The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on ...
Nicknamed the Galapagos of the Maldives, Fuvahmulah Atoll is fast becoming the hottest destination in an island nation packed with incredible dive experiences. If you love sharks, adore manta rays and are looking for an epic, exploratory dive trip, this isolated and pristine atoll should be at the top of your bucket list!
With over 20 known dive sites to explore and more being discovered every year, Fuvahmulah’s relatively unknown dive scene, unique location and isolation make it one of the Maldive’s top destinations if you are feeling a little adventurous. The regular encounters with Fuvahmulah’s resident tiger sharks have made the atoll famous in recent years and you can dive with the sharks of Tiger zoo every day. These big sharks have played an important role in the local marine environment for decades, feeding on the entrails and other fishy remains discarded by fisherman, and whilst they are in no way aggressive, the experienced guides at Fuvahmulah Dive School ensure that your encounter will be both safe, and conducted in a responsible manner.
If you are looking for other shark species, then Fuvahmulah also offers close encounters with thresher sharks, a deeper water species that moves into the shallows in the dim light of early morning or dusk to visit cleaning stations on the reef. These stunning sharks are frequent visitors to several sites around the atoll - and Fuvahmulah Dive School’s guides know all about getting you in the right place at the right time.
Depending on the season, you’ll also have a great chance of encountering hammerhead sharks, silvertip sharks, whale sharks, reef and oceanic manta rays, big schools of barracuda, yellowfin tuna, bonitos, and even mola mola, sailfish and whales. If you are looking for big animals, you can’t get better than Fuvahmulah!
Situated in the far south of the Maldives at 0°17'S, Fuvahmulah lies closer to the equator than any other Maldivian island or atoll. Its isolated position, exposure to oceanic swell and the deep surrounding waters have combined in a perfect storm of conditions, creating a unique natural environment both above and below the waves. Fuvahmulah’s tropical woodlands, wetlands, freshwater lakes and pebble beaches are unlike anything else in the Maldives and with its exposed coast, Fuvamulah offers surfers the only beach break in the Maldives at Thoondu beach.
Fuvahmulah’s relatively unknown dive scene and isolation make it the perfect choice if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary. And with a great selection of small guest houses to stay in, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the atoll’s distinctive culture and history.
All international flights to the Maldives use Malé’s International Airport, located on a separate island, Hulhule, about 2km east of Male’ island. Domestic flights and seaplane transfers to resorts also use this airport, although the seaplane terminal is on the far side of the island and necessitates a free, five-minute bus transfer around the runway.
If you have a late flight arrival or if the transfer to your final destination is not available immediately, there are a number of accommodation options in Male itself or you can stay on Hulhumale next to the airport where you will find affordable accommodation and hotel bars serving alcohol which is prohibited in the capital or on local non-resort islands.
For detailed information about getting to the Maldives, as well as navigating between atolls, check out our Maldives Travel Advice page.
Flights to Fuvahmulah Atoll from Malé take one hour and ten minutes. There are two scheduled flights a day costing around USD240 return including taxes.
If you are interested in a liveaboard trip, there are now several vessels that offer deep south routes that include Fuvahmulah. But if you would like to experience some of the local hospitality, we would recommend staying with the fantastic Fuvahmulah Dive School, pioneers of the local diving scene and responsible tiger shark encounters. They can organise all of your diving, as well as comfortable accommodation on the local island.
With the atoll’s proximity to the equator, the monsoons are less pronounced compared to further north in the Maldives and the weather is pretty stable all year round. The dry north-east monsoon usually runs from December to March and the wet south-west monsoon from May to November. Water temperatures are warm and comfortable, very rarely dropping below 26 - 27C so unless you feel the cold, a 3mm wetsuit is fine.
Fuvahmulah can be dived year round, but different times of year having their own special highlights. You can dive with the tiger sharks every single day, but the thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks, oceanic manta rays and other big animals are more seasonal. If you would like to see something in particular, the ZuBlu team can help you pick your perfect time of year.