Ukulhas Island Maldives – Travel Guide & 9 Best Things

Ukulhas House Reef

If you’re visiting the local islands in the Maldives, Ukulhas should be on your list. Why? It is a small cute island, with white sand beaches and the best house reef we have ever experienced in the Maldives. 

We spent every day many hours underwater just a few meters from the beach. After Rasdhoo and Thoddoo Island, Ukulhas was the perfect third island for the ultimate 2-week itinerary in the Maldives.

This is a full Ukulhas travel guide with all you need to know, from how to get there to the best accommodations and the top things to do.

3 Islands 3 Hotels

Koimala Beach Hotel Room

GENERAL

Where is Ukulhas located?

Ukulhas Island is located 70 km from Male and 15 km from Rasdhoo, the capital of North Ari Atoll (also called Alif Alif Atoll).

Ukulhas Island on Map

Ukulhas Island Map

Best Time to visit Ukulhas

While visiting the Maldives, you will want clear skies and no rain, as this is the ideal weather for all beach and water activities. That’s why we recommend visiting Ukulhas Island from December to April, during the dry season.

You can expect fewer visitors and lower prices if you book your trip in November or May, the shoulder seasons with a bit of rain.

How Long to stay in Ukulhas?

Aerial View: Ukulhas Island

Ukulhas Island is much smaller than the other nearby islands. That’s why we recommend staying for 3-4 days, which is definitely enough to explore the island, spend time in the house reefs, and enjoy the beautiful beach.

If your time is limited, you could visit for only 2 days or come for a day trip from a different island.

Best Hotels in Ukulhas

TRANSPORT & PREP

How to Get to Ukulhas?

The nearest airport is the International Male Airport.

From there, you can transfer to Ukulhas Island via a speedboat or the public ferry (with a stop at Rasdhoo).

Maldives Local Ferry
Maldives Transport Options

Male - Ukulhas Speedboat

Tourist speedboats to Ukulhas depart from the Male Airport Jetty once or twice a day. The journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and costs around 40 USD per person each way.

We recommend booking the speedboat online through 12Go.

Male - Ukulhas Public Ferry

There’s also a public ferry service operated by MTCC (Maldives Transport and Contracting Company), taking 4 hours from Male to Ukulhas, and costing around 5 USD.

This ferry departed in 2023 from Malé at 09:00 every Monday and Thursday and from Rasdhoo at 11:00 every Sunday and Wednesday.

The ferry from Male to Ukulhas makes a quick stop at Rasdhoo. Once you arrive in Rasdhoo, ask whether you can stay seated or if you have to change ferries quickly.

Thoddoo to Male Ferry Timetable
public ferry time table (april 2023)

Maldivian local ferries are frequently delayed and can even be canceled at the last minute, which is exactly what happened to us.

If your ferry gets canceled in Male at 9 in the morning, simply take the 5-minute ferry back to the Male Airport Jetty and opt for the speedboat to Ukulhas. Don’t worry; we think you will be luckier, and if not, we just told you what to do.

Islamic Customs

On Ukulhas, being a local Maldivian island, it’s important to respect Islamic customs. This means no alcohol is allowed, and it’s important to dress conservatively when walking around. Swimwear is only permitted at designated bikini beaches.

Money

Our recommendation is to bring cash to the Maldives, either in euros or USD, and exchange it for MVR in Male at unofficial exchange offices.

They typically offer the best rates due to a black market. However, if needed, there is a Bank of Maldives ATM on Ukulhas Island, next to the jetty.

How to Get Around in Ukulhas?

Ukulhas Island, being the smallest one we visited, had the best walkability. The length was a 10-minute walk, and the width was 5 minutes.

SLEEP & FOOD

Where to Stay in Ukulhas?

Accommodation prices in Ukulhas Island start at 50 USD. These are our recommendations:

dollar icon

BUDGET TIP: Guesthouses and hotels in the Maldives typically offer breakfast included in the room price, providing a great opportunity to save money.

Where to Eat in Ukulhas?

These were our favorite places to eat:

MUST-DOS

9 Best Things to Do in Ukulhas

These are the absolute best things to do:

1. Snorkeling

Ukulhas House Reef

The highlight for us in Ukulhas was snorkeling. 

Many local islands have house reefs, making snorkeling the perfect independent activity in the Maldives, but this island had the best house reef of all the islands we visited, with colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life.

We spent lots of time underwater and saw many sharks, stingrays, and cool fishes. Bring your own snorkel gear or get it from your guesthouse; some offer it for free, while others ask for a small fee.

2. Beaches

Sunbed on Ukulhas Beach
Ukulhas Local Island

The beaches on Ukulhas are stunning with white sand and clear water. The water is so clear that you can spot wild ocean animals from the beach. We spotted 20 baby sharks and 3 stingrays in just 5 minutes. 

There is one part of the bikini beach particularly cool, looking like a sandbank extension.

snorkel icon

REMEMBER: Swimwear can only be worn inside the designated bikini beach area.

3. Stand-Up Paddling

Drone View: Ukulhas Paddle

The clear turquoise water in Ukulhas is perfect for admiring the colorful house reef from above on a stand-up paddle. Some guesthouses have free-to-use stand-up paddling boards.

4. Diving

Sea Turtle in Maldives

If you’re a certified diver, explore the deeper waters around Ukulhas. There are diving centers on the island that offer dive trips to nearby dive sites.

5. Dolphin Watching

Swimming with Dolphins, Maldives

Take a boat trip to spot and swim with dolphins playing in the surrounding waters. Sunset dolphin cruises are particularly popular in Ukulhas.

6. Fishing Boats

Fishing Boat in Ukulhas

Head to the pier in the late afternoon and observe fishermen coming back with their catches. We saw so many big tunas being sold to locals directly from the boat.

Later, you can observe locals cutting and cleaning them at the pier, and throwing the fish remains into the water. This is when the sharks and mantas appear and emerge to the surface.

7. Local Island Experience

Fisher on Maldives Pier

Ukulhas, being very small, makes it easy to walk once around the coastline. This way, you can explore by yourself and get to experience the local life.

8. Relaxation

Local Islands Maldives Spa

Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this island. Whether it’s enjoying a massage or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, take time to relax.

9. Island Hopping

Local Ferry in Maldives

Visit other local islands via the public ferry or speedboat for a day trip or longer stay after Ukulhas. Rasdhoo Island is perfect for diving and sandbanks. Thoddoo Island is recommended for the whitest beaches, turtle encounters, and fruit plantations.

PACKING, tips & costs

Packing, Tips & Prices for Ukulhas

In our ultimate Maldives Itinerary Guide we have 4 important lists for you, that will make your trip to the Maldives even better:

Places near Ukulhas

Rasdhoo Sandbank, Maldives

As already mentioned, Ukulhas is the perfect third island to visit in the North Ari Atoll, after Rasdhoo and Thoddoo Island.

All three islands are connected via an atoll public ferry (1-2 USD), with Rasdhoo in the middle and the direct getaway from Male with the ferry (4-5 USD).

Conclusion

Ukulhas Island is the perfect destination if you want to independently snorkel at a spectacular house reef in front of the bikini beach. This activity is breathtaking and doesn’t cost you anything if you have your own snorkel gear.

Feel free to share your questions or experiences about Ukulhas Island in the comments below.

maldives itinerary rasdhoo sandbank

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