THINGS TO DO IN RASDHOO - MADIVARUKRO
Located at the heart of Maldives, Rasdhoo – the capital island of North Ari Atoll – is just one hour speedboat ride away from the Male’ and Velana International Airport. A land area of approximately half square kilometers is populated with around 1500 people. Being in the middle of one of the most famous and demanding tourism zones in Maldives, Rasdhoo is one among the islands that pioneered local tourism in the country. Since the establishment of the first guest house in the island in 2011, local tourism grew exponentially in Rasdhoo. As we speak, the island currently hosts 25 guest houses with approximate capacity of 200 rooms, 5 dive centers, 2 watersports centers and 4 restaurants. 100% of the local tourism establishments in the island are owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. This, together with the fact that most of the staff providing guest services are experienced and trained through their previous employment at nearby resorts make Rasdhoo unique for tourists, allowing them to obtain very personalized, yet cutting-edge services. Scheduled direct speedboat transfers to and from Airport are available twice daily from each end. The short distance of 30 nautical miles from Airport makes it easy and affordable to arrange private hires if needed. Alternatively, comfortable 3 hour journey using direct public ferry system would be available in alternative days to and from Male’ for those looking for exceptionally cheap transport options. Conversely, a 15 minute scenery sea plane ride is available for anyone who wants to take this premium option for any reason. All these make Rasdhoo one of the most easily accessible local tourism destination in the country.
RELAX AT SANDBANK
Spend a day relaxing at the sandbank, Madivaru-finolhu. This is one of the best ways to spend a sunny day at Rasdhoo. Stunningly beautiful scenery is perfect for your selfies and outdoor photo shoots. The lagoon famous as the “blue-hole” hosting varieties of marine life, is just another excitement. Madivaru-finolhu is located in Rasdhoo Atoll, which has recently been protected under Environment Protection and Preservation Act of Maldives as an Internationally Recognized Area is evidence to the global significance of the underwater biodiversity of the region.
MEET THE LOCAL PEOPLE
Meet the local people while you are in the island. They are friendly. People of Rasdhoo treat the visitors as their family. The younger generation can speak English so don’t hesitate to speak to them, they are happy to help you. Your hotel can arrange visits to a local home and to experience their way of life.
MADIVARU CORNER DIVE SITE
This is easily one of the best sites for snorkeling and diving if you like sharks. Under supervision of a guide follow the reef wall until you reach the corner, where you can watch the spectacular display of reef sharks and eagle rays passing in front of you, often in great numbers.
This is where the edge of the atoll drops off to the deep ocean water. Go with a local guide to the channel between Rasdhoo and Kuramathi Island and see the occasional leopard shark or giant stingray on the sandy bottom, before encountering many reef sharks. The stronger the current, the more sharks you can see.
HAMMERHEAD SHARK DIVE SITE
Take an early morning dive to see the elusive hammerhead shark. The boat drops you into blue water dive, where there is no reef or bottom to give you a visual reference as to your position. The blue plankton look like shining flakes of glitter in the water around you and unicorn fish will play around your face and amongst your bubbles. Even if the hammerheads don’t appear, it is a beautiful dive.
MANTA FEEDING STATION
This site is one of visitors’ favorites. There is a bit of current, this large coral block is the place that the manta rays come to be cleaned. Dip in and wait for the mantas to begin flying gracefully through the waters. If you are calm and still, the mantas may approach to a close proximity. Other visitors to the block include pods of dolphins and solitary sharks.
Fan reef is situated on one corner of Kuramathi island and if the current is running west jump in the narrow sand patch between Kuramathi house reef and the first thila of Rasdhoo Channel. This small area often provides an immediate sighting upon descent either of eagle rays, napoleon, barracudas, white tip and grey reef sharks, stingrays or a leopard sharks.
FATTARU" HOME OF TURTLES
Sea turtles are one of the Earth's most ancient creatures. Fattaru is a place where you will not miss to see a turtle. Under supervision swim along the fattaru reef to see the turtles feeding and relaxing in the sea bed. Make sure you don’t touch them. Just enjoy watching and take pictures for a souvenir.
CAVES" DIVE SITE
This is a wall dive along the reef stretching out from Kuramathi Island. The caves are a series of shallow ledges found between 18 and 30m. One of the ledges at 22m is large enough to do a very pretty swim-through, taking care of the coral while you pass by. You can find white tip reef sharks and giant stingrays resting on the sand and various other spices in abundance.
This is an interesting site with the wall of the island of Rasdhoo on one side and massive coral blocks (or thilas) mounted on the outside steep drop-off of the atoll. These two features create a corridor of sand between the inner reef and outer thilas, in places only 20 meters wide. The aqua dynamics of this corridor seem to attract eagle rays, and on the sandy bottom we often find resting stingrays and white tip sharks.The thilas provide encounters with hunting jacks and trevally, white-tip and grey reef sharks, eagle rays and occasionally large diamond rays.
The most amazing scenery on any day is when the sunsets. The orange sea, skies and clean shores make the place highly photogenic. If you visit daily it would seem like a better sunset view everyday.
RASDHOO HARBOUR - FISHING BOATS
Rasdhoo was traditionally a fishing community though it had changed to a mix of fishing and tourism in recent years. There are about 20 fishing boats of sizes 70 to 110 feet in operation to fish yellowfin tuna. Take a walk to Rasdhoo harbor to see fisherman return from fishing in the afternoon and night.
Get on a boat to start a day that you wont forget. Then drop your line down and wait for the nibbling to start. Then once you know its time to pull, bring in the line as fast as you can and get ready for that picture. Morning troll fishing, day fishing and evening or night fishing is an adventurous way of spending a day in Rasdhoo.
Maldives ranks among the top five places on Earth for watching dolphins. Over 20 different species of dolphin call the Maldives home. Going for a dolphin cruise on sunset is a relaxing tour you can enjoy with your family, friends or your partner.
RASDHOO MADIVARU" PICNIC ISLAND
“Rasdhoo-Madivaru” – a picnic island located less than half a kilometer away from Rasdhoo is the favourite picnic destination even amongst locals living in the atoll and in Male’ region. The fine white sandy beach and pure light blue lagoon is always available for tourists close at hand. Videography would surely be among the best souvenirs that one might take home from there.
RASDHOO TOURIST BEACH
The most relaxing place in the island is Rasdhoo tourist beach, an area allocated for tourists to spend their day basking at the sun and sea. Under the watch of a guide snorkeling at the outer reef may be full of surprises and amazement.