MALDIVES central atolls & hanifaru route


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The best trip for Manta Rays diving

From August to October is the best season to visit the North Atolls in Maldives. We recommend an interesting diving cruise called MANTA EXPEDITION. After a first diving day in North Male where we look for a Manta cleaning station, we will sail northbound to the Baa Atoll & Hanifaru Bay. On this atoll we will try to enjoy snorkeling with mantas in the Hanifaru Bay, Biosphere Reserve.

Depending on sea conditions, currents and sightings on that week, and apart from mantas, we will modify the route in search for pelagics in Rasdoo, as well as diving with mantas by night and, with a bit of luck, diving &/or snorkelling with the whale shark on the Ari Atoll.

Our route for manta ray diving

Our Manta Expedition route allows us to combine a large part of the classic route, the best known in the Maldives, with the Baa Atoll, North of the central atolls. In this route we explore the North Male and South Male atolls, visiting the first manta cleaning stations and some thilas to see sharks, such as Kandooma and Guraidhoo. Crossing to the Ari Atoll where we will look for the whale shark and dive with mantas at night, and diving in Rasdhoo, where the pelagics await us. Completing the cruise sailing to the North already in Baa, in the Dharavandhoo area, next to Hanifaru Bay (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) where we will try to enjoy the manta ray diving and snorkeling. As you can see, this route represents the most famous diving areas of the Northern Atolls of the Maldives.

Diving with manta rays

Manta ray diving is one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences in a scuba diver’s life. Diving with tanks or just snorkeling, the sensation of being in the water with these awesome animals is incredible. The chance to be in front of them feeding the plankton is something amazing. How they open the mouth to filter the water and start swimming on the surface like interpreting a choreography, dancing, swimming, and feeding is something very special.

Find and book your cruise:

The best option to visit Hanifaru Bay:

Day 1 (Saturday): MALE – CENTRAL ATOLLS & HANIFARU ROUTE: Arrival at Male airport. One of our staff members will be waiting for you at Male Airport. You will then get onto our auxiliary boat Dhoni for the transfer to MALDIVES BLUE FORCE ONE or 3 for check in, briefing of the liveaboard, diving an plan itinerary. Dinner onboard.

Days 2-7 (Sunday to Friday): CENTRAL ATOLLS & HANIFARU ROUTE: The planned route (although can be modified under the cruise management’s criteria) will take a trip around North Male, Hanifaru, Ari, Rasdhoo & Baa atolls. During the cruise, a 18-dive program for certified divers is developed (snorkeling in Hanifaru Bay). On Friday afternoon we will anchorage next to Male. So, we will have option to make a guided visit to Male.

Day 8 (Saturday): MALE: Disembark at the Male airport at 7.00am. If the return flight leaves in the afternoon there is a day hotel option near the airport, and even free time to optionally visit Male until the time of the return flight.


  • Transfers airport – boat – airport.
  • Stay in double cabin sharing on MALDIVES BLUE FORCE ONE or 3 IN full board basis.
  • Water, tea, and coffee.
  • 18 dives including S80 tanks, weights, guides and diving boat (Dhoni).
  • Travel, diving, and cancellation insurance. (See covers in

Not included

  • Flights to Male.
  • Payments upon arrival onboard: Maldives taxes 185$, Green tax 42$, Service tax 150$ (starting 2025, the Service tax will be 160$)
  • Internet access
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • “Day hotel ” in  Male (direct payment)
  • Rental equipment (it is possible to rent but it must be booked before the departure)
  • Nitrox: 80$ per person per week
  • Hannifaru bay taxes 30$ per snorkeler
  • Possible supplement by extraordinary increases of petrol or local taxes surchages.


Program is subject to GENERAL CONDITIONS and COVERS OF THE INSURANCE published in
Rates and descriptions valid unless typographical errors and subject possible changes.


It is recommended to have Advanced Open Water certification or similar and 50 certified dives.