Featured dive site of the month: The Arch!

Featured dive site of the month: The Arch!


Located in the North Ari Atoll, close to the island of Bathala, ‘The Arch’ is a recently discovered dive site that adds up to the underwater wonders offered by TGI Maldives. This Thila, which in the local language of Dhivehi relates to a deep submerged reef, is ideal for macro lovers and underwater photographers.


– Table corals
– Green damselfish
– Moray eels
– Nudibranchs, flatworms
– Rays, stingrays, nurse sharks
– Octopus, scorpion fish

Quote: Why the TGI Maldives team is fond of this dive site?

“The Arch offers a colourful show of corals and macro life. This dive site is perfect for underwater photographers.”

Description of the dive site:

The Arch is a Thila located near Bathala island. Measuring just 80 meters long and 40 meters wide, it sits on a sandy bottom at 30 meters or more.

The top part of the Thila, that reaches 9 meters below the surface, is covered with colourful table corals inhabited by green damselfishes, darting and hiding in the corals as divers swim by.

The north side of the site is our favourite: at 20 meters there is a series of overhangs where moray eels can be found with cleaner shrimps that are not afraid to enter inside the mouths of the morays!

The arch is a natural passage, carved into the thila, on the north-east side. Here the Thila is just 15 meters across and the arch can be found at the center of it, with the bottom at 22 meters and the top at 19 meters. This is where underwater photographers will enjoy the different angles and the great light show made by the arch.

When swimming under the arch, nudibranchs and flatworms can be found, especially Susanna’s flatworm – easy to find amid the corals thanks to its bright and shiny colours.

Another interesting section of the site to explore are the overhangs that can be found respectively at 23 and 30 meters. In these overhangs, stingrays and even nurse sharks can be found.

We usually end the dive on the top part of the Thila, looking for scorpion fish and octopus and enjoying the view of the arch from the top.