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Amazing Dive Site Atolls in the Maldives

Amazing Dive Site Atolls in the Maldives

Baa Atoll

Image of mantas courtesy of

1. Hanifaru Bay: Famous for its seasonal gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks, providing an incredible opportunity for snorkelers to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.


2. Dhonfan Thila: An underwater pinnacle known for its vibrant coral formations and diverse marine life, offering an exciting dive experience for both beginners and experienced divers.


3. Maavaru Kandu: A channel dive site featuring strong currents and an abundance of marine life, including sharks, rays, and schools of colorful fish.


4. Dhigali Haa: This dive site showcases beautiful coral formations, large sea fans, and a variety of reef fish species, making it a perfect spot for underwater photography enthusiasts.


5. Kudarah Thila: Known for its caves and overhangs, Kudarah Thila offers a chance to spot various pelagic species like tuna and barracuda along with a wide array of reef inhabitants.

Raa Atoll

Image courtesy of Marc Zaalberg - Ocean Dimensions, Maldives

1. Maa Uthuru Thila: A submerged pinnacle with excellent visibility and frequent encounters with eagle rays, sharks, and other large marine species.


2. Madivaru Corner: This corner site is renowned for its strong currents, attracting big fish like grey reef sharks, Napoleon wrasses, and schools of trevallies.


3. Fushivaru Thila: A great place to observe white tip reef sharks and explore overhangs covered with colorful soft corals and sponges.


4. Maakurathu Beyru: With a diverse topography and an abundance of marine life, this site offers sightings of turtles, moray eels, and various reef fish.

Rasdhoo Atoll

Rashdoo dive site map courtesy of Rashdoo Dive & Water Sports Center, Maldives

1. Hammerhead Point: An exciting dive spot where divers have a chance to see hammerhead sharks cruising in the deeper waters.


2. Rasdhoo Madivaru: Known for its beautiful coral formations and regular sightings of sharks, including grey reef sharks and white tips.


3. Rasdhoo Reef: A shallow reef suitable for snorkeling and diving, teeming with colorful coral and a variety of marine life.

Ari Atoll

Whale shark image at Ari Atoll courtesy of Maldives Magazine

1. Maaya Thila: One of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives, Maaya Thila offers encounters with sharks, rays, and an incredible diversity of fish species, both day and night.


2. Fish Head: Also known as Shark Point, this site is a submerged pinnacle attracting large schools of fish, sharks, and occasional manta rays.


3. Maalhos Thila: A vibrant and picturesque reef with overhangs, where divers can spot nudibranchs, eels, and various macro critters.


4. Broken Rock: An interesting site with a split in the reef that creates a swim-through, housing a variety of marine life and corals.


5. Kudarah Thila: Note: This site was mentioned under Baa Atoll as well. It's a popular dive site in the Maldives, featuring caves, overhangs, and a diverse range of marine species.

Vaavu Atoll

Manta image courtesy of Fulidhoo Dive - Shark image courtesy of Blue Force Fleet 

Many Maldives liveaboard itineraries include Vaavu Atoll for good reason. The diving here is extremely good, and there are very few day trip boats or resort divers. Its location is far enough away to feel remote and undeveloped, but near enough to be easily reachable during a liveaboard cruise. Add to the more than twenty excellent dive sites, including the longest unbroken reef in the country, and you have even more reason to dive here.

1. Miyaru Kandu: A channel dive with strong currents, attracting large pelagic species like sharks, eagle rays, and tunas.


2. Fotteyo Kandu: Known for its impressive soft coral formations, this channel dive site offers encounters with various sharks and schools of fish.


3. Alimatha House Reef: Perfect for night dives, this reef is home to nurse sharks and offers an opportunity to see them during their feeding frenzy.

South Male Atoll

South Male Atoll image courtesy of Maldives Magazine

1. Guraidhoo Corner: An exhilarating drift dive along the outer reef, where divers can observe sharks, turtles, and sometimes even manta rays.


2. Embudu Kandu: A thrilling dive site with strong currents, attracting large schools of fish, sharks, and occasional eagle rays.


3. Cocoa Thila: A submerged pinnacle with a variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and schools of fusiliers.


4. Kandooma Thila: A popular site featuring caves, overhangs, and abundant marine life, providing an excellent opportunity for underwater photography.


