Tourist’s guide to Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka -a detailed overview

This beach in the 70s of the last century was a favorite place for hippies and since then for almost half a century Hikkaduwa (Sri Lanka) has been popular as a resort and a great place for surfing. Sprawling along the coast of the Indian Ocean, a small Sri Lankan town was badly damaged by the tsunami in 2004. It had to be rebuilt almost anew, but now the entire infrastructure has been restored, and the population, as before, is focused on serving tourists and almost everything is involved in this industry.

Hikkaduwa Beach Sunset

General information and how to get from Colombo airport

Monument to the victims of the tsunami, Hikkaduwa
Tsunami Honganji Vihara

In the resort town on the south coast of the island now lives a little more than 100 thousand people. And about those sad days reminds a monument at the entrance and white ribbons that local residents knit on the trees next to it, in memory of the victims.

From Colombo to Hikkaduwa about 100 km, the administrative center of Halle is 17 km. Through the whole city, parallel to the first coastline, highway A2 passes – the noisy and busy Galle Road, along which the whole life of the resort was built. The Colombo-Mattara railway, which connects the capital with the southernmost point of the island, passes very close by.

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From Colombo Bandaranaike Airport to Hikkaduwa 140 km, can be reached by car, bus, train and combined ways.

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Taxis are fast but expensive
Taxi at Colombo Airport, Sri Lanka

The fastest and most comfortable option, but also the most expensive – 11500 rupees ($ 75), if you take a taxi at the airport. This cost is fixed for all taxis near the terminal desk. With private taxi drivers you can bargain and the trip will be slightly cheaper – $ 55-60.

Ordering a transfer to Sri Lanka via the Internet will cost a little more, but at the airport customers will be met with a sign and delivered to the indicated place. A minivan for a company of tourists (6-13 people) is cheaper (per 1 person).

Bus and train – longer but budget
Minibus 187 from Colombo

First you need to get to Colombo by bus number 187, the ticket costs 110 rupees, the journey time is about an hour. In Colombo, before reaching the terminal station of Colombo Fort, get off at the bus station near the Petah Market – Bas Station stop. There, change to any bus going in the direction of Halle, Mattara or Tangall. They all follow through Hikkaduwa, departing at intervals of 15 minutes. The ticket price is 130-300 rupees and depends on the comfort of the bus. The path will take 2-3 hours. In Hikkaduwa, get off at the main bus station or at the stop you need in the resort area along the main road.

Combined option : take the number 187 bus from the airport to the terminal station of Colombo Fort and catch the train there. The cheapest ticket costs about 85 rupees, in the 2nd grade -160 rupees, on the way 1.5-2 hours. Trains run less frequently than buses, but there are up to ten flights in any season. They all stop in the northern part of the resort (railway station Hikkaduwa), and three trains a day in the south (railway station Thiranagama).

Railway station Colombo Fort
Railway station Colombo Fort

The timetable and current ticket prices can be found on the website of the Sri Lankan Railways

Train schedule from Colombo to Hikkaduwa

Trains in the daytime can be jam-packed here, people are standing in vestibules and hanging on handrails. But after 17 o’clock. evenings are almost empty. Therefore, before choosing this option, you need to weigh the pros and cons of such a decision.


At the dawn of its glory, this Sri Lankan resort was considered the most democratic and cheapest. In the last decade, Hikkaduwa has gained some respectability, many new hotels are being built here, but at the same time, the old opportunities of this affordable holiday destination are preserved. The resort is not perfect in everything, but admirers of this coast come back here year after year.

Where to stay
2 ** hotel Hotel Thai Lanka
Hotel Thai Lanka

There are a lot of hotels, guesthouses, wonderful villas and apartments for every taste and every cost in Hikaduwa, housing in any season can be found both “star” and budget – from $ 30 to $ 300 for 1 night. True, very often (but not always) the star rating of the local hotels by European standards can be relatively arbitrary: a four-star hotel in terms of quality and quality of services will not reach 2 **, and quite the opposite. However, at Bucking, among the three and a half hundred hotels in Hikkaduwa, you can find five-star hotels.

