Arugam bay is considered the undisputed best surfing beach in Sri Lanka. Lying hidden in the laid back eastern coast, it lies in 312 kms from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Arugam Surf Point is a small bay which has a very long, consistent, section-like right hand breaks. The area was inaccessible for almost 30 years to the general public when the LTTE terrorists operated in the area. With the defeat of the LTTE in 2009, Arugam Bay has become one of the most sought after location for surfaces round the world.
In mid-2010 WSL hosted its first international surf contest in at Arugam Bay. WSL repeated their contest tour in 2011 added a women’s competition to the men’s long board championship at Arugam Bay.
Arugam bay consists of three small villages where fishing and farming are the main occupations. Ullae is a fishing village situated at the corner of the bay with a natural harbour. It consists mostly of a Tamil population. There are a few Sinhalese families as well and the village boasts of both a Sinhalese and a Tamil school. Perie Ullae consists mostly of a Muslim population and has a sub post office, a mosque and a Muslim school. Sinna Ullae also consists mostly of Muslims and has a mosque and a Muslim school.
The town of Arugam Bay is a small and has no attractions except for the cozy restaurants and storefronts each providing a unique experience which had spun up with the boom of the surfer tourists.
Most of the houses on the narrow roads leading to the beach have been converted to cozy cabanas and guest houses. In addition to surfing this is a also a good launching pad to other near by attractions such as little visited Yala East National Park lying 28km to the south and Lahugala National Park, 16 km away.
The closest town to Arugam Bay is Potuvil, another Muslim colony. Although there large number of hotels and cabana’s which cater to the surfers, there are no good star class hotels in this region.
What to do in Arugam Bay
Surfing , Diving and activities at Beach
Kumana National Park – Also called Yala East, the only entrance to this park is through Arugam Bay and Panama, an farming village existing for over 1000’s of years.
Lahugala – Kithulana National Park – The road to Arugam Bay lies across this National Park, a haven for Elephants.
The east of Sri Lanka had been flourishing Buddhist Farming communities in the ancient past which goes back to pre-christian era. Number of large armic complexes and Buddhist ruins of this lost civilization can be seen around Arugam Bay.
Muhudu Maha Viharaya – Lying in the town of Pottuvil on the beach, some believe that this is the place where Queen Vihara Maha Devi and her entourage were washed ashore (in 2nd century BC) and not at Kirinda. Number of ancient statues and and remain of building discovered buried in the sand.
Lahugala Magul Maha Viharaya – This temple is said to be built by King Kavanthissa in the 2nd Century BC on the location where the King married the princess Vihara Maha Devi.
Neelagiri Maha Seya – Neelagiri Seya is the largest Buddhist Stupa in the Eastern Province. The stupa, located in the Lahugala Forest Reserve has been neglected for over 30 years due to the LTTE Terrorist activities in the area. The stupa is believed to be build by King Kawantissa (3rd Century BC) or King Bhatikabaya (20 BC-9 AC) and has been renovated on the 7th century.
Ancient Kudumbigala Monastery -Lies atop of a massive rock 25 km from Arugambay. Kudumbigala monastic complex was built in 246 BC, during the time of King Devanampiyatissa. It was first established as a refuge for the Buddhist monks who wanted to get away from the busy Cities. Archaeologists had discovered over 200 rock caves belonging to this forgotten monastery.
- Attractions of Sri Lanka
- Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Waterfalls of Sri Lanka
- Nature and Wildlife of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Arugam Bay Beach
The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites
Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.
Traveling Directions to Arugam Bay Beach
|Route from Colombo to Arugam Bay|
|distance :312 km|
Travel time : 6-7 hours
Driving directions : see on google map