See the real Maldives, the inhabited ones and not those of the resorts, here's how to get to Ukulhas Island, how much to spend and why visit the Maldives in this way, all in the post.
I was at Maldives less than a year ago, the relaxing conclusion of a tour in Sri Lanka, from which internal flights to the archipelago were around € 100 a / r. I have always wanted to see the Maldives and when I had the opportunity to do so I asked myself "Do I really want to see only one resort that I could find in any other paradise?" and the answer was no, I wanted to see the real Maldives. Obviously, the choice was also guided by clear economic reasons, the resorts are usually very expensive, both in high and low season.
Let's start from the consideration that the low season (from May to November), so-called rainy season, is not a problem there. I just went to August when the humid monsoon brings a few thunderstorms, they say, but usually only lasts an hour or so, rarely days. In truth, I only saw raindrops when we left the Maldives.
The Maldives is an island state in the Indian Ocean south-southwest of India and Sri Lanka. These are almost 1200 coral islands that form the archipelago located near the Equator and are made up of about 20 atolls, in addition to the capital S. Of these 1200 islands only about 200 are inhabited and that's where I wanted to go.
Having a few days and imagining that, not going to a resort, the transports were not really comfortable, I opted for one of the nearest atolls, that of Ari Nord and more precisely theUkulhas island, inhabited by less than 900 inhabitants and it is so small that you can go around it all in 10 minutes.
The one of Ukulhas it is a truly beautiful, evocative and true island, surrounded by a ring of white sand and its green vegetation. The sea will always be a few steps away from you and entering the water you will find at your side the many reef fish, some sea turtles and many small, decidedly fearful reef sharks. In addition, taking a boat trip, just a few minutes from the island, you will also find the very elegant manta rays.
Here tourists and Maldivians coexist without difficulty. The locals are rather shy but always smiling. The Maldivian population appears to be either of Indian or Arab origin and the only religion practiced is Sunni Islam. However, the Islam of the Maldives is particular precisely because it has come into contact with both Western tourism and with ancient local traditions.
On Ukulhas we stayed in one of the three Guest Houses present, the Coral Reef View Inn, stracarino and very kind staff, I absolutely recommend it. Nihad has been running this beautiful establishment for some time, speaks excellent English, will do everything to make your stay enjoyable and will welcome you with wonderful coconut milk drinks.
The property is really located ten steps from the water, the rooms are cute, well-kept and very clean. Also the breakfast is great and the staff are really lovely, they will guide you in your stay and in any activity that you can think of. As on any other island they will offer you excursions, make at least a couple of them, also according to your time and your budget (the excursions range from about $ 40 upwards) and they will take you on those incredible and deserted strips of white sand that plunge into the crystal clear water, to take your breath away. They dropped us off on one of these (Pic Nic Island) for five hours and it was like being alone in paradise.
You will then have the opportunity to interact with some local and you will have the opportunity to be told what it really is like to live on a tiny paradise island in the middle of the ocean. Definitely a strange, beautiful and authentic experience.
How to get to Ukulhas
From Sri Lanka I arrived with a short internal flight to Malè, a vertical and floating city that, looking at it, one does not believe that all those buildings and people are really on it.
From Malè you need to take one fast boat (it takes one or two hours depending on the sea) at a cost of $ 50. The alternatives are the seaplane which costs a frenzy, around $ 250 each, and public transport which makes only two trips a day, costs very little and takes about four or five hours.
As for the fast boats, there are about a couple of them a day so to avoid unnecessary waiting at the airport, first inquire with the island in question, the departure time of the boat from Male and vice versa.
Then enjoy your Maldives.