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Top Dive Sites - Far South Atolls 10 Night Itinerary

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Maldives Dive Sites

 Far South Atolls
22-24 dives / 9 diving days / 10 nights aboard

Which atolls: South Male, Vaavu, Meemu, Laamu, Thaa, Huvadhoo, Foammulah, Addu

When: Northeast monsoon only. Chosen dates in January, February and March.
11 days cruises, either outbound (Male - Huvadhoo) or inbound (Huvadhoo - Male).
On both outbound and inbound routes additional domestic flights
to or from Huvadhoo atoll will be required.

For who: Advanced divers with minimum 100+ dives. Experience with drift dives required.

Type of dives:
Mostly channel dives. Sites exposed to strong or very strong currents.

Marine life: Mostly pelagic fauna. Reef sharks, whale sharks, oceanic mantas, occasionally and with a bit of luck tiger sharks and hammerheads.

Example itinerary outbound (Male - Huvadhoo): (Sites may change based on currents and weather conditions.)

Day 1 Arrival - Male Airport

Day 2
Dive #1 Kuda Giri Wreck (South Male)
Dive #2 Kandooma Thila (South Male)
Dive #3 Alimatha night dive (Vaavu)

Day 3
Dive #1 Miyaru Kandu (Vaavu)
Dive #2 Gaahuraa Kandu (Meemu)
Dive #3 Mulih Corner (Meemu)
Night whale shark watching in Viligili area (Huvadhoo)

Day 4
Dive #1 Guraidhoo Kandu (Thaa)
Dive #2 Fushi Kandu (Laamu)
BBQ night on uninhabited island

Day 5
Dive #1 Viligili Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Kooddoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #3 Kondey Kandu (Huvadhoo)
BBQ night on uninhabited island

Day 6
Early Morning: Equator crossing celebration
Dive #1 Foammulah
Dive #2 Foammulah

Day 7
Dive #1 Kuda Kandu (Addu)
Dive #2 Maa Corner (Addu)
Dive #3 British Royalty Wreck (Addu)
Local Island Visit

Day 8
Dive #1 Foammulah
Dive #2 Foammulah

Day 9
Dive #1 Gadhdhoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Maareha kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #3 Dhaandhoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)

Day 10
Dive #1 Nilandhoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Turtle City (Huvadhoo)
Dive #3 Coral Garden (Huvadhoo)
Night whale shark watching in Viligili area (Huvadhoo)
Sunset Cocktail Party

Day 11 Departure - Kooddoo Airport (Huvadhoo atoll)


Example itinerary inbound (Huvadhoo - Male): (Sites may change based on currents and weather conditions.)

Day 1 Arrival - Kooddoo Airport (Huvadhoo atoll)
Night whale shark watching in Viligili area (Huvadhoo)

Day 2
Dive #1 Boaddoo House Reef (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Viligili Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #3 Turtle City (Huvadhoo)
Night whale shark watching in Viligili area (Huvadhoo)

Day 3
Dive #1 Nilandoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Maareha kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #3 Kondey Kandu (Huvadhoo)
BBQ night on uninhabited island

Day 4
Early Morning: Equator crossing celebration
Dive #1 Foammulah
Dive #2 Foammulah

Day 5
Dive #1 Kuda Kandu (Addu)
Dive #2 Maa Corner (Addu)
Dive #3 British Royalty Wreck (Addu)
Local Island Visit
Day 6
Dive #1 Foammulah
Dive #2 Foammulah

Day 7
Dive #1 Gadhdhoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Dive #2 Kooddoo Kandu (Huvadhoo)
Local Island Visit

Day 8
Dive #1 Fushi Kandu (Laamu)
Dive #2 Guraidhoo Kandu (Thaa)
Dive #3 Coral Garden (Thaa)
Night whale shark watching in Kalhufahalafushi area (Thaa)

Day 9
Dive #1 Mulih Corner (Meemu)
Dive #2 Gaahuraa Kandu (Meemu)
Dive #3 Alimatha night dive (Vaavu)
Day 10
Dive #1 Miyaru Kandu (Vaavu)
Dive #2 Kandooma Thila (South Male)
Dive #3 Kuda Giri Wreck (South Male)
Sunset Cocktail Party

Day 11 Departure - Kooddoo Airport (Huvadhoo atoll)


Dive Sites Description:
*easy      **medium difficult      ***challenging

SOUTH MALE ATOLL
Kandooma Thila ***
Definitely number one in the ranking of the best dive sites in South Male atoll. Long thila, located in the middle of the channel, offers spectacular conditions to observe grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, big schools of jacks and snappers both with incoming and outgoing current. North side of the pinnacle is nicely covered with soft corals with the top of the reef being home to many reef fish and green turtles. Currents can be pretty strong so negative entry and fast descent is often required. Current hooks should be ready to use.

VAAVU ATOLL
Miyaru Kandu ***
One of the channel dives that you don’t want to miss. With strong incoming current the list of possible encounters is impressive. Mainly grey reef sharks but also whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleons and tunas are quite common and with the visibility reaching 40 meters during the northeast monsoon it can be the highlight of the trip. Outgoing current offer worse visibility but the sharks are still there. The site is not  recommended for beginners, negative entry is often required and current hook is a must to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the reef. Most of the time you will spend at the depth of 26 to 30 meters so checking air and no-deco time more often is strongly recommended.
Alimatha House Reef **
Located on the south side of Alimatha island resort and considered one of the best night dives in the Maldives, being often a victim of its success and resulting in overcrowding of divers. Every night there is a show performed by a big number of nurse sharks, stingrays and massive jacks. Maximum depth will not exceed 15 meters and most of the time you will be kneeling on a sandy bottom waiting for the sharks to come closer. Definitely not to be missed.

