About Ukulhas Island in Maldives.
– A brief review of the island Ukulhas, – what other hotels are on the island, – a photo report on the island, – what you can see – the forums do not write about it, – different little things – nuances.
A brief overview of the island of Ukulhas
The island is 1025 meters long and 225 meters wide. Go around on foot in 30 minutes without hurrying around. Distance from the airport – 72 km, Alif atoll.
The island is home to 900 local people. They live their own, somewhat measured life. It feels like no one is working anywhere. Only in the evening on the pier there is life. The fishermen go fishing.
There are, of course, stores, school, kindergarten. There is even a local music band. The only local transportation here is motorcycles.
It must be said that the tourism business on this particular island is just budding. European service is not to be expected from them.
It gets dark on the island at 6:00 p.m., very quickly and it’s already dark by 6:30 p.m. In the morning the tide is about 3-4 meters. In the afternoon the water diminishes noticeably.
The island has its own generator. On the one hand palm trees ocean nature. On the other side is the sound of a working diesel.
Since the country is Islamic, an imam performs namaz 5 times a day for the entire island from the mosque.
I don’t remember the exact time, I got it from wikipedia:
1. at dawn (before sunrise), 2. at noon (15 minutes after noon), 3. in the afternoon, 4. after sunset, 5. at night (1.5-2 hours after sunset).
Cell phone service works. SMS home – about 70 rubles, I think.
Beach from the hotels – in general, clean, there are umbrellas and sun loungers.
As for the color of sand and water. Yes, in reality, the water is azure very beautiful color, and the sand is white. All this – in the sun.
After 5 days from the ocean brought a bunch of crap and garbage to the shore – unlucky Germans who have just arrived on vacation. Seeing dirt immediately upon arrival on the island of bounty – not ace, of course.
Hotels really do not differ from each other either by service or food. But the prices and locations are different. Compare yourself.
Rooms overlooking the ocean – this is not in principle, because all hotels, and better call them guest houses, located inside the island and separated from the beach vegetation.
Initially, we booked a room at the Breeze Inn. But, after a couple of weeks, the owner did not respond to our email. We were alarmed and made an urgent reservation at the Gunbaru Hotel, which we didn’t regret – we won in terms of money and location.
Every night it rained (we vacationed in the first decade of December 2014) During these moments, you feel like such a sliver in relation to nature. You’re in the ocean, on some tiny island, and all around this element with thundering winds and heavy downpours.
There are four gestation houses on the island:
Gunbaru Inn Ukulhas Breeze Inn Ukulhas Inn Coral Reef View Inn
On the maps, I have marked the location of the hotels for clarity.
We never found the Ukulhas Inn – don’t you agree, it’s hard to lose your house in 3 feet of island and two palm trees? The locals didn’t know the address or the name of the hotel or the location itself.
Ukulas Breeze Inn , which we originally booked, is on the second line of houses streets and vegetation, that it is not clear what view of the ocean they claim. The exit to the beach is through houses and palm trees.
Coral Reef Hotel – located on the first line, but also access to the beach, bypassing the palm trees. The only minus of this hotel I think is the proximity to the generator from which there is constant noise. How do tourists sleep and in general are in the hotel with this …
Our Gunbaru Inn , is located, in my opinion, in the most favorable place – 20 meters to the beach in a straight line. All food for all 4 hotels is prepared in the same “restaurant”, which is difficult to call a restaurant.
What to do and see on the island of Uqulas
Maldives – islands for seal holidays.
Of the less active – snorkeling or snorkeling to see the underwater world. This is the stuff!
The reef on this particular island is excellent. Unlike, for example, other expensive Maldivian resorts.
Lots of colorful fish swim in flocks along the lagoon. Some fish swim closer and you can see them with the naked eye, especially the surgeon fish.
The fish are beautiful, but dangerous. Don’t try to catch it, hit it with your hand with your foot.
Very sorry that I have not got an underwater video, or at least a photo camera.
The corals themselves are ordinary, not colorful. Stone color. There are beautiful forms rarely in the form of trees or flowers. But few.
Mostly broken, or regular shape. Cover the whole entrance to the water.
Entering the water.
Without special shoes for corals to go into the water almost impossible. Who thinks he can do with slippers – popados on the leg wounds, which then heal for a very long time.
Buy here are such coral slippers. Otherwise the reef will not look. Are inexpensive, around 600 – 900 rubles, but your feet will save. Although, we have with them and managed to hit the coral.
Where to buy – any sports store. We took in Decathlon.
We saw a flock of dolphins along the lagoon. Impressive. The picture was taken from the Internet, because I did not have time to take photos of this living miracle.
Saw a small shark and octopus on the bottom. Guest house offers night fishing, kayaking and a number of other activities.
The local beach has its own life. More precisely, its animals – crabs. Of all sizes – from small crabs, to large router crabs, as I call them.
