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Dhiffushi is a small inhabited island in the North Male Atoll. If you stay there, do not hesitate to head off on the discovery of the small coral reef overlooking the beach. The access to this reef is open and free. If the corals are sadly very damaged, Dhiffushi seabed hosts hundreds of tropical fish, which can be observed only a few meters from the shore.

How to get to Dhiffushi snorkeling spot?

Dhiffushi is a small inhabited island on the eastern tip of North Male Atoll, about thirty kilometers North of Male. Not to be confused with the island with the same name, located South of Ari Atoll, close to Maamigili. In order to reach Dhiffushi island from Male and the international airport, you can choose between the ferry ($3/pers., 3h) and the speedboats ($35/pers., 50 min.). Meeru island, where Meeru Island Resort& Spa can be found, is located just a few hundred meters away North of Dhiffushi.

Green chromis over coral beds in Dhiffushi
On Dhiffushi reef flat, coral is not is good condition (here, a patch of digitate coral and several damselfish species).

Water entrance for snorkeling Dhiffushi reef

In order to be as close as possible to the reef, we recommend that you get into the water from the beach, close to Crown Beach or Café 420.

Dhiffushi snorkeling map

Dhiffushi snorkeling exploration tips

The main recommended area for snorkeling is located on a small reef close to the beach (see map). Other nearby reefs can also be explored, but the water tends to be less clear as you swim with fins towards South. Do not enter the channel which serves the harbour, as there are many motorboats navigating on it.

Lagoon triggerfish at Dhiffushi reef flat
Lagoon triggerfish (rhinecanthus aculeatus) is fairly common at Dhiffushi reef flat, including at very shallow depth.

Leaving the beach behind, we must first cross sandy areas and grass beds before reaching a shallow reef flat (↕1-2 m). The corals are very deteriorated here, with only a few digitate, porite and pocillopora coral patches. A few hundred meters away from the beach, the reef flat reveals a better-preserved reef wall, where we can find beautiful coral areas and some caves.

Dhiffushi reef allows visitors to spot a wide variety of fish, the most common being the triggerfish, the butterflyfish and various species of damsels. On the reef flat, try to spot the small Schultz’s pipefish, which can be easily seen here. On the reef wall we come across some schools of humpback red snappers (lutjanus gibbus) and common bluestripe snappers (lutjanus kasmira). The luckiest might come across an angelfish, small groupers or even moray eels, which shelters in the crevices of the reef.

Schultz pipefish in Dhiffushi
Schultz’s pipefish (corythoichthys schultzi) is pretty common in Dhiffushi.

This spot is generally well sheltered from waves and currents. A light north-south prevailing current (parallel to the coast) might form along the island.

Restaurants and accommodation in Dhiffushi island

Dhiffushi is an inhabited island, with about fifteen accommodation options. Rashu Hiyaa Hotel is located less than 200m by foot from the snorkeling area. Around the harbor and the beach, there are also several cafés and restaurants.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m on the reef flat, >25ft/8m past the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersBoat traffic
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, a few options along the beach and the port

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.