The Maldives is both a beautiful and rewarding holiday destination for adventure travellers. And especially if you are a diver, nothing could quench your wanderlust like the Maldives, the haven of beautiful islands with a diving site for all kinds of divers — from beginners to experts.
Banana Reef guide
In the heart of Kuda Kalhi, North Male atoll lies Banana Reef, the best diving spot in all of the Maldives. Banana Reef crept into travellers’ bucket list when it was discovered to be Maldives’ first diving spot, and still continues to do so. Banana Reef is a gallery of ornate caves, overhanging cliffs, soft corals, dramatic marine life, and then some. Picture all of this embedded against a beautiful island setting that looks like a banana when seen from the air.
What to see in Banana Reef?
Where blue-hued waters teem with vibrant-coloured marine life, talk about incredible scuba diving and underwater photoshoots! Prepare to exercise your adrenaline all day by indulging in watersports, for Banana Reef is the mecca of watersports in the Maldives. Get ready for the unforgettable experience of your life while doing so — meet rare squirrelfish, grub fish, bannerfish, and a lot, lot more while gliding past incredible colour palettes of corals and cave formations.
Visit during the months of November to April since Maldives’ shark season falls during the period. Needless to say, the few minutes of riding with the giant guardians of the ocean will stand out as the most exhilarating moment of your entire vacation. Also, unless you are a seasoned diver or are very, very sure of your expertise in the water, take a guide along with you. Banana Reef cannot be predicted with whirlpool water formations, a water current phenomenon that could sometimes prove fatal. No worries though, just listen to your guide’s instructions, respect the ecosystem of the reef and explore in a sustainable way.
Also read: Best places to visit in the Maldives
Things to do in Banana Reef
1. Snorkel in the breathtakingly clear waters and say hi to the school of fishes whirring past you.
2. Go for a night dive. No matter how special it was in daylight, the beauty of a nocturnal underwater experience cannot be matched.
3. Take an aerial tour to put the beauty of the island in perspective so you can truly appreciate it.
4. Soak up the warm sun rays by sunbathing in the white-sand beaches.
5. Spot rare marine species such as yellow-striped Oriental sweetlips and orangish soldier fishes.
6. Hire a photographer or a camera and capture the blindingly colourful island for your Instagram.
7. Scuba dive with the Mantas and maybe spot a white shark or whale shark.
8. Surf! It never gets said or done enough, as the waves if favourable, will take you on the most amazing surfing experience ever.
9. Stay in an overwater villa with sweeping views of the island. You will need that after a long, challenging day of adventures.
10. Learn about the ecosystem of the place along with a thing or two about sustainable ways to explore such natural gems.
What is the best time to visit Banana Reef?
November to April is the best time to visit Banana Reef as it’s the summer season there. Not only does the water stay clear and the visibility is great, but also many rare-seen marine creatures return to Banana Reef in abundance during this period, catering to a perfect “diving holiday”. All the more, there is no bad time to visit Banana Reef as the Maldives enjoys tropical weather all year round, with the temperature slightly decreasing to 24°C in the monsoon season. Even if it rains, and the weather is suitable, you can still grab your masks or surfing board and have a go at scuba diving or surfing.
Also read: Best time to visit the Maldives
How to reach Banana Reef?
Banana Reef is nearly 7 km away from Hukhumale beach in Male Island. Since Male is very well connected to the Valena international airport, there should be no trouble reaching Male. From there, a lot of ferries and boats offer rides to reach Banana Reef. If you want some privacy, you can opt for a private ferry or a seaplane. Even yacht services are available. If you have a budget to stick to, you can opt for a public ferry or cargo boat rides.
Inspired to dive into the world-famous Banana Reef? Take a look at these Maldives holiday packages and book your vacation now.