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Food – Cafe, Market

The rest of Hikkaduwa’s infrastructure is also quite developed: along the beach line and on the opposite side there are many cafes, restaurants, shops and souvenir shops. Our tourists have a popular cafe, in which those who miss their homes can enjoy borsch with meatballs, pancakes, and cheesecakes. And in the cafe with the Sri Lankan cuisine “Rotti” (there are several of them on the main street), you will try a signature dish with the same name and other delicious local food.

Rotti as a quick snack

Rotti sold everywhere, it’s like a quick snack. You can eat in a cafe, you can take with you. They are pancakes made of thin-thin dough. The filling may be the most unexpected – seafood and finely chopped chicken, vegetables, bananas with chocolate.

In the tourist cafes you can have breakfast for $ 5-7, and lunch or dinner will cost $ 10-15. Prices in cafes where local people eat are much lower, but the level of service there is corresponding – often these are ordinary eateries.

Interesting design and tasty food in:

Top Secret Cafe Interior
Top secret beach bar
  • Top Secret approximately in the middle of Narigama beach (sofas with pillows, hookah)
  • Cafe Den (at the Hotel Time N Tide),
  • and Cool Spot – across the street from the Hikka Tranz Hotel. Here the prices are reasonable for tourist cafes.

In Sri Lanka, delicious bananas (short and thick), mango, coconut, watermelon, avocado. There is no very large variety of exotic fruits.

You can buy vegetables, fruits and fish in the local market under the roof, which is located almost immediately at the entrance to the city from Colombo, next to the bus station – on the right side of the road (the mark is on the map at the bottom of the page). Near a gas station and a bank.

The market works from the very early morning, and after 10 hours, fresh fish may not be available.

Prices on the page are for April 2018.

What else is there in Hikkaduwa
Surf School Surf Lanka Me Camp
Surf Lanka Me Camp

There are many massage and Ayurvedic rooms in Hikkaduwa, and in every large hotel there is a surf school. The ocean in this place for surfers is just a find, it rarely looks like a mirror even in the most calm months. Tuition costs 2000 rupees per hour / 7000 per day or $ 13 / $ 45 per (as of February 2018).

In this town of Sri Lanka, an uncountable number of skilled tailors – after the disaster, within the framework of state assistance to the injured families, they were given sewing machines and sewing studios at every step. In the shortest time you can sew custom-made and inexpensive shorts, a panama hat, shirts or trousers.

Souvenir shop in Hikkaduwa

There are a lot of souvenir shops on the main street of Hikkaduwa, souvenirs are common in this region of resort countries and may even have a Chinese or Indian “pedigree”. The original souvenir from Sri Lanka will be a hand-made mask, and sellers will tell you which of them is the “mask of luck”, which is the “health mask”, etc. For very little money you can buy small souvenirs made of red or red in Hikkaduwa black (ebony) tree.

Weather and climate, when it is better to relax

Sri Lanka is a country of eternal summer, because the temperature here during the day never drops below 30 degrees, at night it never drops below 20, and the water in any season, like fresh milk, does not cool more than 25⁰C.

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka, the weather for a month.

Indicators Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Saint Oct Nov Dec
t ⁰ C in the afternoon 31.5 31.7 32.6 32.1 31.1 30,2 30,0 30,0 30.1 31,0 31,4 31.6
t ⁰ C at night 24.3 24.2 25.1 26.7 27.3 26.9 26.5 26,4 26.3 26,4 25.7 24.9
t ⁰ C water 27.8 28,2 29.3 29.9 29.1 28,2 27.5 27.7 28.0 28.6 29th 28,4
Sunny days nineteen 17 21 sixteen 6 3 5 5 4 12 14 sixteen
Daylight hours 11.8 11.9 12.1 12,2 12.3 12.3 12,4 12.3 12,2 12 11.9 11.8
Rainy days 6 6 8 8 fifteen 17 eighteen nineteen eighteen eleven eleven 10
Precipitation, mm 68.1 73,4 94.4 108.3 215.9 202.8 222.4 333.8 245.1 155.5 124.9 110.5

So definitions like “the warmest and the coldest” for this place on earth are very relative, if you look at the data in the table. Indeed, only the values ​​in the second part differ in months: the amount of precipitation and sunny and rainy days.

