best beach in sri lanka


 

Beaches in Sri Lanka

 


Some of the delights of a Sri Lankan beach.

Where beaches are concerned you will be spoilt for choice in Sri Lanka. Beaches totalling 1,340km fringe the island, from the long-established tourist destinations of the southern coast, to the vast beaches of the deep south, and the less-visited expanses of the north and east. No matter what time of the year, you can find a beach that is in season and just waiting to welcome you to its warm sands.

Fathoming the Indian Ocean

A tropical climate, white sandy beaches and the tempting warmth of the water are, of course, what mainly bring tourists to Sri Lanka. So the Indian Ocean is a key element in the island’s tourism.

Sri Lanka has 1,330km of coastline, where the white or yellowish margin of sand follows the coast often for kilometres, like a narrow gleaming satin ribbon, bending with its multifarious curves and beautiful open bays, and dividing the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean from the bright green coconut grove.

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Fathoming the Indian Ocean



The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest. Occupying an area of 73.6 million square kilometres between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica, and amounting to approximately 20% of the earth’s water surface, the Indian Ocean includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Malacca, and the Mozambique Channel.

The Palk Strait between Sri Lanka and India is one of the ocean’s shallowest parts.The Indian Ocean is the world's third largest. Occupying an area of 73.6 million square kilometres between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica, and amounting to approximately 20% of the earth's water surface, the Indian Ocean includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Malacca, and the Mozambique Channel. The Palk Strait between Sri Lanka and India is one of the ocean's shallowest parts.

The Indian Ocean is affected by the north-east monsoon from December until April and the south-west monsoon from June to October, giving Sri Lanka two tourist seasons, one on the west coast and the other on the east coast. During monsoon time, when visibility is often reduced to 60m, the sea is usually rough. Sometimes the colour of the ocean changes from its recognizable turquoise to a bottle green and navy blue, depending on the intensity of the clouds above. When the sunshine breaks out, azure tones appear as the angry clouds chase over the sea making it a patchwork quilt of colour. In season, though, the sea is bright blue and crystal clear.

A wide coral reef largely surrounds Sri Lanka's coastline making it ideal for diving. An underwater journey into the Indian Ocean rewards you with glimpses of a totally different world, full of astounding colour and life. Home to a variety of tropical fish and coral reefs, the ocean waters also lay claim to some historic wrecks that offer exploration opportunities. The more laid-back activity of snorkelling is a popular past-time in many southern coastal areas, particularly the Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary, and on the east coast around Pigeon Island off Nilaveli, near Trincomalee. Marine life to be seen includes big fish such as barracuda, whale shark, tuna as well as four species of turtle.

The gentle swell of the Indian Ocean waves offer great opportunities for surfing. There are first-class waves in Arugam Bay on the east coast, and along the south coast at Hikkaduwa and Mirissa. However, in other places the calm water of the Indian Ocean just laps onto the sandy shore, such as at Unawatuna, near Galle, and Nilaveli, making them safe for swimming and especially good for families with young children.

Wind-surfing can be enjoyed at many places along the coastline from Negombo to Tangalle. Bentota is the unofficial water-sports capital of the island because aside from its rolling surf and beautiful sandy beaches, it also has a river where beginners can gain experience before heading into the ocean. Trincomalee on the east coast offers a fantastic alternative for wind-surfers when the south-west monsoon brings strong winds and rough seas.

In Negombo and Hikkaduwa, the increasingly popular thrill-seeking sports of wake-boarding and kite-surfing are beginning to take off. Finally, please remember to respect the Indian Ocean at all times. Always beware of the strong currents that often run parallel to the coast. Newcomers to the island should remember that it is rare to find a lifeguard at the beach in Sri Lanka or any flags indicating safe places for swimming. Less confident swimmers should ask a local for their advice or just test the waters carefully and make sure someone knows you have gone out for a swim or dive.