These dive sites in the Maldives offer incredible underwater experiences for divers and snorkelers, showcasing the region's diverse and abundant marine life.

Top 10 Dive Sites in the Red Sea

Exploring the Underwater Wonders: 

Top 10 Dive Sites in the Red Sea

Exploring the breathtaking underwater world is a dream for many diving enthusiasts, and the Red Sea offers some of the most remarkable dive sites on the planet. With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, the Red Sea is a haven for divers seeking unforgettable underwater adventures. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the top 10 dive sites in the Red Sea.

1. Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt:

Located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Ras Mohammed National Park is renowned for its stunning dive sites. The park boasts vibrant coral reefs teeming with an abundance of marine life, including colorful tropical fish, turtles, and even the occasional reef shark. Popular sites within the park include Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef, where divers can witness breathtaking drop-offs and explore the remnants of a sunken cargo ship. Image courtesy of Egypt Tourism

2. The Brothers Islands, Egypt:

Situated in the middle of the Red Sea, the Brothers Islands are a magnet for experienced divers. These two small islands offer thrilling drift dives, deep walls, and the opportunity to encounter large pelagic species such as hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks, and even the elusive oceanic whitetip shark. The stunning coral formations and dense schools of fish make the Brothers Islands a must-visit destination for advanced divers. Photo courtesy of AlertDiver / Marcello Di Francesco

3. SS Thistlegorm, Egypt:

The SS Thistlegorm is a famous World War II shipwreck located near Sharm El Sheikh. This well-preserved wreck, sitting at a depth of 30 meters, is a paradise for wreck diving enthusiasts. Exploring the cargo holds filled with military vehicles, motorcycles, and even train carriages is like stepping back in time. The marine life surrounding the wreck is equally captivating, with large groupers, barracudas, and an array of colorful fish making it their home.

4. Elphinstone Reef, Egypt:

Situated off the coast of Marsa Alam, Elphinstone Reef is a marine sanctuary that offers a thrilling drift dive experience. This narrow reef is known for its steep walls covered in soft corals and its encounters with sharks, including oceanic whitetips and the occasional hammerhead. The vibrant colors and abundant marine life at Elphinstone Reef make it a favorite among underwater photographers. Photo courtesy of Egypt Independent.

5. Dahab Blue Hole, Egypt:

Dahab's Blue Hole is a world-renowned dive site that attracts divers from all corners of the globe. This unique site features a captivating underwater sinkhole that drops to a depth of over 100 meters. The Blue Hole offers a stunning coral wall dive, and experienced divers can explore the "Arch," a passage that connects the Blue Hole to the open sea. The marine life here includes turtles, schools of fish, and even the occasional reef shark. Photo courtesy of Naama Blue Hotel.

6. Sha'ab Rumi, Sudan:

Located in the Sudanese Red Sea, Shaab Rumi is famous for its steep walls and strong currents, making it an exciting destination for experienced divers. The site is home to Jacques Cousteau's "Precontinent II" underwater habitat, which served as an experimental station in the 1960s. Divers can explore the remnants of this historical structure while encountering colorful coral formations and an abundance of marine life.

7. Giftun Island, Egypt:

Giftun Island, located near Hurghada, is a popular dive site known for its beautiful coral gardens and vibrant marine life. The island offers a variety of dive sites suitable for all levels of divers, from beginners to experts. The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing divers to observe an array of fish species, including clownfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish. Giftun Island is also a great spot for snorkelers, with shallow coral reefs close to the shore. Photo courtesy of Red Sea Life Dive Center.

8. Fury Shoals, Egypt:

Fury Shoals is a group of reefs and small islands located in the southern Red Sea. This remote and pristine area offers an array of dive sites with breathtaking coral formations and an abundance of marine life. Divers can explore underwater canyons, swim-throughs, and encounter schools of colorful fish, turtles, and even dolphins. Fury Shoals is a true paradise for underwater photographers, with its vibrant coral gardens and crystal-clear waters. Photo courtesy of Blue O2.

