North Alifu Atoll
With 27 resorts in the atoll, this is the second zone to which tourism expanded. Alifu Atoll is comprised of three geographical atolls – Ari Atoll, one of the largest atolls in the Maldives, measuring 80 kilometers in length and 30 in width, Rasdhoo Atoll and the tiny Thoddoo Atoll.
If you visit a resort in Ari, you will be surprised to learn that this is one of the most highly developed tourist areas in the Maldives. Looking out across the water from your bungalow you will easily forget that the rest of the world exists. Only when you venture out and visit other resorts will you realize that there are other widely dispersed resorts.
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You may get to your chosen resort in Alifu Atoll by speedboat or seaplane, an exciting option considering the beauty of the atolls from the air.
Alifu Atoll is divided into two administrative zones; South and North Alifu Atolls. There are a total of 18 inhabited islands with a population of about 10,000. Thoddoo has a reputation for agriculture, especially watermelons. In 1958 archeological sites on the island were excavated.
It was found that the island was an important Buddhist center before the country embraced Islam in 1153. The island’s mosque was built in the 17th century and has recently been renovated. The mosque on the island of Mathiveri was built during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar, during the 17th century. The Friday Mosque in the capital Male’ was also built during his reign.