You don't need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives, as currents can be unpredictable and strong. If you are an Open Water Diver, some dives are below 18m therefore we recommend having advanced experience or taking your PADI Advanced Open Water course on board to maximise your enjoyment from the trip. Inexperienced and beginner divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. All diving is made from dhonis to give precise entry and exit points.
Dive Spots at a Glance:
On this route we take you on a manta and whale shark journey to the North & South Ari Atolls having crossed over from Male. Exact dive sites will vary depending on diver experience levels, local conditions and where the best sightings have been.
Pelagic Magic gets you face to face with the famous whale sharks of Ari Atoll. As this itinerary devotes more time here, you are certain to get your whaleshark fix at Maamagili. Iconic dive follows iconic dive as you sail from Male through North Ari and then onto South Ari; your log book will fill with shark and manta sightings as well as outstanding reef dives. Then grab your snorkel and splash in to float only feet away from graceful whale sharks. Pelagics of all shapes and sizes await.
With around 17 dives, as well as opportunities to snorkel with the whale sharks, this is an action packed week. The pelagic sightings start right from the beginning. Manta Point (otherwise known as Lankan Finolhu) is a cleaning station with reliable manta sightings. Just settle down and watch the manta swoop in. Hafsa Thila and Maya Thila are yet more iconic dive site where sharks are plentiful. Look out for baby white tips under the large table corals. But it is at night that Maya Thila really comes alive. Reef sharks and marble morays hunt dinner out as morays slink between the coral blocks.
As you reach South Ari keep a look out for the whale sharks. Maamagili is the place to find whale sharks at this time as they follow the seasonal currents. Manta chase plankton trails too into the nearby lagoons. Between your pelagic encounters, the reef dives will not disappoint. Discover the lush corals and schooling fish at the likes of Reethi Thila and Kuda Rah.
This is a great itinerary for everyone. No matter what your experience level this is a Maldives itinerary you can enjoy. There can be some drift diving so some experience of diving in currents in advisable. Don't forget to take your reef hook to make shark watching all the easier. As so many of the best whaleshark encounters are snorkelling, everyone can feel the thrill of seeing these graceful creatures in their natural environment. Pelagic Magic runs when the pelagics sightings are at their optimum in North and South Ari. Don't delay - discover the biggest inhabitants of the Maldives for yourself.
North Ari Atoll
Ari Atoll (also called Alif or Alufu Atoll) is one of the biggest atolls and is located in the west of the archipelago. Grey Reef Sharks, Maaya Thila Night Dive, Multiple Manta Cleaning Stations.
Known for its grey reef shark cleaning station, this site is like fish soup. Pick the side with the current, drop in and swim through the fish until you see the pinnacle. If the sharks are already on top of the pinnacle then simply stay there mesmerised by the sharks in circle. Dog-tooth tuna, bonito and giant travelly shepherd the thousands of fusiliers, which creates quite a spectacle when the bonito finally decide to go for the kill and when the others follow suit you can feel the energy of thousands of fish accelerating in unison.
South Ari Atoll
From macro life to pelagic species, the Ari Atoll has it all! Be ready to see manta rays, guitar sharks, whale sharks, turtles and hundreds of colourful fish species.