Top Sri Lanka Beaches and What to Do and Expect

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island surrounded by the ocean which makes it a perfect destination to relax on a sunny beach. the all-year-round warm climate and closeness to Europe make this is by far the best destination to travel. There are many popular beaches in Sri Lanka but Some can be called as paradise on earth. Here we have listed handpicked beaches of Sri Lanka worth your visit and what you can do and expect at these places. 

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. And it is one of the well developed, luxury tourist destinations of Sri Lanka. The whole Hikkaduwa beach is aligned with the different bars and restaurants and a bit crowded relative to the other beaches in Sri Lanka. This is not the best place to relax and enjoy nature. But if you are interested in water sports, bars, night clubs, and dancing. this is the place you want to be. 

The best time of the year to visit Hikkaduwa is between December and February. The weather at this time is warm and slightly rainy. Temperature moves around 29 – 32°C and you can expect random rainfalls.

How to get to Hikkaduwa From Colombo

If you are starting from Colombo, you can take a bus to Hikkaduwa from Colombo main bus terminal. The ticket will be around 2.00 USD. Or you can take a train from the Colombo Fort Train Station. The Train Schedule is here. (2nd Class-LKR 190.00, 3rd Class-LKR 105.00). If you do not want to travel in public transport you can hire a taxi which will cost you about 3500.00 LKR.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

Scuba diving 

Hikkaduwa one of the hot diving spots in Sri Lanka. weather if you are a beginner or advance scuba diver, there are plenty of places to choose from. Shallow waters near Hikkaduwa, filled with corals and sea creatures such as nudibranchs, crabs, shrimps, pipefish, morays, sharks, and turtles. Or you can choose a shipwreck to dive. there are a couple of WW2 shipwrecks as well as cargo ships from the 18s. 

From Hikkaduwa beach, you can easily find a place to get diving gear for rent. The price for a dive can vary from the 30 USD – 40 USD depending on the depth you are going. I have summarized a small chart below so you can get an idea about the prices.

Sea turtles Release – 

In Hikkaduwa turtle beach you can have all the fun with these amazing creatures. There are 7 types of turtles around the world, in Hikkaduwa turtle beach you will see 5 types of them. Every day around 5.00 pm turtles come close to the beach and you can feed them with seaweed. however, there are conservation workers that hang around this beach and they will watch you and make sure nobody touches these creatures as you swim around them. Around 6.00 pm you will be able to see and participate in releasing of the sea turtle babies and its so amazing to see their hatching and releasing to the sea. to participate in this you have to wait until sundown. to get information, ask from the costal guards on the beach, whether there will be a baby turtle release. all these activities are free and you can just go and see them and feed them. 

Learn to surf 

If you haven’t surfed before this is the best place to learn to surf. Between December, to march you can find waves that are suited to beginners. From the rental place near the beach, you can easily rent a board for 500.00 LKR. If you hire an instructor he will charge around 2000.00 LKR per hour. 

Food – there are hundreds of local shops right off the road, you can grab lunch. Most of them serve amazing local dishes as well as foreign dishes. Most local dishes like Kottu, Fried Rice, or Rice and curry ranges from 300.00 LRK to 400.00 LKR (1.62 USD – 2.16 USD) and the foreign dishes are a bit expensive. But I suggest you go with local food, they are a bit spicy but also delicious. They serve amazing fish curries and pron curries worth checking out. 

Accommodation in Hikkaduwa 

when it comes to finding a good place to stay, you can go online and book a place so easily. that way you can find the cheapest places in the area, specially if you are traveling on a budget. But most of the time people make mistakes by choosing the cheapest without actually seeing the location. So be careful when choosing a place and below I have suggested some places we loved on our trips to Hikkaduwa. 

Shiny Lakeside Resort

This is by far the best place to spend your vacation at Hikkaduwa. it is located between Hikkaduwa and Baddegama. (i have pined the location in the map below) .When I first enter this hotel I was so amazed by the path I had to take to enter the hotel. the small wooden pathway stretches through a beautiful mangrove forest. with the first impression, I was hooked. The hotel located at a bank of Hikkaduwa lagoon and a beautiful natural setup.they has a variety of bungalows and rooms to choose from on your budget. They have a variety of dishes, both foreign and local. And if you ever visited this place, you can take lunch or dinner in the middle of the lake. Price Ranges from 5000.00 LKR – 9685.00 LRK. You can book a room now from booking.com here. 

Unawatuna

This beautiful beach on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is absolutely blueish and clean. This is one of the cleanest beaches in Sri Lanka where you can jump right into the warm waters of the Indian ocean. The waves are smooth and soft and so much better than any other beach in Sri Lanka. The best time to visit Unawatuna is between December to April. at this time of the year, the weather is warm and much less rainy. These are amazing spots for photography and add cool stylish photos to your Insta.

How to get to Unawatuna From Colombo

Things to do in Unawatuna 

Swim and Snorkle around the coral reef 

The Shallow waters of the Unawatuna beach are best to swim, relax, and enjoy the sun. The coral reef around the Unawatuna is so beautiful and shallow. so you can easily snorkel around. The reef is filled with amazing sea creatures. As well as on the Hikkaduwa you can see sea turtles also here.  

