Hikkaduwa Beach Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka is a popular beach holiday destination on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa has been a major resting point for backpackers for many decades; however, over the last few years, it has developed into a beach holiday destination that can accommodate any kind of budget by providing accommodation from cheap rent rooms to high-end luxury boutique hotels. Therefore, now the holidays to Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka, can be a luxury beach holiday or an affordable beach tour.

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Where is Hikkaduwa Beach?

Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka, the west coast beach of Sri Lanka is a laid-back coastal city with pristine beaches. Hikkaduwa is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka and is located 65 km south of Colombo, between Bentota and Galle. The beautiful Hikkaduwa beach spreads over 4 km along the Galle-Colombo main road and it is a narrow stretch of beach sandwich between the main road and the ocean. Hikkaduwa is predominantly a beach holiday destination and attracts thousands of leisure holiday seekers every month. Hikkaduwa is also popular among water sports lovers and the waters around Hikkaduwa offer a large number of lakes, lagoons, bays, rivers, and sea suitable for diving, snorkelling, swimming, boating, fishing, and many other water sports. Therefore, Hikkaduwa is a very popular destination among travellers. Hikkaduwa is a part of most Sri Lanka trips such as the one-day Sri Lanka south coat tour or one-day Galle tour from Colombo.

What is the importance of Hikkaduwa beach?

You might be wondering why travellers love the holidays to Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka: the sparkling Indian Ocean, the lush tropical vegetation and balmy weather are the main draws of Hikkaduwa beach resort. The travellers are also drawn to the historical monuments such as Kande vihara, and Galle fort. Holidays to Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka should not essentially be only a beach holiday because Hikkaduwa is a party town, a place for travellers to bathe and banquet, flirt and frolic.

Thousands of beach resorts, restaurants, pubs, bars, and clubs are packed into this narrow sandy beach. Hikkaduwa is still a major spot for Sri Lanka beach holidays and a part of many Sri Lanka road trips. The city lies along the west coast of Sri Lanka and attracts hundreds of thousands of beach holiday lovers every year.

Budget beach holidays to Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka beach holiday destination had been a major resting point for backpackers in the past, however, over the last few decades, it has been developed into a beach holiday destination in Sri Lanka that can accommodate any sought of budget and provides accommodation from cheap rent rooms to high-end luxury boutique hotels.

The stream of tourists started to explore Hikkaduwa in the 1980s, immediately after the introduction of the open economy on the island and the tourist traffic still continues and it grows day by day. Hikkaduwa has been able to retain its momentum as a popular beach holiday destination despite the emerging top-notch beach holiday cities such as Negombo and Bentota.

Hikkaduwa is still the most popular among the hippies and it is well developed for the hippie type of tourism. Same time Hikkaduwa is the home to many luxury star-class hotels and they are catering to high-end customer, who looks for luxurious Sri Lanka beach vacations.

The tranquil calm settings in Hikkaduwa make people stay longer and enjoy the warm weather, therefore most travellers of Hikkaduwa usually stay for weeks and months. The city can be best described as a sleepy town located on one of the busiest roads on the island. Galle road, which connects Colombo and southern Sri Lanka.

Hikkaduwa beach stretches along the north-south axis of Galle road, just south of the tiny coastal town. Starting from one end to the other Hikkaduwa beach is full of restaurants, bars, Gem Shops, souvenir shops, liquor shops, groceries, small guest houses and shops with cloth, grocery items, Ayurveda medicine etc (Ayurveda retreat Sri Lanka). The majority of them are catering to foreign travellers and the sights of locals are very rare here.

Hikkaduwa beach badly hit by Tsunami

It is well known for its fascinating underwater world with coral reefs and beautiful beaches. But some of the corals in the seas of Hikkaduwa have been destroyed through the lamina effect, the global phenomenon in which the seawater was warmed. Still, the sea of Hikkaduwa considered being one of the best diving spots in Sri Lanka due to its richness of underwater fauna and flora.

Hikkaduwa was badly damaged by the Tsunami in 2004 and most of the beach hotels were severely damaged. Today they are back to normal and most of the properties were upgraded during the renovation. Unlike most other beaches such as Bentota and Kalutara, where people can have a sea bath only during a specific period of the year, many places around Hikkaduwa can be used for all-year-round beach holidays in Sri Lanka.

When is the best time for Holiday on Sri Lankan beaches like Hikkaduwa

When is the best time for beach holidays in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka?

