offers lavish diving opportunities. Less visited than the central archipelago, this region has an authentic feel, is calm, and will give you a true sense of escapism.
Latest uploads in The Maldives (North region)
Blacktail reef shark in Kuredhdhoo Kandu in the Maldives
09 May 2016
Blacktail reef shark
The Maldives (North region)
-Kuredhdhoo Kandu-
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Scuba diving in Heaven and Hell in the Maldives
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Reef manta ray in Fushifaru Thila in the Maldives
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Leopard shark in Ekasdhoo North in the Maldives
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Leaf scorpionfish in Alifushi in the Maldives
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Scuba diving in Mathi Faru in the Maldives
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Scuba diving in Mathi Faru in the Maldives
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Reef manta ray in Mathi Faru in the Maldives
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Scuba diving in Filladhoo Wreck in the Maldives
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SCUBA DIVING IN THE NORTHERN MALDIVES

Map of the north region of the MaldivesCentral regionSouth region Far south region

The Maldives archipelago consists of four distinct diving zones. This page will describe diving in the North region. The other regions of the archipelago are the Central, South and Far South. You will also find a more general description of diving in the Maldives.

Apart Raa Atoll, which lies detached to the west of the archipelago, the other 4 administrative atolls (Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, Shaviyani, Noonu) of the North region make up a large geographic atoll which stretches for more than 170km north – south.

Lying between 5 and 7 degrees north of the equator, tourism has arrived in these parts more recently than its neighboring Central region. This fact explains the much lower key touristic presence especially in terms of hotels, and you can easily discover local islands where a very traditional way of life still exists.

Only a few liveaboards offer this itinerary. It is advised to find an operator who is well versed with this region or you risk sailing past the most beautiful dive sites of the northern Maldives, the true hidden gems of the northern diving experience. Hotels often have the best local knowledge but they are unable to facilitate dive trips very far from their immediate vicinity.

Although more recently airports have been built on several islands, for many decades the only way to reach these parts was by ferry (and this remains to this day the locals preferred mode of transport mainly due to its low cost). The inhabitants of the northern parts of the archipelago will only travel to the capital if it is absolutely necessary, this journey is long and hardly what you would describe as comfortable! The islands here are generally much smaller than you will find in the regions to the south.

This area is relatively untouched and you can sense the authenticity and calm. The North region is a true getaway.

In terms of safety, transfers to the capital can be long and costly. It is vital that all divers have sufficient diving insurance and that these policies cover medical evacuation to the nearest suitable medical facility. Many insurance policies will not automatically cover this type of medical evacuation so it is important that you ensure you are appropriately covered in the event that the worst should happen .

KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF DIVING IN THE NORTHERN MALDIVES

THE BEST SEASON FOR DIVING

Dry season

Rainy season

The rainy season (southwest monsoon) runs from June to November. The dry season (northeast monsoon) is December through to April.

The northern Maldives offers magnificent diving 365 days a year and the variety of marine life is omnipresent. That said conditions are most favorable during the dry season when freedom of navigation and access to sites is good throughout.

TRANSPORT

Ease of access

Due to the more remote nature of this region, ease of access really depends on your final destination. Some atolls are reachable easily by hydroplane from the airport whereas other destinations require an internal flight followed by a speed boat transfer.

ACCOMODATION OFFERED

Number of hotels and resorts

Tourism in this region continues to grow but the number of hotels and other accommodation is still very much below that offered in the Central region.

Quality and pricing

Apart from the few guesthouses found on some local islands, the large majority of hotels carry a price tag that suits only the more wealthy clients, those who have an almost limitless budget for hotels and diving.

DIVING

Variety of sites

This region contains some of the most beautiful dive sites in the archipelago. However with few possibilities to dive the channels and infrequent Whale Sharks sightings means that the complete dive package is somewhat limited in this area.