Rope swing at Dalawella and Wijaya beach 

Dalawella and Wijaya beach are so famous for rope swinging. If you are on Instagram I’m sure you would have seen this place once or twice. At this place, You can Rope swing at the sunset and it will be an amazing shot for your Instagram. Some of the videos of swings taken here went viral and made this beach so popular among the tourists. It’s really a fun thing to do so definitely should check it on your tour. Unfortunately, if you want to swing you have to pay 500.00 LKR for a swing.

Food

SKINNY TOM’S DELI

As we heard from other bloggers and local tourists the skinny tom’s deli is the best place to taste Mixture of Sri Lankan and Western foods. There you can taste a variety of Sri Lankan foods, cooked and served in a western manner. If you are looking for breakfast you can order either, string hoppers, sandwiches, and egg hoppers/plain hoppers. As we heard egg hoppers there is so amazing and worth checking out. If you looking for lunch or dinner you can definitely check out some seafood curries and rice. 

The Price is usually around 300.00 LRK – 400.00 LKR per person for breakfast and lunch and dinner is about 500.00 LKR – 800.00 LKR per person. 

Accommodation 

Capital O 291 Villa Thawthisa The Boutique Hotel

This is one of the best hotels in Unawatuna, located on top of the Rumassala mountain with an amazing view around it. They have awarded as one of the best Boutique hotels in south Asia in 2018. They have stylish accommodation with free wifi, infinity pools, private pools, and amazing meal plans, and a calm natural view around it. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy your vacation in a beautiful calm environment this is the best place for you. The Price Ranges from 9432.00 LKR and Onwards. 

Mirissa

This is one of the most famous and fabulous beaches in the south of Sri Lanka. This beach is so famous for whale watching and diving. besides that, there are so many things you can do in this place. Mirissa is one of the busiest beaches in Sri Lanka.its well known among tourists and locals. So, if you are visiting this place you should expect crowds. And the beach is filled with hotels, bars, and clubs. 

How to get to Mirissa From Colombo

Things to do in Mirissa 

Coconut Tree Hill 

This place is one of the most appeared places in Sri Lanka on Instagram. almost every traveler comes to Sri Lanka to visit this place this is one of the must-do places in Mirissa. This small hill at the edge of the beach is surrounded by sea from 3 sides and filled with coconut trees which gives it a unique backdrop for photography. The Surrounding beach is absolutely bluish and there are so many palm trees in one place. If you get a little closer to the shore you will be able to see turtles down on the shore and it’s really cool to capture them from here. If you like to add some cool Insta photos to your profile this is one of the places you should definitely visit. Travel early to this place, at least around 6.00 am 0-7.00 am. So you can avoid crowds and enjoy the island all by yourself.  

Parrot Island 

This small island little away from the shore is one of the best places to spend your evening in Marissa to watch the sunset. It is within the walking distance from the coconut hill I mentioned before. From this place, you can see all areas around Mirissa beach, and as the sunset, the beach bars, and hotels lit their fancy lightings, and it’s amazing to see these all from the distance. you can spend an amazing time here at the island top experiencing the southern sunset in Sri Lanka. Most tourists in the area usually gather here by the sunset, so sometimes this place can get a little crowded. So keep that in your mind, if you want to avoid the crowds you can travel in the morning, but you will miss the amazing sunset.

Whale watching 

This is one of my favorite activities I did in Mirissa.Personally, I really love whales and it was amazing to see and watch them so close. If you are a whale enthusiast like I am, Mirissa is one of the best places in the world you should visit. From November to End of April the whale watching season span and you can visit anytime between these months if you are interested in this activity. Usually, you need to hire a whale watching boat or yark to get to them and there are hundreds of tour companies around the area providing good service. They leave the sore early in the morning between 6.00 am to 7.00 am and the trip could take up to 3-4 hours. Mostly they provide Breakfast and cool drinks during the trip, so you can enjoy your meal and watch whales at the same time. In the table below I have listed some good places book a seat for whale watching and I listed the services they provide and prices of their packages, so you can book your seat easily. 

There are some rumors that soon they are starting whale diving in Mirissa. I’m so excited to hear it and definitely going to do it as soon as it started. You can check our detailed article about whale watching in Sri Lanka here. 

Accommodation in Mirissa

Malima Weligama bay resort

This is by far the best hotel that I ever been to in Mirissa. this place has an absolutely amazing view. the hotel is built on a rock on the shore. on the shore, there is a natural pool surrounded by the rocks where you can swim and bath. This place is controlled by the Sri Lankan Navy, So I don’t need to explain their hospitality. They serve pretty amazing dishes of seafood you should check out. 

