Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on February 2, 2023
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 reefs overlooking the western beach. Access to this reef is open and free. It is an ideal spot to practice snorkeling before going on a organized snorkel in more challenging waters. 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.
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.
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.
The spot can be reached from the public beach at no charge.
For exploring zone 1 on the map below, access from the Dhiffushi Inn Bikini Beach Club is most practical. The spot is 150 meters from shore, but you can walk in the shallows right up to the drop-off leaving only 20 meters or so of swimming to reach the small reef outcrops.
Walking to the spot entails mostly knee deep to waist deep water. Stay on the sandy patches and avoid the small rock outcrop that can be seen from the beach. Sharp-edged concrete can spoil the day. Lionfish are also found here so take care when wading off the sandy patches.
For exploring zone 2, 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.
There are two main recommended snorkeling areas in Dhiffushii:
1/ The small healthy pieces of coral can be found on the southern part of the beach (zone 1 on the map), as the outer wall protects it from the surf. As you enter the area from the sandbank there is a steep deep drop-off, but after a very short swim, the reefs outcrops will be reached. The depth of the reefs varies from 3 to 12ft/1 to 4 meters. Please take care not to damage the small amount of healthy coral.
2/ The small reef close to the northern tip of the beach (zone 2 on the 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 harbor, as there are many motorboats navigating on it.
In zone 2, leaving the beach behind, you’ll first cross sandy areas and seagrass beds before reaching a shallow reef flat (↕3-6ft/1-2 m). The corals are very deteriorated here, with only a few digitate, Porites 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 deeper areas, you may come across some schools of humpback red snappers and bluestripe snappers. The luckiest might also spot an angelfish, small groupers, lionfish or even moray eels, which shelters in the crevices of the reef.
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.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Patch reefs with colorful fish
Resort island with reef drop off, sharks, rays and turtles
Reef flat and drop off with sharks, turtles and colorful fish
Resort island fringed by coral reefs with rays, turtles and reef fish
Resort island with seagrass beds and reef drop off, sharks and turtles
Reef drop off with colorful fish
Free shore access
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