Surfing and Nature Watching in Arugam Bay

Surfing and Nature Watching in Arugam Bay

Beach Essentials

Where: Arugum Bay, Ampara, Southeast Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia 
April – September for surfing, Nov & Dec to watch the birds migrating
Internationally renowned dive site, also great for wildlife spotting & fishing
Remember to Bring: 
Quality surf board or good pair of binoculars

Where It’s At

Arugam Bay is situated in the Ampara district on the south east coast of Sri Lanka. It’s an attractive spot with fascinating bird and wildlife, and the waves of the Indian Ocean are well known in surfing circles as some of the finest on the planet.

Because of Tamil fighting in the area, tourist boards have advised against visiting this part of Sri Lanka. However there hasn’t been any trouble since the early 1990s, and visitors have reported that these days Arugam Bay a very peaceful place. If in doubt, check with the tourist board before you go.


The east coast of Sri Lanka enjoys it’s own distinct climate, with a good deal less rain than the rest of the island. It is warm all year round but the best time to visit is between April to September, when the surfing season is at it’s height.


– Arugam Bay is renowned for it’s fantastic waves, which attract surfers from all over the world. Although you can surf here all year round, the season starts in earnest in April.

– The first fishing boats go out to sea at around 4 o’clock each morning. Travellers can arrange to accompany the locals on these trips.

– The best time to catch a glimpse of the wildlife of Sri Lanka is before dawn or at sunset. Amongst the most frequent visitors to the lagoon are elephants, wild boar, deer andcrocodiles. Birdwatchers will be over-awed by the flocks which migrate to the Arugam Bay area in the months of November and December.

– If you venture into the jungle, you may stumble across the remains of the ancient Buddhist culture which thrived in this region. The 2000 year-old Buddhist temple of Modu Maha Vihare has been recently excavated just outside Pottuvil.

More Information

Arugam Bay
Encyclopaedic pages about the entire region: things to do, places to stay and how to make the most of your visit to this extraordinary stretch of coastline.

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