At the right time of year you are virtually guaranteed encounters with whale sharks. Some resorts actually 100% guarantee it!
Louisa, Original Diver
You can land, hop on a speedboat and be on your tropical island paradise within an hour on a trip to the central Maldivian atolls.
Why we think you’ll love it
- A wonderful choice of world-class hotels.
- Excellent coral and great whale shark and manta action in Ari Atoll.
- Adrenaline-filled drift dives with lots of reef sharks.
From the gallery
Our Guide to Central Atolls Diving Holidays
A large proportion of the top hotels in the Maldives are concentrated around Malé and the central atolls of the Maldives, most notably the Malé atolls, Ari Atolls and Felidhoo. Some are so close to the airport (though no need to worry about the noise!) that you can hop on a speedboat and be in your hotel room within 30 minutes of leaving the airport. South Ari Atoll is one of the most famous for divers - it is here that at the right time of year you have a great chance of mantas and whale sharks.
But it's not just stunning islands and hotels that can be found in this part of the Maldives, there is also incredible diving. While there will be more people at the famous dive sites than you might find in the far north or south of the country, there are more than enough sites to go around. Sites such as Fish Head in North Ari Atoll where you often find grey reef sharks; Faafu where you should watch out for whale sharks; and Dhiyamigili Corner where you may come across hammerheads early in the morning, all offer something for divers no matter your experience level.
Whether you decide to explore by liveaboard or base yourself at a resort, diving holidays to this part of the Maldives are spectacular.