According to the weather pattern, six months November to April is the best for holidays in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka. All the beaches along the southwest coast have dry weather during these six months. During these six months, the ocean around the southwest coast remains very calm and therefore making it suitable for salt water-based activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, surfing and more.

Sri Lanka is under the influence of the Monsoon, which has 6 months changing pattern between the southwest and northeast. South-west Sri Lanka feels the effect of the monsoon from May to October. North-east Sri Lanka feels the effect of the monsoon from April to November.

What are the things to do in Hikkaduwa?

Following is a summary of the recommended things to do in Hikkaduwa, as provided by the guidebook. Since the beaches are the main draw to the area, it stands to reason that they would receive the most attention. Here, we’ll introduce you to some of the most well-liked options.Here are just a few of Hikkaduwa’s most breathtaking attractions:

Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary/coral reef

The coral reefs in Hikkaduwa are perhaps on their final deathbeds due to the increased water temperature in the sea. Due to the increasing temperature backed by La Niña a few years back the temperature around Hikkaduwa increased making some of the corals perish. The Hikkaduwa coral reef is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka, and it has a tremendous display of beauty, biodiversity, and a fragile ecosystem.   

Over the last several decades, scientists have surveyed and documented the vitality and changes through time. Scientists have come up with clearly noticed the widespread destruction of the coral ecosystems due to the warming sea. Other than the increasing water temperature, the increased human activities such as harvesting corals to make lime, accumulation of garbage on the sea bed, and agricultural and industrial pollutants are having accelerated the destruction of corals.   

Hikkaduwa is one of the best places for Snorkelling

Hikkaduwa is most popular for its 3S (sun, sea and sand), but other than the 3s snorkelling and diving are hot topics here. Snorkelling is one of the best things to do in Hikkaduwa, a large number of travellers gather here to do snorkelling.

A large number of guests gather here early morning to set off on diving and snorkelling tours. Many internationally trained diving instructors have set up their diving centres in the resort area and provide diving and snorkelling facilities.

Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary harbours 60 species of different coral species, many species of algae and many species of exotic fish species with sea turtles. Many varieties of algae close to the beach in the shallow water attract a large number of small fish species and sea turtles.

Hikkaduwa harbours majestic coral reefs, unfortunately, some of them are destroyed during the Tsunami, but still, it is a good place for snorkelling. Hikkaduwa marine national park and the Pigeon island national park on the east coast of Sri Lanka are the major marine national parks on the island. At Hikkaduwa, one can observe fringing coral reefs in the shallow water, at the depth of five meters. It is possible to rent snorkelling gear at one of the shops in the city and explore the coral reefs.

There is a large number of shops along the main road of the resort providing essential gear required for diving and snorkelling. If you are just a passerby and do not wish to get wet, then you can higher a glass-bottom boat to see coral reefs and a large collection of fascinating underwater creatures from your boat. If you hire a glass-bottom boat, you do not need to be in the water to see the reefs. It could be the best and easiest way to take a glimpse of the corals if you are not based in Hikkaduwa and are just a passerby.

Hikkaduwa swim with sea turtles

Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the region to spot a large number of marine creatures and some of these creatures are rare such as sea turtles, and the blue whale. Whale watching in Sri Lanka is a very popular activity on the island and so is watching sea turtles. I mean not watching sea turtle in the tank.

Swimming with sea turtles is a very popular activity among travellers in Hikkaduwa. Watching sea turtles in their natural habitat is an incredible experience for anyone and then you come to know this rare creature is still living out there.

Watching sea turtles can be done in many places on the island along the south and western coast. Rekawa is one popular place in the deep south where you can spot sea turtles at night. The sea turtles come to the shore for nesting. However, in Hikkaduwa, you don’t see sea turtles on the shore but in the water. The waters around the Hikkaduwa are resided by many green turtles and loggerhead turtles.

Tour operators such as Seerendipity tours organize daily surfing and diving trips to Hikkaduwa from November to April. The package includes all equipment required for diving and snorkelling as well as hotel pickup and drop.

Nude Tourism in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Beaches around Hikkaduwa have earned notoriety as one of the very few beaches on the island, where nude tourists are hanging around. There had been such incidents in the past, but today it is highly unlikely to see nude tourists. Nudity tourism is highly prohibited here and it is a highly punishable offence according to Sri Lanka law.

Hikkaduwa is a place for a boat tour

One can have a nice view over the seabed through the shallow waters of Hikkaduwa during a glass-bottom boat ride. There are many boat operators who provide this service for people who are willing to do the glass bottom boat ride. People who are on Sri Lanka holiday, especially from November to April, which is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka, have the best opportunity to see the underwater corals at best with the clear and calm water.