9. Abu Nuhas Shipwrecks, Egypt:

The Abu Nuhas reef is known as the "Ship Graveyard" due to the numerous shipwrecks that rest on its seabed. This site near Sharm El Sheikh is a treasure trove for wreck diving enthusiasts. Among the famous wrecks are the Giannis D, the Carnatic, and the Chrisoula K, each offering a unique diving experience. The wrecks are covered in colorful corals and attract a wide variety of marine life, including schools of snappers and batfish. Map courtesy of Diving Star Center.

10. Tiran Island, Egypt:

Tiran Island is located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba and offers an unforgettable diving experience. The island is surrounded by pristine coral reefs, including the renowned dive sites of Jackson Reef, Woodhouse Reef, and Thomas Reef. Divers can explore impressive drop-offs, encounter schools of barracudas and snappers, and even spot larger pelagic species like sharks and rays. The clear waters and the abundance of marine life make Tiran Island a top destination for diving enthusiasts. Photo courtesy of Egypt Tours Plus.

The Red Sea is a true paradise for divers, with its incredible dive sites offering a wide range of underwater experiences. Whether you're an experienced diver looking for thrilling encounters or a beginner eager to explore the vibrant coral reefs, the Red Sea has something for everyone. So, grab your gear, dive into the crystal-clear waters, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty and diversity of this underwater wonderland.

Azores, Portugal



When thinking about pelagic life, most think about the Caribbean and Asian waters, with countless pelagic fanatics flocking there each year. Most don’t think about European waters like the Azores, an autonomous Portuguese territory consisting of nine islands located 1500 km west of the mainland. The Portuguese-speaking territory has stunning white-sand beaches and some of the most mesmerizing sites in the Atlantic.


Guests arrive in the Azores through the airport Ponta Delagada, located on São Miguel Island. From North America, visitors can fly in from Boston, Toronto, or through most European cities. The flight is usually around 4-5 hours. The other eight islands can be accessed through local flights. Guests can also take ferries between the islands, but the schedules can be inconsistent outside of the summer season. 


As a pelagic hotspot, guests often spot blue sharks, whale sharks, mako sharks, mobula rays, and manta rays in the Azores with rare sightings of Galapagos or smooth hammerhead sharks.  Resident and migratory whales can be seen breaking through the water’s surface, usually during excursions to Pico of Faial in May. Other creatures include crustaceans, cetaceans, yellowmouth barracuda, amberjacks, gully jacks, Atlantic bonito, wahoo, skipjack tuna, bigeye tuna, large groupers, sponges, crusting anemones, moray eels, octopus, nudibranchs, hermit crabs, and unicorn shrimp.


The Azores has a volcanic underwater landscape that differs from its tropical counterparts; instead of colorful corals, there are underwater canyons, caverns, and gullies. The underwater visibility is up to 40 meters and the water conditions are unpredictable. It is recommended to plan for boat cancellations due to weather. The water temperature is cooler than tropical waters, typically around 21ºC. A 7mm semi-dry suit with a hood and gloves is recommended. 



Princess Alice Bank is the most famous dive site in the Azores, located three hours from Pico of Faial. The water reaches 35-40 meters and has strong currents best suited for advanced divers. Groupings of up to thirty mobula rays can be spotted as well as blue sharks and the rare whale shark. 


Off the eastern shores of São Miguel and Santa Maria are the seamounts of Dollabarat. Explorers often catch sightings of devil rays, mobula rays, Galapagos sharks, and even smooth hammerheads.

For those looking to stay closer to land, Ambrósio is another pelagic hotspot just 40 minutes from Santa Maria. During the summer, manta rays flock there, and the island has the most whale shark sightings. Just 10 minutes from Faial is Shrimp Cave with candy-striped unicorn shrimp. The site is accessed through a small underwater corridor. History fans can dive along to the SS Dori wreck off the south coast of São Miguel.


Liveaboards are also common in the Azores to explore secluded, offshore dive sites with endless pelagic life. When diving at these sites, it is essential that divers have control over their buoyancy and are prepared to face strong currents.


Read more about the Azores' dive sites here


The dive season lasts from June to September with waters at their most calm and warm during June and August. The visibility is greater in September, although temperatures drop during this time. Overall, the water temperature ranges from 15ºC to 23ºC, and the air temperature ranges from 14ºC to 25ºC. The most rainfall is from October to March, and the air is consistently humid. 


