- Free Nitrox
Emperor Serenity offers 13 en-suite, air-conditioned cabins, accommodating 26 guests. Scuba Diving takes place from the large, fully equipped diving Dhoni, Nitrox is FREE & non-divers are catered for
- Free Nitrox
- Free WiFi
The beautiful ScubaSpa Ying offers exceptional service aboard this floating luxury hotel in the Maldives. Be pampered by the 6 full time spa therapists and enjoy the stunning Maldives marine life
- Free Nitrox
- Free WiFi
The 50m ScubaSpa Yang, accompanied with its own dive dhoni, allows you to dive with exceptional ease. Enjoy first class service on board as you dive and snorkel the amazing Maldives AtollsScubaspa Yang
Ari Atoll Liveaboard Dive Sites
Scuba divers plunge into the waters of Ari Atoll for the promise of spectacular pelagic encounters. Ari Atoll is the most reliable Maldives location for whale sharks and manta rays, as well as for tons of reef sharks and turtles. The area's general topography is dominated by kandus and thilas. Thilas are volcano-shaped pinnacles rising from the depths of the sea and attracting lots of sea life; kandus are current-filled channels from the open ocean, where big fish ride the ripping highway to their next meals.
Ari Atoll's thilas are colonized by sea life like all Maldives pinnacles, but this area is not the best Maldives site for corals and color. Instead, Ari's main draw is the large wildlife in the water column. Various marine protected areas within Ari Atoll ensure the conservation of its incredible underwater creatures, so diving within Ari Atoll sanctuaries at sites like Fish Head and Kudarah Thila should not be missed.
The crowning jewel of Ari Atoll is Maaya Thila, considered one of the top Maldives dive sites for both day and night dives. This pinnacle is famous for the wild abundance and diversity of its reef life, from nudibranchs and octopus to schools of pelagic fish. As you descend to the deeper areas, caves and overhangs add variety to the topography.
Maaya's neighbor Donkalo Thila holds its own crown as a premier cleaning station for mantas and sharks in the western section of the atoll. Kudarah Thila and Rangali Madivaru, both in the southern section of Ari Atoll, host high-volume manta cleaning stations as well, while Ukulhas Thila is the premier manta cleaning station in the north. Hammerhead Point in Rasdhoo Atoll, northeast of Ari, tops it all off. The deep water drop-off near this site gives divers a special opportunity to see hammerheads, the highlight of many divers' Maldives liveaboard adventures.
Within Ari Atoll's 40 km length and 105 small islands, site after site vies for divers' wonder and appreciation. However, if it's sharks you're looking for, Fish Head pinnacle is the best place for an adrenalin pumping dive- here, throngs of bustling grey and white tip reef sharks scour the reef for their dinner under huge schools of dancing fusilier. Fish Head lies in the eastern section of Ari Atoll and enjoys marine protected area status. It is known as one of the top ten Maldives dive sites, partly because of its shark abundance and reliability of sightings.
Those who want to swim with the giant of the ocean turn to Maamgili, where plankton-rich waters nourish whale sharks gliding over wrecks that also host large marble rays and nurse sharks. For wrecks, Ari Atoll offers Fesdu and Halaveli. Fesdu Wreck in the north is popular with macro critter lovers for its resident ghost pipefish and plethora of nudibranchs and flatworms. This fishing trawler was sunk to become an artificial reef more than ten years ago. Halaveli is a 33 meter long freighter where huge blotched fantail rays provide an impressive counterpoint to the macro-life tucked into the wreck's holes and corners, and can be dived day or night.
For divers who need color, Ari can also deliver. Rahdhigga Thila is crowned in its shallows with healthy branching corals and festooned on its sides with soft corals in every shade of the rainbow, not to mention other benthic organisms like sponges of many shapes and sizes. Pelagics lovers won't even feel left out here because Rahdhigga hosts shark action from silver tips, white tips and grey reef sharks.
Getting to Ari Atoll
The length of liveaboard itineraries in Ari Atoll ranges from 7 to 12 nights, with a budget of between 200 and 400 euros per night. Very often, a liveaboard bound for Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll will include North or South Male, Baa Atoll, or the southern atolls of Meemu and Vaavu in its tour. Usually, the south-focused itineraries which include Male, Meemu, and Vaavu, visit south Ari Atoll. North-focused itineraries visiting Male, Baa, and Raa, visit more of Ari Atoll, and include Rasdhoo Atoll as well.
However, Maldives liveaboard itineraries present great variety of choices and variations, like Carpe Diem's tour including Baa, Rasdhoo, Ari, Male, and Vaavu, and Orion's ìManta Madnessî itinerary. Most Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, the capital city of the Maldives, but Carpe Diem's north-south trip departs from Baa. Most of these liveaboards are M/V luxury yachts, though the M/V Aggressor also has gorgeous sails.
