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The South West Coast - Hikkaduwa

The South West Coast - Hikkaduwa

World Famous Surfing, Nightlife And Coral Reefs

The South West Coast - Hikkaduwa


Hikkaduwa (Hikka)

Hikkaduwa was one of the original resorts that opened Sri Lanka to beach tourism in the 1970’s and 1980s. The resort is divided into the northern and southern sections. The northern part is protected by a near-shore reef with an exquisite curved bay that boats can anchor in. This is the ideal place for exploring the Coral Gardens. You can get some easy snorkeling by the beach and the waves are usually rather calm. Most of the up-market and resort type hotels are located here.


The southern stretch is composed of the surfing beaches of Narigama and Wewala which are lined by a large collection of bars, restaurants and beach clubs along with a myriad of budget guesthouses offering very cheap accommodation.


Quaity Of The Beach


There is a fairly good beach in the southern part of the resort where surfers gather during the winter season. It is gently shelving in parts and fine for wading.



Hikkaduwa has been a favourite destination with international surfers for three decades. Here there are no very large waves but instead accommodating breaks that seldom become frightening. That is why beginners, who need to feel safe in order to progress with confidence, get on so well at Hikkaduwa.


The mellow reefs at Hikkaduwa tend to favour left-handers.  However, the most consistent spot is Main Reef, which has fun lefts and rights on a flat coral reef.  Further north is Benny's and the North Jetty that both boast a fairly consistent big swell.  South of Main Reef is the equally powerful Inside Reef.  Beyond here is a long stretch of Beach Break, which varies from a fat wave (ideal for surfing beginners) to a fun shorebreak (great for body-boarders).


Watersports, Diving And Snorkellling

The Coral Sanctuary at Hikkaduwa is close inshore just off the main bay. It is a shallow body of water, not more than 5 m deep. You can dive, swim and snorkel with parrot fish, barracuda and green turtles. The reefs at Hikkaduwa have however been extremely overexploited and damaged over the years especially after El Nino, which resulted in rising sea temperatures killing a lot of the ‘live coral’.


Despite environmental degradation the reef is still home to countless colourful fish, and giant turtles can also be found here. In addition there are some islets around which there are some interesting coral formations.


Best Time To Go

Winter Season: November - April

The beaches are at their best at this time with fine weather and calm seas. There are many beach parties especially at weekends as the ‘Colombo crowd’ arrive en-masse to party the night away on the southern beaches.


Summer Season: May – October

During the off season, Hikkaduwa experiences a great downturn in the number of visitors as the surfers move to Arugam Bay on the East Coast. Snorkelling and diving operators also do likewise and move to resorts such as Nilaveli and Pasikudah.


Getting To The Airport

Airport – Hikkaduwa: 3 Hours Via Southern Expressway

Top Tips For A Beach Stay At Hikkaduwa

1. If you like bars, restaurants and night-life, then Hikka has to feature strongly on your list of options for a beach stay in Sri Lanka. As one of the world’s premier surfing hotspots, Hikka has a very youthful atmosphere.


2. Hikka is going through a huge rennaissance as hip crowds and expats from Colombo head down each weekend to fill the bars and beach clubs at Narigama and Wewala such as Mambo’s.


3. There are also many up-market properties coming up at Hikka, around the main bay, making it a great choice for families with grown up kids and teenagers who will find plenty of interesting stuff happenning around the resort and local beaches.


4. If you take a boat ride to the reef, there are two giant turtles, Rosie and Daisy who’ve been fed by the fishermen for the past 12 years and now come in all day to hang out with you. They are almost 1.5m and incredibly docile! You will find them to the left of the pier in front of Chaaya Tranz in the Coral Gardens. It’s an experience you will never forget.


5. Whatch out however for speeding vehicles on the Main Galle Road that cuts right through the heart of Hikkaduwa along which most of the hotels are located.


Excursions And Things To Do?

• The historic town of Galle is the focal point of the Deep South. Inside the ramparts of the old fort, chic boutiques, shops and restaurants cater to an interesting mix of expats, travellers and a large local Moorish population that stil lives inside the Old Fort.


• If you are able to get up really early in the morning (4 am!) you can travel to the amazing Sinharaja Rainforest – one of the world’s great biodiversity hot-spots. Trails through the forest let you observe giant ferns, carnivorous plants and enormous creepers ending up at viewing points where you get vistas of the seemingly endless forest canopy.


• Another early start and you can travel to Kithulgala for Sri Lanka’s best White Water Rafting on the gushing Kelani River. The Grade 2 / 3 rafting is fine for beginners and there is the possibility of canyoning here too.


• Beaches to the north are famous for their turtle nesting beaches. The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery is a favourite destination for visitors and is highly recommended.


  • Aditya


    A contemporary luxury boutique hotel located between Hikkaduwa and Galle on a very private beach. Expect highly personalised service, superb cuisine and a collection of oversized suites with Balinese antiques, Jacuzzi bath tubs and some with sea views.
  • Chaaya Tranz

    Chaaya Tranz

    A hotel with perhaps the most spectacular beach location in the whole of Sri Lanka! Chaaya Tranz looks out directly over the Coral Gardens Sanctuary with amazing ocean views. The hotel has a gleaming retro-chic look with some great seafood dining options.
  • Coral Sands Beach Hotel

    Coral Sands Beach Hotel

    A 3 Star hotel that offers great value for money on an idyllic beach where you can simply wade out into the shallow sea at waist height during the Winter Season. The famous Coral Gardens Sanctuary with huge turtles and live corals are just a stone’s throw away.
  • Roman Beach

    Roman Beach

    A little gem of a boutique hotel with just 6 rooms, located at Narigama, near the ‘surfing’ end of Hikkaduwa. Highly attentive service combined with delicious cuisine lets you enjoy the best of Hikkaduwa's surf and sun madness with a private retreat at the end of the day.

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