In the western half of the Maldives among the crystalline waves of the Indian Ocean lies the Ari Atoll, one of the largest in the entire archipelago. Also known as Alif Alif or Alufu Atoll, Ari Atoll contains more than 100 islands, more than 20 of which have been dedicated to the tourism industry and therefore can be considered microcosmic holiday paradises. Currently divided into Northern and Southern Ari Atoll, the group of islands is united in its beauty and the abundance of its exotic wildlife. It thrives in the tropics, not only as a tourist destination but also as a harbour of some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
Holidays in Ari Atoll are a treat for anyone who is fortunate enough to have heard of the place. The place is alive with activity, be it local festivities or sporting and leisure events aimed specifically for tourists to experience the Maldives at its finest. Water sports are particularly huge in Ari Atoll, and the stunning scenery and underwater life make activities such as snorkeling and traveling by glass bottom boat an unforgettable adventure. However Ari Atoll is most renowned for its scuba diving, which takes place practically all year round at a seemingly unlimited number of dive sites along the islands’ inner and outer coasts. The lagoons are great reservoirs of aquatic life and offer a great opportunity for tourists to catch the flora and fauna – including the dazzling coral reefs – at their most beautiful. The water at night is equally – if not more – spectacular; phosphorescent water species emblazon the darkness and display the other side of the Maldives’ beauty.
There are a number of resorts, cabins and hotels available to tourists for accommodation purposes in Ari Atoll. Prices and quality vary widely due to the Maldives’ reputation as a prime destination for holiday goers. On the more expensive end you will find hotels such as the Conrad Hotel, which belongs to the Hilton chain of hotels, as well as the White Sands Resort and Spa. More humble hotels include the Banyan Tree and Vilamendhoo. Most of the hotels you will find will have good access to transport links (including sea planes) and entertainment facilities, especially as there is a water sport facility virtually every few 100 feet along the shore.
When planning your vacation to Ari Atoll, make sure to try and book early, as you will most probably find better deals and save on expenses. For further information contact your local travel agent.