• 24 Jun, 2024

Dhigurah Island: Paradise In The Maldives

Dhigurah Island: Paradise In The Maldives

Dhigurah Island is perhaps the most beautiful island you've never heard of in the Maldives. It's a small island without the luxury overwater resorts that are popular in the Maldives, but it does have a long and beautiful white sand beach.    

If you want to see the Maldives on a budget, this is one of the finest options. Dhigurah features everything of the spectacular tropical landscape you'd expect from the Maldives, as well as family-owned hotels starting as $70 USD per night!    

We just visited two indigenous islands in the Maldives, Dhigurah and Fulidhoo, and couldn't be happier with our decision.    

This travel guide will explain how to get to Dhigurah island, what to do there, where to stay, and everything else you need to know before you go!    

How To Get To Dhigurah Island   

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Dhigurah does not have an airport, thus you must first travel to Male International Airport (MLE), which is approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.   

From Male, you can take a speedboat or ferry directly to Dhigurah, or you can fly to one of the adjacent islands and then catch a boat the rest of the way.    

• By Public Speedboat   

Public speedboats are the most common mode of transportation to Dhigurah. Every day, there are morning and afternoon departures from both Male and the airport.    

The speedboat ride to Dhigurah takes two hours and costs approximately $50 USD per person one way. Children older than three years old pay the full charge.   

The boat ride is usually not too bumpy (depending on the weather), and there is a toilet and ample luggage storage. The boats are new, and the seating is excellent. They also offer free bottled water.   

The boats depart Male for Dhigurah at 11 a.m. (Friday 10 a.m.) and 4:30 p.m. The return boats from Dhigurah to Male leave at 6:30 AM and 1:30 PM (Friday 1:45 PM). There is a brief halt.    

However, keep in mind there are multiple speedboat companies operating this route and the timetable seems to change occasionally, so I’d double check the timetable with your hotel in Dhigurah before you go.    

You can ask your hotel in Dhigurah to book the speedboat for you, and then pay for it with your room bill when you arrive. That’s what we did, and paying by credit card spared us from having to carry lots of cash everywhere.    

• By Private Speedboat   

A private speedboat charter will be a lot more expensive than the public speedboats, but it may be more convenient in cases where you want to save time and need a direct connection to Dhigurah from one of the other islands in the Maldives.    

You should be able to arrange this with your hotel in Dhigurah island.    

• By Domestic Plane   

One of the simplest ways to travel to Dhigurah is to take a 20-minute domestic flight from Male to the airport on nearby Maamigili island (VAM), then a 5-minute cab ride to the harbor and a 20-minute speedboat journey to Dhigurah.    

This route typically has three or four flights every day. One-way tickets start at $170 USD for adults and $85 for children under the age of 12, with children under two flying for free. The speedboat transfer is typically included in the price.    

In rare circumstances if the seas are too rough for a standard boat crossing, this may be your only choice for reaching Dhigurah.     

• By Seaplane   

A seaplane journey is one of the most scenic and enjoyable ways to travel to Dhigurah, but it is also the most expensive.   

Ticket rates begin at $250 USD per person, and the trip includes a 30-minute flight to the Lux Resort in the South Ari Atoll, followed by a 10-minute speedboat ride to Dhigurah.    

There is no established schedule for seaplane flights, so you'll have to organize it with your hotel in advance, and maybe you'll be able to share the aircraft with other people going in the same direction..    

• By Public Ferry   

Finally, you can take the public ferry from Male to Dhigurah. This is the slowest choice, but also the cheapest. The boat voyage to Dhigurah takes approximately 6 to 7 hours and costs $8 USD for a one-way ticket.    

MTCC operates this service on numerous days a week, with morning and evening departure times. You can confirm the current timetable with MTCC or your accommodation in Dhigurah, and they should be able to assist you with purchasing tickets.    

How To Get Around The Island   

Once you arrive in Dhigurah, the next step is getting around the island.    