It is not possible to photograph big crabs (or small ones) just like that. It is necessary to shuffle around him, to persuade him to take an exclusive picture.
Moreover, this guy decides – will be filmed or not. Usually, just seeing a human carcass, all the animals immediately hide in the sand or a shell. I do not know, we must have attracted him, the router gave us these shots.
We also saw crabs fighting with each other – which is also rare. One pushes the other out of his hole. Or three of them clashing at once. Funny life in the animal world. In the evening, the entire beach is dug like this, like moles.
I could not capture them in flight in a normal way. It looks like the same bats, only with a snout like a dog. Who is interested – there are no snakes on the island.
Also on the island live bats or foxes.
And the hit of the island, folks, is this.
Luminescent algae – I didn’t even know about this miracle, we discovered it by accident!
It was the very last night. The day before we were to leave. The time was around 9:00. It was pitch black.
Sitting in chairs on the ocean, feet in the water. All animals (crabs) concentrated in harmonious rows on the beach closer to the water. Funny how – stand routers along the beach, as if something / someone waiting.
And after a while, suddenly, from the sea to our feet began to throw out something in the form of shimmering small particles. They settled on the sand, flickered for a while, and then went out.
The stars at my feet are cool. In the Internet, then, on my arrival, I found what it was. In real life, everything looks not so bright, not so voluminous and not so intense, but in terms of emotions – super.
Ukulhas Island – a chic beach for an inexpensive vacation in the Maldives
Ukulhas Island is an inexpensive resort in the Maldives. Read our review: description of the island, beach, hotels, snorkeling, excursions, how to get from Male.
Ukulhas Island Review
Ukulhas is a very small local island in the Maldives, smaller than Toddoo. Its length is 1 km and width is only 250 meters.
It is called the island of fishermen, because the locals are busy catching fish. So we have not seen fishermen there, although we went at different times (including early in the morning) and to the pier and the beach.
We read in the reviews that Ukulhas is the cleanest local island, but in fact on Toddu is cleaner and quieter. It’s a stretch to call it paradise, but overall it’s not bad.
There is a lot of construction and household garbage, but the beach is clean. On Ukulhas nowadays there are quite a lot of construction sites. One of them is right by the beach, it is well heard and seen. However, it’s a great place for a budget holiday: azure water, white sand, fish, gorgeous sunsets.
Construction next to the beach Ukulhasa.
The beach at Ukulhas: photo and our review
The bikini beach is uncharacteristic of the Maldives – wide and long, about 500 meters. A lot of sun loungers and umbrellas, there is enough space for everyone. They belong to the hotels, but you can take any – no one will turn away.
On the beach there are a couple of stalls with coconuts and a stand where the prices for entertainment are listed. There are no showers or toilets.
The beach is very wide! Lots of free sun loungers and umbrellas. There is almost no natural shade.
The sand is floury in places, like on Todd, in some places coarser. Caught a lot of broken coral, so quietly do not walk – you have all the time to look under your feet. To step on the fragment as painful as a piece of “Lego”, so it is better to walk in shoes. There is no household garbage, they clean it up.
On the beach Ukulhasa there are fragments of coral – stepping on them hurts. In some places there are a lot of them.
At low tide, the entrance to the water is difficult because of the corals, also a lot of debris, because the house reef comes close to shore. Very shallow near the shore.
The sunsets here are incredibly gentle, and almost every night saw tourists having romantic dinners.
Most of all on Ukulhas we liked to meet the sunsets.
In low season, it is better not to come here, because a lot of garbage is brought to the beach.
Remember that tourists can undress only on the beach. On the island in a bathing suit is prohibited.
Snorkeling on Ukulhas. The coolest thing on the island is swimming with a reef shark. We were lucky enough to meet it four times! Huge schools of fish near the shore are also impressive.
About 20-30 meters from the shore – a grandiose dip in the blue abyss, the reef ends there. That is the best place for snorkeling, away from the shore.
On Ukulhas no noise, because the beach is wide and long.
Hotels in Ukulhas
Look for discounted hotels on Rumguru. Here are the basic rules for finding hotels.
Accommodations range from $45 a night with taxes and breakfasts, but mostly prices are in the $55-$70 range. That’s more than on Todd and Rasda. The cheapest guesthouse on Ukulhas is Gunbaru Inn for $45 a night, but the reviews there are mediocre.
We stayed in the middle of the island at the small Island Vista Inn. It cost $60, then we negotiated and extended our stay for $50 – with all taxes and breakfasts. The guest house is quiet, surrounded by palm trees and mango trees. There are only 4 rooms. We liked everything: The room is spacious, has air conditioning, refrigerator, a quiet ceiling fan (easy to turn on at night instead of air conditioning!), kettle, closet, a large table with a chair. And most importantly – ventilation in the bathroom, so there was no mustiness and humidity, which is a problem on local islands. Minus – breakfasts are scarce, drinks are tasteless.
