The popular diving spots in Maldives are Fish Head, HP Reef, Banana Reef and Maanta Point. While there are several other diving spots , at least 2 out of the above 4 is a must.
1. Fish Head - Mushihasmingli Thila or Fish Head, situated in North Ari Atoll, is one of the top 10 diving sites in the world, deriving its name from the plethora of marine life that one can observe at this popular spot. Initially a shark feeding spot, the Government has now declared it a Protected Marine Area. Having the characteristics of a Thila, this site is known for underwater caves, black corals and undersea rock formations. The north side of Fish Head is ideal for amateur divers, since it has very interesting underwater landscape even at shallow depths. Reef sharks are a frequent site here. This reef is regarded as one of the best for shark spotting since there is ample opportunity to observe the behaviour of sharks, from secure locations.
2. HP Reef - Located to the north of Girifushi in North Male Atoll, is HP reef also known as Rainbow Reef because of a plenitude of colourful soft corals. 10 - 15 minutes by speedboat from Girifushi will take you there. HP Reef is known to witness strong currents all year round and hence a lot of precaution needs to be exercised while diving here. The main attraction here is the variety of corals found in varied hues and shapes, pelagic and other fishes. You can swim through a 25 m cave, known as the 'chimney', while observing diverse marine life.
3.Banana Reef - Located west of Farukolfushi, Banana Reef is indeed shaped like a banana! It was one of the first dive sites in the country to become internationally known. Banana Reef has a bit of everything: dramatic cliffs, caves and overhangs; brilliant coral growths; big predators such as sharks and grouper; and prolific reef fish, including Jackfish, Napoleon wrasse and blue-striped snapper. The reef top is also excellent for snorkelling.
4. Maanta Point - Maanta Point is yet another spectacular highly recommended dive spot. Apart from the multitudes of Manta Rays, that gives its name, due patience can reward you with not only eels, barracudas but also octopuses and turtles. If you are lucky, you will also be witness to the cleaning services availed by the Manta Rays. Curious? Go figure for yourself! If you are not staying on a liveaboard, you can hire one from your island resort to get to these diving spots and the same one waits anchored to take you back. You also have to take an 'orientation' to learn diving if you are an amateur. For all the novice divers, PADI licensed instructors tteach you scuba diving and once you complete a course you will be certified.
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