Difficulty of dives

The North region offers numerous sites that are suitable for novices and master divers alike. Some pinnacles are however strictly reserved for the more experienced divers as the currents can present some problems for those who are not familiar with this type of diving.

Variety of marine life

This region is characterised by its magnificent and colourful colonies of soft coral. Whilst encounters with Manta Ray are practically guaranteed in the right season, it’s very much the smaller marine life and diversity of fauna that awaits you. The region is a real patchwork of marine life and to experience the best of everything on offer you will need to move around the different atolls. It is worth remembering that sharks gather in spectacular conditions in the Noonu Atoll (for example in Orimas Thila).

You can sample some of what is on offer by checking out the beautiful underwater images from the northern Maldives.

Number of divers

Dive activity at the sites in this region is much lower than in other parts of the Maldives. You will rarely find several boats vying for position on the same site. It’s a diving luxury that is no longer guaranteed in the Central region.

THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER THE REGION

Island-hotels

Guesthouses

Liveaboards

This vast region is a patchwork of different atmospheres with an unrivalled variety of dive sites. There is of course always the possibility to meet certain species of marine life. The liveaboard is clearly the best option for those wanting to discover the full extent of the beautiful northern Maldives.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Other activities on offer

As is the case all over the archipelago, hotels and resorts in the North region offer numerous activities such as sailing, fishing etc. The North region is home to some fascinating historical aspects of the Maldives but access to this region is difficult and limited. However, you will have an often more authentic experience when visiting the local northern islands than you will find in the centre of the archipelago. It is still possible to find islands untouched by tourism, provided your guide knows where to find these hidden gems.

iDiveMaldives book
Reference
iDive Maldives
300 Dive locations with illustrated information and GPS coordinates

DIVE SITES IN THE NORTHERN MALDIVES

Mathi Faru Dive site
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Diving media: 3
Orimas Thila Dive site
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Diving media: 0
VAADHOO THILA Dive site
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Diving media: 0
X-MAS ROCK Dive site
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Diving media: 0
The Maldives (North region)
Dive center icon Dive centers Dive site icon Dive sites
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SCUBA DIVING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS IN THE NORTHER MALDIVES

  • Scuba diving in Mathi Faru in the Maldives Featured
    20 Oct 2010

    -Mathi Faru-
    North Thiladhumathi, Maldives
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    • 3
    Idivemv
  • Scuba diving in Finey Thila in the Maldives Featured
    20 Oct 2010

    -Finey Thila-
    South Thiladhumathi, Maldives
    • 0
    • 3
    Idivemv
  • Leaf scorpionfish in Alifushi in the Maldives Top Rated
    09 May 2011
    Leaf scorpionfish
    Maldives
    -Alifushi-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 2
  • Reef manta ray in Mathi Faru in the Maldives Top Rated
    20 Oct 2010
    Reef manta ray
    Maldives
    -Mathi Faru-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 2
  • Scuba diving in Mathi Faru in the Maldives Top Rated
    20 Oct 2010

    Maldives
    -Mathi Faru-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 2
  • Scuba diving in Finey Thila in the Maldives Top Rated
    24 Apr 2016

    Maldives
    -Finey Thila-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 2
  • Blacktail reef shark in Kuredhdhoo Kandu in the Maldives Top Rated
    09 May 2016
    Blacktail reef shark
    Maldives
    -Kuredhdhoo Kandu-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 2
  • Scuba diving in Heaven and Hell in the Maldives Top Rated
    09 May 2012

    Maldives
    -Heaven and Hell-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 1
  • Reef manta ray in Fushifaru Thila in the Maldives Top Rated
    Reef manta ray
    Maldives
    -Fushifaru Thila-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 1
  • Leopard shark in Ekasdhoo North in the Maldives Top Rated
    09 May 2012
    Leopard shark
    Maldives
    -Ekasdhoo North-
    Idivemv
    • 0
    • 1

DIVE CENTERS AND RESORTS IN THE NORTHER MALDIVES

- There is currently no dive center registered for this region -
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