West Coast Beaches (North to South)

Negombo (35km north of Colombo)

Negombo, “The Village of Honey”, is Sri Lanka’s oldest beach resort, just 6km from Bandaranaike International Airport and therefore popular for stays on arrival or before departure from the island. Famous in the 18th century for the cultivation of some of the best cinnamon in the world, Negombo is now one of the island’s most important fishing ports. The catamaran-type fishing craft, called oruwas, fitted with their large sails, characterize Negombo. On their return from fishing their trademark creamy-brown sails dot the horizon, becoming bigger as they make their way to the shore. You can even arrange to go out in one or, at least inspect its meticulous and clever design
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Negombo (35km north of Colombo)

The main tourist resort of Negombo is situated just north of the town. It has a long, often wide, picturesque stretch of sandy bay with numerous attractions both on land and water, and a string of well-established hotels. There is plenty to do apart from swimming and sunbathing as windsurfing, diving, and even kite surfing have become popular sports here.

Negombo is a centre for Roman Catholicism (its nickname is “Little Rome”) and so the town is dominated by beautiful shrines and churches. The biggest is the impressive, candy-coloured church of St Mary’s, built over a period of 50 years from 1874, which exhibits some amazing ceiling paintings.

While each church in Negombo celebrates its own patron saint’s feast day, the small island of Duwa (separated from the southern end of town by the lagoon) stages passion plays at Easter with puppetry and theatre that usually involve the whole village – a great event to witness.

The waterways surrounding Negombo offer the opportunity to explore the area. The Dutch Canal – also called the Hamilton Canal – runs south to Colombo and north to Puttalam. It was designed especially to transport spices such as cinnamon. You can enjoy peaceful boat trips observing local life and appreciating the wildlife as you glide by.

The Negombo Lagoon – a great expanse of water usually visible from your plane window as you land or take off – is famed for the quality of its prawns and crab. It joins the Indian Ocean to the north, and to the south weaves into the estuaries and waterways of the Muthurajawela Marsh – a mangrove-studded wetland 15km south of Negombo that makes for a great excursion.

Mount Lavinia (12km south of Colombo)
Mount Lavinia is a suburb of Colombo that possesses the nearest beach to the city centre, and is therefore especially convenient for those who are confined to Colombo for part or all of their stay. The beach is adjacent to a headland that juts into the Indian Ocean, atop which is the famous colonial-era Mount Lavinia Hotel. Considering its proximity to the hustle and bustle of Colombo the beach is pleasant enough, and enjoys a quiet atmosphere. There are several beachside restaurants and bars. The sea is usually safe for swimming, but can be rough and you need to be wary of the strong undercurrents typical of this coast.

There are two theories as to the origin of the Westernized name. Governor General Sir Thomas Maitland had built a mansion there in 1805 (now part of the Mount Lavinia Hotel) and had fallen in love with a beautiful low caste dancing girl called Lovina, who was discreetly smuggled into the mansion through a tunnel. But perhaps it’s a corruption of an old name, Lihiniyagala – “rock” or “cliff of the birds”.
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Mount Lavinia (12km south of Colombo)

If you stay in Mount Lavina there are several nearby attractions. The closest is the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwela, better-known as the Dehiwela Zoo, one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The zoo and its gardens are best experienced early morning as soon as the zoo opens (8am – 6pm everyday). The animals - some 350 species - are naturally more active at this time, going through feeding and cleaning rituals, it is cooler, and the crowds wouldn’t have arrived as yet. Bear in mind the zoo tends to get overcrowded at weekends.

Though the zoo was a pioneer of the open plan concept, this is yet to be implemented throughout the zoo, so bars and cages are still to be found, but enclosures like the lion and gibbon islands are a fascinating place to watch the animals in their simulated surroundings.

The elephant show - which is still a major attraction - has yet to be discontinued, even though it is unnatural and demeaning. However, these days it is preceded by a talk on conservation and human-elephant conflict.

A few kilometres inlaid with a grand extent of 37,400 hectares, stretches Bolgoda Lake. Sri Lanka’s largest natural water basin and greatest freshwater pool. Up to 45 fish species have been identified, five of which are endemic and 160 bird species (mostly migrants and waterfowl) prowl and flit along the lakeshore. The flora biodiversity is equally rich, including aquatic, semi-aquatic and terrestrial plants – grasses, trees and water pants – and, of course, dense mangrove.

