2020 Maldives Dive Guide – Scuba Diving at Vilamendhoo

Plan the perfect dive holiday for 2020 at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, one of the top diving resorts in the Maldives. Located in the South Ari Atoll, Vilamendhoo is a divers’ paradise and enjoys the best of what the Maldives has to offer as a world-renowned diving destination. The crystal clear water, tropical temperatures and uncrowded dive sites are just the start.

As soon as you dive into the ocean, the underwater world, full of colour and vibrance, will leave you awestruck. The coral reefs are teeming with life and diversity – from tiny clownfish hiding amongst the anemones to large, bright green napoleon wrasse cruising by. The clouds of fusiliers will mesmerise you as they move in unison, darting suddenly when a hunting party of jackfish appear. Hard coral structures provide the perfect hiding place for the smaller reef inhabitants while colourful soft corals adorn the dive sites.

Vilamendhoo is in an enviable location, close to world-famous manta ray and whale shark points. If these gentle giants of the ocean are on your diving bucket list, you will be glad you booked this resort. Whale shark search trips are available multiple times per week throughout the year – it’s always whale shark season at Vilamendhoo! If you’re interested in finding out more about the marine life, in particular, the majestic manta rays, you can visit the resident marine biologist from Manta Trust who will be happy to tell you all about the research they carry out at sites close to the island.

Vilamendhoo’s house reef provides a spectacular option for lazy days when you simply want to dive with your buddy without taking a boat trip; accessible from almost every point on the island, it’s home to more than 150 species of fish and great for underwater photography.

The dive centre on the island is operated by Euro-Divers, one of the Maldives’ most experienced dive operators and as a PADI 5 Star Centre, they offer the full range of PADI courses catering to all experience levels – from beginner to professionals. Daily dive excursions are available and with more than 50 dive sites accessible by boat from Vilamendhoo, including those to the nearby Marine Protected Area and the National Park, there are countless adventures waiting for you.

See you in 2020 for the scuba diving holiday of a life time!

Bucket List Experiences To Try In 2020

Located in the Maldives’ South Ari Atoll, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa occupies an enviable position surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life, giving rise to what is arguably one of the best snorkelling locations in the Maldives. Take advantage of the once in a lifetime underwater encounters and make 2020 a year to remember with this great collection of bucket list experiences to try at Vilamendhoo.

Swim with whale sharks

The Maldives is the go-to place for snorkellers and scuba divers hoping to see whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean. Vilamendhoo is located in a prime position in the South Ari Atoll and considered one of the top places in the world for whale shark encounters, with regular trips scheduled throughout the year.

Snorkel with manta rays 

Manta rays – graceful, majestic and a bucket list favourite, frequent the famous site ‘Manta Point’ as well as other spots nearby. Join a snorkel excursion and witness first-hand the incredible choreographed ballet of manta rays in motion. It’s a mesmerising experience that remains etched in the mind of those who experience it for many years to come.

Meet the Maldives’ turtles 

Five out of the seven sea turtle species in the world can be found in the Maldives. Vilamendhoo offers a daily Turtle Excursion to swim with turtles in their natural environment. Sea turtles are listed as endangered worldwide, so this is a very special experience. Photo opportunities are plentiful as they come to breathe at the surface!

Explore a bountiful reef 

Vilamendhoo’s spectacular house reef is just a short swim from the shore, and it’s brimming with marine life. Ten easy access channels through the reef make this a hassle-free experience you can enjoy throughout the day. Get ready to be amazed by the colour and variety of fish inhabiting the reef.

The Maldives is every bit the bucket list destination and if you’re looking for snorkelling adventures and once in a lifetime experiences you’re sure to find them here at Vilamendhoo. Check out our current special offer as you plan your visit.

Swim With Whale Sharks In Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Did you know that before, whale sharks would only visit the Maldives during the South-West monsoon season which runs from May to October? Now, they can be seen around the warm waters of the Indian Ocean all year round, particularly in the South Ari Atoll where Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is located. Our island’s prime location puts us in proximity to whale shark spots. Some guests have even been lucky enough to see whale sharks directly on our house reef!

