Baa Atoll - The Home for the Top Luxury Resorts in Maldives
Baa Atoll harbours globally significant biodiversity including significant concentrations of whale sharks and manta rays and also a unique diversity of benthic fauna, including rare pink hydrozoan corals (Distichopora nitida), Bryozoans (Bugula) and sea slugs (Tambja olivaria) that are only recorded from Baa atoll.

Baa Atoll lies to the northwest of Male’, and has a total area of approximately 1,200 km2. The atoll is comprised of seventy-five islands; thirteen of these are inhabited with a combined population of approximately 11,000 people. Six islands have been developed as resorts; the remaining 57 islands are uninhabited. Whilst resorts have become the main economic driver, tuna and reef fishing remains an important activity. Production of handicrafts and other materials for the tourist industry is also significant.

Baa Atoll harbours globally significant biodiversity including significant concentrations of whale sharks and manta rays and also a unique diversity of benthic fauna, including rare pink hydrozoan corals (Distichopora nitida), Bryozoans (Bugula) and sea slugs (Tambja olivaria) that are only recorded from Baa atoll. Baa has a particularly high density of the ring-shaped reef forms called faroes, a peculiar reef structure unique to the Maldives, as well as other unique reef forms. Baa Atoll also has one of the largest areas of mangroves in the central part of the Maldivian atoll chain, and one of only two roosting sites in the Maldives for the frigate bird.

Hanifaru was declared protected on 5 June 2009 and the protected area of coverage includes the uninhabited island of Hanifaru and the reef of Hanifaru extending to 200m.

Special Features

High biodiversity marine region possessing a unique dynamic water circulation system that during westen monsoons, aggregated for feeding (whale sharks and manta rays) and mating (manta rays) in high numbers of endangered mega fauna animals (whale sharks and manta rays).

The site is biologically and biodiversity significant for Baa Atoll, Maldives and globally.

Nesting sites for green and hawksbill turtles

Occassional roosting site for black-naped tern, lesser noddies and brown noddies.

Mendhoo Region was declared protected on 5 June 2011 and the protected area of coverage includes the island of Nibiligaa Island and reef, Mendhoobinmathee Faru and Mendhoo Island and reef and Kaburu Faru.

Special Features
Very high biodiversity and standing population of hard and soft corals and associated marine invertebrates and vertebrates.

Nesting sites for green and hawksbill turtles.

Nibiligaa is a key bird roosting and nesting site for Lesser Noddies and Brown Noddies as well as the Black-Naped Tern, Greater Crested Tern.

Hanifaru Bay

Hanifaru Bay lies in the Baa Atoll, and is famous for its gathering of manta rays and whale sharks – sometimes scores of mantas and several whale sharks, which are usually solitary and very rare – occurs occasionally between May to November.

Hundreds of Mantas come to this spot to feed, when the currents bring all the nutrients out of the atoll. Also whale sharks come here to mate.

When dived at the right time of the year, it’s one of the most impressive dive sites of Maldives.

Dhonfan Thila

Diving in Dhonfan Thila is Amazing fish life, often you encounter Eagle rays, Napoleons, Greyreef Sharks and Manta rays during the manta season.
You can find Often you encounter Eagle rays, Napoleons, Greyreef Sharks and Manta rays during the manta season. Typically, visibility is From January to April 30m plus, Rest of the time 15m to 20m
The average depth is 20 meters although the maximum depth you can reach is 30 meters
To reach Dhonfan Thila you have to do it By Boat
This dive site is best suited for Could be difficult for novice divers when there is more than medium current. divers.

One of our favourite dive sites around here. A must do if you dive in Baa Atoll.

Hanifaru Bay UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

This is the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Manta rays gather in big numbers during the periods of South West Monsoon (June to November) to Hanifaru Bay to feed on the planktons, this is truly one of the greatest phenomenas in the world. Marine park ticket and special permit is required to guide in Hanifaru Bay. Liquid Salt Divers provide guiding services in Hanifaru Bay during the Manta Season.

Kakani Thila
Kakani Thila has a very interesting reef topography, over hangs, Coral blocks & sandy bottom stretches for a long distance. With some current the soft corals in the over hangs & coral blocks open up in various colours. And very often nurse sharks and stingrays take refuge inside the over hangs during the day time. This reef is great for night diving because it offers calm waters and the reef is very active at night.

