Baa Atoll, also known as Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi, is a Maldives administrative division comprised of three natural atolls: southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll, Fasdūtherē Atoll, and Goifulhafehendhu Atoll. It is one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse atolls in the Maldives, located on the western side of the atoll chain.
Southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll is the largest of the three atolls, stretching 42 kilometers long and 32 kilometers wide and containing nine inhabited islands. Fasdūtherē Atoll is sandwiched between the two Maalhosmadulu Atolls and is separated from the north Maalhosmadulu Atoll by Hani Kandu, also known as Moresby Channel. Finally, the Baa Atoll is completed by the smaller natural atoll known as Goifulhafehendhu Atoll, also known as Horsburgh Atoll on Admiralty charts.
Baa Atoll has 75 islands, 13 of which are inhabited, and a population of over 11,000 people. Eight of the remaining 57 uninhabited islands are being developed as resorts. Eydhafushi, the capital of Baa Atoll, is located on the island of the same name.
Baa Atoll is well-known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and it has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve due to its diverse ecosystems, rich marine life, and coral reefs. The atoll is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 1,200 fish species and 250 coral species. The geological formation of Baa Atoll is also unique, with large areas of submerged reefs, channels, and islands that provide an ideal habitat for marine life.
Tourism is a big business in Baa Atoll, and many of the islands have luxury resorts with activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, water sports, and beach relaxation. Hanifaru Bay, a natural lagoon where whale sharks and manta rays congregate in large numbers, and the island of Dhonfanu, which is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, are two of the atoll’s most popular tourist attractions.
Baa Atoll is also known for its distinctive traditional handicrafts, such as mat weaving and coir rope production. The atoll is home to a number of skilled artisans who create beautiful and intricate works of art using locally sourced materials.
Overall, Baa Atoll is a unique and beautiful destination that allows visitors to experience the Maldives’ natural beauty, rich culture, and diverse marine life.