Known as the largest fish in the world, whale sharks belong to the shark family. They swim by moving side to side, unlike sharks, which use their tails for swimming. As their bodies weigh around 20.6 tonnes, it is no wonder that they move so slowly. Despite their size, whale sharks are docile creatures. In Vilamendhoo, there are plenty of opportunities to swim with whale sharks. Through regularly scheduled excursions, you can take a trip to known whale shark points where if lucky, you can spot, swim and photograph these gentle giants. These excursions are the whale shark excursion, the family adventurer full day excursion and the ocean discovery full-day excursion.

While swimming with whale sharks, it is essential to remember to respect their space. Always listen to your guide, and do as instructed for your safety and the whale sharks’ safety. As a general rule, you should always stay 10 feet away from the whale shark’s tail, to avoid being accidentally swatted, and about 3 feet away from the head. Do not attempt to touch or feed a whale shark. Observing these safety rules will ensure you have a pleasant experience swimming with the majestic creatures.

Here are some of our favourite photos captured by past guests.

Image by @sergeykbn.

Image by @karel_frait.


Adventures Await This Festive Season In Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is about to come alive as we celebrate the festive season from December 22, 2019, to January 1, 2020. As always, you can expect lots of adventures for couples and families, as we make merry and give in to the holiday spirit.

The exciting programme that has been put together by our team features enticing dining events, thrilling experiences at sea, fun games that everyone can join in and special activities for children. Younger guests can enjoy creative experiences such as Christmas card making, crafts with coconut leaves, and so much more. Adventurers can sail out at sea on Castaway Sparkling Sunset Cruise trip or participate in the fishing race. Throughout, we will have live music provided by great bands, to cap off the night in style. The main highlights of the season will be the gala dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and the Christmas Eve party with DJ Jeremy Leong.

View the full programme here.

Experience Scuba Diving In The Maldives At Vilamendhoo

Is the Maldives suitable for diving? This is a popularly asked question when guests are trying to plan their adventures. The answer is, ‘Yes! Absolutely!’ The Maldives is truly a diver’s paradise. The spectacular underwater world beneath the crystal-clear turquoise sea hosts a variety of marine life of unimaginable beauty, inviting adventurers to embark on unique adventures. The Maldives offers up a variety of dive sites from gently sloping reefs, plunging drop-offs with overhangs and so much more.

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, is located in the South Ari Atoll, a famed diving location. A magnificent house reef encircles Vilamendhoo, with direct access from almost every point on the island. A mere swim away from the beach, you will discover the stunning house reef, and spot an abundant variety of marine life including over 150 species of tropical fish. Be sure to bring along your underwater camera to capture the magnificence of this magical underwater world.

At Vilamendhoo, Euro-Divers operate our 5-Star PADI certified dive centre. The professional team provide a variety of services including a complete PADI instructional programme, regularly organised dive trips, equipment rental services and much more. The courses offered under the instructional programme include a variety of beginner and continuing classes for anyone above eight years. Further, the centre has professionals of various nationalities to help you learn in the language you are most comfortable with. Once you are ready to explore the sea, Euro-Divers provide different diving packages at very competitive rates. View the full price-list here .

While you dive, be mindful not to step on or touch the fragile coral reefs. Do not place your equipment on the coral and as always, respect the marine life.
We look forward to welcoming you to your next diving adventure!

Swimming With Manta Rays In Vilamendhoo

Despite their size, manta rays are gentle, magnificent creatures. They are a flattened type of fish with wide fins that look like wings and no bones. They are found in tropical waters such as the Maldives. In Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, we offer a variety of excursions allowing you to hopefully spot, swim and photograph manta rays. Before heading out on this adventure, here are a few things you should know about manta rays.

Manta Rays, whose width exceeds 3 metres, are quite large. Female mantas are usually larger than their male counterparts. Manta rays have the biggest brains of all fish and do display some intelligent behaviour. They feed on plankton, which they filter through their gill-rakers.

Manta rays are peaceful and gentle creatures that do not pose any threats to humans. As they are very sensitive to disturbance, there are a few things to consider when swimming with mantas. Manta Trust advises swimmers to enter the water calmly and quietly, no closer than 10 metres away from the manta ray. Once in the water, keep your fins below the surface and avoid splashing as noise can scare away manta rays. Do not approach them any closer than 3 metres and always approach from the side, giving manta rays a clear path ahead. Finally, never touch a manta ray or chase after one.

