One of the most relaxed places in Sri Lanka is Arugam Bay. White beaches, a gentle breeze, plenty of restaurants, yoga classes on the beach and it is the hotspot for surfers. Where in Arugam Bay should you be? Check out these seven tips for a few relaxing days in Arugam Bay during your Sri Lanka trip!
How do you get to Arugam Bay during your Sri Lanka trip?
This true surf and yoga mecca is located on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Many travelers come to Arugam Bay from Ella. To get here, take a bus from Ella to Pottuvil, which is close to Arugam Bay and takes about five hours. From there you take another bus or a tuk-tuk and you are there in ten minutes. You can also travel to Arugam Bay by bus from the capital Colombo, the coastal town of Trincomalee and Kandy. You will find more information about the buses on this website. There are no tight bus times in Sri Lanka, so sometimes you have to be a little patient.
Seven tips for Arugam Bay
In Arugam Bay you almost automatically go into relaxed mode. You can easily spend a few days here and if you like surfing, a week in Arugam Bay is certainly not a punishment. This is what you do there:
1. Spend the night among the palm trees (and monkeys)
It is bursting with hotels, all of which are located on the beach or within a few meters of the beach. In our opinion, Sam’s Hut Beach Hotel is one of the nicest places to stay. In a courtyard there are several huts that you can book and the beach is very close. Hammocks hang here and there and each hut also has a seat outside. There is also a bar, where you can drink a nice fresh lassie (smoothie-like drink). You hardly get a greater holiday feeling!
2. Yoga on the Beach
Yoga when it is at least thirty degrees, that is a nice challenge. Several yoga schools offer classes on the beach or in a quiet place outside. Stay Golden and Wave flow yoga for example. Not all yoga schools are open all year round, often this is related to the surfing season (May to October).
3. Jeep safari to Kumana National Park
Sri Lanka is known for the various national parks where you can spot wild animals. From Arugam Bay, Kumana National Park is the closest park. In Arugam Bay itself you can book the jeep safari for this. For example at Arugamaby Khan Safari & Resort. This organization also has other trips that allow you to explore the environment and nature. In Kumana Park you can see panthers (if you are lucky), elephants, bison, crocodiles and many different types of birds. The guide will try to show you as many different animals as possible, so it is definitely a safari. The whole excursion takes about half a day.
4. Surfing in Arugam Bay
In the surf season, this place is full of trained men and women who head to the beach with a surfboard under their arm. Tourists also like to give it a try. If you’re an advanced surfer, you’ll have fun at Pottuvil Point and Elphant Rock. In Arugam Bay there are more than enough surf schools that rent out boards, so surfing every day: you can do that here.
Are you a beginner? Then choose one of the many surf schools and take a lesson. Amigo employs friendly and patient instructors. When you book a lesson with them, you and the instructor will ride in a tuk-tuk (surfboard on top) to Whiskey Point. To get to the surf spot, you only have to cross a small lake with a ferry. Luckily there aren’t that many crocodiles there (a few, but you don’t see them).
And: even if you’re not very good at surfing, the sight of the high waves and more experienced surfers gliding over them is also beautiful!
5. Relaxing on the beach
Arugam Bay beach is ideal for relaxing. Every few meters there is a beach bar where you can get fresh juices or eat typical Sri Lankan roti or kotu (chopped roti). Take a good book with you, lie on your towel and take a dip in the sea every now and then.
6. The Nightlife of Arugam Bay
This place is bustling from May to October. Restaurants are literally connected to each other on the main road, so if you want, you can eat somewhere else every night. From a western hamburger to rice, roti and curries: you will find everything. There are regular parties during this season. At the hotels and surf schools they often know what to do.
7. Breakfast at the beach
Where the restaurants are attractively lit in the evening and you can drink cocktails until late, they are an oasis of peace for breakfast the next morning. Stay Golden has a good menu and a nice spot with a sea view. You can also enjoy a good breakfast at Lemon Tree. Ideal base for a day of surfing or a trip to the national park.
How do you get to Sri Lanka & Arugam Bay?
For a tour through Sri Lanka it is best to allow between two and four weeks. You pay with the rupee and tipping is very common.
How do you travel in Sri Lanka?
There are several options for traveling around Sri Lanka. All cities and tourist spots are easily accessible by public transport, even though some buses only run a few times a day. The train journey between Ella and Kandy is certainly worth it. You can rent a tuk-tuk yourself and drive through the country or hire a private driver to show you the country. Sri Lanka is easily accessible, so whatever means of transport you choose, you will arrive at your destination anyway. In the Lonely Planet of Sri Lanka you can find a lot of current information about transport and info about where to go, so be sure to take it with you when you go backpacking.
Nice place to stay
Are you looking for a nice place to spend the night? Then check out the huts of Sam’s Hut Beach Hotel!
Best time to visit Arugam Bay
In Sri Lanka there is a monsoon twice a year. Yala, to the southwest, is active from May to July, and Maha, to the northeast, is from November to January. The best time to travel across the country is in February and March. May to October is the most favorable season for Arugam Bay.