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An island in the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism.
An island in the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism.

Ari Atoll: swimming with whale sharks and manta rays

The Maldives are made up of 26 coral atolls. One of these atolls is the Ari atoll also known as Alifu. This atoll is located between 80 and 120 km southwest of the archipelago capital, the city of Male. The atoll is located at a latitude between 3 ° and 4 ° north of the Equator.

This is one of the largest atolls in the Maldives archipelago. If we include its vast lagoon, Ari has an area of about 2,250 km² and is therefore the third largest atoll in the Maldives, after Thiladhunmathi (Boduthiladhunmathi) and Huvadhu atoll. Administratively, Ari Atoll (formerly Alifu Atoll) is divided into two units: Alifu Alifu Atoll and Alifu Dhaalu Atoll.

Manta rays in the waters of the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism
Manta rays in the waters of the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism

Ari stretches from north to south for about 90 km and from east to west for about 30 km. The atoll consists of 105 islands some of which are resort islands developed for tourism. This atoll has a resident population of about twelve thousand inhabitants, who live on the 36 inhabited islands that make it up. The most populated islands are those of Maamigili and Mahibadhoo.

Ari Atoll is one of the areas in the Maldives where tourism is promoted. There are about twenty resorts there. By far the most popular activity is diving. Also here you can swim with whale sharks and manta rays.

An island in the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism
An island in the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism

HOW TO GET TO ARI ATOLL

The seaplane flight time from the capital Male is approximately 30 minutes. In the extreme south of the atoll, on the island of Maamigili there is an airport, the Villa International Airport Maamigili. Flyme (Villa Air) flights operate from this airport, connecting it with other atolls in the Madive Islands with ATR42 and ATR72 aircraft.

ACCOMMODATION, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS

Booking.com

WHERE TO STAY IN ARI ATOLL

RESORTS:

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives.

Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas.

Fiyavalhu Maldives.

LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas.

Maafushivaru Resort Maldives.

Nika Island Resort & Spa.

Safari Island Maldives.

Amaya Kuda Rah.

W Maldives.

Angaga Island Resort and Spa.

Diamonds Athuruga.

Gangehi Island Resort.

Holiday Island Resort & Spa.

Kandolhu Maldives.

Kuramathi Madives.

Mirihi Island Resort.

Sun Island Resort & Spa.

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa.

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa.

HOTELS:

Dhiguveli Maldives.

GUEST HOUSES:

Thila Farm View Guest House.

Ufa Escape.

A tourist facility in the Maldives. Ari Atoll. Credit Maldives Tourism
A tourist facility in the Maldives. Credit Maldives Tourism