A Quick Guide To Arugam Bay.

Arugam Bay is a magical place on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. It’s a bit of a trek, but it’s worth it, whether you’re a surfer or not. As it’s hosting the Red Bull Ride My Wave competition now, we thought we’d do a quick guide.

Getting There

Arugam Bay is far, and you generally have to go thru the hills. It’s best enjoyed as part of a tour, after a night in Kandy and Ella. You can also take a flatter detour through Matara and Hambantota. There’s full directions by car/train/bus here: Arugam Bay – How To Get There.

When To Go

Arugam Bay is a seasonal town. The beach is in season from around June until September/October. That also means that during this time the place is packed and even the most basic places are booked out. 

Where To Stay

Our favorite place is the cabanas at Hideaway ($50-150, room only), which is actually on the land side but situated in a nice garden. And they have great food. Another place across the street that can accommodate large groups is the Bay Vista Hotel (around $100), and it has beach views. Danish Villa also comes recommended, seems to be going for about Rs. 10,000 (on Agoda). One of the nicest places in Arugam Bay is Jetwing run Kottukal Beach House, which runs $200+.

Besides that there’s a lot of accommodation, though note that most of it is pretty basic. There is nothing five star here and it’s not the sort of town where people hole up in their rooms. For more options check out TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet

As a tip, you need to book early. There is limited room capacity and people book these places sometimes a year in advance. If you show up without booking anything you usually can find a place by asking around, but it’ll end up being a super basic room with a hopefully functional bathroom.

What To Do

Arugam Bay is a great place to surf, internationally great in fact. Red Bull is having the Ride My Wave competition there now. Even if you don’t surf, the water is quite fun to swim in, but you definitely need to be able to swim. There are relatively still areas, but waves here can get quite big. It’s not deep water and there aren’t strong currents that pull you out, but the waves are definitely strong.

Surfing/Swimming

The main places people go to surf or swim are:

Main Point: This is where Mambo’s is, and the site of frequent parties. It’s also a good place to surf, or watch people surfing. Just before the point there’s a bit of a shielded beach where you can swim, but be aware, even here can get treacherous. 
Whiskey Point: Also a surfing point, this is recommended for strong swimmers. Mambo’s brother runs a chill cafe here (SaBaBa’s) and there’s a cool rock to chill on. It’s the furthest away from the town out of this lot.
Peanut Farm: This is a spot down the road towards Panama (you’ll need to drive or catch a tuk). It’s considered a good spot for beginning surfers. 
Pottuvil Point: This beautiful location is through a winding road near Pottuvil town. There are strong but swimmable waves here and it’s generally a bit less crowded. 
Crocodile Rock: Crocodile Rock is a bit croc shaped rock near town. The beach here is swimmable and it’s a good spot to watch the sunset.

Nature Stuff

Arugam Bay has interesting nature stuff all around.

Kudumbigala Sanctuary: South of Arugam Bay, near Panama, you get the Kudumbigala Sanctuary, a rock temple. You can climb up there and get a good view of the surroundings, and it’s relatively shady inside.
Kumana National Park: Further down, essentially where the road ends, is Kumana National Park. Once called Yala East, this park is home to lots of migratory birds (April to July is best) as well as animals and a diverse range of plants. 
Mudu Maha Viharaya: On the other side, before the bridge into Arugam Bay, you get this temple of almost Polonnaruwa style pillars and statues. This is supposedly where Vihara Maha Devi, sent into the ocean as a sacrifice by her father, was washed ashore.  
Lahugala National Park: You actually pass through Lahugala on the way to Arugam Bay, and you would be wise to look out for elephants on the road. If you decide to stop there’s an ancient temple as well as plenty of flora and fauna to see. 

Places To Eat

Arugam Bay actually has quite an active dining scene. Our favorite spot is the restaurant at Hideaway, one of the best in the country when it’s in season. New places we’ve heard good things about are the Seahorse Inn (for the pizza) and the Tandoori Inn (for Indian).

Gecko’s also used to be good, but service has been a bit spotty as of late. The new Zephyr (a branch of the popular Mirissa spot) is also quite good.

