One of Maldives best beaches (of the inhabitable ones, that is), happens to be in the South Ari Atoll. The island is named Nalaguraidhoo and it is simply stunning. Some 62 miles from the Maldive airport at Male, some call Sun Island the flower of the Indies! You’ll get away from it all, here. Among the 1190 islands that make up this wonderful place, Sun Island carries many excellent recommendations. When you land, you’ll know you’re somewhere special.
Why did we choose this spectacle, set on a tiny dot in the Indian Ocean? Here’s what we found: Sun Island was probably a coral/sand island with tropical vegetation and no refinements.
Since the Maldives took a great interest in tourism during the past 20 years, over 65 resorts have sprung up. Companies visited the larger, more compatible islands and made decisions to build resorts. Many islands have only one resort.
Sun Island didn’t need much work. You can tell that much of the beauty is not man-made at all. First, the shape of the island lends to a grand lagoon, perfect for water sports such as snorkeling or canoeing. The barrier reef starts close enough to swim to and nature responds with a myriad of colorful fish and coral, sea life and crystal clear water. So clear, as a matter of fact, many say they feel as if they are flying over the reef. But, if you’re not the water lover – you’re in luck.
It’s absolutely crazy, but there are parts of the island where you can see the reef right from the beach – with no need to get in the water! Plus, if you choose an overwater bungalow, you can literally day dream for hours while watching the fish and other creatures do their thing from your lanai.
Here’s a few tips while snorkeling: Rentals are around $7/day. Get a mask that fits well – no leaks. Fins must be comfortable. Ask the resort where the best snorkel spots are – don’t waste time. Ask about any potential problems. Wear a t-shirt and suntan lotion. Finally, don’t stand on the coral – it’s fragile!
Next, the other shore is a stunning pure white beach that you can walk, jog, relax, take pictures of – whatever you dream. Even in high tide the shore is full and inviting. Catch the sunset here, or be catered to by the staff in grand style. There’s nothing like sipping on a drink, listening to the surf, feeling the gentle breeze and the soft touch of the sun on your skin as you unwind on holiday so far from home no one could find you if they had to. Isn’t that what you’re here for?
Sun Island is a “sun” spot – most days full sun with little cloud cover. You know the daytime routine – tanning, snorkeling, reading, diving, windsurfing. But at night, you’re in for a treat. Most come here with little regard to night life – by the time the sun is setting, you are, too! However, make sure you plan to go on one of the nighttime fishing trips – just a few hours right after sundown, which end in a fantastic fish fry and bake right on the beach. Nothing could end the evening better than a Maldivian customary meal under the stars.
- Sand – medium bright white powder
- Facilities – at the main house northside, and at the water sports area
- Shade – palm trees along the northeast end, umbrellas available elsewhere
- Sports – diving, snorkel, windsurf, jetski rentals
- Notes – no topless, Maldivians are strictly Sunni Muslim