Sun Island Resort & Spa
Explore Ari Atoll
Ari Atoll is the second westernmost atoll of the Maldives, only after Maamakunudhoo Atoll. It is oblong in shape, 89 km in length by only 31 km in breadth. It contains some 50 islands.
Due to the close distance to the capital Malé, the spectacular dive sites and great marine life sightseeing, South Ari Atoll has become the most popular region for diving in the Maldives and is renowned also worldwide.
Ari Atoll is renowned for whale sharks and manta rays. Most people who have never been to the Maldives would assume that you can find whale sharks in almost any region, which is very far from the truth – there are very few places where whale sharks can be found consistently. One of them is the southernmost outside reef of Ari Atoll commonly visited by livaboards and daily diving trips from nearby resorts. Sun Island Resort & Spa is the closest resort to the most popular whale shark point in the Maldives.
DiveOceanus dive center is one of the largest in the Maldives with multiple boats and almost 100 full equipment sets for rental. Two tank dive trips are arranged every morning and an additional one tank dive in the afternoon. Three night dives are arranged per week and housereef night dives can be arranged on request on any day. Housereef is easily accessible at any time and is a great place for fun dives, beginner courses or just a swim around if you would like to go for snorkeling. Nitrox is available free of charge for certification holders. A full range of PADI scuba diving courses are available starting from Discover Scuba Diving up to Divemaster.
Whale Shark point
The very long (500m) outside reef of Maamigili Island is sometimes prone to strong currents so drift diving is always possible. From the top of the reef (2-5 m) to the sandy bottom (30 m), the descent is quite steep, except at the corner leading into the atoll, this area is more gradual with many overhangs adorned with soft coral. This reef is always home to many large fish, such as tuna, barracuda, snapper, grouper, and Napoleon Wrasse. Along this reef you can also see sharks resting on the sandy bottom or cruising around, as well as sting rays, eagle rays and, whale sharks.
This long reef (800 m) is the gathering point for many large manta rays which come to feed on the plankton rich waters between December and April. The mantas range from 2-5 meters and are quite used to divers. This reef top starts from 2-8 meters and down gradually to 10 meters. After 10 meters most of the reef drops vertically down to 25-30 m. Some overhangs of all sizes line the north side. Out of manta season, this is still a very attractive site with a high concentration and range of marine life. Along the reef top you can always find morays, scorpion fish, octopus and triggerfish. Along with mantas other pelagic species can be found, such as white-tip shark and sting rays, these stay near the sandy bottom at the base of the reef.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Kuda Rah Thila
This is one of the most famous dive sites in the south Ari Atoll. A beautiful reef covered with soft corals of all different colors. The east side has two large overhangs at about 22 meters, filled with fan coral. The west side has a large broken rock, and a swim through coral ring. Yellow-striped snappers more often cover the topside of the thila. At the end of the dive, during your safety stop some batfish will guide you.
Difficulty level: Experienced
Five Rocks & Angaga Thila
This small Thila is famous for its white tip and grey reef sharks. The large variety of the marine life makes up for the lack of coral life on this reef. The overhangs on the north and south sides also make very interesting viewing. Patrols of barracuda, octopus and the hard to spot stonefish and scorpion fish can often be found.
Difficulty level: All divers