The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town, 14 km away from Galle was the first (1960’s) of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkelling and diving in the clear waters are a major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colourful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found along the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi coloured corals, and is home to countless numbers of vibrantly coloured fish. Off the beach there is a collection of small islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here. There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore along with dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment.
With plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka, the reason why so many visit Hikkaduwa is blatantly clear. The resort area has now engulfed two or three villages south of it, and is now a 4km strip of hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and guesthouses. The beaches are lovely and wide and swimming is safe here, though the currents are stronger when it comes to the south of Hikkaduwa. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles. Glass bottomed boats are available for visitors wanting to admire the wonders of the deep while keeping their feet dry! After a short distance southwards from the centre of the reef, it diminishes and starts a wider sandy bottomed beach with good waves ideal for board surfing and body surfing.
You can always rent the necessary equipment needed for snorkelling and surfing from a number of places Hikkaduwa is an established tourist destination and the surfing there is quite well known.
The area is not overcrowded but there are many tourists and locals during the peak season. Since its a coral reef, it is always advisable for travellers to be safe than sorry. Do not feel intimidated by the locals although there might be instances that you are hassled. There are many shops selling Masks, Gems, Jewellery, Batik, Antiques and etc. along with several Buddhist temples, all which add spice to life at Hikkaduwa.
Surfing in Hikkaduwa
“Hikkaduwa is one of the best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, offering a clear warm water base. The wave sizes range from 4-11 feet. Surfing in the Hikkaduwa region is quite well known and gets the best surf during its dry season, which is from November to March. There are 4 main surf points in Hikkaduwa.
Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary
Hikkaduwa’s overexploited ‘coral sanctuary’ stretches out from the string of ‘Coral’ hotels at the north end of the strip to a group of rocks a couple of hundred metres offshore. You can swim out to the rocks from the Coral Gardens Hotel, where the reef runs straight out from the shore.
Scuba & Snorkelling
Sites of Sri Lanka that spread out in the western, southern and eastern coasts of Sri Lanka are of such variety, more in Hikkaduwa, the amateur scuba divers as well as the experienced scuba divers revel in the opportunities presented.
“On the beach about 2 kms north of Hikkaduwa is a very small private Turtle Research Center, which works to protect this endangered species. Turtle eggs selected for hatching & progressive stages of the development of turtles can be seen here.
The definition of ‘Ayurveda’ in simple terms means “the science of life”. Ayurveda represents a system of healing that has been perfected over more than five thousand years. It is famed as South Asia’s ancient health care system based on herbs and diet.
Hikkaduwa has a beautiful beach, it is sandy and very wide, when we were there it was pretty clean too. It is a great beach for chilling on with a book, and strolling along during the day and early evening, but the sea here is very rough and not ideal for a gentle dip.
Seenigama Vihara Temple
“Seenigama Vihara Temple was the final stop on our day-long tuk tuk tour of Hikkaduwa and the surrounding region in March 2014. It is located just a few kilometres north of Hikkaduwa, close to Peraliya and Telwatta.
Hikkaduwa Lake, with its monitor lizards and numerous birds, makes for a pleasant excursion away from the beach. Boat tours can sometimes be organised on the lake; ask around.
Tsunami Photo Museum
The coastline around Hikkaduwa was particularly badly hit by the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26th December 2004. During our visit to Hikkaduwa in March 2014, we paid a short visit to the Tsunami Photo Museum, which is located in Telwatta, just a few kilometers north of Hikkaduwa.