Arugam Bay. Paradise for surfers

Sri Lanka has a place that surfers around the world have chosen. It even hosts annual surfer championships. This place is called Arugam Bay. Literally Gulf (Bay) Arugam. But in fact, a town in a picturesque place on the coast of a large bay.


Arugam Bay is located on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka. If you look at the map, then from the right side of the country, closer to the bottom.

You can get here from Colombo by direct train (350 km, about 9 hours drive). You can also take a bus from Colombo to Pottuville and from there by tuk-tuk or local bus. Pottuvil is a large, by local standards, city with a fairly large transport interchange. There are even supermarkets, markets, banks. In general, if you need civilization - it is 3 km from Arugam.

If you are in Yala National Park, Arugam is only 50 km away by car. The route is very scenic and interesting. The road goes through another national park. And you can, like on a safari, meet elephants that go out on the track to beg for sweets, you will definitely see buffaloes and peacocks, less often deer, all sorts of other winged, and small fluffy unseen animals. And the views are very beautiful from the window.

If you are coming from Up Country. that is, from the mountainous regions. You can get to Arugam Bay by bus from Ella. With a transplant.


The southeastern part of Sri Lanka is the savannah. Low, less lush vegetation, drier climate, cacti in places)

High season here is from May to November. From January to March - the weather is non-flying for tourists. Very windy and rainy.


The population is local, mostly Tamil. Also, Muslims. People with faces much more gloomy and thoughtful than those of Buddhists who don't give a damn. They are not very talkative. It is difficult to bargain with them and agree on something. The people are stubborn and unsociable. But there is a plus here. But no one clings to you with their services: knock-knock, hotel, how are you. You go and no one touches you. Only in the evening in restaurants barkers can stick.

This city is only gaining popularity and therefore it is not yet used to breeding tourists here. And there are already a lot of tourists in the season. The people are kind and bright. Mostly, of course, young people.


The beach is long, several kilometers long. Spacious, despite the presence of hotels and guesthouses along the entire coast. Nice clean sand. Convenient entry into the water. Even children and non-swimmers can swim. Shallow and does not drag into the ocean. If you go further to the spit, there will be a very cool place - a bay in the bay. A kind of shallow pool with a cool bottom of coarse sand.

In general, I really liked this beach! The panoramas are most picturesque. It's a pity we didn't go out to watch the sunrise in the morning. But here the sun comes up directly from the ocean. But we saw the sunset. The spectacle is simply incredible. I have never seen such beautiful sunsets anywhere.


If you love to swim underwater, then Arugam Bay has unique places for this fun. You can contact the local diving center and rent equipment and use the services of an instructor. You can just rent a boat and swim on your own.

The best dives are from the Great Basses and Little Basses reefs. Which stretched along the southeast coast. Here you will find yourself in a real underwater kingdom with castles and caves of reefs, underwater canyons, crevices and ridges.

In colored corals, no less colorful fish will smile at you. But do not relax, because the fish here are not only cute. You may well meet a shark, barracuda, stingray and other toothy ones. Maybe even sea snakes. So be careful)


Surfers love Arugam Bay for a reason. The waves are right here. Usually from 1 to 1.5 meters, on rare days up to 2 meters. At the same time, the wave is quite long and breaks slowly, which is ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers.

There are several options for surfing. You can surf on your own by renting a board. You can contact the surf center and the instructor will teach you how to conquer the wave. And the most expensive option is a surf tour. Surf tours include everything you need: instructor, food, transport, boards

Rent a board from Rs 500 per day, tuition from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per hour. The main surf spots are Pottovil Point,  Crocodile Rock, Main Break, Elephant Rock and Peanut Farm.


Arugambey has accommodations for every budget. There are luxury hotels with restaurants, and mid-range hotels, nice hostels and simple guesthouses. Price range from 1000 rupees to the maximum. I don’t know the maximum, I wasn’t interested in it.

We came for one night and two days. We stopped at the guesthouse. A room for three with a private bathroom. Pretty decent place, 1 minute from the ocean. Such a pleasure cost 2500 rupees.

During the season, everything is usually populated by tourists and you need to spend some time to find a suitable option. We wanted to book on booking, but there were no places. Found by questioning already in place.


In general, Arugambey is surrounded by jungle. In the immediate vicinity there are lagoons, lakes and a nature reserve.

Lahugala Kutilana Nature Reserve, located 12 km from Pottuville. The park is small but interesting, it is home to elephants, various types of birds, wild cats, jackals and anteaters.

You can take a tour of the Pottuvil Lagoon around Crocodile Rock, where you can watch birds and wildlife in addition to beautiful landscapes.

Near the beach of Pottuville Point, in the jungle, there is an ancient Buddhist temple Muhudu Maha Vihara. This is a beautiful little place, partially submerged in the sand dunes, where you can see a 3-meter standing Buddha statue surrounded by two bodhisattvas. Near the temple there is a large beautiful beach, but it is dangerous to swim here because of the stones.

Author: Ceylon Top

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