Though administratively part of Ari Atoll, Thoddoo is actually a single, separate, oval island about 20km from the northern edge of the main atoll. It’s about 1km across, and has a population of 1350. While most locals are employed as fishermen, Thoddoo is known for its fertile soil and for being the biggest producer of watermelons in the country. The island also enjoys a reputation for dancing; its famous troupe of traditional dancers performs in nearby resorts.
Thoddoo is believed to have been occupied since ancient times; a Buddhist temple here contained a Roman coin minted in 90 BC, as well as a silver bowl and a fine stone statue of Buddha. Today, Thoddoo is a backpacker favourite with around a dozen guesthouses and a bikini beach. It's a great spot to witness traditional Maldivian village life.