Tangalle is known for its secluded and relaxed atmosphere, contrasting with the busier coastal towns in the southern coast. Read all about it.
Sun, Surf, and Serenity: Exploring Hikkaduwa Beach
Hikkaduwa Beach (Hikka) is a popular beach destination located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and a thriving coral reef ecosystem, making it a premier destination for snorkeling and diving.
The beach stretches for about 4 kilometers and is lined with restaurants, cafes, and bars to cater to both locals and tourists. Hikkaduwa is also a great place to experience Sri Lankan culture, with traditional food, music performances, and handicrafts available to enjoy. It is considered one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka for beach lovers, surfers, and those looking to relax in a laid-back oceanfront atmosphere.
Popular surfing hotspot Narigama beach is located just 2km southwards of Hikkaduwa beach. It is perfect for those looking for a quieter beach experience away from the crowds of the main Hikkaduwa Beach. Narigama beach too has restaurants and traditional local eateries just like the main Hikkaduwa beach.
How to get there?
Like all other southern coast beaches, Hikkaduwa can be easily accessed via Southern expressway. It’s lcoated 136 km (2 hrs) from Colombo and 20 km (36 mins) from Galle.
You can also use bus or train from Colombo or Galle. Take any Galle or Matara (route No. 02) Bus or take Highway bus to Galle and get to Hikkaduwa. It’ll take about 03 – 04 hours to reach Hikkaduwa when using plublic transport.
Although most express trains from Colombo stop at Hikkaduwa these can be very crowded and getting a seat would be rather difficult. Most trains to Galle/Matara/Beliatte start at Maradana. So it is best to get on such a train at Maradana station instead of Colombo so there is a higher chance of getting a seat.
What are the activities available in Hikkaduwa?
The region offers a wide range of water activities that cater to various interests and skill levels. Here are some of the water activities available in Hikkaduwa:
Narigama beach in Hikkaduwa is renowned for its surf breaks, making it a favorite spot for surf enthusiasts. The waves are suitable for both beginner and experienced surfers, and there are several surf schools and rental shops available to accommodate all skill levels.
Hikkaduwa is home to a vibrant coral reef ecosystem, making it a fantastic destination for snorkeling. You can discover the colorful marine life, including fish, turtles, and even reef sharks, by snorkeling around the reef area.
For more in-depth exploration of the marine life, scuba diving is a fantastic option. There are numerous dive shops in Hikkaduwa that offer certification courses and guided dives to explore shipwrecks and coral gardens.
Glass-Bottom Boat Rides:
This is a unique activity for which Hikka is famous. These boats have transparent floors, allowing you to see the marine life beneath without getting wet.
Renting a jet ski is a thrilling way to experience the water and enjoy the coastal scenery. You can find jet ski rental services along the beach.
Are there restaurants/bars available?
Hikkaduwa is happening town with many restaurants, music bars, beach bars. Travellers who enjoy socializing whilst enjoying a drink will enjoy the lively atmosphere in Hikka.
Hikka reef area hosts the main hotels so there is some risk of louder groups of tourists.
Just south of Hikkz Tranz hotel is the real party area, for different audiences but generally young or at least young at heart. Lots of restaurants and shacks between the hotels, on both sides of the road . It is often compared to North Goa but still smaller than this.
To the most south lies Narigama/Thirathgama/Kumarakanda villages. It is a lighter version of the night life scene with far more space between the hotels/guesthouses and the – more rare than the area which whe mentioned earlier. The further south, the lower the density of restaurants and near Dodanduwa it is too low to be useful.
What is the best time to visit?
December to March and Mid July to September are the peak seasons in Hikkaduwa.
December to March is the dry season and you can expect to have warm temperature and calm seas which is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. Mind you this time is also the most crowded and costly so If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in December or early January.
if you’re looking for a quieter and more budget-friendly trip and don’t mind occasional rain, you can still visit during this season, particularly in August and early September when the weather starts to improve.
What are the nearby attractions you can visit from Hikkduwa?
Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary
Located a short distance from the shore, this marine sanctuary offers fantastic snorkeling opportunities. You can explore colorful coral reefs and encounter various species of fish, sea turtles, and other marine life.
This serene lake is perfect for birdwatching, boat rides, and enjoying a peaceful atmosphere. You can rent a paddleboat or take a leisurely walk around the lake.
This historic Buddhist temple is perched on a small island accessible by a short causeway. It offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area and is a serene place for meditation and reflection.
Near Hikkaduwa, you can visit moonstone mines in Mitiyagoda. Moonstones are a unique gemstone found in Sri Lanka, and you can learn about the mining process and purchase jewelry made from these precious stones.
Tsunami Honganji Vihara
Also known as the Japanese Peace Pagoda, this Buddhist stupa offers panoramic views of Hikkaduwa and the surrounding coastline. It's a place of tranquility and reflection.
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