The southern atolls of the Maldives are some of the least explored and untouched reefs in the entire country. Marine life is extraordinarily abundant, including large pelagic fish and sharks that visit the reefs for feeding and for the many cleaning stations around. As these atolls and islands are just at the southern edge of the country, they are more exposed to the migration routes and deep water habitat of big fish. The best season for visiting the southern atolls is from January to April, when the calmer north east monsoon dominates and weather and sea conditions are at their best.
Hammerheads can be seen year round at specific dive sites in Vaavu Atoll, and Whale Sharks are regularly seen nearby around Mulaku (Meemu) Atoll or Thaa Atoll, all south of Male. For Manta Rays it is always very common to encounter them also in Meemu Atoll. Almost all trips to the southern island group include a combination of these atolls and dive sites. Other major highlights are good chances of meeting eagle rays, sting rays and grey reef sharks on almost every dive, as well as plenty of tunas and trevally patrolling the outer reefs. All these big fish are attracted to the reefs for their profuse abundance of smaller plankton feeding fish that they hunt. There are also regular sightings of thresher sharks, oceanic white tips and tiger sharks in the southern area.
Most of the south-central trips are at least 7 days long, with deep south trips usually 10 days. Departure for the shorter central-southern trips are usually to or from Male one-way down connecting to Kadhadoo Airport on Laamu Atoll. For the very furthest southern trips, guests should take short scenic flights from Male to Kahdheedhoo Airport on Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, with liveaboard departure and return from there. Diving is usually always finished by mid-afternoon on the penultimate day, following with strict Maldivian rules that all divers obey a 24 no-fly surface interval before departing. For trips to the Southern Maldives it is recommend for a 10 day cruise to have time to explorer the region properly.