Fulidhoo lately won the award for being the best local island in Maldives for tourists. Obviously that had its reasons and traveling to Fulidhoo suddenly became a popular thing to do. But what is it that makes Fulidhoo such an amazing place to spend your Maldives holiday?
If you have read my cheap scuba diving in Fulidhoo guide then you already know that diving is why you should visit Fulidhoo, but it is not only about blowing bubbles underwater. Even if you are not a scuba diver this island is a little gem and there are many other things to do in Fulidhoo.
20 reasons and activities to travel to Fulidhoo
1. Scuba diving
First off let me start with this one. For those looking for amazing diving in Maldives the Vaavu Atoll is like heaven. Because of the many channels that connect the center of the atoll with the big blue ocean the marine life in Vaavu Atoll is like no where else. From hammerheads to whale sharks and from manta rays to dolphins: scuba diving in Fulidhoo will exceed all your expectations.
Reef safe sun protection
Guys something really important! Don't use standard sunscreen in Maldives. It contains chemicals that will eventually end up in the ocean and harm our coral reefs. Please buy reef safe sunscreen and protect our reefs!
2. Exclusive diving
The islands in the Vaavu Atoll are mostly local and there are only a few resort islands. Therefore the atoll is not a busy place and boat traffic is very limited. This of course is good news for divers. There are many channels to choose from and only a few dive boats around: diving in Fulidhoo is pretty much exclusive and it is very unlikely you will spot other divers underwater. This is a reason many scuba divers decide to travel to Fulidhoo.
3. Great visibility all year round
Contrary to most other local islands in Maldives, diving in Fulidhoo guarantees you great visibility underwater all year round. Because of its unique location it is possible to dive on the east side and on the west side of the atoll depending if it is rainy season or not. Visibility is mostly 30 meters or more.
4. Easy to get to Fulidhoo from Male
There are three boats a day going to Fulidhoo, a speedboat and a local boat in the morning and another speedboat in the afternoon. The speedboat ride is only 1 hour and cost $40. The local boat costs only $3,50, but takes about 3,5 hours and does not run during the weekend. The locals boat connects with the popular tourist island Maafushi in South Male Atoll and the second most popular local island to visit in the Vaavu Atoll: Thinadhoo.
5. Isolated location
Fulidhoo is the most northern island in the Vaavu Atoll and is pretty much isolated. When you travel to Fulidhoo you will see that there is no other island around and you will have the real castaway feeling. All around Fulidhoo you won’t spot any other islands at the horizon.
6. Real local island life
In Fulidhoo you can get a slice of real local Maldivian culture. If you want to learn about how Maldivians live then Fulidhoo is the place to visit. The lifestyle on a local island is so much different than a standard western lifestyle. There are no cars on the island, may be there are 3 bicycles but that is about it. The sandy streets, the low-rise buildings, the mosque, a little school, a banyan tree, some shops and 2 restaurant, that is about it. Fulidhoo island is an experience! Leave your flipflops at home and go around bear foot. That is the way to go on a local island in Maldives!
7. Cheap Maldives holiday
Compared to luxury resorts and to other local island in Maldives the prices for guesthouses in Fulidhoo are very competitive. If you are looking for a Maldives on a budget holiday Fulidhoo is a great choice. Diving is affordable and guesthouses start from around $50 per room per night.
8. Snorkel with whalesharks and manta rays
It is not only the diving why you should travel to Fulidhoo, there are plenty of snorkeling trips from Fulidhoo as well. Those who are not licensed to scuba dive can still snorkel with manta rays or whale sharks. Trips like these can be organized on the island. There are so many cool thngs to do if you visit a local island in Maldives.
9. Bikini Beach
Fulidhoo has a bikini beach where tourists are allowed to sunbath in beachwear. The name bikini beach comes from the fact that women are not allowed to dress in bikini on a public beach. Not all local islands in Maldives have a bikini beach! If you have read my other Maldives travel blog, like my Hulhumale Island Guide, you know that there are a lot of differences between resort islands and local islands in Maldives.
10. Beach swing
A great addition to the bikini beach is the massive swing. One of the favorite spots on the island for people to take their instagram pictures and a reason for people to visit Fulidhoo.
11. Watersports in Fulidhoo
Obviously all kind of watersports can be arranged, but compared to resort islands prices are only a fraction. You can organize a jet ski, SUP board, kayak, kite surf, etc. With so many things to do in Fulidhoo you won’t get bored easily.