Apart from the coral reefs, the waters of Hikkaduwa are inhabited by a large number of exotic fish species as well as sea turtle species. Apart from the wide sandy beaches, Hikkaduwa claims to have well-grown thick vegetation, it can be observed a few hundred meters toward the land side from the beach.

There are large numbers of attractions in Hikkaduwa that are important for people who make a holiday in Sri Lanka. North of Hikkaduwa town is the lagoon, which can be used for a relaxing boat ride. Well, known Sinigama Devala is located about two kilometres from the city of Hikkaduwa. It is one of the two temples, where God Suniyam is venerated.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa visiting Purana Thotagama vihara

Visiting Purana Thotagama vihara is one of the popular things to do in Hikkaduwa. This temple is a Buddhist temple with a valuable historical background, is situated in the village called Telwatta in the north of Hikkaduwa. Even though the present temple was built in the 19s, the beginning of the site goes way back to the 14s.

The temple was inhabited by popular scholar-monk Sri Rahula in the 1500s. The Makara thorana at the entrance of the temple is believed to be one of the best craftsmanship of the Kandyan period.  What is noteworthy is the god figures with arrows that have blood on tip of it. The wall painting of the image house shows scenes from the life of Buddha.

Exploring village life in Hikkaduwa

Dodanduwa which is inhabited by fisherfolk is situated between Rathgama and Hikkaduwa. Rathgama Oya is another attraction in the area that has a number of islands. The area around Rathgama is popular for the cinnamon plantations in south Sri Lanka.

Kumarakanda temple with a large number of beautiful religious paintings and the footprint of Buddha is also situated in Rathgama due to the popularity of Buddhism. It is believed that the first Buddhist school in Sri Lanka was started here as a training school for Buddhist monks.

One popular island of the Rathgama tank is the Polgasduwa, which can be reached by boat. The monk who was born in Wiesbaden in Germany had built a monastery here in 1878. He contributed to the Buddhist literature by translating many Pali Buddhist publications, Visuddi Magga and Anguttara-Nikaya are among the translations. The last four years of his life were spent in a forest monastery in Kandy and the monk died in 1957 in Colombo after an operation.

Narigama Beach

The first thing you must do is visit the stunning Narigama Beach. This beach attracts more people than any other in the area for the vast majority of the year. All four kilometres of this beach are widely regarded as some of the best surfing in Sri Lanka. From November through April is when beachgoers will find the best conditions. Many travellers come to this area just to witness the stunning sunsets, which are best viewed from the beach while taking in the calm currents of the water and the fiery tones of the setting sun.

The Laguna, a shallow body of water flanked by coral reefs, is another great attraction. This is a great place for families with little children who aren’t strong swimmers or are terrified of deep water. There is a calmer section of beach at the very end where the coral reefs prevent the waves from reaching the sand. Relax and cool yourself in the refreshing water, away from the oppressive sun. To make your canal tour even more memorable, think about renting a catamaran.

Gardens of the Coral Reef

The Coral Reef Gardens are the last and most magnificent attraction in Hikkaduwa during the Northwest Monsoon. These beautiful coral reef gardens are a must-see for anyone with a passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. There is a great diversity of fish and other aquatic organisms there. In addition to the coral reefs, the gardens are famous for its sea turtle population, which never fails to astound guests. The fact that each turtle can be fed by hand is the most fascinating and entertaining aspect.

The beginning of tourism In Sri Lanka hippie beach Hikkaduwa

The Hippie crowd came across the city with the beginning of tourism (in the 1980s) on the island, and since that time Hikkaduwa has been developed into an offbeat holiday destination among budget-conscious travellers. The snow-white beaches of Hikkaduwa stretch about 5 kilometres from the southern border of the city to the Ginga Ganga Bridge towards the Galle direction.

The tourist who gathers on the beaches of Hikkaduwa has plenty of space to stretch themselves and have a sunbath. The people are evenly split in the free space between hotels and the Indian Ocean. Backpacking tourists, teenage travellers, adventure lovers, and leisure holidaymakers all are enjoying the pristine beaches in harmony.

Sri Lanka southern tour

Nightlife in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

Other than swimming, surfing, snorkelling, partying and basking in the sun, there are many other interesting activities for travellers to engage in. There are many mind-blowing and thrilling spots to explore in Hikkaduwa, and most of those places open its door to the sunset.

