Arugam beach is also known as the surfer’s paradise. This is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Since it is far away from the capital, Arugam Bay is not that popular among tourists. Nevertheless, exploring Arugam Bay is that memorable adventure you want in your life.
Arugam Beach is located in a town called Pottuvil, which is in Ampara District that is 314 km from the capital Colombo. Despite the biggest tragedy of the tsunami strike, Arugam Bay was quick to recover. Arugam Bay is also one of the finest surf spots in the whole of Asia as well. The coral reef of this bay is home for some of the beautiful aquatic creatures, which makes it ideal for snorkeling.
PLACES TO VISIT
1. Elephant Rock
Sunset from Elephant rock is one of the moments you can cherish forever. The sea view from this rock gives you the chills. Transportation is available to reach the spot. You can choose from the scooters or cars as your desired vehicle that helps you to reach the rocks safely. There is nothing more than the relaxing view from the rocks that makes your vacation meaningful.
2. Muhudu Maha Vihara
Muhudu Maha Vihara is one of the ancient Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. This temple has been the prime attraction of this bay for decades. Regardless of their religious belief, tourists from different parts of the world flew to this temple to enjoy the ambiance. Muhudu Maha Vihara comes with a rich history and pride. This temple was built by a king named Kavan Tissa of Ruhuna about 2,000 years ago. The temple is located almost 4.5 km away from the bay. Transportation is available from the bay to the temple.
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3. Kudumbigala Monastery
Apart from Muhudu Maha Vihara, Arugam Bay also holds another sacred place that also has a pride history to say. It is called Kudumbigala Monastery. It is a monastery the monks depended for their peace of mind from all distraction. It gave shelter to the wandering monks for years. It was built in 246 BC and still stands strong until this day. It is located about 30 km from the bay, and it takes almost an hour to reach the monastery. Transportation is available to reach the monastery.
Panama Village is located inland to Arugam Bay. Near to Yala East National Park, 12 km south to Arugam bay lies this village. The landscape is incredible with the dunes, rock boulders, the lagoon, and the rich bird life. It is a sight for sore eyes. Nature here is so relaxing and rejuvenating that makes you feel energized and makes it hard to leave this place. Panama also is the resident for Crocodile Rock and Elephant Rock that truly showers the beauty of Panama.
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Okanda village is at the entrance of Yala East National Park. 20 km from the south of Panama village, Okanda has a popular surfing spot. This place is rich in mangroves, and the Kumana Reservoir here resulted in a huge population of aquatic birds. This village is also popular for being the home for the shrine of God Skanda. The story behind the shrine is the belief that the God himself has landed on the island once. This leads the village to be a pilgrimage spot too. A 15- day festival is held in this village during the month of July preceded by the pilgrimage walk from the shrine to Kataragama, which is the actual domain of the God Skanda.
Yala East National Park is one of the popular tourist attraction in Arugam Bay. Yala East is the twin of Yala West sanctuary, which is separated by the river Kumbukkan Oya. The sanctuaries are home to elephants, leopards and many other animals that make Srilanka rich in wildlife.
Kumana Bird Sanctuary and Lahugala National Park are the other attractions. Kumana Sanctuary is about 20 km into the park that has its pride residents. Among them, the most prominent ones are painted storks, herons, egrets, and Black-necked stork, which is the rarest bird in Sri Lanka. Lahugala National Park is 15 km from Arugam Bay. Backed up by Lahugala Reservoir, over 150 elephants find shelter in this park. The reservoir also attracts a large variety of aquatic birds that make the par more active.
THINGS TO DO IN ARUGAM BAY
1. Lagoon Safari
One of the popular tourist attraction in Arugam Bay is the lagoon safari. The safari is of two hours along the lagoon exploring other lagoons like Kottukal and Urani. These lagoons are known for being a habitat for crocodiles and elephants. This trip gives you the ultimate ticket for getting to know this creature a little bit closer. You float through the mangrove swamps while exploring the rich bird life here. Make sure you experience this little adventure on your visit to Arugam Bay.