Kalutara (42km south of Colombo)
Kalutara is the first town outside the Colombo conurbation as you travel south on the coastal Galle Road. When you approach the town from Colombo the striking dagoba of Gangatilaka Vihara, Kalutara’s dominant landmark, looms as you traverse a bridge that spans Sri Lanka’s fourth largest river, the Kalu Ganga (“black river”) - from which the town gets its name – before it enters the sea.
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Kalutara (42km south of Colombo)

North of this bridge, all the way to Wadduwa (8km), extends a fine catamaran-scattered beach, often deserted, which is ideal for quick dips and long sunset strolls. There are some top-end resort hotels bordering the beach, but there’s not much of an option for budget travellers.

Kalutara was a vital spice-trading centre for the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Although there are few visible remains of the Dutch fort, the Dutch canals that linked the spice plantations – transformed into rubber estates under the British – are reminders of Kalutara’s colonial past. Furthermore, a tour of Kalutara’s back streets provides glimpses of houses of Dutch origin hidden behind walls and shaded by large trees.

The large dagoba of the Gangatilaka Vihara isn’t old – it was built in the 1960s – but its hollow interior is the only one of its kind in the world. Inside its cavernous interior there is a mini-dagoba surrounded on four sides by golden Buddhas. Around the edge are painted 72 images of the previous births of the Buddha-to-be. The narrow windows below these paintings afford 360-degree panoramic views over the river and into town.

Kalutara is famous for its mangosteens, which are sold when ripe from May to July in stalls along the roadside. And Kalutara is one of the country’s most successful rubber producing districts. Travelling a few kilometres inland from Kalutara reveals the silvery trunks of the rubber trees while a visit to a factory will show you how the latex is made into sheets of rubber.

Kalutara is associated with two remarkable Victorian women. Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the first portrait photographers who pioneered soft focus, was a resident. She began photography in 1863, at 48, yet soon became a central figure in this new medium and had photographed famous personalities such as Charles Darwin. She also took historically important portraits of Kalutara women, which hang at the National Portrait Gallery, London. In 1877, Marianne North, one of the greatest botanical artists, stayed with Cameron. Her paintings, which include a view of the Kalu Ganga from the Cameron’s verandah, can be seen at Kew Gardens, London.

Bentota (62km south of Colombo)
Bentota combines a number of package resorts plus an excellent selection of upmarket hotels and the National Tourist Resort, which comprises a shopping centre, post office and a market. The town has long been a tourist haven, for in the 19th century, when Galle was the island’s main port, those proceeding to Colombo in stagecoaches stopped here at the rest-house (long gone) and indulged in local oysters!
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Bentota (62km south of Colombo)

Bentota is Sri Lanka’s water-sports centre. The sea here is calm and an excellent diving location. The beach divides into two, the north end comprising a spit of land – dubbed “Paradise Island” - dividing the waves of the Indian Ocean from the still waters of the Bentota Lagoon, while the more pleasing southern end comprises an attractive swathe of wide sandy beach where some of the island’s best upmarket hotels are located. Surprisingly, although Bentota is one of the island’s most popular resorts, the beach is relatively quiet.

The Bentota Lagoon offers a wide range of water-sports such as wind-surfing, water-skiing, canoeing, banana-boating and deep-sea fishing. In addition, the Bentota Ganga (river) has been an important tourist attraction since the 19th century. Boat safaris up the beautiful river provide an ideal opportunity to observe a variety of fauna – from herons to crocodiles - associated with a wetland environment.

You can also explore the remains of the Galapata Vihara, built in the 12th century, which has interesting wall paintings, Buddha statues, and a large rock that has an extract from the chronicle, the Mahavamsa, carved on it.

About 3km south of Bentota is a turtle hatchery, where eggs bought from fishermen are buried. When they hatch the baby turtles are kept in tanks for a few days before being released into the sea...

Ambalangoda (Approx 85km south of Colombo)
Ambalangoda doesn’t have the beauty of Bentota, or the vibe of Hikkaduwa. But it does have a popular artistic tradition of much interest to tourists. Furthermore, Ambalangoda possesses a long stretch of wild beach you can explore all to yourself, giving you a feeling of seclusion hard to find on this coast.
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Ambalangoda (Approx 85km south of Colombo)

The beach is, thankfully, a good distance from the main road and packed with catamarans and fishing boats. For this reason the beach in town is not so suitable sunbathing as Hikkaduwa or Unawatuna further south. Instead it is great for exploring and witnessing Sri Lankan daily life.

