Diving bucket list: 11 must-do scuba dives before you die

Manta Point, North Male Atoll, The Maldives

Manta rays are one of the most majestic underwater creatures, and seeing one for the first time as it comes gliding in out of the blue is an incredible experience. These gentle giants can weigh up to 1,360 kilogrammes and boast a wingspan of up to seven metres. They feed primarily on minute crustaceans using their cephalic (head fins) to funnel plankton-rich waters, often somersaulting repeatedly in the process.

Manta Point (or, to give it its proper name, Lankanfinolhu) is often subject to a heavy swell and surge, but divers who get down on to the reef at around 12 metres will be greeted by the sight of shoaling manta rays coming in to be cleaned at stations on the reef top. Up to 50 have been spotted at any one time –- an amazing sight.

Best time to dive: the manta ray season off Manta Point in North Male Atoll runs from February to March

Water temperature: the waters off the Maldives are fairly constant all year round at 28°C plus, so a 3mm shortie or fullsuit should be more than adequate

picture: Shutterstock

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