Scuba Diving Ari Atoll
On Ari Atoll's northern rim this pinnacle faces the open ocean and is considered possibly the best site for manta ray encounters. However the dive site is worthy of a visit all year round, and not only during the time when mantas are most likely to be around (December to March).
Your dive will most likely start up-current where you can drop in and descend, allowing yourself to be transported to the pinnacle by the prevailing current. The pinnacle itself is only around 30 metres in width but is home to moray eels, large schools of snappers and a vast ball of glassfish in the overhangs where there is no shortage of soft coral decoration.
This pinnacle is in fact set quite deep with a tip at around 16 metres, with steep, deep drop-offs, so keep an eye on your depth when checking out the white-tips, grey reef sharks and tuna that lurk in the deeper sections.
However, it is in the middle depth range where the main action takes place. Hovering above the porite corals, you can check out the goings on at the manta cleaning station where one after another of the sleek graceful mantas rest almost motionless in the water column, ridding themselves of parasites - a beautiful scene.
Ukulhas Thila Reef Basics: Pinnacle
Depth: 16- 35m
Visibility: 15 - 25m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Normally calm, but can be choppy
Water temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 7.5 km north west of Ukulhas
• Maldives travel information
View a map of:
• Ari Atoll - The Maldives
Back to Ari Atoll diving sites index