Dive Sites

Use "image" link on the left to open the map of Nika Island Dive Sites.
 
 
1. Gangehi Kandu
One of the longest channels in Ari Atoll at 3km of length, it makes for a riveting drift dive whenever the current is originating from the West. It is possible to dive both sides: the Northern and the Southern. 
North side: characterized by leopard sharks and stingrays resting at the bottom, gray reef and white-tip sharks gathering where the contour is more exposed to the current, napoleon wrasses and occasional manta rays cruising in shallower depths. All along the dive beautiful black coral decorates the canyons and slopes and a 1km long cave carved in the wall occupies the middle portion of the dive. 
South side: beginning with a few narrow caves filled with lobsters, the dive proceeds towards boulders and gorges, an increasingly stunning seascape that presents reef sharks, stingrays, schooling snappers and turtles, to end on a wide shallow sand patch populated by garden eels.
 
 

2. Futtaru Faru
One of the few sites where divers are exploring the outer reef of the atoll, it is normally a gentle drift dive with a nice variety of marine life: grey, white‐tip and nurse sharks, rays, eels, barracudas, tunas, turtles, napoleon wrasses, lobsters, scorpion and leaf fishes are all possible encounters. On days of calm seas, it is often possible to see from the boat packs of dolphins playing around. 
 
 
3. Miyaruga
A delicious gem best served with no current, this deep thila is everywhere undercut by terraces, canyons and caves. Two parallel narrow tunnels cross the mountain through its heart, and hundreds of fusiliers are usually found feeding nearby. The almost surreal atmosphere is filled with soft and hard coral, cavities and holes that will surely make your eyes sway. 
 
 
4. Dinolhu Kandu
This double‐faced channel welcomes the diver with a coral reef housing turtles, lobsters, eels and glass fish until the underwater cove shaped by the incoming current lures you at depth where numerous sharks and fusiliers will perform their personal show, only to later attract you much shallower with the bright corals that make the safety stop a pleasure.
 
 
5. Kuda Kandu
A dive that, depending on the direction of the current, caters for a shallow, manta rays-oriented experience thanks to the cleaning stations that host the animals during the East monsoon season or an entertaining drift dive with all the biodiversity Maldives can offer, courtesy of a coral garden linked to the outer reef by a small and narrow sandy channel. 
 
 
6. Vihamaafaru Caves
The desert island that gives the name to this site offers a reef that extends West, where the current carved a fairly steep wall that makes for a classic drift dive. Towards the eastern corner the swirling movement of the water forged some marvelous open caves layered at different depths, where divers get tamed as the light dances and plays through the openings on the rooftops. 
 
 
7. Tin Thila
East from Vihamaafaru and very close to a small lagoon, three peaks join together in a 150m long thila with the top at 6m, creating an ideal spot with a vivid reef for a long safety stop. The formation drops to 20m on the West, and to 30m on the East. Nurse sharks can be found inside the cavities and numerous caves hide glass fish, groupers and moray eels. 
 
 
8. Dhonagali Thila
Next to a big circular reef lies this remarkable thila with a sandy bottom that hosts garden eels and lazy white-tip sharks, whereas the current-facing side is always a hysteria of colors. Fusiliers and yellow snappers are the background for groupers and king fish, while scorpion fish master their camouflaging skills among the table coral that renders the top a lovely assembly of life. 
 
 
9. Maaya Thila
A diver's paradise, this famous thila has it all: from the shallow top with its quirky fusiliers swooshing as the jacks try their reflexes to the numerous sharks establishing distinct territories around the walls, a dazzling natural show of batfish, barracudas, tunas, rays and eels takes place among the balconies, into the cavities and below the rock pillars of the site. After sunset, the thila is packed with action and a night dive here will hit the top charts of every divers’ logbook.
 
 
10. Angoti (Hafsa) Thila
Memorable dive site as there is a shark cleaning station that reaches its best whenever the current is blowing strong. Jump in from the boat and descend as fast as possible to the end of the thila, where one of the many resident eagle rays will welcome you to their home. It might be necessary to "climb" a little along the top of the thila but, once the current point is reached, schools of grey reef and white‐tip sharks will unveil their daily habits, swimming around and getting their mouths cleaned. They slow down, look up and shiver while opening their mouths, allowing the cleaners in for a few seconds: quite an amazing scene to see. 
 
 
11. Gemburuga
A big reef with an interesting wall facing West, it is an easy‐going dive mostly enjoyed at shallow depths where the eye-­‐catching coral life shines on the jagged profile of the wall. A few overhangs and caves hide big eels and nocturnal fish awaiting the darkness and, it seems, the photographer. The inner part of this reef often provides shelter to manta rays busy filtering plankton below the surface. 
 
 
12. Kuda Giri
A circular reef with a depth ranging from 5 to 25 meters, it is suitable for all level of divers. With a resident school of yellow snappers, sharks and rays, mantis shrimps and beautiful table corals, it is also a good choice for night dives. 
 
 

13. Bodu Giri
An alternative to Kuda Giri, this reef is substantially bigger and it offers multiple entry points, so that divers can explore several parts of it over time. It is a suitable choice for training dives and mellow afternoon trips, when the challenging diving conditions of the atoll are, for once, forgotten. 
 
 
14. Monika Thila
An apparently barren thila, this site is actually an ever surprising source of macro life. There are plenty of opportunities to slow down the pace and inspect the crevices scattered all around in order to find those skittish creatures, the stone fishes, some eel cleaning stations, colorful nudibranches and shrimps.
 
 
15. Mattiburi
An exciting corner embedded on an otherwise featureless reef, when the current is at its minimum divers will greatly appreciate the intricacies of the boulders opening up in massive caves facing the deep blue. Photographers will be inspired by the beauty of this natural studio set while their buddies won’t stop wandering around eager to discover a new hidden hole. 
 
 
16. Eterecolhu
An eclectic group of different coral heads and pinnacles provides the perfect habitat for sweetlips, snappers, nurse sharks, crabs, eels and turtles, all wrapped in a package of shallow depths that mystify the navigational skills of even the seasoned diver. 
 
 
17. Dinoluga
The manta ray cleaning station is the main attraction here, where divers usually invest much of their available bottom time admiring, filming and photographing the animals and then proceed to a satisfying reef dive. 
 
 
18. Blue Caves
Not far from Dinoluga, the flat reef drops to 30meters and beyond, offering an impressive system of open caves along the side of the wall that stretches out for several hundred meters. Napoleon wrasses, stingrays and sharks inhabit the area that offers a spectacular display of sea fans, while blue and purple coral hang gracefully from the caves’ rooftops. 
 
 
19. Nika House reef
A relaxing dive site excellent for beginners, students and check dives. A good opportunity to practice newly acquired or long forgotten skills, it features lion fishes, napoleon wrasses, schools of blue lined fusiliers, baby black tip sharks, turtles, sting and eagle rays.
 
 
20. Kuda Thila
A deep site with a narrow saddle‐like crest linking two “twin peaks”, this is hunting territory for dogtooth tunas and skipjacks, with grey reef sharks patrolling the waters further away. Blue lined fusiliers and scorpion fish normally add verve to the top, while some of the biggest groupers inhabiting the depths can be seen here hovering undisturbed and dwarfing the napoleon wrasses lurking around. 
 
 
21. Bodu Thila
Bodu means "Big", and so is this thila, with 500m of length. The size of this reef and the average depth of 15 meters are ideal conditions for divers of all levels and it is a good example of how majestic the underwater life can be even when peculiar attractions are absent.