Arugam Bay beyond surfing

Away from the fast-paced life lies Arugam Bay, in the scenic East Coast of the island. The fantastic coastal haven, which has been recognized by Lonely Planet as the eighth best destination to visit in Asia in 2018, has much excitement to offer. From thrilling waves and exotic wildlife to serene village life and tongue-tingling dishes, Arugam Bay offers something for everyone. Arugam Bay is located 320 km east of Colombo, accessible from the Colombo A4 en route Pottuvil.  You can also fly to Arugam Bay with a touch of luxury by taking an internal air transfer.

Arugam Bay is the epitome of laid-back beach scene – ©Sean Stephen Photography

The rollicking waves and sandy shores of Arugam Bay welcome both beginners and pro surfers alike as the geographic features, weather conditions and the oceanic conditions provide great waves. Arugam Bay is one of the top surfing destinations in the world and boasts many surfing points including Whisky point, Main point, Pottuvil, Peanut farm, Lighthouse point and Okanda point. Interestingly, the first all-female surf club in Sri Lanka has been formed in Arugam Bay, riding the waves towards empowerment. The club is headed by Shamali Sanjaya, a confident 30-year old mother and master surfer.

Riding the waves towards empowerment – ©Maxwell Gifted

When in Arugam Bay, visiting the Kumana National Park is a must. The park is known as an ideal location for wildlife lovers, particularly those who enjoy bird watching. The beautiful lagoons in Pottuvil, Panama and Urani promise up-close views of mighty elephants, crocodiles and birdlife. Hopping on a ferry and embarking on a safari around the lagoons is one of the best ways to experience the tranquility of Arugam Bay.

Along the waters of Urani – ©Daily News

Steeped in history, Arugam Bay is endowed with sites of interest including the well-preserved remains of Muhudu Maha Viharaya and Magul Maha Viharaya. The latter temple bears significance in having an intricate moonstone and rock inscriptions dating back to the 14th century AD.

The statues at Muhudu Maha Viharaya depicting historic tales – ©Sean Stephen Photography

A short distance away from the South of Arugam Bay, lies the charming little hamlet of Panama. In the midst of natural beauty and attractions such as the Panama Beach and Panama Lake, the village is dotted with thriving cultivations, paddy fields and greenery.

Traditional bullock carts in the rural east – ©Sean Stephen Photography

At night, the quaint streets of Arugam Bay twinkle with lights and are sheathed with aromas rising from live food stations. Scrumptious seafood dishes made with fresh catch are a must try in Arugam Bay. Try out the exciting flavours of flat breads with curries, crispy hoppers, kottu and vadei – selections that are sure to appease your taste buds.

Mouth-watering kottu in making

Stay atHideaway Resort, a 14-room, boutique guesthouse nestled in the calm environs of Pottuvil.

Hideway Resort is an oasis of serenity

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