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Ari Atoll & Around

Centered on a vast, sumptuous and inviting oval lagoon dotted with reefs, Ari Atoll sits to the west of the capital and is famed for its superb diving and stellar beaches. The nutrient-rich water that flows out to the open sea through large channels between the islands attracts many ocean-going creatures and divers from all over the world.

South Ari Atoll, a Protected Marine Area, remains one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks, which are spotted year-round on the outer reef, while North Ari Atoll is famous for its hammerhead sharks, although these are far more elusive and require deep diving to see. The small natural atoll of Rasdhoo, to Ari Atoll's northeast, and the single island of Thoddoo both host vibrant, growing guesthouse scenes that attract budget travelers looking for an affordable diving holiday.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ari Atoll & Around.