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Last updated on February 2, 2023
If you spend some days on Dhiffushi, you can snorkel around the island itself, but don’t hesitate to take snorkeling tours to the neighboring reefs. Maabadhi Finolhu sandbank is one of the main tours starting from the island. As often in this part of North Male atoll, coral is damaged, but fish still abound. Above the reef, you will spot angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish and groupers amongst hundreds of other species.
Maabadhi Finolhu is a small sandbank located on the western side of North Male Atoll, about 5 km northwest of the inhabited island of Dhiffushi and 1 km east of Asdhoo. Excursions to this spot mainly start from Dhiffushi. The boat ride from the harbor to the sandbank takes about 15 minutes; the total excursion length starts from one hour.
You will enter the water directly from your boat. Boats remain close to snorkelers during the whole snorkeling time.
The snorkeling area encompasses the patch reef on which the emerging sandbank is based, as well as the neighboring small coral reefs cropping out at the water surface. Water is generally quiet here, as the spot is sheltered by Asdhoo Island and its neighboring coral reefs.
Over the reefs, water depth varies from 1 to 3 meters, depending on tides (not important here) and underwater elevations. Coral reefs are bordered by drop-offs diving into the deep blue.
While snorkeling above the reefs, you will discover a rather damaged seabed, even if a few preserved coral areas remain in some places. Gorgeous sea cucumbers and a few cushion starfish can be spotted there.
Finger coral clumps host several damselfish (green chromis, whitetail dascyllus, sergeant majors…) and wrasse species. Honeycomb groupers, sharpnose puffer and sometimes small moray eels can be surprised inside cracks in the rocks.
The reef flats are a good place to spot sea life, but the drop-offs are where you will make the most beautiful encounters. The topography is different there: it features steep slopes plunging into the deep blue. The corals are not better preserved than on the flats, except in the deepest areas.
The drop-offs are the place where fish abound most, in numbers as well as in terms of diversity. Regal angelfish, powder blue tang, longnose butterflyfish and Moorish idols are amongst the most colorful species to be seen here. Several butterflyfish species also dwell here, such as gorgeous redtail butterflyfish always going by in pairs. Mullet, unicornfish and triggerfish can also be spotted here and there.
Maabadhi Finolhu is an uninhabited sandbank, but you will find a large choice of restaurants and accommodation options in Dhiffushi, the nearest inhabited island.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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.
Fringing coral reef with colorful fish
Free shore access
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