However, both beaches at the extreme southern and northern ends of town are picturesque, great for walking and nearly always empty, though perhaps a little close to the main road. As a rule, be wary and follow the local advice about where to swim, as there can be dangerous currents.

Ambalangoda is well-known for mask-making and as a centre for south coast traditional dancing. Masks are made for three types of dancing rituals: kolam, which tell satirical stories of traditional Sri Lankan colonial life, sanni, or devil dancing masks, used in an exorcism ceremony to heal people of persisting ailments believed inflicted by demons, and raksha masks, used in festivals and processions. Now they have become more important as one of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after souvenir, and the streets of Ambalangoda are lined with shops from which leer these sometimes demonic-looking but somehow attractive creations.

Seven kilometres inland is south Asia’s longest (35m) reclining Buddha statue, located at the Sailatalaramaya Vihara. At Balapitiya, five kilometres from Ambalangoda, boat trips can be taken up the Madu Ganga (river). This shallow body of water, its estuary and islets, make up the complex coastal ecosystem of the Madu Ganga Wetlands, declared a Ramsar Site in 2003. Possibly the last remaining area of pristine mangrove forest in Sri Lanka, it is home to 303 species of plants and 248 vertebrate animals including many bird species.

The village of Meetiyagoda near Ambalangoda is the only place in Sri Lanka where the gem, the moonstone, is found. You can visit the narrow, deep shafts from which it is mined, or at least gaze down them. Moonstone carries a sheen, seen on the surface of the stone from certain angles. It is like a floating light, the finest of which is bluish in colour.

Hikkaduwa (98km south of Colombo)
There is only one town that can boast of some of the best surfing waves in Sri Lanka, a long stretch of beach packed with restaurants serving fresh seafood, an equally long stretch of souvenir shops for the serious shopper, and guesthouses and hotels galore, from the cheap and cheerful to star-class. The name of the place is Hikkaduwa, and there is no other resort on the island like it.
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Hikkaduwa (98km south of Colombo)

The foreign influx began in the mid-19th century, when ‘picnic parties’ were regularly held here and it became a stopping place for the Galle to Colombo stagecoach. The second influx came in the 1960s, when American and Australian surfers discovered the waves here and at Arugam Bay on the east coast. Soon the town became a surfing paradise, attracting not only surfers but fun-seeking visitors of all types.

The best period for surfing is November to April, as it is for diving and snorkelling, for the visibility is good. There are a number of excellent wreck dives, including the Shell-owned SS Conch, the world’s first oil tanker, sunk in 1903. The Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary, established in 1988, ensures the underwater world is accessible to all whether they can dive or not. Snorkelling in the shallow waters 200m off shore is possible, and although the corals are dead in places you still come across a number of brightly-coloured fish as you float a few metres above. The less adventurous can always take a glass-bottomed boat ride, though this is environmentally questionable

Clothes are tailored here to western tastes and in western sizes. Jewellery is of the more understated silver type with beautiful semi-precious stones. There are dozens of souvenir shops with items such as masks, puppets, musical instruments, batiks and paintings.

There a several places of interest to visit in the area around Hikkaduwa. The Gangarama Maha Viharaya is filled with the lifetime work of one artist depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha. The Dodanduwa Lagoon and Telwatte Bird Sanctuary provide a wealth of fauna, flora and spectacular scenery. And only 9km inland from Hikkaduwa you are already entering the totally different world of tea plantations.

Unawatuna (140 km south-east of Colombo)
Unawatuna is a fishing village blessed with a beautiful sandy bay fringed with palm trees. Science-fiction author Arthur C Clarke was so enchanted by the “exquisite arc of beach,” that he once made it his second home. To many visitors, Unawatuna is simply Sri Lanka’s best, a view endorsed by the Discovery Channel, which has rated the beach one of the ten best in the world.
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Unawatuna (140 km south-east of Colombo)

Unawatuna is protected by a double reef and is therefore one of the safest beaches in Sri Lanka for swimming. You can snorkel in the clear blue waters of the bay. It is a great place for surfing and diving. Or you can go fishing or snorkelling out to sea by using the traditional catamarans dotting the beach.

