Sri Lanka, an island shaped by tears beneath India, is the longest-latitude and the most reliable surfing destination in the Indian Ocean. The south coast is open to the same regular and long distance as the SW swells that hit Indonesia. Arugam Bay, on the east coast of Sri Lanka, was a popular area for surfers crossing Asia in the 1970s, but travel to this area was interrupted in 1983 with the advent of the civil war between the ” Tamil tigers ”and the Sri Lankan government. Surfers, forced to search for waves somewhere else, discovered the reefs of Hikkaduwa. Over the years, the Southwest area has become a popular place to relax and surf, as it is cheap, safe and full of local colors. The variety of reefs of Hikkaduwa favor the formation of left waves that are formed in a perfect way thanks to the small and clean swells that hit the area. The most consistent spot is the Main Reef , located in front of the Surfing Beach Surf House, which sends fun left and right over a coral reef. It is often crowded and characterized by localism. Further north there is Benny’s , an external reef reachable in a 5-minute row, which offers radical lefts that can handle even large Swells. Another spot to check out with big swells is North Jetty , with its long lefts. Further south of Main Reef there is Inside Reef, another spot with lefts of decent power. From here down there are a long line of beachbreaks which, varying in size and power, offer different possibilities of fun for both beginners and bodyboarders (there are also a couple of heavy shorebreaks). As the swell grows, a surfable wave forms at the rivermouth, although the water could be very dirty. Gallè is located further south of Hikkaduwa and it is the most interesting colonial city in the area. In the pier just outside the city an excellent wave breaks which, however, needing particular conditions, isn’t very constant. A little further east is Kogalla , where there are 2 luxury hotels. The reefs here are quite covered by the multiplicity of swells that hit the area, but when the sea comes in, the left becomes excellent. Midigama is a small village further east, which is even less consistent than Hikkaduwa and it is also more exposed to winds from south. Here are 2 spots: a long and soft left, and a more powerful right that breaks over a very low reef. This area is undoubtedly less crowding than the Hikkaduwa spots. Beachbreaks in Weligama can be surfed with very small swells, even when the whole south coast is flat. In Matara you can often find good left waves, while in Dondra a right one, but both of these waves need some wind from the north to be at the top, which in this area is quite rare. Further east there are the legendary rights of Arugam Bay . In this area guerrilla activity is a real problem so surfers are always warned to be careful. This wonderful land is waiting for all of you surfers, for a fantastic surf stay in Sri Lanka!
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||Coral Rock By Bansei||Koggala Beach||Weligama by Marriot Resort & Spa|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 368||€ 473||€ 651|
The same swells that light up the Indonesian spots send the waves to Sri Lanka; however, it can happen that, due to its high latitude, many swells vanish in the ocean without reaching the coasts. The main problem is that the most consistent SW wave season (from April to October) is accompanied by frequent SW winds (therefore onshore) which usually make conditions active. To avoid the wind it is possible to surf in the morning, but expect rain and dirty water. If Arugam Bay had been a safe area, the best time to come to this part of the south-east coast would have been the beginning and end of the dry season (November to April), when the NE winds begin to blow in conjunction with the large SW swells. During this season the waves are generally clean and vary from 2 to 6 feet, so it is very difficult to find Hikkaduwa completely flat. Even during the NE monsoons, winds tend to become onshore in the afternoons. The tide changes are minimal, but for any more detailed information just contact the A-Frame surf shop, which provides the tide tables. Most of the lower reefs change a lot as the tide changes.
How to get there: There is no need for a visa for up to a month’s stay. Flying to Colombo with Air Lanka is quite cheap. There are no additional fees to bring the boards and it is possible to get a free stop in the Maldives to reach your destination. There are no internal flights due to the civil war. Hikkaduwa is 3 hours from the airport.
Getting Around: There is no need to rent a car. A taxi to the airport costs around $ 40, but if you want to save a little, just take a train that costs only $ 1. Renting a 125cc moped costs $ 5 a day but you have to be careful as the drive is on the left.
Accommodation and food: Sri Lanka can be tackled on a very tight budget. Staying in Hikkaduwa can cost less than $ 5 for a reasonable quality double room (Surfing Beach Guest House) or $ 20 for a luxury hotel (Casalanka). Aside from the rice and curry, there are plenty of healthy and inexpensive foods. Expect to pay $ 3 per meal.
Climate: The climate here is typical of monsoon countries, therefore characterized by two distinct seasons. The first known as “Maha” (from November to March) is dry, sunny and where NE winds prevail. The second “Yala” (from April to October) is rainy and it carries strong SW winds which are mainly onshore throughout the coast. This rainy period lasts until November and is the most pleasant one in which to visit the area. In between these 2 seasons, there is a transition period in which the temperatures are very high. During most of the year the water temperatures are around 27 ° C (81 ° F) so it is possible to surf in a suit.
Nature and culture: This is the island, where Jonah was spat out by the whale and Adam and Eve walked to paradise, has so much more to offer than just waves, snorkeling and its coral reefs. Visit colonial Gallè, climb Adam’s Peak to see the spectacular sunset and go see Buddhist temples in Kandy. Wildlife is abundant with elephants and monkeys. Hikkaduwa also offers a fun nightlife.
Dangers and annoyances: There have been serious cases of violent localisms towards surfers on holiday from the locals of Hikkaduwa. Behave quietly, be respectful and you will be treated hospitably. Water pollution and coral cuts are a bad mix together. As this is a very touristy area, many local people earn their money by taking advantage of the vulnerability of tourists.
The tariff does not include
Duration: 8 days / 6 nights
from € 242 - Excluding flights
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