As with most marine-life, we cannot predict their schedule. We do, however, have excursions that transport you to known manta spots where if you are lucky, you can see and swim with them. Join our Ocean Discovery or our Manta and Turtle excursions for great adventures. Should you happen to spot some manta rays and photograph them, tag #vilamendhoo in your posts so we can see too!

Happy adventures!

A Perfect Vacation in Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

You have arrived in paradise. You are ready for the perfect bliss and relaxation that await you. We have a couple of ideas to help you envision what your days ahead at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa can look like.


Vilamendhoo offers an underwater playground that is a swimmer’s dream. A treasure trove of undersea adventures, there is so much to do on the island. Book the Manta & Turtle excursion, the Whale Shark Excursion or step into the water and explore the magnificent reef that is just a stone-throw away. With the Euro-Divers Dive Centre available on the island, you can also opt to enrol into any of their courses and get PADI Certified. The Euro-Divers team guarantee a safe, fun and memorable diving experience.

For a romantic adventure, watch as the sun dips into the horizon and paints the sky all shades of orange on the Sunset Cruise. This late afternoon boat trip on a local Dhoni combines the stunning views of the sunset and the calming ambience of the sea to make the perfect excursion. If you are lucky, you may spot some dolphins as they too, join in the sunset watching.

The entertainment doesn’t end at sea. On land, there is just as much to try. There are a variety of sports facilities including an equipped Fitness Centre, Volleyball Court, Badminton Court, Mahjong Table, Football Grounds, Swimming Pool and so much more. You are bound to be spoilt for choice.


Welcome to food heaven. The buffet restaurant serves up a variety of regional and international cuisines to suit everyone’s taste. The all-you-can-eat serving style ensures you get to eat to your fill. The live cooking stations at hand allow you to watch as your food is prepared to your order. Enjoy the freshly made treats, the delicious tropical fruits and the warm and friendly service from our waiters.

From romantic dinners on the beach, illuminated by the moonlight, to tempting speciality cuisines at any of the la carte restaurants available, evenings are a special occasion in Vilamendhoo. The intimate dinners on the beach present an opportunity to make a special moment more memorable. Dine on the pristine sand as the ocean serenades the two of you, the palm trees swaying in the breeze. The a la carte restaurants, Asian Wok and Hot Rock, are just as unique. Savour the best of Asian cuisine and teppanyaki at Asian Wok or relish the wonderful experience of watching seafood or exotic game meat cooked at your table on hot rocks.

Step into a world of care at Duniye Spa. Recharge your energy and rejuvenate your body and mind under the able hands of our spa attendants. Here, a space of healing, touch and aroma has been carefully created to promote a deep sense of calm, joy and serenity. Their offerings from signature treatments to couple indulgences, combine oriental traditions and modern skincare to help you drift away into a realm of peace.


Before settling into your room, sample our evening entertainment   that varies every other day. Ocean Discovery Night, Karaoke Night and Maldivian Night being great examples of what we have to offer. Craving a nightcap? Walk into any of the bars available on the island for a cold, refreshing drink, prepared by our excellent bartenders.

There is much to explore on Vilamendhoo. Check out our exclusive offers and book your next trip to paradise.

Top Snorkelling Tips

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa has a magnificent house reef that is startling in its proximity to the beach and the volume of marine life that it houses. Snorkelling here is a truly wonderful experience and a highly recommended activity while in Vilamendhoo. Take a short swim, and you may spot sweetlips, triggerfish, butterfly fish, reef sharks and many more.
As you plan to take on the Vilamendhoo Reef, here are a few tips to ensure you have an enjoyable but safe time.

Get the right equipment 
To snorkel, you need a snorkel mask, fins and a vest. Pick the right mask that will allow you to breathe underwater, the right size of fins that give you swimming force and a vest that will help you stay afloat. The brightly coloured vests are also a safety precaution as they allow you to be spotted in case of an emergency.

Safety First 
Once underwater, it is very easy, especially for beginners to get excited and want to explore the ocean further. The underwater world is quite fascinating with lots of things to discover, but sometimes danger lies in the deceptively calm waters. It is important not to get carried away. Stick to the safe snorkelling areas and do not swim away from your friends. There is safety in numbers.

