Ari Atoll

One of the best places to see large pelagics. From hammerheads to mantas the ‘atoll is your oyster’

Located on the west side of the Maldives, Ari Atoll hosts approximately 105 small and unique islands each offering some of the most amazing and fascinating diving in the country.

Air Temperature

Water Temperature

Insider's View

With white sandy beaches and tropical blue seas, you will not be able to resist diving in these incredible waters. Once under the surface you will realise why Ari Atoll is the second most popular destination in the Maldives for divers. The usual barrier reefs that make up many of the other atolls topography are replaced by beautiful thilas and kandus, (submerged pinnacles and channels) which attract many large pelagics including whale sharks, manta rays and hammerhead sharks.

Insider's View

Marcelina

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Roberts, A 14 nights in the Maldives

14 nights at the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa with diving

Roberts, A 14 nights in the Maldives

4 Stars

Jan - Dec

13 Hours

Advanced

From £1800

Ellaidhoo Maldives By Cinamon

Maldives, Ari Atoll

Experience paradise at Ellaidhoo Maldives offering superb accommodation and an exceptional house reef teeming with exotic fish and mesmerising gentle giants such as turtles, sting rays and sharks!

  • Located in North Ari Atoll
  • Private island resort
  • Choice of rooms or bungalows
  • Dive & Sail diving centre on-site
  • Ideal for families and groups
  • World renowned house reef

4 Stars

Jan - Dec

13 Hours

Advanced

From £2150

Velidhu Island Resort

Maldives, Ari Atoll

The contemporary Velidhu Island Resort is located on a tropical island surrounded by a pristine coral reef teeming with exquisite marine life including barracuda, sharks, turtles and rays!

  • Located on North Ari Atoll
  • Private island resort
  • Beach & water bungalows
  • Spa facilities available
  • Euro Divers on-site
  • Ideal resort for couples

4 Stars

Jan - Dec

13 Hours

Advanced

From £2895

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

Maldives, Ari Atoll

Veligandu Island Resort located on the island of Veligandu is surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, an excellent house reef and long stretches of white, sandy beach. A paradise waiting to be explored.

  • Located in North Ari Atoll
  • Private island resort
  • Paradise on earth
  • 91 beach & water bungalows
  • Spa facilities available
  • House reef diving available

4 Stars

Jan - Dec

13 Hours

Advanced

From £1750

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Maldives, Ari Atoll

The Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa surrounded by a beautiful lagoon offers you an enticing blend of fun, relaxation and luxury in a setting of extraordinary natural magnificence.

  • Located on South Ari Atoll
  • Beautiful House Reef
  • Euro Divers on-site
  • Private Island Resort
  • 180 Beach & Water Villas
  • Choice of restaurants & bars

Advanced

Jan - Dec

14 nights

Pelagic

From £4395

Maldives Diving Adventure

Maldives, Male Atoll

Combining a week onboard a great liveaboard with a week in a resort makes the ideal gateway to the Maldives as you will have the opportunity to experience both worlds.

  • Whalesharks & manta rays
  • Resort & liveaboard combination
  • Ideal for couples
  • beautiful reefs

Serena Spa


Tour Type: Soft & Easy

Serena Spa is an oasis of peace and tranquillity set in a natural environment.

Love Boat Sailing


Tour Type: Boat Trip

Romatic Sunset Sail for a couple.

Dhangethi Island Excursion


Tour Type: Cultural Tours

Morning Trip to Dhangethi Island. Experience the culture and explore the local shops.

Destination Fact File

One of the best places to see large pelagics. From hammerheads to mantas the ‘atoll is your oyster’

Ari Atoll is separated into North and South atolls, each of which offers a very distinctive experience for divers. There is not a lot of difference between the north and south atolls, as they are both made up in a very similar way. The only real differences are that South Ari is a bit more suited to beginner and novice divers due to the fact that the currents are not as strong at many of the dive sites and there are a couple of sheltered sites ideal for training. With whale shark sighting slightly more frequent in the south channels could be another reason to stay here as well as the famous Madivaru site more commonly known as Manta Point. All of these dive sites are accessible from Vilamendhoo and Angaga Resorts, which are only a 25 minute seaplane journey from the international airport on Male.

However, North Ari Atoll is definitely not the lesser of the two atoll areas. With world famous dive sites such as Maaya Thila, the Fesdu Wreck and Fish Head each and every dive will leave you with a beaming smile from ear to ear. The large pelagic fish, such as manta rays, reef and hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and barracuda love to sit in the currents found streaming through the many channels found in this area. With hammerhead sightings in both North and South Ari the diving here will have even the most experienced of diver excited. You can access all of these unmissable dive sites from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo, Velidu Island Resort, Velingandu Island Resort and Vilamendhoo Island Resort which are only a 20 minute seaplane journey from Male airport.

Ari Atoll Top Dive Sites:


Hammerhead Point is located at Rasdhoo Atoll north east of Ari Atoll and it is quite often a favourite on customers doing a liveaboard in the area. The site name is referred to the impressive schools scalloped weaving heads that often appear in the morning on the channel's outside corner just offshore from the island of Madivaru.

Angaga Thila located south Aril Atol is famous for the grey reef sharks that patrol the area when there is current. If you are lucky you will find stonefish, snails and cleaning crabs on the reef top.

Broken Rock is about 80 metres long site with a canyon that cuts through the diameter of the thila. The canyon is about 3 metres wide and 10 metres deep slicing the reef from south east to north west. The top of the reef is 14 metres and the canyon reaches a maximum depth of 24 metres. Swimming through this 50 metre long canyon is one of the highlights.

One of the best dive sites to explore as a night dive is Maaya Thila. Here you can encounter turtles and octopus resting inside caves and with white tip reef sharks being particularly common in this area you may even encounter a shark hunt, however they are normally seen asleep on the reef floor. The contrast between the dark waters and your dive light will make this experience all the more vibrant and exciting.

Destination Details

Internal Flights & Luggage Ari Atoll on the west side of the Maldives is accessed by resort seaplanes or speedboats. These journeys are limited to the international airline standard luggage allowance of 20kg check in plus 7kg hand luggage.
Transfer Information You will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the resort. Transfer times are as follows: From Male to South Ari Atoll: 25 minutes by seaplane From Male to North Ari Atoll: 25 minutes by seaplane; 2 hours by speedboat
Dive Season The best months to visit the wonders of Ari Atoll to dive are from December to May during the dry northeast monsoon. This brings the calmest seas and with gentle breezes it will feel like paradise. The wet southeastern monsoon season stretches from June to November where you can expect stronger winds and rain. Even with these differing climates the temperature generally stay between a comfortable 30°C to 32°C with the water temperatures averaging between 26°C to 29°C. The visibility whilst diving is normally around 30 metres in the high season.