Mini Travel Guide with Tips for Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is a laid-back surfers’ village on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Surfers from all over the world visit Arugam Bay for the perfect waves. But even if you can’t or don’t want to surf, Arugam Bay is a very nice place to stay for a few days. On the beach, you’ll find many cozy beach bars, but you can also always join in for a game of volleyball when you’re in the mood for some action. Curious about what there is to do in Arugam Bay, how to get there, or the best time to travel? Here you can read all our tips for Arugam Bay!

What to Do in Arugam Bay?

Despite being a small coastal town, there are a number of cool things to do in Arugam Bay. Below, we share our tips for Arugam Bay!

Tip: Arugam Bay is located just next to one of Sri Lanka’s larger nature reserves. When exploring the area, always watch out for wildlife such as crocodiles and elephants.

Enjoy the Impressive View at Kudumbigala Monastery

Feeling adventurous? Rent a scooter and head towards Kudumbigala Monastery. This is a monastery located in the middle of Kumana National Park. Since this is a religious site, make sure you have modest clothing with you. From the monastery, you can take a short hike that will lead you to the top of the rock in just 10 minutes. From the top, you can enjoy an impressive view of the beautiful nature. The road to Kudumbigala Monastery partially runs through Kumana National Park, so you might encounter wild animals along the way. This can be somewhat dangerous as you’re quite vulnerable on a scooter, so don’t drive too fast and pay attention. Of course, you can always take a tuk-tuk if you don’t want to ride a scooter.

Tip: It takes about one hour to drive from Arugam Bay to Kudumbigala Monastery. You won’t find any shops or gas stations along the way, so make sure you have enough water, snacks, and gasoline when you depart from Arugam Bay.

Relax on the Beach

A day of chilling on the beach is a must when you’re in Arugam Bay. Depending on the season, you may not be able to swim everywhere in Arugam Bay. At the far right end of Arugam Bay Beach, there’s a section where the waves are smaller. Here, you can often swim, but always be careful and don’t go too deep. Besides, it’s just nice to rent a sunbed, enjoy some good food, and occasionally play a game of volleyball.

Tip: Enjoy delicious food at the beach bar Tom and Jerry.

(Learn to) Surf in Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is known as one of the best places in the world to surf. The waves are perfect there! Can’t surf and want to learn? Then this is your chance! Surf lessons are offered everywhere in Arugam Bay, where you’ll be taught by experienced surfers. During a surf lesson, you’ll quickly find out that it’s quite challenging to maintain your balance on the waves. But who knows, you might have just discovered your new passion. If you can already surf, you’ll love the waves in Arugam Bay even more. The most popular surf spots are Main Point, Whiskey Point, and Peanut Farm.

Best time to surf in Arugam Bay: The surf season runs from April to October.

Yoga in Arugam Bay

Where there’s surfing, you can often also do some yoga. This is also the case in Arugam Bay, and you can do it at multiple places. Both at Surf & Yoga Arugam Bay and at Bay Vista, you can attend yoga classes. It’s wonderfully relaxing with the sound of the sea in the background.

Join the Lagoon Safari

One of the most popular activities in Arugam Bay is the Lagoon Safari. During this boat tour, you’ll sail over the beautiful Pottuvil Lagoon. You’ll pass mangrove forests and go in search of wildlife. Here, you can spot crocodiles, many exotic birds, and even elephants, which are often seen bathing in the lagoon.

Climb Elephant Rock for Sunset

To the south of Arugam Bay, you’ll find the expansive Peanut Farm Beach. Next to this beautiful beach are Elephant Rock. These are large rocks from where you have an amazing view over the coastline of Arugam Bay. You can climb up in ten minutes, and especially at sunset, the view is stunning. However, make sure you leave before it gets dark because this area is home to many crocodiles and elephants.

Nightlife in Arugam Bay

During the high season, there’s always a fun party happening on the beach. Fridays often have events at Whiskey Point, and Saturdays are always lively at Mambo. 

What Is the Best Time to Visit Arugam Bay?

The high season runs from June to September. The waves are perfect for surfers during this time, there are fun parties, and all shops and restaurants are open. You can certainly visit Arugam Bay outside of these months, and everything is actually a bit cheaper. However, in November, December, and January, most shops and restaurants are closed, and it’s better to avoid Arugam Bay due to the bad weather.

Tips for Good Restaurants in Arugam Bay

Tom and Jerry – This is a cozy beach bar where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The dishes are prepared with lots of vegetables, and there’s plenty of choice for vegetarian options.
Leaf & Vine –
At Leaf & Vine, you come for the great atmosphere and delicious food. There’s often live music in the evening.
Mr Fisherman –
You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at Mr Fisherman.
Pizza Hub – The tastiest pizzas in Arugam Bay are found at Pizza Hub.
Chai Leaves & Juice Lounge – This trendy restaurant is perfect if you’re in the mood for a healthy breakfast or lunch. They offer smoothie bowls, fresh juices, and avocado toast, among other things. 

Our Favorite Spots in Arugam Bay

In a prime location, right in Arugam Bay, you’ll find The Spice Trail. This hotel is one of the best places to stay, partly due to the nice swimming pool and tranquility. Despite being super central, you’ll experience peace in the hotel. You’ll stay in a beautiful cottage that’s stylishly decorated. Another great option in Arugam Bay is Forcus Cabanas. From this hotel, you’re on the beach within seconds. Ideal! The best budget option in Arugam Bay is Tropicana Home Stay. This little paradise is run by a super sweet family who will make you feel at home right away.