Best islands to stay in the Maldives
Kaafu Atoll is the traditional name given to the centrally located natural atolls of the Maldives more commonly known as Malé Atoll. In Kaafu, visitors enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving and soaking in the sun’s warm rays. Beyond those typical amusements, ou can choose to fly above the gorgeous islands and gain a bird’s eye view of the Maldives, cruise alongside dolphins or enjoy a sense of peace with morning yoga on the beach.
Kaafu is a fast paced island. Arriving here on speedboat, visitors sail across the open seas to see the active reefs, sprawling white sand beaches and endless warm turquoise waters. Once off the water, the island is a fitting escape from all the action. There are several picturesque hangout spots including nature trails and gardens. In addition there are several extravagant restaurants specializing in cuisines from Indian to Italian. In fact, several will facilitate their guests simply lounge on the beach while indulging in a private dinner.
Haa Alifu Atoll
Haa Alifu is all about action, marine action that is. Life is all about the ocean here. Snorkeling, diving and other water sports are enjoyed by tourist and locals alike. With crystal clear waters packed with marine life, snorkeling is excellent here. Moreover, there are plenty of large pelagic species surrounding this atoll, rendering it one of the most exciting places in the underwater world to dive. Skimping below the surface, you will witness blackfin barracudas, Spanish mackerels and other schools of fish as well as beautiful coral that decorate the shallower portion of the reefs. Parting the waters, schools of snappers, Andaman sweetlips and manta rays will swirl past you. There are over 40 accessible dive sites, complete with reefs, rainbow-bright coral, and sunken wrecks raising the bar for divers and snorkelers.
Diving deep below the surface, there is much to discover including blue mantas and leopard sharks. Even further below the surface, you will find redtooth triggerfish, snappers, fusiliers and the popular Maadhoo Wreck.
Southern Ari Atoll
Ari Atoll is one of the major natural atoll chains within the Maldives. It is one of the largest atolls and is located in the west of the archipelago. The South Ari Atoll is made up of 50-odd small islands, scattered within the cyan waters with only 20 of them inhibited for tourist resorts. Interestingly enough, each of these isles has its own personality, but they are all complete with luxurious settings.
This island is about exploration. Excursions offer exploring the land as well as the ocean. The picturesque beaches offer ideal settings for lounging, snorkeling and diving. Along with Haa Alifu Atoll, this picturesque atoll is considered to have some of the best dive sites in the Maldives. Here, exploring the world under the surface is one of the most enjoyed pastimes as stunning marine life can be witnessed by divers, including sharks and manta rays. By extension, there are several deserted shores, where you can explore the ruins from ancient Buddhist and Hindu settlements. Indeed, this island hides plenty of its treasures offshore.
Lhaviyani Atoll is one of the most popular Maldives Atolls for sophisticated vacationers looking for a relaxing beach holiday. The main attraction here is scuba diving; however guests also enjoy rejuvenating spas, playing golf at one of the top courses or simply lounging on one of the beaches.
For travellers interested in fishing, Lhaviyani will not disappoint as fishing is the main industry here. On the capital island, Naifaru, the locals have a widespread reputation for making various attractive handicrafts from coral and mother-of-pearl. As such, it’s also a great place to find exquisite trinkets that will serve as memorable souvenirs.