This post was last updated on August 1st, 2019 at 06:35 pm
Just north of Galle you will find one of the nicest beaches in Sri Lanka. It has been known since the 70s when many hippies went to visit this deserted coastal town. It is known among amateur surfers and after enduring a difficult period, Hikkaduwa finally begins to regain its sparkle of the 1970s.
Hikkaduwa; on its way back
The international travel world often passes Hikkaduwa on its way to Unawatuna. That has everything to do with the shocking development of Hikkaduwa since its discovery in the 1970s.
Tourism led to the systematic erosion of the beach and the construction of gray concrete hotels. The once famous snorkel spots became a labyrinth of dead coral.
That does not sound promising, and it wasn’t. However… luckily it’s on the way back to its former glory. Since the hordes of tourists have largely ignored the city in search of better destinations, Hikkaduwa is back to what it once was; a sleepy, picturesque village with a bit of hippie charm.
A little pearl
Hikkaduwa is on the way back. The polluted and crumbling beach is slowly recovering and the Coral Gardens (the famous coral) are gradually getting better. Many hotels were demolished or renovated after the tsunami. The entire city now looks better than it has for years.
Along the wide beach you will now find (cheap) accommodations and restaurants where they mainly serve fish. Even the notorious road, Galle Road, became less crowded after the construction of the new Southern Expressway.
Things to do in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is still not the untouched paradise it used to be, but compared to a few years ago it is a pleasant improvement. That also means that there is more to do in and around the town. Most people come here to surf, snorkel or dive.
# 1 Go surfing
This beach is especially popular with novice surfers because of the smaller waves. You will also find various surf schools on the beach. It is an excellent place to learn how to surf. During the high season you have beautiful waves here.
Surfboards can easily be rented at any water sports center.
# 2 Discover the Coral Gardens
This is the highlight for snorkeling enthusiasts. It is still repairing the years of damage it sustained so it is still dead here and there, but you can see that there is improvement. This coral reserve is a shallow reef 5 meters deep.
You will find a large number of underwater flora and fauna here, of which the corals have a special color! Boats with a bottom of glass are sailing, making this activity accessible to everyone.
TIP – The city becomes particularly lively during the annual Hikkaduwa Beach Fest, a three-day beach party in July/August. There will be international DJs who entertain locals and foreigners with music.
While the glass bottom boats are very popular in Hikkaduwa, you can rent canoes at Hikkaduwa Lake and explore the lake. It is not like Inle Lake in Myanmar, but a beautiful place in the middle of a peaceful natural environment. You can do great birdwatching here.
In addition, you can also fish for shrimp that live in this freshwater lake. If you are here at the right time, you can even catch a glimpse of fishermen throwing their nets into the water.
Sunshine, beaches, and waves
The main reason that travelers come here is because of the presence of the sun, sea, beaches and waves. That is why you can just relax in your hammock, swim, play a game of volleyball or drink a cocktail in one of the beach bars.
How do you get there?
To reach Hikkaduwa, take a bus that goes south, for example, to Galle or Matara. You can also take the train but this usually takes a little longer.
Location of Hikkaduwa
Click the image to view the location in Google Maps!