If your heart is set on diving around the world, but your finances are giving you pause, then this is the list for you! We’ll explore the five best options for budget dive resorts and hotels that provide you all the gorgeous underwater sights, without setting you and your bank account too far back. 

A diver swims through the middle of a school of fish near Assava Dive Resort

1. Assava Dive Resort – Koh Tao, Thailand 

The small island of Koh Tao is home to a dazzling collection of underwater landscapes and marine life. You can expect to see shipwrecks, barracudas, sharks and stingrays during your adventure here. Koh Tao can be known for its vibrant nightlife, which mainly flourishes on the west side of the island.

However, Assava Dive Resort sits on the southern tip. It’s great for visitors who are looking for a more calm and peaceful getaway. Assava is also a budget hotel that accommodates many international visitors. In fact, their dive instructors come from all over the world, and can likely lead the dives in your preferred language. Depending on your skill level, the resort organizes a variety of dives all around the island.

three divers walk through the resort at desert divers dahab egypt

2. Desert Divers Dahab Hotel & Camp – Dahab, Egypt 

Perched right by the Red Sea, Desert Divers is a great budget hotel with unique cultural offerings. Desert Divers is situated in Dahab, which is now considered one of the top diving destinations in Egypt. Moreover, Dahab is heavily influenced by the Bedouin community, an ancient semi-nomadic and desert-dwelling tribe of the Arabian desert. In fact, the founder of Desert Divers, Said Khedr, is Bedouin himself. His sustainable business model empowers the local community to become dive instructors and tour guides.

This resort also gives you access to world-famous dive sites like the Blue Hole, a challenging spot suited for more advanced divers. Nearby, the Canyon is also a world-class dive site, but is suitable for both recreational and more technical divers. 

Outside of diving, there are also options to go on desert treks with Bedouin guides, rock climbing, and even a camel diving safari.  

Coral Divers Resort shown from above in Sodwana Bay, South Africa

3. Coral Divers Resort – Sodwana Bay, South Africa 

This affordable dive resort sits in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site worthy of its own expedition. In Sodwdana Bay, these warm Indian Ocean waters are home to leatherback turtles, sharks and eels, as well as caves and overhangs that offer staggeringly beautiful coral formations. 

If you want a break from diving, there is plenty of other amazing wildlife to see in the park. On land, you can take safaris with local tour groups to see elephants, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, and more!

an aerial shot showing quo vadis and the moalboal philippines coastline

4. Quo Vadis Dive Resort – Moalboal, Philippines 

Quo Vadis Dive Resort is one of many dive resorts in the town of Moalboal. However, Quo Vadis’ picturesque ocean views and stellar dive instructors set it apart from other budget hotel options. 

One of the world famous sights in Moalboal is none other than the school of sardines just offshore. This phenomenon happens year round, but the best time to see it is during the dry season, from approximately December to June. If you’re lucky enough to witness the spectacle, you will get the opportunity to dive amidst millions of sardines. 

a dolphin shows its dorsal fin in front of a boat in the galapagos islands ecuador

5. Hostal Lava House – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are traditionally one of the most expensive yet one of the most sought-after dive destinations in the world. Luckily, there are ways avoid spending your life savings on a trip to the islands, and one of those ways is staying on land at a guest house or hostel, like the Hostal Lava House.

Located in Puerto Ayora’s most exclusive area, this well-rated guest house features private rooms and access to the islands’ vast array of eco-systems. The nearby Scuba Iguana dive shop will ferry you around the island and help you get in the water with penguins, marine iguanas, fur seals and perhaps even schools of hammerhead sharks. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on a budget.

Are You Ready for Your Dive Trip on a Budget?

If this list piqued your interest, it might be worth checking out our list of budget-friendly liveaboards or our budget travel collection on PADI Travel. We also invite you to check out this other article on affordable dive locations around the world. Start exploring now!

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