Unlike most cities in Sri Lanka, there is the thrilling nightlife at Hikkaduwa. A lot of tourists are gathering at the beach bars and restaurants in Hikkaduwa and taking a glimpse of the brilliant sunset. Beach bars and restaurants share live music with the gathering. Hikkaduwa is one of the best places to order seafood on the west coast. The nearby fishing harbour provides fresh fish for the hotels and restaurants in Hikkaduwa, where they are served at very low prices.

Hotels in hippie beach Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

When it comes to accommodation there might be no other place in Sri Lanka, where you get so many possibilities and options for hotels, as in Hikkaduwa. Especially for budget travellers, the possibilities of getting cheap hotels in Hikkaduwa are endless.

Hikkaduwa remains the most loved holiday destination among budget travellers since the beginning of tourism on the island. And the travellers with a tight budget have the best settings here. Cheap hotel facilities such as rent rooms, homestays, guest houses and rest houses are the most common accommodation facility here. Usually, the guests opt to book their accommodation on a room-only basis here, therefore they are able to make food on their own or buy it outside at a cheaper rate.

Even though Hikkaduwa is a destination for backpackers, it is not a location for camping. But travellers have plenty of opportunities to book cheap accommodation facilities such as guest houses, rest houses and rent rooms. Those are the cheapest form of accommodation in Hikkaduwa. Large hotels with better facilities can also be found here, but the rates are high compared to rent rooms and guest or rest houses.

There is a large number of restaurants, bars and pubs scattered along the main road that runs through Hikkaduwa. Same time a large number of shops, and Ayurveda spas are also established here and mainly target foreign tourists. Finding accommodation is very easy here, keep on knocking on the door until you get the proper place to sleep.

It is very easy to find accommodation here because almost every household provides some kind of accommodation facility. And also all the hotels, guest houses, rest houses, and restaurants are tightly packed head-to-head along the coast.

How to find cheap hotels on your holidays in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka?

Due to the large number of cheap hotels in Hikkaduwa, there is a very good chance of finding the best accommodation for what you pay for, especially with regard to low-cost accommodation. There is a large number of small-scale accommodation providers in Hikkaduwa, therefore, they are in high competition to attract customers. Hence as a customer, you have a better chance of negotiating and getting the best price.

Most accommodation providers do not have a fixed rate and they are selling at varying prices. If you have negotiation skills, you can secure good accommodation at a low price. Also, the duration of stay makes a big difference, when you wish to get a discounted price, the longer you stay higher the discount.

How to travel to Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka hippie beach, Hikkaduwa can be reached easily by public bus, train or other forms of private transport such as a taxi. Since its proximity to the main railway line and bus route that runs between Colombo and Galle, the train is the most convenient and cheapest form of transport to reach Hikkaduwa. It takes around two hours to reach Hikkaduwa by train if you start your journey from Colombo.

The drive from Colombo to Hikkaduwa Taxi takes around 4 hours. Buses are also a quite handy transport method but it consumes more time than the train or taxi, and buses might take around four hours to reach Hikkaduwa from Colombo. The distance from Colombo to Hikkaduwa is 98 kilometres. If you start the journey from Galle the distance to Hikkaduwa is 19 kilometres.

Speedy Access to Hikkaduwa via highway

Some tourists may reluctant to spend their holidays in Hikkaduwa due to the time-consuming journey from the international airport of Sri Lanka (Bandaranayake international airport), which is around 5 hours on the normal road. But with the opening of the middle portion of Sri Lanka’s southern expressway, it is just a matter of three hours drive to reach Hikkaduwa from any of the 2  international airports of Sri Lanka via the southern expressway.

Now the travelling time between Hikkaduwa and Colombo airport (Bandaranyake international airport) had been further curtailed to 1 hour with the completion of the outer circle of the southern highway. The outer circle, which opened on 7th November 2019, connects the southern expressway and airport express road, which means the travellers can bypass Colombo and avoid chaotic Colombo traffic and drive direct to beach resorts in the west and south at speed of 100km per hour.

Do we find touts in Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka?

Yes! Touts are occurring in Hikkaduwa like all other beach resorts in Sri Lanka and you better be prepared to deal with their tempting invitations. You will meet touts on the road and as well as on the beach, who persuade you to buy tours and excursions. Usually, they make an acquaintance with the tourist and suggest various activities, excursions and tours.

Accommodation facilities also can be booked through these touts. They may not charge you anything for the service that they provide but they are benefited from the other party of the deal, therefore the rates of whatever you purchase might have a shoot-up when you purchase it.  So try to stick to SELF-SERVICE as much as possible it might be good for you. 

Some other informative blogs on Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka

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Hurray for Hikkaduwa!

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