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Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka

Where surfing comes alive – Arugam Bay is Sri Lanka’s stepping stone on the Indian Ocean trail for a long time. It is the most escapist and renowned surfing locations in the world even though Arugam is just a small fishing village on the east coast of Sri Lanka.


  • Arugam Bay has thrilling wave swells and long consistent breaks along with epic sunsets; making it every surfer’s paradise
  • Arugam Bay is also an entry point to see Kudumbigala Monastery which houses a unique cylindrical shaped dagoba
  • Experience a lagoon safari along Pottuvil Lagoon and Panama Lagoon and observe the rich biodiversity of mangroves, birds and wildlife
  • Visit Okanda’s beautiful beach with its excellent right point break which makes for some smooth surfing among less crowds
  • Okanda, a sacred site for it houses the Okanda Kataragama Devalaya
  • Arugam bay serves as an entry point to enjoy wildlife safaris at Kumana National Park and Lahugala National Park


Known to be one of the most attractive beaches in the entire island, the tropical town of Arugam Bay doesn’t disappoint in terms of beauty and simplicity combined together. Located approximately 8 hours away from the main city of Colombo, it is a long drive but definitely worth the wait. Surrounded by a line of endless palm trees and of course the Indian Ocean in all its glory – it has gradually become a crowd favourite, and for many good reasons.

The number one reason as to why Arugam Bay is recognized is due to the fact that it is one of the best spots for surfing in the country. It is definitely the highlight of the town and the most popular attraction that draws surfers from all over the country and worldwide to its shores. The fantastic waves that’s perfect all year and the height of the waves are all factors that contribute to large crowds on Arugam Bay’s beaches .
It is also the ideal location for simply laying back and taking it easy – for rejuvenation and recharging yourself from all the stress dealt with on a routine basis. Listen to the calming sounds of the waves crashing in the background while leisurely reading a book you’ve been waiting to catch up on for a long time, and feel the days pass by in a daze.

Arugam Bay is in close proximity to the Kumana Bird Sanctuary, which is approximately 1 hour away and convenient for the enthusiastic bird watchers. Kumana is renowned to be one of the best places for bird watching as there are around 430 species of birds that have been identified within the park so far.

The town of Arugam Bay started out a small fishing village before it became internationally acclaimed for its exceptional surfing and being in the list of top ten surf points in the world.

How to get there

From Colombo
By car – It will take approximately 7 hours to drive to the town of Arugam Bay by car, via the Colombo – Batticaloa Hwy/Colombo – Ratnapura – Wellawaya – Batticaloa Rd/A4.

By bus – It will take around 10 – 12 hours to Pottuvil when travelling by bus, which is the nearest town to Arugam Bay. It leaves at 5 in the morning from Colombo.

By train – Take the train from Colombo Fort to Ella or Badulla, the departure times being 5:55 am, 8:30 am, 9:45 am and 8 pm in the evening. It will take around 8 to 9 hours approximately

From Trincomalee
By car – It will take around 4 to 5 hours to reach Arugam Bay from Trincomalee when traveling by car, or taxi.

The months from March to September are considered to be the dry season but rain is possible. The high season is in April and finishes in October. Generally the entire year is sunny and the weather is warm tropical.


Surfing in Arugam Bay – One of the most recognized spots for surfing, Arugam Bay is known for its ideal surfing conditions locally and worldwide, too. There are five surfing points to choose from.

Kudumbigala Monastery – Concealed in the thick jungle on the Panama-Kumana road, lays the magnificent Kudumbigala Monastery of nearly 3000 years old, and built in the times of King Devanampiyatissa.

Pottuvil Lagoon Safari – Tucked away 4km from Arugam Bay, is a coastal lagoon thriving with a variety of wildlife. The Pottuvil Lagoon is roughly 200 acres surrounded by mangrove forests and has a tiny island in its centre.

Okanda – A tranquil and beautiful beach with a picturesque coastline is situated close to the entrance of Kumana National Park which is 20 kilometres south of Arugam Bay.

Lahugala National Park – The Park consists of Lahugala Tank and amazing topographical landscapes of evergreen forests with rosewood and satinwood trees.

Yoga – Arugam Bay has become popular for Yoga due to the current trend of yoga being synonymous with surfing.