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Dhigurah Island – A Tropical Paradise in the Maldives

A couple walk along the bright white sandbank at the southern end of Dhigurah

Dhigurah Island – A Tropical Paradise in the Maldives

Dhigurah Island in the Maldives is a tropical paradise in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Famous for its incredible marine life including whale sharks (which are the world’s largest fish), manta rays, nurse sharks, turtles, and hundreds of species of tropical fish.

A top down drone shot of the beach in Dhigurah with jungle treeline to the left and shallow coral sea to the right

Dhigurah

Dhigurah is one of the Maldivian islands referred to as ‘the local islands’, ‘the inhabited islands’ or the ‘non-resort islands’. This is because prior to 2009, the only islands that tourists could visit were resort islands. These are the ones everyone thinks of when they picture Maldives: a tiny uninhabited island, luxury villas and overwater bungalows.

But luckily for travelers with smaller budgets, the government opened their doors wider in 2009 to allow hotels and guesthouses on regular islands that are home to the Maldives locals. Among these islands Dhigurah is one of the most beautiful, natural, and luxury, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

Looking for a bargain Maldives trip? Check out our complete guide to the Maldives on a Budget.

It’s worth noting that Dhigurah does have a resort accessible by the sandbank on the very southern tip of the island. But for the most part, the island is public beaches, hotels, restaurants, and local houses.

How to Get to Dhigurah

The best way to reach Dhigurah is via speedboat from either Male or Male Airport (Velana International Airport). Speedboats depart at 11:00am and 16:00pm (or 1 hour earlier on Friday). The speedboat costs around $65 per person one way and takes about 90 minutes.

There is a local ferry available from Male as well, but it doesn’t run every day, and it means taking a lengthy 7-hour journey. The ferry option will set you back $5 per person one way so in our opinion it’s worth the $60 extra for the speedboat.

A speedboat docked at the jetty in Maldives

To book the speedboat from Male to Dhigurah, you can ask the hotel or guesthouse to book your tickets. Make sure you do this in advance as the speedboats do get full. Your hotel may contact you before to ask about your plans anyway.

If you really want to get there in style, you can also take a seaplane from the airport directly to Dhigurah. Prices can vary, but it’s not cheap; the average price is around $250 per person one way. Bliss Dhigurah charge $260 per person one way but includes transfer to the hotel.

Best Things to Do in Dhigurah

Dhigurah is our favorite of the local islands because it’s so peaceful. There are far fewer tourists than on the more popular islands like Maafushi and Thulusdhoo. But there’s still no shortage of things to do.

Bikini Beach

Each of the islands that have tourists has a designated beach, or part of a beach, named Bikini Beach. Here you’re free to wear bikinis and other beachwear, which you can’t at other beaches. That’s because the Maldives is a traditionally Muslim country, and so bikinis and shorts wouldn’t normally be allowed.

The beach at Dhigurah is so long, you can have an enormous stretch of it to yourselves. The water – as in most of the Maldives – is shallow, warm, and turquoise. There is also plenty of essential shade thanks to the vast number of palm trees lining the beach.

Sandbank

The sandbank located at the southern point of the island is a slice of heaven. Here, you can bathe in the warm, clear water as it gently laps against the pure, white sand. A view of the jungle paradise as the backdrop and with a bit of luck not a single soul in view.

A couple running on a bright white sandbank with clear turquoise sea

This enchanting strip of land leads to a LUX resort, which can be spotted in the far south. But we didn’t see a single person from the resort. Our guess is that most guests at the luxury resorts don’t tend to venture out.

If you brought a drone to the Maldives, be sure to bring it down to the sandbank. It’s an incredible spot for aerial photos and footage. The one problem is there’s no solid ground around, so you’ll need to take off and land from your hand. Probably a good idea to practice that somewhere safer first!

Jungle Walk

A girl walking through the jungle on Dhigurah

You can find a much-appreciated break from the hot sun towards the southern end of Dhigurah. A beautiful little jungle of huge palms, banana trees, and other tropical plants, with a dense canopy.

It’s an incredibly pretty walk and a much better way to access the sandbank than just walking along the beach. There are also a few tree swings dotted around, so keep an eye out for those.

Snorkeling Trips – Whale Sharks and Mantas

The single best thing to do in Dhigurah has to be to see whale sharks. These ocean giants can grow to almost 60 feet long, but their diet consists only of tiny things like shrimp and plankton.

The next thing on the bucket list here would be manta rays. These too are some of the largest fish in the world. The reef manta rays common in the Maldives can weigh up to 2,200lbs – the weight of an average black rhino! They have a wingspan of between 9 and 14 feet. It’s not until you get up close with them that you realize how enormous, and yet graceful, they are.

SCUBA Diving Trips

A black and white manta ray swimming majestically through the blue water

There are a number of PADI dive centers on Dhigurah that cater for everyone from beginner to expert.

For those new to diving who’d like to give it a try, the 5-star PADI shops offer a perfect introduction. You can take an Open Water qualification which involves classroom learning, training dives, and a final exam and allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 18m.

For the more advanced divers, Dhigurah is an incredible place to dive with pristine waters offering excellent visibility. The area is abundant with marine life from colorful, tropical fish to mantas, reef sharks, and even gigantic whale sharks.

Where to Stay in Dhigurah

We stayed at the excellent Bliss Dhigurah hotel and can’t recommend them enough. Their staff were so polite and attentive, with a level of service you’d expect from a more expensive resort. You’re greeted with a welcome coconut to drink which was delicious.

The room was lovely and came with our own hammock on the balcony. They have a cute restaurant area outside with vegetarian and vegan options. There is a rooftop area with a great view of the forest canopy. If you go up around sunset, you can spot huge fruit bats flying around in search of their next meal.

It costs around $200 per night, which is a little more than some of the more budget islands, but it’s good value for money on Dhigurah.

Where to Eat in Dhigurah

Dhigurah boasts a selection of great restaurants. Our regular breakfast spot was Bliss Dhigurah’s restaurant Hermit’s.

If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine, make sure to visit Absolute Thai. Their green curry and pad thai dishes were spicy and delicious.

UFA Kitchen is a very cute restaurant, perfect for a romantic meal. It has a jungle vibe with a sand floor among lush greenery and fairy lights.

Lastly, Malaveli Restaurant offers a charming rooftop seating area and a menu featuring European dishes alongside local specialties.

Dhigurah FAQs

How far is Male from Dhigurah?

Male is approximately 96 kilometers (60 miles) from Dhigurah.

How do I get to Dhigurah Island?

You can reach Dhigurah by taking a local ferry from Male, a speedboat from Male or Male airport, or a domestic flight from Male to Maamigili Airport and then a short boat ride.

How big is Dhigurah?

Dhigurah is a relatively small island, about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) long.

Can you drink alcohol in Dhigurah?

Dhigurah follows Maldives’ regulations, and alcohol consumption is allowed only in designated resort areas, not on the local island.

Is Dhigurah worth visiting?

Yes, Dhigurah’s stunning beaches, marine life, and water activities make it a worthwhile destination.

What is the dress code for Dhigurah?

While there’s no strict dress code, it’s respectful to wear modest clothing outside of resort areas.

What is the closest airport to Dhigurah?

The closest airport to Dhigurah is Maamigili Airport, approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

How many people live in Dhigurah?

Dhigurah has a tiny local population of around 600 people.

Is Dhigurah a local island?

Yes, Dhigurah is a local island in the Maldives, offering an authentic experience alongside resort options.

Dhigurah Island – A Tropical Paradise in the Maldives

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