Read on to discover the best dive resorts in the Maldives.
With over a thousand islands surrounded by cobalt-blue water and dazzling fringing reefs, it’s no surprise that scuba diving is one of the Maldives’ top attractions. And with so many exceptional dive resorts - all offering that blend of adventure and sublime five-star relaxation that the Maldives is so famous for - you’re spoilt for choice.
To help you decide where to stay, we’ve tested thilas and dived from dhonis across the atolls - and come up with a handful of our all-time favourites.
Kuredu Island Resort and Spa, Lhaviyani Atoll
This exclusive and wonderfully luxurious adult-orientated resort blends effortlessly with its stunning natural surroundings. Adaaran Prestige’s dive centre, run by Dive Point, specialise in delivering concierge dive services and unique underwater memories exploring the best sites in Raa Atoll. Guests will enjoy first-class diving facilities, top of the line equipment and sensational extras such as free nitrox and private photography sessions.
Located alongside partner resort Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, guests have access to several different house reefs for truly unlimited exploration. Or, they can make the most of scheduled boat trips to the atoll’s best sites, known for rip-roaring channels and vibrant pinnacles – what more could you ask for?
- Great for: Expansive colourful house reef, superb concierge-style dive service.
- Best time to visit: The northeast monsoon, between January and April, offers the best weather.
Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll
Boasting swathes of untouched jungle and plenty of space to spread out and explore, Amilla Fushi is the ultimate tropical island getaway. In fact, you might just go a whole day without seeing another guest! Lying in the middle of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve this stunning resort offers direct access to some of the world’s most unbeatable marine experiences.
Baa Atoll is justifiably famous for huge seasonal congregations of manta rays and whale sharks at Hanifaru Bay. Conveniently, Amilla Fushi is situated just minutes away from this exceptional destination - not to mention other renowned dive sites such as The Blue Hole – making it one of the best scuba diving resorts in the Maldives.
- Great for: Direct access to world-famous Hanifaru Bay within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- Best time to visit: The northeast monsoon, between January and April, offers fantastic weather. But, for the best chances of encountering manta congregations, visit between July and October, particularly around the full or new moon.
Finolhu, Baa Atoll
We simply couldn’t talk about Baa Atoll without giving an honorary mention to Finolhu. Stretching across four islands with vast sprawling beaches, this spectacular resort pampers divers with five-star service and unparalleled experiences. An opportunity not to be missed!
- Great for: Direct access to a pristine UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, first-class luxury service.
- Best time to visit: The northeast monsoon, between January and April offers fantastic weather. But, for the best chances of encountering manta congregations, visit between July and October, particularly around the full or new moon.
Angsana Ihuru, North Male Atoll
Set on an idyllic private island, surrounded by white sand beaches and a peaceful blue lagoon, this eco-friendly resort offers truly exceptional luxury getaways. And, with the famous Rannamaari Wreck on the house reef, just steps from the beachfront villas, Angsana Ihuru is a haven for keen divers. But that’s not all, the house reef is also a great spot to encounter nurse and reef sharks, stingrays and turtles!
As well as the exceptional diving, guests at Angsana Ihuru can also take part in conservation activities at the resort’s unique marine centre. Join in research projects with the resident marine biologists and help care for turtles, seabirds and coral reefs!
- Great for: Excellent wreck dive on the house reef, unique conservation activities with the in-house marine centre.
- Best time to visit: The northeast monsoon, between January and April, offers the best weather. But, if you’re looking for manta rays, visit between June and September.
OBLU Helengeli, North Male Atoll
Another honorary mention goes out to OBLU Helengeli, a genuine island paradise offering luxury getaways with a twist. This wonderful resort boasts loads of modern diving facilities and highly-tailored experiences on North Male’s best dive sites.
- Great for: Customisable diving services and modern professional facilities.
- Best time to visit: Between January to April offers the best weather, but, for manta rays, visit between June and September.
Olhuveli Beach, South Male Atoll
Olhuveli Beach and Spa offers the ultimate blend of luxury and adventure in a family-friendly setting. The on-site SSI Diamond Instructor Training Center - Sun Siyam Diving - is fully-equipped to serve even the most experienced of divers with tech-friendly facilities including sidemount and rebreathers, as well as free nitrox, DPV rental and more.