This is a town where you can generally get good coffee and international surfer bites (potato wedges, shakshuka, schnitzel) all around.

Place To Drink

The place to seriously party is Mambo’s on Main Point. Basically every weekend they’ll have something here. Something loud which goes all night. If you just want a beer, Siam House brews their own tasty varieties. If you want a more chill spot, Hideaway has a nice garden bar with a one-for-one happy hour.

Conclusion

Arugam Bay is a magical place. It’s a bit far, but that’s also part of its charm. It’s best enjoyed for about a week at a time, swimming, eating and exploring the nature stuff around.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Highlights.

Latest.

KAMU.

Top Burger Joints of 2024

Written by Fathima Rukaiya, Who doesn't adore a juicy, mouthwatering burger? But finding the ideal

Highlights Kamu

Ramada Colombo: Break Your Fast in Style with a Luxurious Iftar

Written by Shamrina CIt’s that holy month of the year again for all Muslims around

Highlights Kamu

A blissful evening at The Sheraton Colombo

https://www.tiktok.com/@yamusrilanka/video/7350182026114338050 Nestled in the heart of Colombo, the Sheraton Colombo hotel epitomizes luxury and sophistication.

Highlights Kamu

Iftar delights at The Banyan, Heritance Negombo

Iftar delights at The Banyan, Heritance Negombo Written by Fathima Rukaiya, Mad Dogs Bodega, Banyan

Highlights Kamu

A Culinary Journey Through the Middle East: Ramadan Iftar Buffet at Cinnamon Grand Courtyard 

By Shamindri De Sayrah Embark on a culinary adventure through the Middle East this Ramadan

Kamu

Budget-friendly Iftar spots 2024

Written by Fathima Rukaiya, In our previous article, we highlighted some exquisite and upscale Iftar

Highlights Kamu

Trending.

MSI Unveils New Laptops Tailored for Content Creators: The Content Creation Series

MSI has unveiled an updated range of laptops designed specifically for content creation, introducing new

Trending

Unveiling the Latest MSI Gaming Laptops: A Detailed Look at High-Performance and Mainstream Options

MSI, a distinguished name in the world of laptop manufacturing, has recently unveiled its latest

Trending

MSI Unveils Waves of AI-Ready Laptops & Its First Gaming Handheld at CES 2024

Powered By The Brand New Intel® Core™ Ultra & Refreshed 14th Gen HX-series processors With the zeitgeist

Trending

Sun Siyam Pasikudah announces exclusive offers for locals and residents this Sinhala and Tamil New Year

Guests are in for an unforgettable experience this Sinhala and Tamil New Year at Sun

Trending

Bombay Borough Introduces an Exciting Culinary Chapter with Its New Menu Launch

Bombay Borough, an all-day Indian Bar & Eatery known for emphasising hyperlocal and regional Indian

Trending

Sri Lankan Nights every Wednesday at Radisson Hotel Colombo

The Dine Restaurant at Radisson Hotel Colombo recently saw the launch of ‘Sri Lankan Nights’

Trending

Yamu Guide.

Steak Bar: A Grand Sunday Brunch at Kingsbury, Colombo

Written by Shamrina C Welcome to the ultimate brunch experience! Nestled in the heart of

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

By Fathima Rukaiya Are you trying to find the perfect way to show your special

Highlights Yamu Guide

9 Special Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Written by Fathima Rukaiya The season of love is upon us once more, and opinions

Highlights Yamu Guide

Romantic Dinner and High Tea date spots for Valentine’s Day  2024

Written by Shamrina C 1. Via Torino Indulge in a fine dining exclusive 3-Course meal

Highlights Yamu Guide

BYOB Bliss: 16 Places to you can Bring Your Own Bottle!

Written by Shamrina C 1. Giovannis Indulge in Italian flavors, grooving music, pet friendly, and

Highlights Yamu Guide

Unveiling Ramada’s Festive Christmas High Tea Extravaganza!

Written by Shamrina C Mark your calendars for the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of December,

Highlights Yamu Guide