Arugam Bay is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous sports. Well known for its parties, beaches, and surfing, there is so much to do in this vibrant and touristy area of Sri Lanka. It’s just a small town with just one main street of shops, restaurants, and surfboard rentals, but that is what makes it so charming.

Arugam Bay Travel Guide

Lovely Arugam Bay, a moon-shaped curl of soft sand, is home to a famed point break that many regard as the best surf spot in the country. It is the epitome of the laid-back beach scene that first drew surfers and sun-seekers to Sri Lanka.

Things To Do In Arugam Bay


Perhaps one of the most obvious things to do in Arugam Bay is surfing. There are many surf spots around Arugam Bay and something to suit everyone. The 3 main surfing areas are:

Main Point:  this is the surf spot actually located in Arugam Bay.  Every morning you’ll see dozens of surfers out there catching some quality waves.  This is recommended more for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Whiskey Point:  About a 15-minute drive from Arugam Bay is this famous surf spot.  It’s a really beautiful beach and can provide some excellent waves for beginner surfers.  You’ll also notice heaps of people on surfing lessons.

Peanut Farm:  About 25 minutes from Arugam Bay is this awesome tucked away beach/surf spot.  Very popular, and is highly recommend.

Arugam bay Surfing_PD

Photo: Surfing is a must in Arugam Bay / CC0

Elephant Rock

Arguably the best area to catch the sunset in Arugam Bay is elephant rock. Elephant rock is located on the East of the bay and it will give you beautiful views of the area once you climb up.

Best is to ride on your own. If you are driving on your own, then take a left at the sign for the navy camp. There is usually somewhere there, so ask them for directions. Otherwise, a tuk-tuk will take you as far as they can.

Elephant rock_PD

Photo: The edge of the sea- Elephant Rock / CC0


Most surfing destinations always seem to be yoga destinations as well, and Arugam Bay is no exception.  When you’re walking up and down the main street, you’ll see that there are tons of yoga places.  It’s a great way to start the day, get some exercise, and relax a bit.

learn yoga_pose_PD

Photo: Yoga be the beach/ during sunrise will rejuvinate you / CC0

Tuk Tuk Safari

The tuk-tuk safari is growing in popularity every year. Basically, there is a national park around 30 minutes outside Arugam bay that allows you to drive through for about 20 minutes before you hit the entrance and have to pay.

This means that tuk-tuks can go down and you can spot lots of animals including, elephants, deer, birds, crocodiles, buffalo and if you’re lucky, maybe even a leopard.

Photo: Tuk Tuk Safari / CC0

Kudumbigala Monastery

This is located in the tuk-tuk safari route and it offers beautiful views of the area. A little climb up the monastery is required. There is also a bell that rings around 3-4 pm each day which is a magical sound to hear. It may not be the easiest of climbs, but it’s certainly worth it.

Kudumbigala Monastery_PD

Buddhangala Temple

If you’d like to explore some temples whilst you’re visiting Argaum bay, then it’s good to take some day trips. But this temple in Ampara is not too far away. It’s located around 1 hour 30 minutes away, and you can explore the full Ampara area in general afterward.

Panama Tank

Driving through the Panama Tank on a moto is an absolute must.  It’s a short 15-20 minute ride from Arugam Bay, and there’s basically just one path to drive along and explore.  The landscape is stunning and perfect for taking photos, and you’ll probably see a few crocodiles.

Panama tank_PD

Photo: Spot a few crocodiles at Panama Tank/ CC0


Kumana National Park

You’ll see signs all over Arugam Bay for booking a Kumana safari.  This is in Yala East, so it’s definitely recommended if you haven’t done any safaris in Sri Lanka.  You’ll see heaps of elephants, and if you’re lucky can spot a leopard.  Sri Lankan is known for having beautiful and great safari experiences, so definitely look into it.


Head for a scenic and relaxing boat trip at the Pottuvil Lagoon (north of the bay). It’s a gentle boat ride which provides opportunities for seeing local wildlife. The afternoon is a good time to visit. There are lots of tourist companies on the street which can arrange this for you.


Local Cusine

Kottu Roti is a widely available here and it’s delicious. There is also a pizza place called pizza hub which is the number one restaurant in the bay on TripAdvisor. It is more expensive, but it’s a family run business and made with wood fire oven. They are delicious and they even do delivery which is perfect if you’re hungover!

Nightlife Hotspot

Arugam nightlife used to be CRAZY, beach parties, all night long, but restricts have been placed, and whilst the parties may not be as crazy, they’re still pretty damn good. You have two “main” hot spots for partying.

  • Mambos 
  • Whiskey Point.

The whole strip of Arugam Bay is filled with bar areas for drinking and cocktail offers to get you started.


Photo: You should attend one of the parties to feel the vibes of the town / CC0

Getting around

Colombo tends to be the starting point for a lot of Sri Lanka adventures and if you’re heading straight to the bay from there, you have a variety of travel options.

Uber: Because you’re in the capital, you can make use of Uber. If not you can avail any other tservicevice which will drop you till your destination.

Bus: You can take an overnight bus to Arugam Bay with luxury options, i.e AC. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get there then this is a good choice, but it will take around 10 hours.

Train: You can also get the train to Arugam Bay, but this will take the longest. Basically, you have to take the train to Ella, then change to Arugam Bay, but, this does mean you’ll be taking one of the most beautiful train rides, Kandy to Ella.

Best time to visit

Arugam Bay surf season and tourist season runs from June/July/August/September. Avoid visiting after October as everything will be shut down. Accommodations will close, and food places will close so there won’t be much of an atmosphere.

March 27, 2019 3:06 am Published by

Join the Travel Club