Those after a spot of laid-back exploration will find plenty of opportunities to investigate Olhuveli’s two stunning house reefs. And, for the more adventurous, Sun Siyam Diving offers scheduled adventures to South Male’s thrilling channels and manta sites, including Cocoa Thila, Banana Reef, and Guraidhoo.
- Great for: Two incredible house reefs, current-swept channels and adventurous tech diving.
- Best time to visit: For the best weather, visit during the northeast monsoon. But, if you’re looking for manta rays, plan your trip during the southwest monsoon between May and October.
Kuramathi, Rasdhoo Atoll
Perfectly located on tiny Rasdhoo Atoll, Kuramathi Resort is a beautiful boutique retreat offering luxurious eco-conscious getaways. Packed with industry-leading diving facilities, including the Maldives’ largest hyperbaric chamber, guests at Kuramathi can be confident they’re diving with the best. The dive centre offers a range of trips including regular visits to the renowned Hammerhead Point, where divers can often witness dozens of hammerheads patrolling out in the blue.
And, if that’s not enough to tempt you, Kuramathi also boasts an in-house marine biologist and Eco Centre, where guests can learn everything they want to know about the underwater world.
Great for: Expert diving facilities, year-round hammerhead encounters.
Best time to visit: Visit during the northeast monsoon, between January and April, for the best weather and greatest chance of hammerheads.
Gangehi Island Resort and Spa, North Ari Atoll
The cosy Gangehi Island Resort and Spa complements its stunning natural surroundings with a smattering of understated luxury. Whether you're up for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure or taking it easy in the tranquil lagoon, this superb dive resort will find the perfect site for you. And, with an abundance of thilas, walls, reefs and channels, you won’t have to travel too far for the experience of a lifetime.
Big-fish fanatics will be in their element during the northeast monsoon, as reef manta rays and whale sharks move in, attracted by the blooms of plankton.
- Great for: Huge variety of dive sites, impressive pelagic action.
- Best time to visit: Visit between January and April for the best weather and the chance to see mantas and whale sharks.
Mirihi, South Ari Atoll
Mirihi is easily one of the most intimate and exclusive resorts in South Ari Atoll, an area renowned for unparalleled underwater encounters. In fact, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, divers need look no further than the resort’s own house reef, considered by many to be one of the Maldives’ finest. And, with Ocean Pro’s specialist concierge-style service, you can visit South Ari’s top dive sites in total comfort.
Home to the South Ari Marine Protected Area, and the renowned Maamigili, this atoll is the place to be for whale shark encounters – delivering near-guaranteed sightings. And thanks to Mirihi’s fantastic location, guests will never be far from the ocean’s biggest fish.
- Great for: Some of the world’s most reliable whale shark encounters, one of the best house reefs in the Maldives.
- Best time to visit: Visit during the northeast monsoon, between January and April, for the best weather and conditions.
Cinnamon Velifushi, Vaavu Atoll
Set within the Maldives’ least populated atoll, yet just an hour’s speedboat ride from the airport, Cinnamon Velifushi is a small private island resort offering sublime isolation. Vaavu’s seclusion has helped maintain its pristine underwater scenery and the atoll has become renowned for current-carved channels and thrilling big-fish action.
Cinnamon Velifushi’s fantastic location provides quick and easy access to all the atoll’s best dive sites including Fotteyo Kandu, Miyaru Kandu and Alimatha Jetty. Remote adventure has never been so convenient!
Great for: Intrepid adventure in five-star luxury.
Best time to visit: Visit between January and April, during the northeast monsoon, for the best weather and conditions.
Shangri-La Villingili, Addu Atoll
Offering the perfect combination of escape and adventure, Shangri-La Villingili Resort boasts an exclusive atmosphere, exciting activities and a pristine landscape of sand, sea and ancient banyan trees. Many of Addu’s best dive sites are easily reached from the resort, including Shark Point, Manta Point, and the largest wreck dive in the Maldives, the British Loyalty. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, opt for guided or unguided exploration of the impressive house reef, by day or night.
Shangri-La Villingili’s dive centre is run by Silver Sands Diving, the largest dive and watersports operator in the Maldives, promising high standards of service and unforgettable memories.
- Great for: Quick and easy access to Addu’s top dive sites, expert dive centre run by Silver Sands Diving.
- Best time to visit: For the best weather and conditions, visit during the northeast monsoon, between January and April.