The beach of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka 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. Snorkeling and diving in the clear waters are a major past-time along this stretch
and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colorful fish that dart around.
The name Hikkaduwa is thought to have been derived from the two words Ship Kaduwa, with Ship being the shorter version of Shilpaya which refers to knowledge in Sinhalese and Kaduwa which means sword.
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 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 travelers to be safe than sorry. Do not feel intimidated by the locals although there might be instances that you feel hassled.
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.
Hikkaduwa‘s beach and night life make it a popular tourist destination. It is a well-known international destination for board-surfing. The town was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s television show No Reservations.
Sri Lanka’s only marine sanctuary, Hikkaduwa is the place for underwater delights where there is a marine sanctuary abundant with rare corals and tropical fish. The underwater world of colorful corals and beautiful shoals of fish can be explored either by snorkeling or taking a ride in a glass bottom boat..
It is an ideal place for nature lovers with its abundant corals and tropical fishes. Hikkaduwa offers multifarious options for everyone. It has something to offer to everyone-coral for snorkelers, waves for surfers and white pristine beaches for those who want to relax and enjoy Sun and sand.
Ride in a glass-bottomed boat to view coral reef in the crystal clear waters of Hikkaduwa. View exotic marine life like never before as you ride over beautiful corals, intricate underwater plants and creatures in their natural habitat. This is ideal for those who want to experience the Hikkaduwa reef without diving in and getting wet.
“If your are in Hikkaduwa then one must try the glass boat ride. As you reach the beach early you are surrounded by a few boat operator, bargain is possible. Just ask the right price at the hotel you stay.
Its a half hour ride when one can see various coral, fishes and a big turtle. Being the first time I was on a glass bottom boat, it was worth an experience.”
– Visited March 2014
“actually it was an amazing and unforgettable experience although it was little scary.we went to watch corals by glass bottom boat. I was lucky to watched various types of colorful fish and corals.it was amazing!!”
– Visited December 2013
” We loved the beach, it was nice enough to swim in and clean. But one did get bombarded by the boat boys to take the glass bottom boats – they will not leave you until somehow they know your party has already taken one. There are other locals who walk along the beach to try and sell their wares. Lots of café and restaurant along the beach front.
We did see a lot of fishes and some turtles, but we also saw them right on the beach front at well, so I guess you don’t always need to take the boat trip, though that way you do see more variety I guess. This is a nice beach area to stay in for sure, lovely beach, lots of restaurants, shops and also ayurvedic
– Visited February 2014