Respect The Marine Life 
While snorkelling, it is crucial to remember to respect the marine life. Coral reefs are extremely fragile so be careful not to bump into them. Similarly, once you spot turtles, fish or whale sharks, do not touch them or feed them. Keep a distance while swimming, to avoid offending or crowding them.

We have a regularly organised Snorkeling Boat Trip that allows you to enjoy swimming in nearby coral reefs. You can bring your snorkelling gear, purchase it from the gift shop or rent from the Dive Centre. Read more about this excursion here.

Take advantage of our exclusive offers if you are planning a visit to Vilamendhoo.

4 Experiences To Try When In Vilamendhoo

On both land and sea, adventure awaits at every turn in Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa. Our island is the perfect blend of thrills and tranquillity, allowing you to have your dream Maldives vacation. In Vilamendhoo, there as many things to do as there are people but here are our top four picks to start you off.

Whale Shark Excursion
The waters of the South Ari Atoll, which is where Vilamendhoo is, are teeming with marine life, most notably whale sharks. They have been spotted all year round in these waters. With our Whale Shark Excursion you will hopefully spot, photograph and swim with these wonderful creatures. Remember to maintain a respectful distance and not to touch the whale sharks.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding
The ocean is your playground in Vilamendhoo. For an exciting way to experience the clear azure waters, try out Stand-Up Paddle Boarding . Paddle across the shores, chasing the thrill of catching a wave and taking in the beautiful views all around you. This fun activity is also a great way of exercising without feeling like you are working out. Before hitting the water, however, Euro-Divers, who manage our Water Sports Centre, recommend a mandatory SUP orientation.

Heaven On Earth Treatment
There is no better way to end a day of adventures than with a rejuvenating massage from Duniye Spa . They offer pure pampering treatments 
such as the Heaven On Earth treatment, an ultimate face and body ritual that stimulates the natural balance of body, mind and soul. The Balinese massage will help you drift away to a realm of relaxation, an experience that is enhanced by the Tibetan singing bowls.

Bubbles & Lobster Dinner
Set on the shore, our Bubbles & Lobster Dinner is part of the beach dining experience in Vilamendhoo. This 5-course dinner features freshly caught Maldivian Lobster, perfectly cooked and paired with delicious treats. Wash it all down with Prosecco. Altogether, the stunning beachfront scenery and the sumptuous meals make for an evening of pure indulgence.

Looking for more ideas on what to do in Vilamendhoo? Read about our land sports water sports excursions and entertainment programme 
Check out our special offers as you book your trip.

Experience the Magnificent Vilamendhoo House Reef

The Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa house reef is one of the main attractions that lures guests from far and wide. It boasts of an abundant and diverse marine life, most notably manta rays and whale sharks. Whether you are an experienced or novice diver, you are sure to appreciate the wondrous lagoon.

Your underwater playground in the Maldives awaits. Snorkelling is one of the ways to explore the magnificent reef that is brimming with lively corals and marine life. It is quite easy to get to the reef as it is only a short swim away. Snorkel through any of the ten channels through the reef to reach outside of the reef. The current is known to be strong at times, so if it feels beyond your experience or comfort, return to the inside of the reef and the beach. While snorkelling, you may spot sweetlips, triggerfish, butterfly fish, porcupine fish, the reef sharks that are locals in the area and many more.

The South Ari Atoll, where Vilamendhoo is located is famous for possible manta ray and whale shark sightings. Vilamendhoo is close to a manta ray cleaning station and the National Marine Park for whale sharks. This makes it possible to organise weekly trips that hopefully allow divers to spot, swim and photograph whale sharks and manta rays, a truly unforgettable experience. Divers are advised to respect the animals by keeping a safe distance and not touching them.

We have organised various trips that allow you to experience the wonders of the underwater world. Our Snorkelling Boat Trip is scheduled every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Our Whale Shark Excursion is on every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Finally, our Turtle & Manta Excursion is scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Family adventurers can take advantage of the Family Adventure Full Day trip that allows you to spend a day out at sea with your loved ones.
Euro-Divers offers PADI courses that are meant to introduce you to diving in a fun, memorable and safe way. Their services also include guided diving and snorkelling and equipment sales and rental.

If you go exploring the magical waters, tag us in your pictures using #vilamendhoo.

Are you planning a vacation to Vilamendhoo? Check out our latest special offers .


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