Have you ever felt the urge to visit an uninhabited island and explore it to your heart’s content? Well, if you would like to go on a Robinson Crusoe kind of trip, you need to find a deserted island first. And the small island of Kuda Bandos in Maldives is just the right place to start your adventure.
Location: Situated in the North Mal’e Atoll, Kuda Bandos is an uninhabited island located close to the Bandos Resort. After landing at Mal’e International Airport, you can catch a local boat called a Dhoni or a speed boat that can take you to the island. Travel time varies between 20 minutes and 10 minutes respectively for both kinds of transfers.
The Island: Also called as Small Bandos, Kuda Bandos has been for ages a regular picnic destination for tourists and Maldivians alike. The island is open to visitors on all days of the week except Fridays and Saturdays (weekends in the Maldives). The island is also closed on public holidays.
What’s the fun in visiting an island that is crowded you may ask! Well, the thrill lies in having the freedom to move wherever you want to in the island, and it gives you a great opportunity to make plenty of new friends.
Locals need not pay anything to enter the island in addition to those who possess work permits. Tourists however need to pay an entrance fee of 10 dollars to enter the island and use its facilities.
General Amenities: Even though the island is uninhabited, taking into concern the island’s popularity, the Maldivian Government has furbished it with various general amenities. These include public showers, changing rooms and rest rooms.
The island also has several cooking sheds that come with big vessels and natural kitchenettes that guests can make use of. All you need to do is bring along all the ingredients needed for your dish, some plates, cups and spoons to pass along to others and Presto! You have your own kitchen to cook in and serve delicious food.
Throughout the beach, wooden benches, plastic chairs and hammocks are present for guests to rest on. There’s nothing that beats eating your meal on the beach or on a bench placed in the water.
The beach surrounding the entire island is a haven for beach combers and snorkelers. With a sandy white shoreline, the water changes color from light turquoise green to a darker shade of the same color and then ends with the dark blue sea.
The shallow waters around the island house several colorful corals and reef which in turn house several fishes and other small sea creatures. Snorkeling is a very popular activity here and the corals that line the jetty are pretty amazing to explore.
Many resorts around Kuda Bandos offer different cruises for their visitors. Some of these include the Island Hopping Excursions where visitors to another resort are brought to the island for a day; Sunset Cruises where guests disembark on the island in the evening and enjoy the sunset over the horizon, followed by a dinner on the beach afterwards; and the Kuda Bandos Sunset Wedding cruise which enables couples to get wedded on the island in traditional Maldivian style.
The wedding cruise incorporates all the elements of a Maldivian wedding which comprises of a sunset boat ride, wearing colorful Maldivian garments and exchanging vows on the beach. The event is commemorated with a celebration dance and music played with Maldivian drums. The newly wedded couple can then enjoy a romantic candle light dinner right on the beach of the island.