Pasikuda- Kalkudah beaches 

Pasikuda and Kalkuda are beaches close to each other. Kalkuda beach is 4km away from Pasikuda. Pasi kuda is wider than the Kalkuda, but both places are quite similar. These hidden beaches on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka are still intact from the tourists. Because of their unpopularity and distance from hot tourist locations attract fewer tourists to these beaches. these solitude beaches are suitable for a calm quiet vacation. The beach is very shallow and you can walk into the ocean for miles. The beach is filled with corals and well protected by an offshore reef. This is an ideal place for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. the shallow ocean filled with corals and sea creatures offers you ideal conditions for snorkeling. the best time to visit Pasikuda is between May to September since it is dry at most times. and also it can be very hot in these times. 

Things to do in Pasikuda – Kalkudah 

Snorkeling 

Pasikudah and Kalkudah are known as the longest stretches of the shallow reef coastline in the world. You can walk for several kilometers into the ocean because the water is only a few inches deep. This is an ideal place for snorkeling. The shallow waters are very calm, so you can swim on the ocean for miles. the bellow sea bed is filled with corals, starfish, Reef sharks, manta ray, and other sea creatures. you can easily rent snorkeling equipment and a boat to take you to the best parts of the reef under 2000.00 LKR. 

Sunbathing

Unlike hillside of the Sri Lanka, East cost is warm and the sun shines all over the year. The warm temperatures and sun make this is one of the ideal places for sunbathing. Many hotels in the area provide facilities for sunbathing. if you want to tan up your skin a bit, this is one of the best places you can visit. 

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is a popular sport in Sri Lanka. There are many places you can go surfing. But if you are a beginner to windsurfing, this is the ideal place for you. Unlike other beaches of Sri Lanka, Pasikuda – Kalkudah is calm and the waves are less aggressive. So this offers the best opportunities for beginners to learn windsurfing. you can easily hire surfing gear from the hotel you stay in or there are many places on the beach, that hire surfing gear. If you are willing to learn windsurfing, you should definitely check out these beaches. 

Accommodations 

Uga Bay by Uga Escapes

This beautiful luxury beach hotel is worth checking out. The hotel is situated on the Kalkudah beach, a few miles away from Valaichchenai town. This upscale hotel on Pasikuda Beach is 34 km from the ruins of a historic Dutch fort in the coastal town of Batticaloa, 35 km from Batticaloa Airport, and 69 km from Polonnaruwa, site of an ancient royal city. The hotel has amazing accommodation facilities for all kinds of tourists. The Price ranges from 20000.00 LKR and upwards. 

Arugam Bay

This is the surfing paradise of Sri Lanka. Arugam Bay is situated on the east coast of Sri Lanka 320 Km away from Colombo. Arugam Bay is world-famous for surfing. the waves around Arugam Bay are ideal for surfing and some say that there is no other place better than Arugam Bay for surfing. In 2017 Redbull organized a big Surfing event called RedBull Ride My wave 2017 in Arugam Bay. this must be the reason why thousands of tourists come to Arugam bay Every year for surfing and other sports. The best time of the year to visit Arugam Bay is between May to October. 

Things to do in Arugam Bay 

Learn To surf. 

If you are a beginner at surfing Arugam Bay is the best place to learn. There are a couple of points especially suitable for beginners such as baby point you can surf in shallow waters. in these places, you can find people teaching surfing and they will help you to ride the waves in Arugam Bay. The surfing equipment also can hire for a much much lower cost from the beach. It will be only 2000.00 LKR for surfing guides and surfing gear per hour. Usually, the best time for surf in Arugam Bay is from 5.30 am – 8.00 am in the morning and in the evening from 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm.  

Rent a tuk-tuk and explore 

 In Arugam Bay, you can easily rent a tuk-tuk and explore the surrounding area. The people in the area mostly fishermen and you can see their activities on the beach. If you want to explore ancient ruins build by Ancient Sri Lankan kings, you can go to the Muhudu Maha Vihara temple in the Arugam bay. or you can explore the wildlife in Kumana national park where you can see thousands of birds, elephants, leopard, and sloth bears. For the Safari in Kumana national park will cost about 20.00 USD – 30.00 USD. 

Beach parties and nightlife 

When night comes to Arugam Bay the whole beach is turned in to a party zone, where you can dance and drink and enjoy with the fellow tourists from all around the world. usually in the season, there are hundreds of parties organized by the beach hotels around Arugam Bay you can take part and enjoy. 

Accommodation 

BABAR POINT HOTEL Arugam Bay 

Babar Point is a surf resort that offers six spacious and private bungalows with a direct view of the swimming pool. Your hosts, Catherine and Michel, welcome you in a warm and friendly atmosphere. You will benefit from a peaceful and dynamic environment; while making a splash in the swimming pool you will be surrounded by Sri Lanka’s wildlife beauty and excitement. The hotel is located in Whiskey Point, close to Arugam Bay, with easy access to surf spots: Whiskey Point and Pottuvil Point.

Uppuveli

This beautiful beach is situated on the northeast coast. This beach also still intact from the tourists and suitable for peaceful calm vacation. the beach is absolutely astonishing and beautiful. The northeast part of the country still under development and relatively poor to the other parts of the county. So here you will find traditional Tamil villages and people are mostly fishermen. there are very few hotels in the area which closed in the offseason. So keep in mind not to travel these are in the offseason. 

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