How to save money. You can book a room for one night and then extend directly to the host – we saved $ 10 a night. Or immediately write to the hotel and book bypassing the system. In both cases, there is a risk of losing your room – better book through Rumguru.
We paid $50 a night for a room at the Island Vista Inn on Ukulhas. Photo from booking.com.
Where to eat on the island of Ukulhas
Things are sad with food on local islands, so choose a hotel with good food. On Ukulhas we only went to two establishments.
Thai cafe SeaLaVie. Tasty, but the prices are not low. Pad Thai is $8, noodle soup is $6, Tom Yam is $8, seafood rice is $10. Salads are $5 and juices are $3-3.5. Friday is the day off.
Olhumathi Restaurant. Reviews are good, but we ordered 5 different dishes here and all were not tasty. Plus after the rice my stomach was very upset. The prices are average and don’t match the taste and quality of the food. Main dishes and salads are $4-$10, soups are $4-$6. There are seafood: lobster $30-$60 (depends on size), fried shrimp $10, grilled seafood plate $48. Juices $2, milkshakes $4. When you order, they bring and open 1.5 liters of water right away – it costs $1.
Try Royal Court Café – we did not eat there, but the reviews are good. Tourists praise the fish.
The Maldivian pizza at Olhumathi was disgusting. I think they just defrosted the dough. This is a traditional Maldivian breakfast. Simple and delicious.
How to get to and from Ukulhas Island from Male
- Ferry. Direct ferries from Wilingili wharf take 4 hours to the island. The price is $4. Schedule: from Male at 9:00 on Monday and Thursday, from Ukulhas at 9:45 on Sunday and Wednesday.
- Speedboat . A trip of 1.5 hours. Runs daily at different times, both morning and afternoon. We took it to the airport at 12:00. The price is $50 per person.
- Fast boat . A trip of 1 hour. Price – $ 300 (accommodates up to 9 people).
- Seaplane . Unexpectedly cheaper than the boat. Price – $330 round trip (at some hotels it can cost up to $1500!). Great opportunity to see the Maldives from above. Flights only during daytime – from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm.
The schedule is not given because it changes quickly . Check with your host. For example our ferry schedule on the Internet was old, and had to take a speedboat to the airport. Arrange the transfer in advance and ask for a discount – we were $ 20 for the speedboat. Remember that Friday is usually a day off.
The cheap ferries for the locals inside look like this. No comfy chairs, just hardcore. But very cheap!
Ukulhas Weather. When to go
The high season lasts from late November to April. From May gradually begins the rainy season: rains, winds, waves. Because of this, debris is carried to the beach, and the water becomes turbid. Read more about the holiday seasons in the Maldives.
We lived on Ukulhas in early April. It was calm, only in the last few days there was a little wind and light waves. Once it rained late in the evening. The southern part of the beach was covered with water (it happens in April).
The sand on Ukulhas almost everywhere is white and fine, like flour.
What to do, prices for excursions in Ukulhas
Excursions and activities, as in the other islands of the Maldives, not much. The range is standard:
- Swimming with mantas – $150 for two for 90 minutes.
- Romantic dinner on the beach – $ 70.
- Big Fish Fishing (Big Game) – $75 per hour.
- Saltwater fishing – $50.
- Snorkeling – $70.
- Diving – $70.
- Waterskiing – $25 for 15 minutes.
- Picnic Island trip – $90.
- Canoe rentals – $15 per hour for two.
- Windsurfing – $20 an hour, instruction – $45.
- Jet skiing – $35 for 15 min, 1 hour – $100.
- Banana ride – $15 for 15 minutes.
- Sandbank ride – $150 for 90 minutes for two.
Other: critters and domestic issues
Insects and animals . There are many flying foxes, crows, geckos and iguanas on the island. There may be rats running around on the roof of the hotel. We saw one, it was nimbly climbing up the palm tree to the coconut.
And what without mosquitoes! There are a lot of them here. In the evening lying around the bushes is impossible, so take repellent or buy on the spot. And sometimes ants and midges get in the way.
During sunset, go to the beach – preferably where there are no locals. Have a crab safari: sit quietly, and after sunset turn on a flashlight – you will see hundreds of hunting crabs, which will run funny on the shore.
Stores. There are plenty of minimarkets where you can buy fruit, juices, water, cookies, snacks, yogurts, and other small things. The prices are not expensive. There are also souvenir stores and shops with household goods. On Fridays, the stores are open with a break for prayer.
Banks, ATMs, currency exchange. There’s no bank or ATM, so come with cash. You can exchange in cafes, restaurants and hotels.
On Ukulhas during our vacation the water was very calm. You can see everything: corals, small fish, reef sharks.