Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka and wondering what to do in Arugam Bay? This charming coastal town on the east coast of Sri Lanka offers a variety of activities for travelers of all interests. Whether you’re a surfer looking for the perfect wave, a nature lover seeking adventure, or a history buff looking to learn more about the local culture, Arugam Bay has something for you. In this article, we’ll explore the top things to do in Arugam Bay, from surfing to wildlife safaris, and everything in between.
1. Surfing in Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay is world-famous for its surf spots, and it’s the number one activity to do in the area. The waves here are ideal for surfers of all levels, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer. The best time for surfing in Arugam Bay is from May to November when the waves are at their highest.
Some of the most popular surfing spots in Arugam Bay are:
- Main Point: This is the most famous and crowded surf spot in Arugam Bay. It’s a right-hand point break that can produce some long and perfect waves. The travel time to Main Point is about 10 minutes from Arugam Bay.
- Peanut Farm: This is a great surf spot for beginners. It’s a left-hand point break that can produce some fun and mellow waves. The travel time to Peanut Farm is about 20 minutes from Arugam Bay.
- Whisky Point: This surf spot is located a few kilometers north of Arugam Bay. It’s a right-hand point break that can produce some long and fast waves. The travel time to Whisky Point is about 30 minutes from Arugam Bay.
- Elephant Rock: This surf spot is located just north of Arugam Bay and is known for its fast, hollow waves that break over a shallow reef.
- Crocodile Rock: This surf spot is located just south of Arugam Bay and is known for its long, mellow waves that are perfect for longboarding.
- The Baby Point: located at the northern end of the beach, is a popular spot for beginners. The waves are smaller and less powerful, making it easier to learn how to surf.
Good Time for Surf: The best time to surf in Arugam Bay is from May to September when the waves are at their strongest. During this time, you can expect consistent swells and good conditions for surfing. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with smaller waves and work your way up.
Travel Time: The travel time from Arugam Bay to each surf spot varies. Main Point is just a short walk from the town center, while Whiskey Point is around 15 minutes away by tuk-tuk.
Transport Mood: Tuk-tuks are the most popular mode of transport to surf spots.
2. Wildlife Safaris in Kumana National Park
If you’re a nature lover, a wildlife safari in Kumana National Park is a must-do activity. Located just a short drive from Arugam Bay, Kumana National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and a vast array of bird species. The best time to visit the park is between April and July, when the park’s wetlands are teeming with migratory birds. A wildlife safari in Kumana National Park is an unforgettable experience that will give you a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s incredible biodiversity.
Overall, the best time to visit Kumana National Park is during the dry season between February and July. The travel time from Arugam Bay is around 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the travel time from Ella is around 3 hours and 30 minutes. The best way to get to the park is by private car or taxi, but you can also take a bus and then a tuk-tuk or taxi.
In terms of transportation, the best way to get to Kumana National Park is by private car or taxi. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Panama and then take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the park. It’s recommended to book a vehicle or travel agent in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle.
3. Exploring Pottuvil Point Lighthouse
For history buffs, a visit to the Pottuvil Point Lighthouse is a must-do activity. Located on the easternmost point of Sri Lanka, this lighthouse was built by the British in 1913 and is still in operation today. The lighthouse offers stunning views of the coastline and the Indian Ocean, and it’s a popular spot for watching the sunrise or sunset.
4. Yoga and Meditation Classes
Arugam Bay is a great place to relax and unwind, and what better way to do that than with yoga and meditation classes? There are several yoga studios in Arugam Bay that offer daily classes, as well as meditation retreats that allow you to disconnect from the world and connect with your inner self. Practicing yoga and meditation in Arugam Bay’s serene and peaceful surroundings is an excellent way to recharge your batteries and reduce stress.
5. Visit the Kudumbigala Monastery
The Kudumbigala Monastery is a hidden gem that’s worth the trip from Arugam Bay. Located about an hour’s drive from Arugam Bay, this ancient monastery dates back to the 3rd century BC and is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka. The monastery is situated on a rocky hilltop, and the hike to the top offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
6. Fishing Trips
If you’re a fishing enthusiast, Arugam Bay offers some of the best fishing opportunities in Sri Lanka. Whether you want to try your hand at deep-sea fishing or prefer to cast your line in the lagoon, there are plenty of fishing trips available in Arugam Bay. Some of the fish species you can expect to catch include barracuda, tuna, and sailfish.
7. Visit the Whiskey Point Beach
Whiskey Point is a popular beach in Arugam Bay that’s known for its beautiful white sand and crystal-clear water. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the sun, and it’s also a popular spot for surfing and swimming. There are plenty of restaurants and bars on the beach that serve delicious seafood and refreshing cocktails.
8. Try Local Cuisine
Sri Lankan cuisine is a blend of Indian, Chinese, and European influences, and it’s known for its bold flavors and unique spices. Arugam Bay has plenty of restaurants and food stalls that offer a variety of local dishes, including seafood curries, roti, and hoppers. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the local delicacies and experience the flavors of Sri Lanka.
9. Visit the Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock is another popular surf spot in Arugam Bay, but it’s also a great place to hike and enjoy the stunning views. The hike to the top of Elephant Rock takes about 30 minutes and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. It’s a great spot for watching the sunrise or sunset, and it’s also a popular place for picnics and relaxing.