Scuba diving in Dharavandhoo Thila
Dharavandhoo is an eco-island located in the turquoise waters of Baa (Maalhosmadulu) Atoll in the north of the Maldives, 116km/72mi from the capital of Malé. This true paradise is 1.3km/0.8mi long and 0.4km/0.25mi wide. There has been a domestic airport here since 2012, although local liveaboards are more popular as a mode of transportation to Dharavandhoo. In spite of the small size, Dharavandhoo is mostly English-speaking and has enough infrastructure, a health center, and two mosques. The destination is good for observing large animals, fishing on the beach, night diving, and underwater photography. Dharavandhoo is suitable for divers of any level of experience, although there are fewer possibilities for beginners. Dharavandhoo has an interesting wall and reef. The average depth is 19m/62ft, and the maximum depth is 40m/131ft. The most famous dive sites are Hanifaru Bay, Hiruvelhi Thila, and Dharavandhoo Thila, all of which shelter a variety of marine life.
When to go
It is possible to dive at Dharavandhoo year-round, except for June. The best conditions for diving are during the northeast monsoon season from December to April, and from September to November. The months for going on liveaboards are July through May. Water temperatures remain around 27-30C/80-86F throughout the year. The air temperature averages 30-32C/86-90F. Manta ray and whale shark season is from August to November.
What to see
While underwater, divers can see black and white mantas, whale sharks, and nudibranchs.