Laamu Atoll, also known as Haddhunmathi Atoll, is one of the Maldives’ 26 atolls. It is located in the archipelago’s southernmost atoll and is the Maldives’ administrative division’s southernmost atoll. Laamu Atoll is made up of eight inhabited islands and more than fifty uninhabited islands, making it a popular destination for tourists looking for a true Maldivian experience.
Laamu Atoll’s administrative capital is located on Fonadhoo Island, which is also the atoll’s most populous island. Gan, Maandhoo, and Isdhoo are some of the other inhabited islands. Each of these islands has its own distinct characteristics and attractions, such as Gan Island’s ancient Buddhist ruins.
Laamu Atoll is mostly surrounded by barrier reefs, the broadest of which are topped by islands. While the atoll has a fairly regular shape, it does have a reef projection at its northeastern corner known as Isdh Muli. This atoll is similar to atolls found in the Pacific Ocean and resembles Kolhumadulhu, its neighbor to the north.
Except for the eastern fringes of the atoll, which are covered with islands that are quite large by Maldivian standards, the reefs surrounding Laamu Atoll are generally narrow and lack any deep pools known as vilu. Laamu Atoll’s islands are known for their lush vegetation, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters, making them ideal for activities like snorkeling, diving, and surfing.
The history of Laamu Atoll is rich, with evidence of Buddhist settlements dating back to the sixth century AD. In ancient times, the island of Gan was also an important stopover for traders traveling between India and the Far East. Visitors to Laamu Atoll can now explore Gan Island’s ancient Buddhist ruins, which include a stupa and a monastery.
Laamu Atoll is known for its commitment to sustainable tourism, in addition to its natural beauty and cultural significance. The Laamu Atoll Marine Center is located on the atoll and is dedicated to marine conservation and the preservation of local ecosystems. Laamu Atoll visitors can participate in eco-friendly activities such as reef cleaning, coral planting, and turtle monitoring.
Overall, Laamu Atoll is a unique and beautiful destination that allows visitors to experience the Maldives’ natural beauty, rich history, and sustainable tourism practices. Laamu Atoll is a true paradise on earth, with its pristine beaches, clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.