Maayafushi is a true gem in the North Ari Atoll. Its position inside the atoll is ideal, as it allows direct access to many of the best dive sites in the Maldives, which are located in the North Ari. The sea depths that can be visited are numerous and their diversity offers options that are enjoyable not only for the more experienced diver, but also for beginners who try for the first time to descend into the water. The instructors at the diving center in Maayafushi will take you along well-known diving sites such as Mushimas Minghili Thila (Fish Head), the stunning Maaya Thila or the nearby and fascinating Halaveli wreck. You will see, closely, countless of different marine scenarios, and you will experience the vibrant emotions of taking a bath with the manta rays at the close manta point, in which these royals animals gather every day.
Mushimas Minghili Thila, or “the Fish Head” is by far one of the most popular dives of all the Maldives. This banksand (Thila) lies on the sandy bottom at 40 meters, and arrives between 8 and 12 meters in the highest part. Its position, which directly overlooks one of the largest ocean canals of the atoll, is a direct consequence of its beauty. The strong current determines the spectacularity of the meetings. As you watch the numerous caverns of the walls, you will find yourself surrounded by gray sharks of the reef, an unlikely amount of riflemen fishes and other shoals of hunter fishes such as snappers, and tuna that will impress those 40 minutes in your memory.
When a cargo ship sank near Halaveli in 1991, it was not long before it became a regular stop for the visiting diver in the Maldives. “Highly 18”, as this diving site is called, has as its protagonist the wreck that, located about twenty meters from the reef, lies vertically on the seabed. Facing the northwest cape, the bridge of this wreck lies 21 meters deep, while the stern reaches 28 meters. You will discover the great charm of the sea species who inhabit this ship, morays and turtles that, together with the corals that after 27 years have found a safe surface to cling to.
And finally, how can we not stop at Maaya Thila? This is another wonderful dive in the Maayafushi area. An open-air aquarium in which it is more than simple to meet the gray shark. The main attraction of this site, however, are the white fin that, dozens, move around the reef. One of the most beautiful aspects of Maaya Thila is the fact that its size (80 meters in diameter) and the power of the current that characterizes the area, allow you to easily circumnavigate the site and discover it in all its marine variety. White-tip sharks, tuna, barracuda, blue angel fish, Moorish idol, bat fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish, clown triggerfish and lion fish. There are other marine wonders to be observed such as the stone fish and the monkfish. This dive is an enchantment for those who love to admire the fish, the beautiful soft coral and the gorgonie on the reef walls.