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The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town, 14 km away from Galle was the first (1960’s) of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkelling and diving in the clear waters are a major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colourful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found along the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi coloured corals, and is home to countless numbers of vibrantly coloured fish. Off the beach there is a collection of small islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here. There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore along with dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment.

With plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka, the reason why so many visit Hikkaduwa is blatantly clear. The resort area has now engulfed two or three villages south of it, and is now a 4km strip of hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and guesthouses. The beaches are lovely and wide and swimming is safe here, though the currents are stronger when it comes to the south of Hikkaduwa. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles. Glass bottomed boats are available for visitors wanting to admire the wonders of the deep while keeping their feet dry! After a short distance southwards from the centre of the reef, it diminishes and starts a wider sandy bottomed beach with good waves ideal for board surfing and body surfing.

You can always rent the necessary equipment needed for snorkelling and surfing from a number of places Hikkaduwa is an established tourist destination and the surfing there is quite well known.

Hikkaduwa Beach Sri Lanka
Hikkaduwa Beach Sri Lanka

The area is not overcrowded but there are many tourists and locals during the peak season. Since its a coral reef, it is always advisable for travellers to be safe than sorry. Do not feel intimidated by the locals although there might be instances that you are hassled. There are many shops selling Masks, Gems, Jewellery, Batik, Antiques and etc. along with several Buddhist temples, all which add spice to life at Hikkaduwa.

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Hikkaduwa Highlights

Hikkaduwa Coral Gardens

Hikkaduwa, a popular tourist destination in the Galle District is renowned for its beach and corals. The Coral Garden here is considered to be the best out of all such coral gardens found in Asia. There is a reef of lime stones running parallel to the coast. The corals are in between this line of lime stones and the coast. The sea up to about 200 m from the coastline is very shallow.

The reef of lime stones protects the corals from high tide. The coral type found mostly here is the type locally called “Gampara”. These corals are found in various forms, shapes and colours. They are a very fascinating sight especially when there is bright sunlight which gives a very clear view of the corals. You see some corals in the shape of a cabbage leaf; some are shaped like a lady’s fan. Since there is no silt, corals can grow in their natural form and colour.

Hikkaduwa Coral Gardens
Hikkaduwa Coral Gardens

Surfing in Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is one of the best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, offering a clear warm water base. The wave sizes range from 4-11 feet. Surfing in the Hikkaduwa region is quite well known and gets the best surf during its dry season, which is from November to March. There are 4 main surf points in Hikkaduwa.
Surfing in Hikkaduwa
Surfing in Hikkaduwa