Arugam Bay is known to be one of the favorite spots for surfers. The waves are favorable for surfing, and you are going to love it. You can surf along this bay all around the year. Also during the months of April – October the beach waves comes with a height of 2.5 meters the maximum. This period of time is the best for surfing. There is nothing in the world that tops the experience of feeling the sea in its active form. Crocodile Rock, Main Break and Pottuvil Point are some of the major surf points.
3. Pottuvil Beach
Pottuvil Beach is the spot where you go in search of relaxation and peace. The shores promise to provide the absolute beauty of the beach within a few seconds of your visit. There is something strong enough that pulls you closer to the waters and leaves you hypnotized for hours. Sunbath in Pottuvil Beach is one of the mesmerizing experiences in Sri Lanka. What makes this beach that special is the food available here. You get to taste the whole world of seafood here that leaves you wanting more.
STAY IN ARUGAM BAY
1. The Blue Wave Hotel
Blue Wave Hotel is one of the top resorts in Arugam Bay. Located near to the bay the hotel offers an affordable price. The hotel comes with a good restaurant and a decent bar facility. The outdoor pool is the main attraction of this hotel. An additional well-equipped fitness facility makes this hotel more impressive. The rooms are spacious and cozy. The balconies in the rooms offer a very remarkable view of the garden.
2. Babar Point
Babar Point is one of the most luxurious resorts in Arugam Bay. They offer top-class villas and bungalows. These stays are grandly spacious and comfy. Each and every room is air-conditioned and comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. This resort comes with a great terrace view that leaves the guests mind-blown. Located in Whiskey Point near Urani Pottuvil.
3. Arugam Bay Roccos
Located in Main Street Arugam bay which is only a minute away from the beach, Arugam Bay Roccos is also one of the top hotels available. An affordable foe the tourists of this beach. The hotel comes with an outdoor pool, a decent bar facility, and a great restaurant. One of the unique features of this hotel is that it also has a private beach that gives you the feeling of never really leaving the beach. The beach is with you till you leave this beautiful beach.
Galaxy Lounge is also an ideal place for a vacation in Sri Lanka. The Aloha Cabanas, The Rock view Beachside Hotel, the Danish Villa Hotel, The Stardust Beach Hotel, The Surf n Sea Guesthouse, The Hang Loose Guesthouse, The Water Music Guesthouse are some of the other prominent stays in Arugam Bay.
WHERE TO EAT
This place is known for its Hummus platter here. This is joint where most of the surfers come for recreation. Hummus in BreakPoint is the best in all of Sri Lanka. Never miss a chance to visit this place, the food here also agrees with that.
2. Hideaway Resort
Hideaway Resort is the top when it comes to cafes in Sri Lanka. The interior, as well as the outdoor design, is quite impressive. The food is here is admired by both the locals and tourists as well. The coffee here is also worth trying. The ambiance of the cage is quite perfect for a fresh start in the morning. The service here is also appreciable. The outdoor seating arrangement is ideal for that peaceful breakfast. Omelet toast and sausages are the specialties of this place.
3. Why Not
This restaurant is dedicated to Sri Lankan cuisines. During your Arugam visit, this place makes you feel the pulse of Sri Lanka. What else is interesting than getting to the culture through its cuisines. This place is filled with the aroma of delicious curry and rice. The ambiance of this place is pretty fascinating. The vibe here is truly appealing. Make sure you try the chicken curry here with the rice. It is the specialty here.
Not only Sri Lankan dishes, but you can also find restaurants that offer western food also. Hang Loose Guesthouse has a restaurant that provides both local and international food that never fails to impress. Also the Gecko Restaurant, the House of homemade dishes and organic food are some of the places you must try once you get there.
HOW TO GET TO ARUGAM BAY
Arugam Bay is closest to the Batticaloa Airport. From Colombo, it takes about 9 hours to Arugam Bay by bus, and if you are more comfortable with the option of renting a car or taxi, then it takes an 8-hour journey from Colombo to Pottuvil.
Arugam Bay also provides the best catch of wildlife and bird watching. The bay is quite proud of its wildlife including deer, crocodiles, elephants, and wild boar. The months of November and December show us how plentiful is Arugam with its aerial life. Rich in culture and aesthetics and still left unknown, there is no surprise in calling Arugam Bay the hidden gem of Sri Lanka.
Hope this helped you to discover Arugam Bay. If you find this article useful, please like, share and comment!