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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Best Atolls to Enjoy Island Hopping in the Maldives - Set sail on the azure waters, discover oodles of adventure await
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Atolls to Enjoy Island Hopping in the Maldives - Set sail on the azure waters, discover oodles of adventure await

An archipelago of 1,200 islands—one couldn't wish for a better place on earth than the stunning Maldives for a slice of exciting island hopping. Hop aboard a boat, set sail from your resort island and revel in the excitement of uncovering oodles of adventure awaiting you in the idyllic archipelago.

1

North Male Atoll

Home to the island nation's capital, Male and the primary airport, Velana International Airport, Northern Kaafu or North Male Atoll, is considered the main atoll in the Maldives. Thanks to the inclusion of the capital city and the country's main international airport, North Male Atoll is one of, if not, the most visited atoll in the archipelagic nation. The administrative atoll also basks in the glory of kicking off the country's tourism industry, which has been a tremendous success since its inception.

2

Gaafu Atoll

Covering a surface area of just below 3,200 square kilometres, Huvadhoo or Gafu Atoll is the second largest atoll in the Maldives as well as one of the 10 largest natural atolls in the world. Gaafu atoll is split into two sections, namely, Gaafu Alifu or North Huvadhoo atoll and Gaafu Dhaalu or South Huvadhoo atoll, both of which comprise 235 islands in total. Tourists hoping to engage in snorkelling or diving on their island-hopping excursions can expect to be met with a wide species of fishes in the waters of Gaafu Atoll.

3

South Male Atoll

Paradisiacal beaches, picturesque lagoons with turquoise blue water, and incredible diving sites define the impressive South Male Atoll. The slew of islands that call the South Male Atoll home form the southern section of the administrative atoll Male and is nestled right next to its neighbour North Male Atoll, bordered by the Vaadhoo Kandu channel. Vacationing tourists could also find some of the finest Maldives luxury hotels in South Male Atoll, such as Adaaran Club Rannalhi.

4

Baa Atoll

The first and only designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives and a crown jewel of the archipelagic nation, Baa Atoll is a treasure trove of breathtaking natural wonders. The atoll is best known for the dense manta ray and whale shark population at Hanifaru Bay, which draws snorkelers and divers in droves every year. Spreading across an area of 1,200 square kilometres, Baa Atoll comprises 75 islands, only 13 of which are inhabited and home to around 11,000 Maldivians.

5

Lhaviyani Atoll

Tranquillity, adventure and luxury holiday living all rolled into one blissful tropical paradise; Lhaviyani Atoll sees one of the highest concentrations of tourism activity in the entire archipelagic nation. Thanks to its host of incredible diving sites, Lhaviyani Atoll has put the Maldives on the map for many avid divers around the world as well. Blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, Lhaviyani Atoll is a must-have on your island-hopping itinerary in the Maldives if it's within the vicinity of your resort island.

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