water sports in Sri Lanka
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5 Best Places for Water Sports in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a place that presents to you beautiful attractive views, captivating ancient ruins, and most importantly luxurious beaches. Sri Lanka is an island and so is able to offer an array of water sports to the water babies. Adventure seekers can fulfill their desire both at the ocean and non-coastal water bodies of water such as rivers and waterfalls.

South West Sri Lanka

The southern coast of Sri Lanka is famous among tourists, because of great shopping, trendy restaurants and bars and having the most beautiful beaches in the country.


Unawatuna being a major tourist attraction is well known for its palm-lined beaches, turquoise water, and coral reefs. This is a beautiful semi-circular bay beach lined with coconut trees and is marked by a rare geographical feature, which is the headlands that can be seen at both ends of the bay.

November to April is the best time to be visiting southwest Sri Lanka the weather is most favorable at this time of the year. The winds are offshore making clean waves and great swells and there is little rain.  Unawatuna Beach on the southwest coastal area is a popular place for surfing and snorkeling, especially during these months. Here you can surf against the beautiful crashing waves, and snorkel among the tropical sea life. Scuba divers are also particularly attracted to this beach because of the wrecks of a sunken ship in the waters to see. Jet skiing is also one of the most popular activities at Unawatuna beach.

Jungle beach which is 4 Km from Unawatuna is also a good place for snorkeling and can be reached by boat from the Unawatuna Beach or from minor roads leading off from Unawatuna.


Hikkaduwa is a beach located 98 Km from Colombo and another fine place to enjoy snorkeling, surfing, and scuba diving. Both amateurs, as well as experts, can enjoy scuba diving at this place. The currents are stronger towards the south side of the beach but swimming is quite safe. You can easily rent the equipment needed for these activities from anywhere at Hikkaduwa. Full of various species of sea turtle, colorful coral reef and spangled with shipwrecks, these waters make for a spectacular spot for sea lovers. Anyone who does not wish to get their feet wet can get on to a glass-bottom boat that will take the visitor to the deep to watch the beautiful fish and sea turtles among the corals.

Hikkaduwa is the second-largest surf spot in Sri Lanka with 4 main surf points at that provide a clear warm water base to the surfers. It is also a famous place for deep-sea fishing where boats equipped with fishing gear, bait, safety equipment are easily available. The seafront also has much to offer, the 4 Km strip consisting of magnificent hotels and restaurants, a variety of shops, bars and guesthouses.

Southeast Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay

Arugam bay lies along the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, 314 Km from Colombo. The Arugam Bay Beach is a moon-shaped, wide sandy beach facing the village of Arugam Bay. The beach attracts swimmers and surfers all year round, although the ideal time of the year is from May to October. In the summer of 2004, the beach saw its first-ever international surfing competition organized by the ISA (International Surfing Association). The beach has the most famous and the finest surf break in all of Asia, a consistent right-hand point break found towards the southern end of the bay beach.

 Divers and snorkelers are also attracted to Arugam Bay as it holds a treasure of tropical fish which is a sight to see.

Those who do not wish to go into the water and wish to stay dry can take a two-hour boat trip into the sea to watch dolphins and.

arugam bay beach
Nice view at arugam bay beach


Sri Lanka presents to you the white sandy beaches of Weligama. Weligama in Sinhala, meaning ‘Sandy Village’ refers to the sandy shores of the beach. A shallow sand reef, the Weligama beach is especially attractive to the beginners yet learning to surf or intermediate surfers. It has about a 2 Km stretch of shallow bay beach. If you wish to practice there the best time is early morning, from sunrise till 8 a.m. because that is usually the quietest time of the day. One can hire surfboards, and take surfing lessons from the surf schools found on the right side of the bay.  The board rentals are from 300 to 450 LKR and consist of a variety of foam, epoxy and fiberglass boards.

The Weligama beach has a very special feature – Taprobane Island. The Taprobane Island located 200 meters off-shore is the most attractive part of the bay beach, where numerous colorful boats can be seen docked during the day. The island holds a magnificent white villa which consists of 5 suites and a vast swimming pool that is available to the tourists.

North-East Sri Lanka

Kalpitiya Beach

Kalpitiya is a city located north of Colombo and is 130 Km from the Bandaranayke International Airport. It is a 48 Km long peninsula set between the Indian Ocean and the lagoon of Puttalam. Kalpitiya is made up of 14 islands. The place has much to offer with its exquisite beaches full of vast sand dunes, bar reefs, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps. It has proved to be an unparalleled aquatic reserve with the various species of aquatic life, and one of the greatest biodiversity of coral reefs.

The place is famous for dolphin and whale watching. One can watch large pods of dolphins (especially Spinner Dolphins) Sperm Whales and Blue Whales swimming around in the ocean. With the largest coral reef, it is also quite popular with scuba divers and snorkelers.

If you are interested in kite surfing then this is the place for you. Kalpitiya is just right for this kind of sport due to its perfect weather conditions. It is known as the kitesurfer’s heaven. Even if you are not carrying your own gear you can hire from one of the local clubs around, and beginners are also most welcome to learn kite surfing as there are a number of schools willing to teach you the sport. 

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