Haa Alifu Atoll is a very special place in the Maldives island nation, for it is the birthplace of Maldivian hero Mohamed Thakurafaanu the Great. With its extreme northerly orientation, Haa Alifu atoll stands on the fringes of the Maldivian tourist trade and thus is able to host some of the region’s most remote resorts. Because there are only three luxe resorts in Haa Alifu Atoll, each one occupies its own island, giving visitors the feeling of true isolation among the rainbow hues of sea, sky, sunset, and brilliant corals. With 28 uninhabited islands to explore within Haa Alifu Atoll, there is never a shortage of natural wonders accessible by speed boat, outrigger canoe, sea plane, or kayak.
Responsible for leading the Maldives in the struggle to liberate itself from Portuguese control during the 1500’s, Mohamed Thakurafaanu is equivalent to an Alexander the Great or a Saladin within Maldivian culture. This legendary Maldivian hero’s exploits are told throughout Haa Alifu Atoll and, indeed, the entire island nation of The Maldives. The more-than 400-year-old wooden palace on the island of Uthemu, where he was born, is preserved in pristine condition so that locals and tourists alike can glimpse the splendor of old.
Also in Haa Alifu Atoll stands the island of Baarah, where a famous war ship responsible for Maldivian victory was built and launched. On the island of Matheerah, a famous mausoleum stands. Once regularly visited by kings and noblemen, this site is an important touchstone of Maldivian culture. Also within this storied atoll, the island of Kelaa was used as a staging post for the British during World War II and hosts a beautiful mosque of great historical and artistic interest.
But not all of Haa Alifu’s most-popular islands are historical sites. Uligamu island, for instance, is famous among yachters navigating the north Indian Ocean. This beautiful haven is a welcome harbor for such boaters to drop anchor and refresh themselves before venturing onward. Many love the tropical paradise of Haa Alifu atoll so well that they choose to stay quite a long while.
As everywhere in the Maldives, scuba diving in Haa Alifu atoll is a profound experience of underwater splendor and otherworldly fascination. With so much to explore both above the water’s surface and below, Haa Alifu atoll stands as a Maldivian nexus of culture, beauty, and natural wonder.