Many restaurants line the whole curve of beach with sun beds enticingly placed outside. Because there are no big hotel complexes here, and no busy road, it is a favourite of tourists staying a few months. With welcoming villagers and an unforgettable ambience, it is easy to see why.

A charming legend concerns Unawatuna and the prominence called Rumassala Kanda at the west end of the bay. In the epic Indian poem, the Ramayana, which is partly set in Sri Lanka, Hanuman, the monkey god, was sent to the Himalayas to find some special medicinal herbs. But Hanuman forgot which herbs he needed and in desperation took with him, twisted in his tail, a chunk of the mountains. On his way back he dropped a piece at Unawatuna forming this hillock. That’s why the village name means “fell down”.

Rumassala Kanda, well worth exploring, has a great variety of unusual vegetation and protected medicinal herbs not found anywhere else in the area, making this story seem mysteriously possible.

Unawatuna is the ideal place to relax and unwind. As importantly, however, it is well-placed to allow you to easily explore the surrounding area. For an alternative beach, for instance, try Dalawella, just 2.5km from Unawatuna, which is unspoilt – it’s narrow but great for bathing and safe for children.

At Kottawa Rainforest and Arboretum, only 45 minutes from Unawatuna, you can experience a rainforest environment. Most importantly, the remarkable Dutch fort of Galle - one of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and considered the best-preserved fortifications in South Asia - is just 5km north of Unawatuna. And remember that if you are a cricket fan, Galle has an International Cricket Stadium where test matches are played.

Weligama (143km south-east of Colombo)
Weligama possesses an expansive, all-embracing bay that welcomes long frothing rollers which spill onto the barrel-chest of a beach. An afternoon stroll the length of the bay to enjoy the panoramic vista while taking in the buzz of fishing activity is very enjoyable. The eastern end is a strategic place to be at sunset, the place the bay where the waves roll in to provide great opportunity for surfers. This is where the bulk of guesthouses are situated. At the western end, with islands just offshore, the water in season is miraculously still, calm and as blue as a Sri Lankan sapphire.
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Weligama (143km south-east of Colombo)

Weligama means “Sandy Village”, though it is also referred to as ‘Red Bay’ due to its rose-red cliffs. These red cliffs and rose-tinged islands do indeed characterize Weligama and can be viewed as far as the eye can see. Another famous aspect is stunning Taprobane Island, in wading distance from the shore, built by a fake French Count, lived on by American writer Paul Bowles, and now a hotel.

Hundreds of outrigger catamarans float in the expanse of Weligama Bay and dot the sandy beach. At the western end, with islands just offshore, the water in season is miraculously still, calm and as blue as a Sri Lankan sapphire. To the eastern end of the bay the waves roll in to provide great opportunity for surfers. This is where the bulk of guesthouses are situated.

Weligama town is pretty in parts – street to the west, for instance, hide houses decorated with mal lali (an elegant southern wooden fretwork) set amidst lush gardens. There are a handful of Buddhist dagobas and churches to the western part of town. However, the three-metre high megalith carved with a figure popularly thought to be Kustaraja or “Leper King” at Rasamukkanda is what Weligama is historically famed for.

There are several beliefs surrounding the identity of this figure, carved around the 8th or 9th century. Does it represent a leprous Sinhalese king who lived off the village’s coconut milk for three moons to cure his sickness. Or is it an Indian prince who introduced the coconut to the island? Another belief is that it is a Mahayana Bodhisattva (a being who assists all sentient beings achieve Buddhahood).

One famous visitor to Weligama was the German zoologist, Ernst Haeckel, who coined the word ecology but faked scientific evidence. Haeckel spent several weeks in Weligama at the rest-house, still much as it was then, collecting marine specimens.

Mirissa
Five kilometres from Weligama, at the extremity of Weligama Bay, lies the relaxed, picturesque and secluded bay of Mirissa. The beach is considered to be one of the prettiest in Sri Lanka. Once a much sought-after hideaway, the last few years have seen an increase in visitors and some development, though nothing to the extent of spoiling its charm. Formerly a fisheries harbour, Mirissa features a wide stretch of golden sand fringed by palm trees and rolling surf.
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Mirissa

To the western end of the bay is a rocky headland. Cabanas can be seen poking through the green sea of trees. Down below, where the waves crash, are restaurants and guesthouses hidden by foliage, until the beach skirts the Matara road and stretches towards the far end at Giragala (“parrot”) Rock. This whole length of bay, though never far from the main road, is particularly tranquil.

