A travel report by Crazzy Travel
ARUGAM BAY: YOUR SURFING HEAVEN
We’ve been to many beaches, swam in many oceans and seas, but wherever we go we will always remember two weeks we spent on the most unbelievable beach in the world. We love literally everything about Arugam Bay and now it’s high time for us to share our experiences with you.
What is Arugam Bay?
That is a 3 km long beach, situated on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Waves here are big (the Indian Ocean, you know), and fishermen huts are tiny. It used to be a little forgotten village until it was discovered by surfers in middle-late 20th century. Since then, every June and August (high season), it’s crowded with people in search of their perfect wave…
Why Arugam Bay?
Because of SURFING! It holds the 5th place in the list of world’s best surfing spots, and doesn’t seem to slow down. You don’t need a special swim suit, license, or anything. Just come, and surf. The spot is perfect both for beginners and advanced surfers. You can take classes for just 1000 rupees ($10) and hire a board for just 800 rupees/ day ($8).
Don’t take surfing classes
We took surfing classes and don’t recommend it. Better learn on your own – just ask a tourist where’s the nearest spot and watch what others are doing.
Illia after 2 hours of surfing, happy and tired
How to get there?
There are two direct buses daily from Colombo to Pottuvil (a town near Arugam Bay). The bus number 98 departs from Pettah Bus Stand in Colombo at 04.45 AM and costs 400 rupees ($4). The journey takes approximately 7 hours. Then take a tuk-tuk to Arugam Bay for 500 rupees ($5). Otherwise, you can always hire a minivan for 18000 rupees – $180 (share it with other surfers to save money!).
Tuk-tuks are ready to help you out anywhere, any time of the day or night.
Where to stay?
We stayed at a lovely Sooriyas guesthouse (free WiFi, movies and cartoons, quality service, clean bed sheets, air con + fan, monkeys in the garden) and paid for 3000 rupees per night ($30). However, there are cheaper options, starting from 1000 rupees ($10). They are good as well, but without air con and with noise from the restaurants nearby.
Where to eat?
As most places on Sri Lanka, all restaurants in Arugam Bay have very slow service (you can easily spend 1-2 hours waiting for your meals). The only way to avoid this is either to eat at food stalls for locals (not extremely clean), or choose restaurants run by Europeans (like Gecko restaurant, for example – more expensive, but faster and cleaner). A meals for two would cost you around 600 rupees ($6).
Isn’t it lovely? Most places in Arugam Bay have their little surprises.
Here is our small selection of the best restaurants at Arugam Bay:
Mambo’s – located right near the point, a bit overpriced, but one of the greatest places to chill out and eat after surfing (they even have ping pong and pool!)
Chili – best pizzas
Samanthi’s – very cheap local food, spicy!
Hakeem – cheap, close to European food, closed on Fridays
Gecko – very expensive, but fast service
Siam View – great for drinking
Plus, don’t forget about Sri Lankan unique bakeries on wheels: they come around 5-6 pm, play silly childish music so that you know they arrived, and sell extremely tasty and cheap bakery stuff (be sure to try their muffins!).
Anything to do except surfing?
Of course! You can enjoy hammocks on every corner, swim in the ocean or play ping pong. There is a nice Buddhist temple, yoga classes and numerous gift shops.
Something else I should know?
Again, yes. There are a lot of Muslim men working as tuk-tuk drivers, shop owners, etc. at Arugam Bay, so, girls, avoid walking wearing only bathing suit along the main road. Otherwise, you will experience irritate looks and hear someone shout at you. Also, the majority of such shops and restaurants are closed on Fridays.
One of the surf schools in Arugam Bay.
Did we inspire you to add surfing in Arugam Bay in your to-do list? Or maybe you are surfer and can share with us your experiences? In any case, we’re waiting for your comments!
Illia and Nastia
We’re a couple in love with each other and traveling. We’ve been to 32 countries, and it was amazing.
CrazzzyTravel is where we tell our story.
Want to get in touch? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the form below!