12. Day trip to luxury resort
Although staying on a local island is great fun and with the lovely guesthouses in Fulidhoo very affordable for those people looking for cheap Maldives holidays, some travelers still want a slice of luxury while in the Maldives. From Fulidhoo you can arrange day trips to nearby fancy resort islands. Depending on the resort it will cost you between $120 - $250. If you search on Agoda for the best deals in Maldives you can find deals close to Male airport to stay a whole night for this price, so I would not recommend this day trip from Fulidhoo.
13. Sand bank trips
Heading out to a sand bank can be great fun. Imagine yourself standing on a tiny stretch of perfect white sand in the middle of the ocean, completely isolated with nothing on the horizon. On Fulidhoo you can arrange trips to a sandbank, including lunch and an umbrella.
14. Friendly locals
Maldivians are shy but friendly people. These people live on the island for generations, but are slowly embracing the tourism industry. I have been invited to a local home in Fulidhoo to drink tea and try local snacks. Such a cool things to do while on the island and the perfect way to get to know more about the locals.
15. Natural tunnel
The north side of the island is covered by trees and bushes and in the northwest overhanging trees form a natural tunnel. Definitely come here on a hot afternoon for some shade. This place can’t be missed on a walk around the island.
When the sun goes down islanders gather at the public beach in the south and all kids are out too. Kids play football almost every day and they love to see tourists join them while the sun sets in the background. Travel to Fulidhoo for amazing sunsets.
17. Alcohol in Fulidhoo
Alcohol is a no-go on local islands on Maldives but there is a way around. There is a boat for anchor that has a license to sell alcohol. Obviously not on land, but as long as you stay on the boat you are allowed to drink alcohol. I did not try it myself as I only found out on the last day. If you are on a budget trip to Maldives you should know that drinking alcohol is going to be a hard thing to organize.
You probably have seen those pictures of people walking close to the shoreline followed by a handful stingrays. You don’t need to book a luxury resort in Maldives for this. On Fulidhoo stingrays get very close to the beach as well. At night time they always hang out around the pier where it is guaranteed to spot them.
19. Spot dolphins
When you are a fan of wildlife then I am sure you would love to see dolphins. While on my way to a sandbank there were dolphins everywhere which shows that even on a budget trip to Maldives you can have the time of your life.
20. 4G signal
Internet is a vital thing to have nowadays and although there is WiFi available, the internet is extremely slow. Luckily Fulidhoo has a strong and fast 4G signal, but you will have to buy a Maldives sim card. I checked which one is best for tourists, click on the link.
Where to go after Fulidhoo
Fulidhoo is the most northern island of the Vaavu Atoll and there are local boats going south to Thinadhoo. I have never been myself, but according to locals this is another hidden gem and a great local island in the Maldives to travel to. So if you are looking for a cool itinerary for your cheap Maldives holiday this would be a cool trip.
Besides Hulhumale, the airport island next to Male, Maafushi is the most popular local island for tourists in Maldives. There are many guesthouses and prices are competitive, but this place became a concrete jungle already. It does not have the castaway feel Fulidhoo has, but it is on the way to Male by boat from Fulidhoo.
I have also stayed in some more affordable resorts near Male International Airport like: Kuramathi, Kurumba, Adaaran Vadoo Prestige. Check out the links for the full reviews.
Where to stay in Fulidhoo?
I recommend you to stay on the Southside of the island where the sea is calmer and the beach is more beautiful.
Kinan Guesthouse is a beachfront property with spacious clean rooms. See their best deals and more guesthouses in Fulidhoo in this link.
Also read my Cheap Diving in Maldives blog about diving in Fulidhoo.
How much does it cost to travel to Fulidhoo?
It is understandable that people are curious about the costs of a trip to Fulidhoo? IF you arrive at the international airport you need a boat ticket to Male: $0,75. Then a taxi in Male to the ferry terminal: $3. A return ticket with a local boat to Fulidhoo from Male cost you $7. That makes you travel to Fulidhoo and back for a total of $14,50. Let's say you pay $40 per person per night for a guesthouse in Fulidhoo. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will cost you maximum $15 per person per night on top of that you will do 3 day trips or a couple dives for a total of $120.
A 3-day trip to Fulidhoo Maldives will then cost you:
- Transportation: $15
- Accommodation: $200
- Food: $75
- Day trips: $120
That makes a total of $410 for a 5-day trip to paradies based on two people.
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