Scuba diving in Maaya Thila
Maaya Thila is one of the most prominent Maldivian dive sites, and is often included lists of the top 10 dive sites in the world. The site lies at a distance of around 8km/5mi to the northwest of the island of Ukulhas, and has become a well-established Protected Marine Area. It is a pinnacle, the top of which is covered with vibrant coral reef with regular reef marine life. It goes down to more than 30m/98ft deep where big fish are commonly seen. The site is also acknowledged for the presence of sharks. The site is suitable for night diving as well as day diving. However, the currents are unstable and often unpredictable, so this site should not be attempted by novice-level divers.
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When to go
Diving at Maaya Thila is possible all year round, but the recommended period is from December to May, when the seas are at their calmest in this region. The temperature of the water does not change dramatically from season to season and is 26-29C/79-84F throughout the year.
What to see
The Maaya Thila site is notable for its beautiful reef made of colorful soft and hard corals, sea fans, algae, and full spectrum of reef life, including bright nudibranchs, mysterious stonefish, scorpionfish, butterflyfish, batfish, and clownfish. Moorish idols, triggerfish, parrotfish, turtles, moray eels, and octopi are also commonly seen here. Gray reef sharks and whitetip sharks are frequent guests in the deeper areas.