In a country that is made up of so many amazing beaches and coral reefs, it is difficult to determine which dive site is the best. There are no big buildings or architectural wonders in the Maldives. What they do have are 1,200 tropical islands with tons of dive sites along a hundred of island tourist destinations, and so far most divers who have visited the archipelago agree that one of the best is the Cocoa Corner Dive Site.
About Cocoa Corner
Cocoa Corner, also referred to as Cocoa Thila, got its name from the Cocoa Resort. It is near another popular dive site, the Kandooma Thila, and expert divers normally cross the channel between these two. Located at the north side of Biyaadhoo Kandu in southern Male Atoll, Cocoa Corner is known for its brightly colored corals and spectacular underwater caves, overhangs, cliffs and coral heads. There are small reef fish, Napoleon wrasses, moray eels, eagle rays, jackfish and sometimes a few turtles. Since most Malidivian dive sites can boast of the same variety of fish and marine attractions, what really sets Cocoa Corner apart is the presence of sharks. It has the best shark show in the archipelago. The sharks are typically seen 60 to 80 feet deep in the middle of the channel near Kandooma Thila, about 30 feet from the edge of the channel. This spot is teeming with families of Grey Reef Sharks that seem to be guarding the channel.
However, currents can be strong and so only experienced divers are advised to come. Since it is open water, all necessary safety precautions are to be made including a safety balloon and dive guides who are perfectly familiar with the channel.
More about the Maldives
Located in the Indian Ocean and a close neighbor of Sri Lanka and India, The Republic of Maldives is known as the lowest-lying archipelago in the world. Most of the country is not even 4 feet above sea level. All of its islands have beaches, lagoons, and reefs, except for the capital city of Male. The Maldivian government prohibits tourists from visiting islands that are not designated as resort-islands for tourism. Only 200 islands are inhabited.
The Maldivian people call themselves Devehis (or “islanders”) and they are closely associated with the North Indians. They love music and enjoy simple life by the sea. While tourists are not allowed to visit the island they inhabit, the Devehis, in turn, are not allowed to visit the resort-islands. Interactions between foreigners and locals mostly happen in Male and the Dhangethi Island, where the country’s only cultural center is located.
The country is a very young democracy and the more it opens up to the world, the more its tourism would naturally flourish. Today, thousands of tourists flock to the islands, mostly coming from the United Kingdom. The Maldives is popular in Europe since it used to be a British territory. Several airlines fly into the Male International Airport every day, en route Sri Lanka, Singapore or Malaysia. From the airport, most tourists go straight to their chosen resort-island via boat taxi (dhoni) or air taxi (seaplanes). And, of course, one of the most visited spots is Cocoa Corner.