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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.

Surgeonfish and butterflyfish at Maabadhi Finolhu
Maabadhi Finolhu’s reef hosts a great variety of reef fishes, including butterflyfish and surgeonfish.

How to get to Maabadhi Finolhu snorkeling spot?

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.

Maabadhi Finolhu snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Maabadhi Finolhu

You will enter the water directly from your boat. Boats remain close to snorkelers during the whole snorkeling time.

Maabadhi Finolhu snorkeling exploration

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.

Orange-lined triggerfish
The orange-lined triggerfish is common at Maabadhi Finolhu reef flat.

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.

Cushion sea star and yellow longnose butterflyfish
A cushion sea star and a longnose butterflyfish in Maabadhi Finolhu.

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.

Restaurants and accommodation

Maabadhi Finolhu is an uninhabited sandbank, but you will find a large choice of restaurants and accommodation options in Dhiffushi, the nearest inhabited island.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth3m on the reef
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

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.