We recommend Water and Wind for your Azores liveaboard adventure. The 13-meter Fountaine Pajot catamaran is all-inclusive and hosts up to eight divers. The Azores-based itineraries explore the archipelago and Santa Maria Island.


Ready for your AZORES adventure? Book with us today!

Anilao, Philippines



Credited with popularizing diving in the Philippines, Anilao is a haven for photographers and fans of macro life, critters, and blackwater dives. Anilao is on Luzon Island, three hours south of the capital, Manila. The municipality is covered in sprawling jungle and surrounding resorts with plenty of stunning greenery. Known for its diverse reefs, fish, critters, and nudibranchs, Anilao attracts divers to its crystal blue waters year-round. 


Visitors arrive at the Filipino- and English-speaking destination by first landing at Manila International Airport (MNL) and are usually met with a resort shuttle. The two- to three-hour ride from the airport brings guests to their resorts, liveaboards, and dive centers. Trips to Anilao are often combined with trips to Puerto Galera, Cebu, or Dumaguete.


A typical day in Anilao includes two morning dives before returning to the resort for lunch. Then, guests spend their afternoon at their resort relaxing poolside or exploring the jungle. After, there is an option for two late afternoon dives and one night dive. Night dives are considered a must in Anilao as they do not have strict time constraints and usually take place from house reefs. For guests looking for adventure, resorts can arrange blackwater dives. 


Diving is made easy in the Filipino municipality—dive sites range from a 10- to 20-minute boat ride from most resorts. The healthy, colorful reefs keep divers in a state of awe, and the muck, blackwater, and night diving opportunities make them ready for more. Dives take place from bankgas, which are small boats that seat up to four divers and two to three crew members. The highly experienced crews keep divers safe while pointing out the vast marine life. Popular sightings include shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs, squid, cuttlefish, frogfish, pipefish, seahorses, wonderpus, blue-ringed octopus, and bobbit worms. With such unique experiences, Anilao is also beginner-friendly due to the often calm currents and shallow dive sites. 

While Anilao is known for its small marine life, larger beings like jacks, turtles, and giant seahorses can be spotted. Sites like Manitit Point have strong currents that bring in larger life like reef sharks, hunting barracudas, and giant and bluefin trevally. In deep waters, there are rare sightings of small whale sharks.

With stunning jungles on land, guests also flock to the soft coral forests, which range from 70 to 130 feet deep. The untouched corals feature rare critters like seahorses and rhinopias.


One of Anilao’s iconic dive sites is Twin Rocks, with vibrant life as shallow as 10 feet and as deep as 130. Photographers love this site for the macro life and wide-angle opportunities. Soft corals, jacks, jawfish, and more are just a few of the creatures spotted here.

Beatrice is popular with experienced divers who can brave the strong currents. With more wide-angle shots, Beatrice is known for swarms of anthias and stunning corals. Kirby’s Rock is another macro life mecca with a stunning wall and incredible visibility. For the muck diving fanatic, Secret Bay is a hot spot for mimic octopus, wonderpus, pipefish, and seahorses. Blackwater dive sites vary but spotting one-of-a-kind jellies, larvae, and invertebrates is a guarantee. 


Waters are calm and warm year-round, ranging from 77°F to 81°F (25°C to 27°C) and a visibility of 40 feet to 50 feet (10m to 15m). The main season is from October to early June, with November and December as the peak. April and May tend to be the most crowded months for resorts. Monsoon season is in July and August, but dive sites can still be accessed.


Crystal Blue Anilao

Crystal Blue Anilao is set in the bay area and features accommodations for families, groups, and couples. Guests praise the resort for their dive facilities, which include a covered dive deck, rinse tanks, showers, camera rinse tanks, and a camera room. 

Buceo Anilao

Buceo Anilao features a PADI-certified dive shop with Nitrox and air fills. The camera room includes eighteen workstations with air guns, rinse tanks, lockers, matted desks, and shelves. In addition to the iconic muck and macro diving Anilao is known for, Buceo brings guests to wreck and cave dives as well as weekly dive trips to Verde Island. 

While Anilao itself doesn’t have much outside of diving and watersports, the resorts keep guests busy with karaoke, bars, spa treatments, and pools. 

Ready for your Anilao adventure? Book with us today!

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