Looking for the best dive resort, Maldives. Scuba diving in the Maldives is considered a dream for any novice or advanced diver . This article relates to Bandos Island diving, the dive sites, costing and resort overview. 

All photos are original @scuba_traveler (except the manta shot) and captured on the Sony A6600 Body Compact Camera with underwater casing. 

Two words “Dive Maldives.”

If you are wondering, is the Maldives worth visiting for a diving holiday, absolutely. It’s a dream destination.

Bandos Island provides some of the best diving in the Maldives.

This pristine diving destination has some of the finest coral formations and sea life and is absolute world class.

The North Male Atoll is a popular region for divers due to it’s close proximity to Male International Airport , making it’s accessibility convenient for long or short stays.

Sea temperatures rarely drop below 28 ° Celsius so divers can enjoy year round warm waters.  Sea currents can be strong in some areas but  Bandos Island Dive shop will cater to the divers abilities and level of experience. This Maldives scuba diving resort also has an incredible house reef which makes it a popular choice.

A full review of Bandos Resort – click here.

The house reef can be seen surrounding the island. Great for divers and snorkelers.

Maldives diving season

“the dive instructors checked the strength of the currents before we entered the water. If if was too strong, we moved immediately to another dive site”. @scuba_traveler 

The best time of year to dive the Maldives is January to April when winds are low and sea conditions calm. The skies are predominantly blue and temperatures hot and dry. This is also peak season so if you are visiting the Maldives on a budget, May, November and December can be great months also to dive.

The water temperature is pretty stable year round with average temperatures ranging from 26 to 29 degrees.

The monsoon season runs May to October with June and July bringing the most rain. These monsoons will effect the current and ocean conditions.

The following dive sites were dived early May. We had relatively great conditions over the 9 days. The previous year in May also, we dived at Vilamendhoo Island in the South Ari Atoll and had perfect conditions.

 Maldives Dive Resort – Bandos Island 

Dive Company: Dive Bandos.

Location: North male Atoll region.

Getting there : 15 minute speed boat transfer from Male airport.

Dive Locations: Approx 30 minutes maximum boat time to each location.

Maximum depth: country law dictates that divers max depth is 30 meters and 60 minutes duration per dive.

Bandos Island Diving

Bandos Island – Maldives Dive Costs

The Dive Centre on Bandos Island, along with the dive sites and the costs was the reason we chose this destination.

What they offer: 

  • PADI certified  Courses – an extensive range of courses. Click here to view. 
  • Medical Centre and Decompression chamber.  24 hr Dive medical officer on site.
  • Equipment rental 
  • Boat dives and shore dives

2020 pricing in US dollars

 Certified Divers – tank & weights   Certified Divers- full equipment
Orientation Dive $49.29 Orientation Dive $73.92
1 to 4 dives (per dive) $49.29 1 to 4 dives (per dive) $73.92
5 to 8 dives (per dive) $46.82 5 to 8 dives (per dive) $71.46
10 dives package $406.56 10 dives package $652.96
15 dives package $566.72 15 dives package $936.32
20 dives package $702.24 20 dives package $1195.04
6 days non limit $554.40 USE OF NITROX FOR 
Additional Non limit $92.40 NITROX CERTIFIED FOC

single boat trip per day $22.18 / 2 boat trips per day $41.89 / Full day trip $49.28

Maldives Best Dive Sites- North Male Atoll

Bandos Island Dive Centre Maldives: Sunlight Thilah

Depth: 18.9 mts

Dive time 60 minutes

Experience: Beginners to Advanced (can incur strong currents)

A popular location for manta rays (March to October) due the large amount of plankton that is carried in by the winds from the south. A good site for spotting turtles.

Sunlight Thilah reef maldives
Moray eel. Got bitten by one defensive and obviously unhappy eel.
Sunlight Thilah reef Maldives
Turtles are always fascinating.

Bandos Island Dive Site: Hudhuveli Out

Depth: 19.5 mts

Dive time: 51 minutes

Experience: Beginners to Advanced

Hudhuveli Out is located just outside the atoll. The reef gently slopes upward from the depths below. Marine life is abundant here as some of the bigger species such as shark and eagle rays come through this area. You’ll also most likely spot those little spaghetti eel popping their heads up out the sand and dancing against the moving current.

There is plenty to spot here for the avid photographer.

Hudhuveli Out reef maldives
Guitar shark

Bandos Island Dive Site: Kuda Haa Thila

Depth: 25.7 mts

Dive time: 48 minutes

Experience: Beginners to Advanced

This dive site is recognized by its two distinct pinnacles in the shape of a camels back. The protected waters are home to smaller crustaceans as well as macro life.

Other marine life includes barracuda, grouper and Napoleon Wrasse.

Hudhuveli Out reef- Bandos island diving
Sea fan coral found in the Maldives.

Bandos Island Dive Site: Feydhoo Caves

Depth: 19.8 mts

Dive time: 57 minutes

Experience: Beginner to advanced.

