It’s Sri Lanka’s answer to Bondi Beach and the tourist capital of the country, but what should you really be doing with your short stay in A-Bay?…
With pros flocking from Australia and Bali to hit the waves on the East coast of Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is the most popular place to surf in the country. So whether you’re a beginner or an international veteran this is the place to get out on a board and ride with the big boys.
There are plenty of places to hire boards from in town. We paid 500 rupees for a half day which gave us 4 hours.
Kumana National Park
Also know as Yala East, many tourists choose to take a jeep safari from Arugam Bay to Kumana with full day packages starting from 10,000 rupees per vehicle. It may be worth a trip but we decided to wait and check out Udawalawe although people around A-Bay were raving about the tours.
Tuk Tuk To Peanut Farm
There are plenty of other bays and beaches within driving distance of the main strip so strap your board to the roof and head out exploring. Peanut Farm was our favourite spot of them all. It’s a much nicer beach to chill on and a quieter spot to learn to surf. Not only that but they have an awesome beach shack that serves up fresh food/smoothies and they play home to a pair of super cute pet puppies.
Shop Till You Drop
As far as tourist places go, Arugam Bay isn’t as bad as we thought. Rather than the usual elephant pants and Sri Lanka t-shirts it actually has some authentic local brands and some cool hippie shops.
Be sure to check out Maya for some awesome unique treats or gifts before you fly home.
Hit The Bars
So we’re not big party animals but we heard good reviews, and our friends vouched, that Whisky Point on a Friday night is a party not to missed!
If you just fancy a chilled one though Hideaway is an awesome place to kick back on the loungers and enjoy happy hour between 6-8pm.
Most Of All – Just Chill…
Arugam Bay is a major chill spot where everything moves in slow motion, and the majority of people there will be on a short holiday rather than a full on travelling experience…so hit the beaches and relax! Grab a coconut, get your suncream on and take this time to kick into holiday mode before the madness of backpacking begins again.
Where To Eat
Arugam Bay is a hub for tourists so there’s food for everyone but depending on your price range here are our top two:
Roti Shop – For a cheap, pleasant and fulfilling meal we cannot recommend this little family run restaurant enough! We spent most mornings or lunch times hanging out with their 2 young boys who will be happy to help serve you or play football, plus the avocado sandwiches are to die for!
Tandoori Hut – For something a little fancier and more of a restaurant vibe, Tandoori Hut does the best curries in the East. From lime & chilli calamari to traditional chicken tikka masala, they’ve nailed the ambience and service to keep westerners coming back for more!
Where To Stay
Long Hostel – It’s a no brainer in Arugam and before you arrive nearly all travellers will have heard of Long Hostel. Run by an old german man it’s kept spotless, has a great atmosphere and a simple yet effective layout! At 1600 rupees per night you can’t go wrong.