Raa Atoll - Dive Sites
Also known as North Maalhosmadulu, Raa Atoll in the Maldives has several channels and thilas with a spectacular spectrum of colourful marine life. Expect exceptionally good dive sites where soft coral gardens are characteristic of this area.
So much choice, so much diving. This is a small selection of the best dive sites you can dive from Emperor You & Me. Many depend on the season and monsoons but we guide you through them all.
Once a large thila broke apart into many big blocks, the dive site is 80m long and 60m wide and a diving highlight. There are many dive options, hence the name Labyrinth. The reef top starts at 15m, the northern side is shallower and hits the sandy bottom at 24m, while the southern side slopes down to about 28m. Soft corals cover the blocks and there is an enormous fish richness.
This dive site has its own unique atmosphere that evokes feelings of respect and admiration for nature as the local island here lies in ruins having been destroyed by a tsunami in 2004. As a huge wreck dive, you can imagine how the lives of around 4000 people changed forever so suddenly. Corals grow in the most unusual places.
On the outside reef we have found a little place where marine life looms in splendour. A family of eagle rays is usually seen around this dive site; they are curious and come in closer if we don't swim towards them. Enormous amounts of pink snappers, sweetlips and many more fish can be seen and due to this, tunas, sharks and even barracudas can be seen hunting the smaller fish and it's possible to see lobsters under the boulders. We may need to kick against the current to stay in the area but it's worth it.
If there is calm weather, this dive site is suitable for beginners but it usually has medium to strong currents so it is better suited to more experienced divers. As the name implies, there are several rocks that are split into pieces; usually these are shark cleaning stations. There are also a few huge groupers and even eagle rays. The side that is not pictured in the map is a wall that has different types of corals, a few lobsters and some tiny overhangs. The highlight of the dive site is a rock that seems to have fallen in shallow waters and forms a pathway, which is full of life. If the swell is right you can also feel as if you were on a water slide.
Nino Thila South Section
This is where we have a great chance to see sharks, We highly recommend AOW+Nx in order to be able to fully enjoy this dive site. Sting rays and eagle rays can be regularly sighted around the pinnacles. We may need to swim against the current in order to enjoy also the beautiful life around the pinnacles as they are covered with life and interesting overhangs. Even if it is not possible to swim against the current, by drifting we will find a wall that has small overhangs where different species shelter.
This outside reef of the western Raa Atoll are cleaning stations for mantas. The top is at 5m and drops down to a plateau at 12-15m where we find the cleaning stations. Along the wall that surrounds the plateau are coral blocks with plenty of reef fish, eels, shrimps and scorpionfish.