The reef is located close to Male and is great as a beginners dive. The sheer wall of coral starts at only 3 meters deep and descends to around 35 meters.

You will find much to explore here from caves and several openings to swim though.

The soft corals and sponges along with much marine life make this spot a great overall dive site.

Feydhoo Caves- Bandos island diving

Feydhoo Caves

Bandos Island Dive Site: Stingray City

Depth: 30 mets

Dive time: 49 minutes

Experience: Beginners to advanced

This sunset to night dive takes you close to port near Male. The fishing boats that come in do their cleaning and empty all scraps overboard into the sea.

For this reason the area becomes highly attractive to the stingrays.

You can see them in their hundreds, all feeding off the leftovers left behind by the local fisherman.

This unique site offers the divers an incredible opportunity to get up close (or not) to observe the stingrays congregating in a mass feeding frenzy.

Stingray city
Stingray City was a busy location with up to 200 rays spotted.

Stingray city- octopus at Bandos island diving
This octopus made for a great photo opportunity.

Bandos Island Dive Site: Aquarium

Depth: 25.9 mts

Dive time: 51 minutes

Experience: Beginner to advanced

The Aquarium has to be one of the true highlights of all dive sites within the North Male Atoll region. The sheer amount of fish that inhibit this site is absolutely spectacular.

Divers are protected from strong currents and can freely explore without much effort.

Blue stripe and humpback snapper are in abundance. You may also spot octopus and guitar sharks as well. The many coral formations are stunning which makes it a great place for underwater photography and video.

Not to be missed.

Aquarium reef Maldives
The Aquarium certainly lived up to it’s name.

The Aquarium dive site maldives

Aquarium dive site Maldives

Bandos Island Dive Site: Potato reef

Depth: 27.2 mts

Dive time: 58 minutes

Experience: Beginner to advanced

Surrounded by soft white sand and around 100 meters in diameter , Potato reef is full of color. You will most likely spot large moray eels as well as small crustaceans.

This site is mainly covered in hard corals.

Potato reef
Blue stripe snapper seen at Potato reef. This huge ball made a great photo.
Lion fish

Bandos Island Dive Site: Lankan Reef (Manta Point)

Depth: 18.9 mts

Dive time: 51 minutes

Experience: beginners to advanced.

Currents can be strong here and divers are generally dropped off ahead of it. Staying close ot the reef is important.Those not comfortable in these type conditions may find this a harder dive.

There are several cleaning stations here for these huge intriguing creatures. Best time of year is June to November.

Divers need to stay well back to not disturb the mantas coming in to clean.

This dive spot is very popular and can sometimes be overcrowded.

Potato reef

Lankan Manta point
This gentle giants can grow to up to 4 meters in wing span.

Dive Site: Bandos House Reef

Depth : 16 mts

Dive time: 60 minutes

Experience: Beginners to advanced

The Bandos house reef is very popular for those staying on the island. Straight off shore and into some pretty cool exploring of the soft corals and fish varieties.

An easy dive –  day or night.

You will spot many different fish species from the placid reef tip sharks to turtles and more.

Bandos house reef
Lion fish spotted on our night dive
The corals around Bandos Island are out of this world.

Diving in the Maldives is high on any enthusiastic divers wish list.

Beginner divers are well catered and advanced divers will be thrilled also, not to mention that all year round warm tropical water.

Bandos Resort is considered one of the best Maldives house reef for diving. See it for yourself.

Bandos Island – 5 star resort Maldives

House Reef

The House Reef at Bandos Resort can be enjoyed by everyone. So even if you have others with you that are not diving, they too will be able to enjoy the reef.

The island itself is resonalby large compared to many other islands so offers an extensive amount of reef to explore. There are several channels that connect the inner reef to the outer reef so snorkelers can enjoy either side.

Turtles, octopus, reef sharks and an impressive amount of colourful aquatic life is abundent here.

The dive shop has plenty of water activities and excursions on offer while you are out diving for the day.

Couples and Families 

Bandos Resort caters very well to all travellers.

For families, the reef provides a safe barrier for young children to enjoy the calm waters. There is also a pool on the island.

Maldives on a budget

Bandos Resort is one of the best resorts for those looking for the best budget resort- Maldives.

Its close proximity to Male International means you’ll be paying one of the cheapest resort transfer costs in all of the Maldives.

Also, Bandos Island has a range of dining options. So even if you do not have a meal package, the Seabreeze restaurant has daily meals for around US $15  each.

You can see my full review and guide below. 

Bandos Island Review – everything you want to know.

Accommodation Bandos Resort

You will find an extensive range of accommodation options on the island. There are 8 room types to choose, so finding the perfect style is guaranteed. From Beach Front Rooms to Beach Pool Villa  and standard garden rooms, Bandos Resort has it covered.

To see room rates and more : Bandos Resort Maldives

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Faye

    wow very informative, photos are amazing so crystal clear

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