ranked amongst the world’s top 10 surfing locations is truly a surfers’ paradise.
Situated on the South-Eastern coast of Sri Lanka, it has hosted a number of international surfing competitions including the British Pro Surfing Association Championship.
Arugam Bay is located 320km from Colombo. The closest town to Arugam Bay is Pottuvil and has many other attractions and offers easy access to the Yala National Park or Kumana Bird Sanctuary. Arugam Bay is a petite fishing village 3km south of the small fishing village of Pottuvil with probably 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants. Fishing village of Pottuvil with probably 10,000 to 12,000 inhabitants.
The bay lies between two headlands and a wide and happening sandy beach in front of the village. It is an all year round attraction for swimming whilst the
safest area for swimming is a place called Ulla. Fishing boats, thatch huts, pristine sandy beach and probably the most beautiful sunrise is the stunning
natural beauty of this attraction. “The Point’ in Arugam Bay is regarded
as a top world surf destination. It is a well lined up right hand point break, generating a clean peeling glassy wave that barrels through to the inside. Sometimes, there are three to four high quality breaks within a timeline of 30 minutes.
Crocodile Rock & Elephant Rock
The Crocodile Rock is 2km south of Arugam Point along another deserted beach to Kudakallliya. One can reach the rock by doing the hard yards across the dunes and plough through the lagoon.
It is a fun trek: eagles lunge overhead, elephants try to climb the rock. When you are at the summit, your efforts are well rewarded with magnificent views of the rice paddies and lagoon. If time permits, a walk to Elephant Rock which is about 3km south of Arugam Bay provides another view and appreciation of this beautiful South East beach.
Archaeological Places of Interest
In Pottuvil, We recommend you pay a visit to the Muhudu Maha Viharaya which had been built over 2000 years ago and had owned over 200 acres during the British rule but now occupying a lesser extent of land with development of Pottuvil. Eight kilometres west of Pottuvil along the A4 main road is the beautiful Buddhist temple of Magul Maha Vihara built by King Dhatusena (515-526 AD). This interesting and evocative site, with the remains of a dagoba, vatadage & the bases of several other ruined structures is made all the more enticing by its remote jungle location.
Lagoon, Mangroves & Prawn catching
Pottuvil lagoon is a haven for numerous bird species. Arugam Bay’s picturesque lagoon divides Ulla village from Pottuvil lagoon which is north of the town. The bridge is an excellent viewing point to see the sunset whilst at night you can watch prawn fishermen throwing and gathering their nets. The Lagoon tour provides us with a calm paddling and an insight into the importance of mangrove ecosystems in Pottuvil. Local fishermen can take you in their Fibreglass canoes through the mangroves and stopping off at the sandbar in the ocean. The Lagoon is home to a wide variety of wildlife including crocodiles, monkeys and plenty of birds. During a canoe tour of Pottuvil Lagoon you can experience the unique beauty of the mangrove ecosystem. The mangrove forest is home to a variety of birds such as
raptors, kingfishers, pelicans, herons, darters, open bills and Indian Pita. In the trees, sub species of Sri Lanka’s macaque monkeys abound. In the water, one could observe crocodiles, monitor lizards, freshwater snakes and a multitude of fish and prawns.
Okanda, Panama & Kumana
The coastal scenery south of Arugam Bay is equally interesting and unspoilt. Cultivated paddy fields blend together with scrub jungle, all supporting a habitat for bird life. This is the wild Sri Lanka where elephants roam freely. One needs to keep in mind that during the rainy season, the stretch from Arugam Bay to Panama is low lying and can be under water but can be approached in a 4×4. The Hindu Shrine in Okanda is an ancient holy place located on a rocky outcrop along the seacoast, eastwards river bank of the Kumbukkan Oya which divides Ruhuna Yala National park as Yala west and Yala east. It is dedicated to the God Skanda of Kataragama and this shrine is worshiped by Buddhists, Hindus as well as by other faiths. Okanda is an important staging point on the overland Pada Yatra pilgrimage, which is a long haul to Kataragama for the 15-day festival in July/August. Many pilgrims gather here to join the 45-day walk from Jaffna and Mullativu to Kataragama. Arugam bay, Sri Lanka, offers you many small miracles, wide sandy beach, surf and serendipity at its best, eco-systems, adventures, amazing wildlife and rich heritage.