Dhigali Haa
This is a beautiful Thila (submerged reef) top is about 8m. With little current this place comes alive, schooling fusiliers, jackfish, shoals of snappers and also very good for macro photography. It’s worth some time on the rich top reef filled with anemones. Scorpionfish and stonefish are common on the shallow part of the reef. There are few coral blocks disconnected from the main reef where divers can swim through.

Dharavandhoo Kanmathi

This is one of the best places to see the manta rays in Baa Atoll, during the manta season manta rays come here to clean. The best time to dive is when the current flows out of the atoll. The cleaning staion is at 5m so the place is idea for all levels of divers. This is a popular spot for the snorkelers as well due to the shallow depth of the cleaning station.
It is a great dive even when the manta season is over. At the depth of 25m to 30m grey reef sharks can be found when the current flows into the atoll. And huge shoals of Jackfish and fusiliers are always there.

Ujala Thila
This is one of the last lost sites in Baa Atoll, only handful of dive centres know about this beautiful manta cleaning station. Liquid Salt Divers discovered this site in 2016. The best part of this place is manta rays are almost always found cleaning here during the manta season. And the corals are untouched due to lack of divers.

Funn Thila Shark Point
Shark Point is not the easiest dive but definitely worth a try. Top of the reef is 25m and the deep end goes down to 45m. When the current hits above medium level grey reef sharks come here to feed and clean. The corals in this dive site is very much alive because it is not dived very often. Shoals of jacks, fusiliers, snappers hover on top of the reef and inside small over hangs lobsters take refuge. Contact Liquid Salt Divers to get the best experience of this magical spot.

DHARAVANDHOO THILA
Diving in DHARAVANDHOO THILA is GOOD You can find MANTAS Typically, visibility is 20MT  The average depth is 15 MT although the maximum depth you can reach is 28 MT  To reach DHARAVANDHOO THILA you have to do it BOAT  This dive site is best suited for EASY divers.

THILA AND SENDY AREA. MANTAS CLEANING STATION

Aidhoo Kandu
Great dive to see big pelagic fish like tuna, Giant trevally, sailfish. One of the highlight of this place is the massive school of batfish which follows you around like pets. The channel is one of the best drift dives in Baa Atoll. There are some huge Over hangs and coral boulders filled with blue & white soft corals. Always check inside the over hangs for the resting nurse sharks and sting rays.

Thingaa Thila
Thingaa means three rocks in Maldivian. The top of the shallowest rock starts at 18m. It is located right in the middle of the oceanic channel north west of Hanifaru Thila. The circle of coral blocks are covered with soft corals specially in the over hangs. Check inside the over hangs for the resting nurse sharks.

Dharavandhoo Thila

Some divers consider this as the best dive site in Baa Atoll, located few meters from the Island of Dharavandhoo, a must do if you are in this region. It has an amazing reef topography, over hangs, coral blocks, sandy patches. The shallowest part of the reef is at 5m where you could find Octopus, Scorpionfish, Stonefish and tons of different types of Moray eels. At 20m there is a Manta Cleaning Station with 2 coral blocks filled with cleanerfish, divers can watch the manta show by sitting on sandy bottom. If you are lucky you could encounter Guitar Sharks also here mostly on the sandy bottom and always look out in to the blue for Giant Trevally, Tuna, Eagle rays etc…  This dive site is good for small critters, shrimps, nudi branch, flat worms, leaf fish and ghostpipefish.

Turtle Reef (Dhonfan Beyru)
Turtle Reef is the perfect place for the new divers. The house reef of Dhonfanu Island is famous for diving and snorkeling with turtles. Often you will find Hawksbill and Green Turtles feeding on the leather corals on the top reef at 5m which makes it the perfect place for the snorkelers to swim with these beautiful reptiles. There are many Giant Clams of various colours and all sorts of reef fish near the top reef. Liquid Salt Divers organise daily dive & snorkeling trips to the Turtle Reef.

Nelivaru Thila
Diving in Nelivaru Thila is Excellent You can find Schools of Fish, Mantas To reach Nelivaru Thila you have to do it Boat This dive site is best suited for For all divers.

A fairly large Thila (pinnacle) compared to the rest. Site features Manta Rays that come for cleaning and schools of fish.

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