Surfer’s Paradise

Arugam Bay A?a??a?? A Paradise for Surfer

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Anyone crossing the old bridge will realise immediately that Arugam Bay, if only because of its unique weather conditions, is an ideal holiday location. This particular corner of the island is protected from the west monsoon by the natural barrier of the mountain ridge around Monaragala and the great Pottuvil Lagoon acts just as effectively as a shield against the east monsoon. These factors working together explain why this particular region enjoys an average of 330 days of sunshine each year A?a??a?? something which will not be found anywhere else in Asia.

The region is favoured with two major rivers and is therefore never in danger of becoming too arid.

These unusual geographic conditions together with the winds and currents around the coast were first discovered and recognised by surfers in the 1960s and the region quickly became one of the top ten most popular surfing venues in the world. From the end of March until the beginning of October and even for a few days in November, water temperatures range from between 24 and 28 degrees (no need for neoprene suits) and with waves reaching 5 metres the conditions are ideal for surfing. No sharks have ever been sighted in these waters, but occasionally wild elephants from the neighbouring national park have been observed in close proximity to the beaches.

After the discovery of the ideal A?a??A?right handA?a??A? surf break at Surf Points, a number of other equally attractive surfing locations became popular.

Arugam Bay seems to work like a magnet and there are many visitors who come back year after year.

The last 20 years of bitter civil war have not stopped dedicated surfers from returning every year and it is this community that has kept the small coastal town alive. The hippies of the past have now all gone a little grey and mutated to a respectable regular clientele, but they add in their own special way to the fascinating atmosphere of this place. These days, they still join in with about a thousand or so happy visitors who come to take part in the 48 hour Arugam Bay A?a??A?Full Moon PartiesA?a??A? that provide a more spontaneous alternative to the now stage managed so-called A?a??A?HappeningsA?a??A? in Koh Phangan or Goa.

And who would be surprised to learn that, in spite of the worst Tsunami disaster on record, an International Surf Championship took place here in July 2005 with competitors from Australia, England, South Africa and Israel. Many locations now have shops specialising in providing equipment for water sports and a complete outfit can be hired for as little as 500 Rs per day.

It is not only the ocean that provides opportunities for surfing, you can also surf the internet and here you will find more discussion groups and visitor communities dealing with Arugam Bay than any other place in Sri Lanka. Some examples are:, www.arugam.isthier or

source: Du Mont Reisefuehrer (German Travel Guide) – Loose Verlag, Germany
Translation by: Alf Docherty, Rheindahlen

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