Ukulhas is an island located in Alif Alif Atoll. The island is 72 km away from Male, the capital of Maldives. The length of the island is 1025 m, the width is 225 meters. In the northwest you can find a beautiful lagoon with sandy beach and turquoise waters. Ukulhas is one of the inhabited local islands; about 900 people live there (2012).
It was the second island after Rasdhoo that I visited during my trip around the islands. I got there by ferry, the ticket cost was 22 rufiyaas (about $2). The whole trip took me approximately an hour. Being on Rasdhoo, you can easily see Ukulhas and Thoddoo. They’re better seen from the harbor. There were practically no people on the ferry; just a few tourists from Rasdhoo, who decided to take an opportunity to visit the island and to get back in the evening.
As I had practically no time (just 24 hours), I started exploring the island straight away. My guest house was located about 10 meters away from the beach. Only imagine: just 10 meters! By far not every island can boast of such a neighborhood of guest houses and wonderful beaches.
I planned to walk around the island circle-wise, and I started from the tourist zone, where it’s allowed to wear bikinis. Here quite a lot of sun loungers and sunshades are available for you. It’s a low season now, that’s why there’s enough space for everyone.
During my trip I was surprised with how clean the beach outside the tourist zone is. It can be explained by the following facts:
– the locals themselves always organize voluntary clean-ups and clean the whole beach area;
– during the peak season the current is low, and it carries not so much litter.
However during the rain period (usually it’s May-November), as far as I now, the situation changes. Lots of wastes, high waves, muddy water. The reason for it lies in changing of wind direction: during the rain period it blows from the west; the beach is also located on the western side of the island.
About a hundred meters away works on boat repairs are in progress. Soon, maybe even this year, a huge hotel with approximately 60 rooms will be built there. The hotel will be owned by a foreign company. Apart from the hotel, there will appear shops, a restaurant, a dive center. The opening of this hotel will change the image of the island forever.Thus the tourist zone will be developed soon, and I believe it will occupy the half of the island.
Judging by Google maps, you can walk around the whole island circle-wise. But in reality, the northern side is blocked by corals. I had to bypass them. But the work on fortifying the island and protecting it from the current had been already launched. It’s an indispensable part of any local island, otherwise it can be soon washed out by the ocean. The rest of the island (near the harbor) is full of huge corals, that’s why it’s not a perfect place for snorkeling.
There, as well as on other local islands, you can find practically no wastes. Moreover, Ukulhas is considered to be one of the most eco-friendly islands in Maldives, and in 2014 the island even ‘won’ the award from the government for its environmental friendliness.
All in all, we can draw the following conclusions for those, who are looking for a cool beach:
– Ukulhas beach is much bigger than Thoddoo beach (but on Thoddoo the coastal area is more pleasant to walk in, because there are not many dead corals;
– it will be extended by the end of this year or at the beginning of the next one.