The experience level required by Ari Atoll liveaboards varies from Open Water with no logged dives to Advanced Open Water with 100 dives. Currents are strong at Ari except at slack tides, but calm water also means no fish, so it's experienced divers who will be best able to take advantage of diving Ari Atoll.
Many Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. When Ari Atoll itineraries depart from other ports like Baa, a sea plane from Male is the best way to get there.
Best time to travel
Ari Atoll can be dived by liveaboard all year round. December to May hold the calmest seas; however, August through November is the best time for manta rays. Never fear though- manta rays can still be seen reliably during the calm season at certain sites. Shorty wetsuits usually keep divers comfortable at 26-29 C, and visibility is usually 15-30 meters. When visibility varies between sites, it's usually because of the seasons and the particular characteristics of each site location. Some of the best manta and whale shark sights are green with plankton, but catching a glimpse of these giants makes up for it.
Ari Atoll Diving Reviews
Very cool and full of marine lifeDiving Ari Atoll in December on the Ari Queen
Wonderful.Diving Ari Atoll in December on the Emperor Serenity
Sharktastic!Diving Ari Atoll in December on the Emperor Serenity
‘Fish Head’ site at south Ari had very strong current that I needed to use my reef hook. As strong current bring nutrient, there were many, many school of fish, mainly blue triggers and yellow jacks, going everywhere as far as the eyes could see and then there were many reef sharks interspaced among the fish. Some of the sharks came very close to us divers who were trapped by our reef hooks onto the rocks. Aha! It was definitely an exciting time…for all! At ‘Dhigurah Beyru’, we saw pipe fish, see-through glass shrimp, beautiful leopard eel, freaky-looking dartfish and small turtles. It was a nice change from seeing pelagic. When it comes to abundance of marine life, Ari Atoll is tops!Diving Ari Atoll in November on the Ari Queen
Fantastic!Diving Ari Atoll in December on the Scubaspa Yang
Very nice and beautifull, a lot of fishs, sharks, tortuls, manta and even doplhinsDiving Ari Atoll in December on the Seafari Explorer
A lot of sharks and sting rays.Diving Ari Atoll in December on the Nautilus One
Awesome.Diving Ari Atoll in December on the Scubaspa Ying
Great, although a bit of a weather problems (the cyclone was passing us). Amazing Manta Rays and sharks!Diving Ari Atoll in November on the Scubaspa Yang
With good guides, diving in the Maldives will be unforgettableDiving Ari Atoll in November on the Blue Force One
Top pour requin baleine au sud d'AriDiving Ari Atoll in November on the Soleil 2
Excellent! Such diversity of divesDiving Ari Atoll in October on the Scubaspa Ying
Excellent, good weather, calm seas and pretty clear water. Some currents in placesDiving Ari Atoll in November on the Blue Force One
Impressive dive sites, with incredible anmounts of underwater life, including many pelagics.Diving Ari Atoll in October on the Sachika
ExcellentDiving Ari Atoll in October on the Carpe Novo
Enjoyed the mantas and many nice stuff.Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Orion
It had strong currents, but allowed us to see bigger animalsDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Ari Queen
It was great!Diving Ari Atoll in July on the Emperor Leo
Excellent is an understatementDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Ari Queen
ExcellentDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Scubaspa Ying
AmazingDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Ari Queen
N.Ari Big fishes & sharks. Night manta. S.Ari We could not see whale shark. Some mantas & nurse sharks were amazing.Diving Ari Atoll in August on the Emperor Voyager
Wonderful. Some of the best diving including sites dove in Australia, Vanuatu, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.Diving Ari Atoll in August on the Ari Queen
good and great at maya thilaDiving Ari Atoll in July on the Emperor Leo
Very Nervous but Shumi our dive leader, very patient nothing a problem, fantastic guy. Dive was fantasticDiving Ari Atoll in July on the Scubaspa Yang
BrilliantDiving Ari Atoll in April on the Princess Haleema
AmazingDiving Ari Atoll in March on the Emperor Serenity
Despite the poor weather above the surface, conditions were good at the dive sites, and we were able to swim with three whale sharks on a single dive!Diving Ari Atoll in May on the Emperor Serenity
We dove both North and South Ari Atolls. Sea life is plentiful and beautiful. The soft corals are amazing and colorful. Mild current with medium visibility. The south Ari atoll is where we encountered our whale shark!Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Emperor Serenity
This was fantastic - I chose this trip, because most of the resorts etc, only dive in one Atoll. this gave me the chance to dive in several. they were all different and each was spectacular in its own way.Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Blue Voyager