The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town 14 kms 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 the major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colorful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found on the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi colored corals, which is home to countless number of colorful fish. Off the beach there is a collection of tine 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.
Plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka by the international board-riding set, and the reason 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 nice and wide and swimming is safe here, though the currents are stronger south of Hikkaduwa proper. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles. Glass bottomed boats are available for visitors wanting to admire the wonders of the deep while keeping their feet dry! After a short distance southwards from the center of the reef, it diminishes given rise to a wider sandy bottomed beach with good waves ideal for board surfing and body surfing.
You can always rent the necessary equipment needed for snorkeling and surfing. Hikkaduwa is an established tourist destination and the surfing there is quite well known.
You won’t see the Indonesian style overcrowding here though. The reef is coral so a first aid kit and booties are handy. Localism is usually not a problem though we have seen some tourists get some hassle. Respect them and they leave you alone pretty much. There are many shops selling Masks, Gems, Jewellery, Batik, Antiques and etc. along with several Buddhist temples, all which add spice to life at Hikkaduwa.
Hikkaduwa Coral Gardens
Hikkaduwa, a popular tourist destination in the Galle District is renowned for it’s beach and the corals. The Coral Garden here is considered to be the best out of all such coral gardens found in Asia. There is a reef of lime stones running parallel to the coast. The corals are in between this line of lime stones and the coast. The sea up to about 200 m from the coast is very shallow.
The reef of lime stones protects the corals from high tide. The coral type found mostly here is the type locally called “Gampara”. These corals are found in various forms, shapes and colours. They are a very fascinating sight especially when there is bright sunlight which gives a very clearer view of the corals. You see some corals in the shape of a cabbage leaf; some are like a lady’s fan. Since there is no silt, corals can grow in their natural form and colour.
Surfing in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, with a clear warm water base. The wave sizes range from 4-11 feet. The surfing in the Hikkaduwa region is quite well known and gets the best surf during its dry season, November to March. There are 4 main breaks, from North to South.