Budget Travel In Maldives | 5 Day Ukulhas Travel Itinerary + Guide

Budget Travel In Maldives | 5 Day Ukulhas Travel Itinerary + Guide
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Ukulhas is a quaint beautiful island located in the North Ari Atoll, located 72kms west from the capital city of Maldives – Male. Ukulhas is well known for its cleanliness, waste management and as the first systematically waste managed island in the history of Maldives, which even won Ukulhas the “Green Leaf Award” by the Maldivian government in 2014. Tourism in this island of Ukulhas dates back to 2012. 

Ukulhas has plenty of budget friendly properties for you to choose from, making Ukulhas one of the best local islands to visit, in the North Ari Atoll, if you are planning on taking a Budget Trip to Maldives. One of the best Things about Ukulhas is that there is no dearth of beach beds for you to relax on. And the Tourist Beach, aka the Bikini Beach is almost a km long.



How to Reach Ukulhas?

If you are wondering How to reach Ukulhas, the best bet is the Speed Boat. 

The Speed Boat transfer takes around 70-80 minutes from Male Airport Jetty to Ukulhas and costs around 50 USD /head. 

Another option is hopping on a public ferry. It costs around 1 USD, but takes 4+ hours and it runs only thrice a week, making it kind of unreliable, especially when you are in the Maldives for a limited amount of time. 

Yet another option is to hop on a Sea Plane. However, the Sea Plane will drop you at a Resort nearby, from where you’ll have to get on a Speed boat to Ukulhas (This the Hotel will help you out with ). And it’s the most expensive option, as the Sea Plane transfer from Male Airport to a Resort near Ukulhas will cost you around 200 USD + (Please Confirm on ground or with the hotel ) + Transfer cost to Ukulhas by Speed Boat. 

Hence, the most Budget Friendly and Best Mode to reach Ukulhas is via Speed Boat. 

After clearing your Immigration at Velana International Airport (Male International Airport), proceed to pick up your luggage. 

Please note that it’s illegal by law to carry any liquor on you. If by any chance you have it, you’ll have to dispose it off, at the Airport itself. 

Once you step out, head to counter F3. 


Speed Boat Timings

Male to Ukulhas – 10:30 AM and 04:00 PM. 

Ukulhas to Male – 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM. 




Where To Stay in Ukulhas?


The best place to stay in Ukulhas, according to this Maldives Budget Travel Guide is without a doubt – West Sands Ukulhas


Welcome to West Sands Ukulhas – A Boutique Budget Friendly Beach Front Hotel in Ukulhas


It’s a quaint 25 Bedroom Beach front property, boasting spacious rooms equipped with all modern amenities. 

West Sands Ukulhas boasts of a couple of Jacuzzi Suites, boasting an Open Air Jacuzzi and an Open Air Shower as well, apart from a panoramic view of the Ocean. 

West Sands Ukulhas also has a couple of Grand Ocean Suites, best suited for couples, boasting of a King Sized Double Bed, A Bathtub and a Balcony overlooking the Ocean. One of these was my room at West Sands Ukulhas. 

The Grand Ocean Suite at West Sands Ukulhas


West Sands Ukulhas also has a couple of Family Suites and Garden View Rooms for you to choose from. 

West Sands Ukulhas has an in-house restaurant, called The Fisherman’s Boat a multi cuisine restaurant offering guests both  a la-carte and Buffet Style Meals. 

And trust me when I say this, the food is simply Yummy. Not once during my stay was any dish repeated, in any of the meals. The dishes were exquisite and scrumptious and the foodie in me was satisfied. It can be easily said that West Sands Ukulhas, will make you go into a food coma on a daily basis, during your stay there. 

The Fisherman’s Boat – The Multi Cuisine Restaurant at West Sands Ukulhas

Just look at all the Yummy Food


Breakfast is served between 7-9/9:30 AM, while Lunch is served between 12 – 2:30 PM. 

You can have coffee and tea anytime of the day and any number of times, and it’s Free of Charge. 

Dinner at The Fisherman’s Boat is served between 7 – 9/9:30 PM, which is perfect as it gives you enough time to take a leisurely post dinner walk, and to just immerse yourself in the sounds of waves crashing on the shore. 



What To Do in Ukulhas?

West Sands Ukulhas also has a dedicated Excursion Desk to help the guests book their excursion while staying in Ukulhas at the best rate possible. 

Some of the best things that you can tick off your Maldives Bucket List while staying at West Sands Ukulhas are – 

– Manta Ray Safari

– Sand Bank Picnic

– Snorkeling

– Dolphin Safari

– Fishing

– Beach BBQ

– Sunset Dinner

– Scuba Diving 


Most of these Excursions range between 50-100 USD. And trust me, the Excursion Desk at West Sands Ukulhas will give you the best rates possible for these. 

The waters around Ukulhas and the neighbouring Island of Rasdhoo are great for diving. Plenty of world famous dive sites are in the vicinity of Ukhulas, making Ukulhas a World Famous Snorkeling and Diving Destination. 


Some of the amazing things to look out for while diving around Ukulhas are White Tip and Black Tip Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Sting Rays, Oriental Sweetlips, Turtles, Nemo (Clownfish /Anemone Fish), Bannerfish, Morey Eels and plenty of other colourful reef fishes. 

Mostly, you’ll also end up spotting Dolphins on the way to the Dive Site or while returning back, and you might spot a Manta Ray as well. 

Manta Ray | Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash


After having experienced the life in Ukulhas, the Best Thing to do in Ukulhas is to 


Eat | Dive | Sleep | Repeat


And even after following this routine, you’ll find plenty of time to just snooze on any of the Beach Beds and chase those colourful Sunsets that the Maldives are famous for. 



5 Day Ukulhas Travel Itinerary

The ideal Ukulhas Travel Itinerary would consist of a 5D / 4 Night Stay in Ukulhas, preferably keeping West Sands Ukulhas as your Base. 

Day 1 – Arrival in Male and take a Speed Boat to Ukulhas | Check in at West Sands Ukulhas

Day 2 – Early Morning Manta Ray Safari followed by a Sand Bank Picnic / chilled out day by the beach. 

Day 3 – Go Scuba Diving and experience the beauty of the colourful underwater life in the vibrant reefs. 

Day 4 – Wake up at leisure followed by a nice refreshing Snorkeling session at the Ukulhas House Reef. Try your hands at Fishing and enjoy a picturesque Sunset Beach BBQ (If weather permits)

Day 5Leave from Ukulhas with truckloads of beautiful memories. 


Initially, Maldives had the policy of One Island One Resort, which ultimately led to making Maldives popular as a Honeymoon destination, more popular amongst the rich. But with the change in the Maldives Tourism Policy, allowing the operation of Small Guesthouses and Boutique Hotels on Local Islands, Maldives is slowly gaining popularity with Budget Travellers as well.

And yes, It is possible to Experience the Maldives in a budget.

To put a lens of comparison, for a 5D/4N stay with all the excursions and transfers, you’ll spend 1/4th in a local Island Budget Hotel such as West Sands Ukulhas, as compared to 5 Star All Inclusive Maldives Resort.

The Beauty of Ukulhas


So, pack your bags, hop onto a Flight to Male (Its free Visa on Arrival for everyone), and experience all the quintessential Maldivian experiences at West Sands Ukulhas.



Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this article, however West Sands Ukulhas offered our stay complimentary. As always, the opinions on theETLRblog.com are (and always will be) my own!


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