Thankfully, the whole island is small enough to be walkable. You can get everywhere on foot! From end to end, Dhigurah is only 4 kilometers long (3 miles), and the width of the island is only about 100 to 200 meters.   

This is one of the things we really liked about Dhigurah island, because it’s so convenient and you don’t have to pay for transport. However, the hotels do have bicycles you can rent for a half day or full day if you’d like.   

Best Things To Do In Dhigurah Island   

• North West Beach/Bikini Beach   

Dhigurah's principal beach, North West Beach, spans the whole west side of the island. Tourists are free to wear swimsuits and sunbathe on the island's designated 'bikini beach'.    

It's a gorgeous beach with palm trees, lots of little hermit crabs, and few people. The water is tranquil enough for children to swim. If the sky is clear, you can watch the sunset from the beach.    

Turtle Reef, located at the halfway point, is a great snorkeling spot where you can swim alongside small sharks and sea turtles just a short distance from shore!    

The beach in Dhigurah is actually one of the longest beaches in the Maldives, and it’s how the island got its name — Dhigurah means ‘long island’ in the local language.   

• Long Beach Sandbar   

One of Dhigurah's biggest attractions is Long Beach, a sandbar on the island's southern end. This is a lovely area with snow-white beach and shallow blue water, ideal for swimming or going for a walk.    

The sandbank is accessible from any of the hotels in northern Dhigurah via a one-hour walk along the beach or through the bush. We preferred the jungle trail because it is more shady and allows you to see lizards and other wildlife.    

The best time to visit the sandbar is around 9 or 10 a.m., when there are less people and the sun is not yet too hot. If you don't want to walk, you can go with with a bicycle or rikshaw from your hotel.    

If you keep following the sandbar to the end at low tide, you can actually walk all the way to the neighboring LUX Resort, although you’re not supposed to be there if you aren’t a guest.    

Remember to bring plenty of water because it can get very hot here at midday, and there’s nowhere to buy drinks at the beach. There are some free sun chairs and umbrellas near the end of the beach where you can leave your stuff while you go swim.    

More Things To Do In Dhigurah   

  • Whale Shark Safari: Swimming with whale sharks is a popular activity on Dhigurah. You're not certain to see whale sharks, but there's a strong possibility you will during the year. Many other tours come here for the same purpose, so try to be the first to see a shark before the others arrive. This journey usually lasts two or three hours.   
  • Dolphin Cruise: It is common to encounter dolphins around Dhigurah. They're usually too fast to snorkel with, but it's still enjoyable to observe a pod of dolphins from the boat.   
  • Manta & Reef Shark Cruise: Reef sharks and manta rays are also frequent in the Maldives, and boat excursions last two or three hours. There is a manta 'cleaning station' at Dhigurah where manta rays prefer to visit and get washed by small fish, thus you are likely to spot them there.   
  • Resort Excursions: Dhigurah hotels can arrange a half-day excursion to adjacent 5-star resorts such as Amaya Kuda Rah, Centara Grand Island, Vakarufalhi, and Vilamendhoo. This can be an enjoyable way to visit one of the Maldives' premium resorts without paying full price. These packages often include transportation to and from the resort, as well as access to resort amenities such as the pool and spa, as well as a credit for food and drinks while you're there.   
  • Fishing Excursions: The southeast portion of Ari Atoll is said to be a fantastic spot for large game fishing. If you're lucky, you might be able to capture sail fish, king fish, yellow fin tuna, and other edible species.   
  • Scuba Diving: Dhigurah is one of the Maldives' greatest scuba diving destinations. There are several good dive spots in this area where you can see a variety of fish and coral.   
  • Dhigurah island offers a variety of activities, including kayaking, kiteboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, tube rides, and jet skiing.   

Best Time To Visit The Maldives   

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Dhigurah experiences a dry season from January to April, as does the rest of the Maldives. This is the ideal time to visit the island because the weather is less rainy and more sunny.   

There are more tourists in the Maldives at this season, but the island never seemed congested during our visit in January.    

The wettest months in the Maldives are September through December. You can still visit Dhigurah at this time, but expect some rain.