Mirissa is great fun for body boarding and surfing. Equipment can be rented from the beachside restaurants and instruction may also be offered. Do be sure to ask where the safest places are to surf and be aware of strong currents. Swimming is good at the eastern end of the bay, on the far side of Girigala Rock, where small reefs provide opportunities for snorkelling. This is also a popular fishing spot. Girigala Rock is a great place to watch the sunset.

A small river runs behind the village of Mirissa. There is as well some forested jungle worth exploring on foot or bicycle. The village has reasonable accommodation, much of it comprising simple chalets or rooms. Beachside cafes and restaurants serve delicious, fresh seafood.

Matara (km south-east of Colombo)
Fathoming the Indian Ocean
Sun, sand and sea. A tropical climate, white sandy beaches and the tempting warmth of the water are, of course, what mainly bring tourists to Sri Lanka. So the Indian Ocean is a key element in the island’s tourism.

Sri Lanka has 1,330km of coastline, where the white or yellowish margin of sand follows the coast often for kilometres, like a narrow gleaming satin ribbon, bending with its multifarious curves and beautiful open bays, and dividing the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean from the bright green coconut grove.
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Matara (km south-east of Colombo)

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest. Occupying an area of 73.6 million square kilometres between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica, and amounting to approximately 20% of the earth’s water surface, the Indian Ocean includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Malacca, and the Mozambique Channel. The Palk Strait between Sri Lanka and India is one of the ocean’s shallowest parts.

The Indian Ocean is affected by the north-east monsoon from December until April and the south-west monsoon from June to October, giving Sri Lanka two tourist seasons, one on the west coast and the other on the east coast. During monsoon time, when visibility is often reduced to 60m, the sea is usually rough. Sometimes the colour of the ocean changes from its recognizable turquoise to a bottle green and navy blue, depending on the intensity of the clouds above. When the sunshine breaks out, azure tones appear as the angry clouds chase over the sea making it a patchwork quilt of colour. In season, though, the sea is bright blue and crystal clear.

A wide coral reef largely surrounds Sri Lanka’s coastline making it ideal for diving. An underwater journey into the Indian Ocean rewards you with glimpses of a totally different world, full of astounding colour and life. Home to a variety of tropical fish and coral reefs, the ocean waters also lay claim to some historic wrecks that offer exploration opportunities. The more laid-back activity of snorkelling is a popular past-time in many southern coastal areas, particularly the Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary, and on the east coast around Pigeon Island off Nilaveli, near Trincomalee. Marine life to be seen includes big fish such as barracuda, whale shark, tuna as well as four species of turtle.

The gentle swell of the Indian Ocean waves offer great opportunities for surfing. There are first-class waves in Arugam Bay on the east coast, and along the south coast at Hikkaduwa and Mirissa. However, in other places the calm water of the Indian Ocean just laps onto the sandy shore, such as at Unawatuna, near Galle, and Nilaveli, making them safe for swimming and especially good for families with young children.

Wind-surfing can be enjoyed at many places along the coastline from Negombo to Tangalle. Bentota is the unofficial water-sports capital of the island because aside from its rolling surf and beautiful sandy beaches, it also has a river where beginners can gain experience before heading into the ocean. Trincomalee on the east coast offers a fantastic alternative for wind-surfers when the south-west monsoon brings strong winds and rough seas.

In Negombo and Hikkaduwa, the increasingly popular thrill-seeking sports of wake-boarding and kite-surfing are beginning to take off.

Finally, please remember to respect the Indian Ocean at all times. Always beware of the strong currents that often run parallel to the coast. Newcomers to the island should remember that it is rare to find a lifeguard at the beach in Sri Lanka or any flags indicating safe places for swimming. Less confident swimmers should ask a local for their advice or just test the waters carefully and make sure someone knows you have gone out for a swim or dive.

   
       
  best beach in sri lanka