Ari Atoll is one of three atolls comprising Alifu Atoll, the other two being
Rasdhoo Atoll and Thoddoo Atoll. It is the second zone in the Maldives after Male Atoll where tourism is thriving. Most of the diving is concentrated at the nothern end of Ari Atoll where a number of good dive sites can be found.
This northern dive site consists of some fantastic coral gardens with all manner of reef fish and turtles, it is an easy dive. It is also a good place to spot grey reef and white tip reef sharks.
This spot has a shallow 10 meter channel and sloping reef down to 25 meters or so, in the channel is an impressive coral garden. Mantas have been spotted cruising over the top of the channel on occasion.
Also refered to as Fish Head this is one of the better Ari Atoll dive sites. It is a small reef but it attracts a lot of fish, plenty of big shoals of smaller species and some larger ones too including Napoleon wrasse, grey reef sharks, the southern side of the reef drops down to over 40 meters.
This wreck is a 30 meter fishing boat situated off the southwest coast of Fesdu Island. It is encrusted with soft corals and sponges and now plays home to myriad small fishes including anthias, lionfish, batfish and many more.
Sunk by a local dive school in 1991 off the coast of Halaveli Island this wreck now lies in 28 meters of water and is home to morays, batfish, groupers and stingrays.
This south Ari Atoll dive site is one of the better ones, it consists of a reef which is split in two. The walls have a number of canyons, cracks and crevaces for marine life to make shelter. Plenty of soft coral and sponges here and a huge abundance of fish.
Kudah Rah Thila
A marine protected area with many overhangs and a stunning coral covered archway where large numbers of fusiliers, snappers and anthias congregate.
There are literally hundreds of small thilas (reefs) around north and south Ari Atoll. Some of the better ones include Bodu Thin Thila with its anemone gardens and cleaning stations, Kandholhudhoo Thila a small secret reef where stonefish and scorpion fish are abundant, Aah Thila has many overhangs where juvenile sharks can sometimes be seen, also interesting topography here,
Ellaidhoo Thila a terrace formation reef in the middle of the channel with plenty of gorgonians, a manta cleaning station at
Hukuruelhi Faru and
Moofushi Faru with its whip corals and abundant marine life.