MEEMU ATOLL
Muli Corner **
The reef is known as home to a lot of sharks during incoming currents but it also welcomes manta rays on a large cleaning station during outgoing current. Entering the water with empty BCD and not wasting time on the surface is often recommended, specially with strong currents.

THAA ATOLL
Whaleshark point *
There is no specific place where diving would guarantee an encounter with a whale shark but the common practice is to use a strong light in the evening at the back platform of the boat to attract the zooplanktons which will further attract the whale sharks. Scuba diving while having the shark at the back of the boat is rather discouraged as the bubbles may disperse the mass of the plankton. The best experience is to grab a mask, fins and gently enter the water on the side of the boat, not to scare the whale shark away and then enjoy the view while snorkeling. Sometimes the whale shark will stay for hours, more than one visitor is also possible. Instructions given by the dive guides have to be followed and a code of conduct must be respected by all snorkelers to enjoy the moment to the fullest.

LAAMU ATOLL
Fushi Kandu ***
The most spectacular channel dive of the atoll. There are a few different ways to dive it but crossing the channel offers the most exciting encounters with big fish. Although it might seem very easy it is not recommended for not experienced divers due to washing machines created by the current. Staying close to the dive guide and same positioning will make crossing the channel easier. Negative entry is recommended.

HUVADHOO ATOLL
Whaleshark Point *
Huvadhoo atoll is known for being home to the biggest fish in the world. Just like in Thaa atoll there is now specific place where diving would guarantee an encounter with a whale shark but the common practice is to use a strong light in the evening at the back platform of the boat to attract the zooplanktons which will further attract the whale sharks. Scuba diving while having the shark at the back of the boat is rather discouraged as the bubbles may disperse the mass of the plankton. The best experience is to grab mask fins and gently enter the water on the side of the boat, not to scare the whale shark away and then enjoy the view while snorkeling. Sometimes the whale shark will stay for hours, more than one visitor is also possible. Instructions given by the dive guides have to be followed and a code of conduct must be respected by all snorkelers to enjoy this moment to the fullest.
Maareha Kandu **
One of the best channel dives in the atoll, suitable for all diver levels depending on the entry point. With incoming current dozens of grey reef sharks can be seen as well as eagle rays and many species of fish that swim around the channel. Crossing the channel above the edge will be the most effective way to spot big amount of fish.
Nilandhoo Kandu ***
Another top ranking site and definitely a must dive spot. As most channel dives it offers the best conditions during incoming current in the northeast monsoon. It is possible to observe grey reef sharks, leopard sharks, nurse sharks, big barracudas, tunas, eagle rays and napoleons. Tiger sharks have also been seen in this place. Negative entry and reaching the edge of the channel as soon as possible is recommended to enjoy the dive fully. Extremely strong currents are very likely.
Turtle City *
Unique place because of the number of green turtles that can be spotted. Very easy drift dive along the reef, suitable for all levels of experience. These turtles can get scared easily and often swim away as soon as they spot a diver, therefore divers staying in the back of the group may have much fewer encounters. More caution before coming up to the surface is recommended as there are many fishing boats arriving to or leaving the nearby port.
Villigili Kandu ***
This channel comparing to other channels in this area offers more technical conditions to observe big schools of grey reef sharks. The center of the channel is the place to be. Current hooks are a must. It is very easy to be tempted by the main edge which is deeper than maximum allowed depth of 30 meters. Divers have to remember though that the closer they try to get to the sharks the further the sharks will swim away. After reaching no-deco limit or 70 bar we finish the dive drifting into the channel, trying to reach one of the walls to safely complete the safety stop.

FOAMMULAH ATOLL
Foammulah south ***
This place offers one of the most incredible drift dives in the the archipelago. Unlike other atolls in the Maldives this one has no lagoon. Surrounded by depths in the middle of the Indian Ocean the site offers unique conditions to encounter species like tiger sharks, oceanic mantas, mola mola, thresher sharks, hammerheads, grey reef sharks and other big fish. With good visibility during the northeast monsoon and unpredictable and powerful currents, the biggest challenge might be to keep the maximum depth of 30 meters and not being taken beyond reasonable depths. Divers should watch computers more carefully to make sure they have enough air and time to finish the dive safely. The dive is mostly based on luck and
common practice is to try the place two or three times before moving on to another atoll. With a bit of luck this might be the most memorable dive in your logbook.

ADDU ATOLL
British Royalty Wreck **
This 140 meters long tanker is the biggest wreck in the Maldives, torpedoed twice during WW II and eventually sunk by the British in 1946. The vessel rests on its starboard side at around 33 meters depth. Even now, decades after being sunk, the wreck has small amounts of oil leaking through a small gap, which can be smelled on the surface.
Maa Corner **
The place is known for its cleaning station hosting manta rays all year long. The main station is quite deep and the current in the channel can make it more difficult to handle for beginners. There are a few coral blocks a bit shallower, which are also considered cleaning stations and mantas can be seen there quite often. Current hooks are recommended to keep the right position and stay in one place for better observation.