Ukulhas Island

Ukulhas Island, Maldives Overview

A uniquely featured, environmentally friendly and sparsely populated island, Ukulhas finds itself on the Alif Alif Atoll of the Maldives. Like a pearl surrounded by coral reefs and blue lagoons, it is located 70 km east from Male. One of the best islands, when one talks about natural beauty, Ukulhas Island is the very first eco-friendly isle of the island nation. It houses one of the best bikini beaches among the local islands.

The main attraction of Ukulhas Island is its bikini beach, lined with sun beds and dotted with umbrellas. The beach is spotlessly clean as this Ukulhas is known for its cleanliness and waste management system. Ukulhas is also visited by families with young kids who enjoy spotting the rays, turtles giant mantas, zebra sharks and reef sharks at the House Reef of the island.

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Ukulhas Island
Ukulhas Island

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Things to Do

Ukulhas Island is a great place to sit back, relax or just have fun. Being one of the most eco-friendly and well maintained, Ukulhas Island is becoming one of the most sought out places for tourists.

Take a walk on the island:
One can take a stroll around the beautiful beaches on the island; on one side are the fishermen who are drying their salt cords, whereas on the other side one will find the locals indulging in a game of beach volleyball.  The eastern part of the island is a wonderful place for a stroll since it is dotted with small palm trees, ferns and mangroves.

Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters:
Ukulhas is famous for its white sandy beaches, coupled with warm temperatures makes for the perfect excuse to take a dip in the cool and refreshing ocean waters. At some beaches, one will also find some natural ponds to swim in. The best part is that most of the hotels have their private beaches which arrange for facilities like sunbeds, umbrellas and beaches, making for a luxurious and yet relaxing day by the beach.

Catch your dinner- go fishing!
Ukulhas Island is famous for fishing with an abundance of yellowfin tuna fish, and one can embark on a fishing adventure from any of the local islands. Embark on this amazing journey and if you are lucky you may also get to catch your own meal!

Cost: MDR 1000-1100

Explore the cool waters- go snorkelling!
Ukulhas is a perfect place for all those who love snorkelling or wish to experience it for the first time. The experience is quite safe on the island since there is almost no current on the house reef and one can witness the wonderful marine life ranging from turtles, manta and stingrays, blacktip reef sharks, hammerheads and tons of parrotfishes.

Cost: MDR 1000- 1100

Chill by the Bikini Beach:
The Bikini Beach is one of the main attractions at Ukulhas Island and some of the guesthouses also have direct access to the beach. Here one can dress as one pleases without having to worry about the strict dressing norms which are otherwise applicable to other beaches in the country.

Spend a day at the sandbanks:
There are different sand banks near Ukulhas which are operational at different times of the year and day. One can just sit by the beach, relax, or explore the corals and reefs in the oceans.

Cost for organized tour/ picnic: MDR 1300-1400

Best Time to Visit

The average temperatures at Ukulhas Island rarely vary and it is usually hot and humid throughout the year, with a low chance of rainfall. If one is on the lookout for warm summertime, the best time to visit the island is the months of April, May and June, with April being the hottest month.

Tips

  • The island is small; therefore the most common way to move around is on foot. So, it is advisable to wear comfortable footwear.
  • The weather is hot and humid so it is advisable to dress comfortably, apply lots of sunblock and also carry plenty of water to keep one hydrated.
  • Carry sufficient cash since there are no ATMs, banks or money exchange offices available on the island. However, they do readily accept USD.
  • Alcohol is banned on the island, and swimming in bikinis is only allowed at the bikini beach.

Where to Eat

  • The island has a few places to eat, so there is not much choice in that sphere, yet one can grab a decent meal with vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options.
  • Central Dinner- It is a great place which serves some of the most amazing food. The service is quick and it makes for a quiet family place.
  • Black Y Garden: The place is slightly overpriced and is known from its hearty banana milkshakes.
  • Olhumathi Restaurant: This is a simple restaurant with a friendly staff and good service. Try out the local seafood as that is a better option compared to the other cuisines.
  • Island Vista Inn: This Inn has a restaurant for its hotel guests but it is also available for people who are not staying with the Inn. The portions are huge and the Mayonnaise fish with the chef’s special sauce is a must have!

Waste Management System

In the year 2011, Ukulhas became the first island in Maldives is known for its waste management practices. Today, several islands in the country have also adopted a similar system of managing waste.

This system is a unique combination of various activities ranging from cleaning programs, planting programs and special programs for managing the marine life and local biodiversity.

There are dustbins placed at regular intervals on the island which keeps the surroundings neat and tidy. The best part is that this waste is segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. The waste is dealt in a superb three-step method which includes- recycling, pyrolysis and composting.

How To Reach Ukulhas Island

  • The easiest way to reach Ukulhas Island is to board the ferry from Male which operates on every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
  • The other option is to take the public speedboat which leaves from Male every day 4:30 PM, but on Fridays, it is 9:30 AM.
  • The added advantage of travelling by speedboat is that the travelling time is 1.5 hours which is less than that of the public ferry which takes about 4.5 hours to reach.

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