The beaches you’ve been looking for?

The beaches you’ve been looking for?

Sri Lanka proves that islands are not created equal…some are just better than others.  Due to both nature and nurture, it’s hard to find a country that offers as many spectacular beaches in such a small space.  While you’d be hard-pressed choose a bad beach, here are two favorites that must be seen to be believed.

Hikkaduwa Beach in Southwestern Sri Lanka.

ARUGAM BAY

Imagine a surfing town.  Picturing a laid back town where hammocks outnumber beach chairs?  Imagining a place where Jack Johnson is the music of choice?  That’s Arugam Bay.  Rated by CNN Go as one of the world’s top 50 surf spots, Arugam Bay is what surfing dreams are all about.  Even though the beach is unbelievably great, there are no mega resorts, no nightclubs, and no peddlers.  Just hanging out and surfing.

Honestly, idea of a real-life surfer’s paradise intimidated me.  I imagined huge waves trying to knock me down.  I dreamt up ripped dudes hitting on my wife.  Having no surfing experience I wasn’t sure I even wanted to have a go.  Immediately after arriving I was at ease.  In the main bay, directly in front of the hotels, the waves are perfect for beginners: small, consistent, and not requiring much swimming.  The real surfers head to nearby breaks at sunrise, leaving the beginnings to have their own place to practice.

Best of all, Arugam Bay doesn’t have thumping nightclubs that have overwhelmed the islands of Thailand and Indonesia.  Nights are about hanging out, conversing and kicking back cold beers.  If this is what surfing is all about then a surfer is what I want to be!

Enjoy the stunning sunsets of Sri Lanka with a beer on the beach!  Negombo Beach

NEGOMBO

Negombo Beach doesn’t get the respect it deserves as a magnificent beach.  Used as a convenient place to enter or leave Sri Lanka due to it’s proximity to the international airport, the reality is that it’s a really nice, accessible, beach.  While it isn’t the zen paradise that Arugam Bay is, the comforts offered here will delight more visitors.  From larger, more luxurious, hotels to a plethora of dining choices, this is vacationer’s Sri Lanka.  Instead of just passing through enroute to the airport, stop and enjoy Negombo.

WHEN YOU GO

  1. Have enough time. While tiny, the country of Sri Lanka has a lot to offer, so give yourself time to enjoy.
  2. It’s cheap. Sri Lanka was the cheapest place we’ve gone in two years of travel.  Check out our Sri Lanka Travel Guide to learn about the many wonders of the country, learn travel secrets, and plan your trip!
  3. Get some custom-made board shorts. For less than $20 a pair you can choose fabrics, designs and patterns to have your very own board shorts.  I actually bought two pairs…

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Comments

» Tony K + Steph H :
Nov 10, 2012

Although we are currently experiencing no shortage of beaches here in the Philippines, it is so nice to hear that you guys are enjoying Sri Lanka so much. We no longer know if we will make it to India, but we still really want to visit SL, and it sounds like it is worth it! Our itinerary is always changing, but we were thinking of heading to Indonesia to give surfing a try… but maybe SL will be the place instead! It’s also a nice surprise to hear that you found it so cheap, as most guidebooks complain about how SL is fare more expensive than India and Thailand.

thinkCHUA @ LivingIF Reply:

I can’t tell you that Sri Lanka’s beaches will be better than the Philippines as those beaches are pretty special, but for getting around, variety and learning new things (i.e. kiteboarding and surfing), it’s easy to find in Sri Lanka. Note we were there in the off season, so prices will be higher in prime season, but shouldn’t be near Philippines prices.

» Megan :
Nov 11, 2012

i have seen sri lanka popping up everywhere lately. im taking it as a major sign that i need to get there sooner than later :)

LOCAVORista @ LivingIF Reply:

Megan, definitely get to Sri Lanka ASAP it’s beautiful, cheap and has great food!

» Casi @HeyNoobz :
Jun 19, 2013

Sri Lanka wasn’t even on my radar until recently since I have been trying to find a flight from Bangkok to Europe. Most flights have a stop in Sri Lanka. So I did a little searching around to see what Sri Lanka is like and found your posts. This one in particular (and your food post) is what sold me. Fingers crossed it all works out and we get to stop there for a few days on our way to Europe!
Read Casi @HeyNoobz’s awesome post Part 1 Of Why You Should Immediately Empty Your Bank Account And Go To Bali Right Now

LOCAVORista Reply:

Casi, you won’t regret a stop over in Sri Lanka, don’t miss laid back Arugam Bay and let us know if you like the kottu roti as much as us…oh and don’t miss the Dambulla Caves! You will have a great time!

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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