Hikkaduwa in March

Nevertheless: the warmest month in the resort is March, and it is the warmest day and night this month; and the sea is the warmest in Hikkaduwa over many years of observation in April. A few tenths of a degree lower than the temperature of air and water in February and April.

Well, the coldest months are our summer: July, August and the velvet season on our seas is September. The average daily temperature in Hikkaduwa at this time “drops” to 30⁰C. These three months are the rainiest and windiest in the resort. It rains 18-19 days a month, and the wind reaches at this time, almost 6 m / s.

It's raining in Hikkaduwa market

And the sunniest months are January, February and March, the sun in the sky at this time shines 17-21 days. Least of all the sun peeps in the last spring, first autumn month and all summer. From May to September, only 3-6 sunny days a month happen on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, it rains. And although they are warm, very short-lived, they are constant throughout the day. It is this time that is considered to be the “low season”. Deserted beaches and resort beach life in Hikkaduwa is not so active.

The weather is ideal for a beach holiday from November to April, at this time and the largest influx of tourists. It’s hot during the day, and fresher in the evening, the ocean no longer worries, and not as usual, throws waves, you can swim almost all the time. White clean soft sand, azure obscene sky and water, green palm trees – this is how the photos from the Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka resort look in the high season.

You will be interested in: Tangalle – relaxation on beautiful beaches with high waves .

City transport and transport links with other cities

Hikkaduwa Bus Station

The resort is stretched along the coast for more than 5 km, but city buses do not go inland either along the coastal line or along the eastern part of the city – they simply do not exist. But there is a bus station and bus stops, all intercity buses stopping on the highway stop at them, and tourists resting in Hikkaduwa can take advantage of this circumstance when moving around the city or between the beaches.

Knock knock in Hikkaduwa

Other methods of moving around the city and sightseeing in Hikkaduwa and the surrounding area:

  • Taxi, knock-knock (there is no such thing as a counter here, everything is on a contractual basis)
  • Bicycle (20 rupees / hour or two hundred a day for old models, and 300-350 rupees for a good new one)
  • Motobike (700 rupees and more per day)

There are rental points in Hikkaduwa everywhere, but they open almost by noon, so if you want to go somewhere from the hotel in the morning, you need to rent a transport in the evening.

And many enjoy walking around the city and along wonderful endless beaches that sometimes seem deserted. After all, on the way you can meet and see so many things unexpected and interesting!

Beaches in Hikkaduwa

The beach line here is long, but there are only two beaches with the official name: approximately 1.5 km stretches Hikkaduwa Beach (Hikkaduwa Beach) in the northern part of the town and long, about 4 kilometers Narigama Beach (Narigama) .

Hikkaduwa Beach

Almost every 200-300 meters of the coastline differ in their characteristics and have their own recognizable sights, which are visited by tourists. What places on Hikkaduwa beach are most suitable for swimming in the midst of the season – January and February, and what can be seen here unusual?

Hikkaduwa Beach

To begin with, the sand along the entire kilometer-long coastline is clean, light, the color of coffee with milk and soft. Palm trees almost everywhere separate cafes, hotels and guesthouses from the coast, and grow on the territory of hotels, too. Palm trees, like surfing, are a distinctive feature and a visiting card of Sri Lanka and Hikkaduwa, and photos of tourists resting on these beaches abound in them to the fullest.

Beach at the Blue Note Hotel
Beach at the Blue Note Hotel
Hotel blue note

Here, warm and clear water and a gentle beach, there are no stones and sharp shells. You can see small newborn turtles that flock and individually run into the ocean.

Beach in the bay

The most popular place in January-April for tourists with children. There are almost always no waves. It is crowded during the day, and very comfortable in the morning.

Beach near fishing boats

It is a beautiful place, has its own exotic, fishermen and photographers love it, but most often the local population bathes here, and tourists go around it and move on: the smell of kerosene is heard from the accumulation of boats in the air.

A shallow beach near a coral reef
A shallow beach near a coral reef

A little further there is a coral reef, here you can swim and watch the colorful fish that flock in the bottom. Through a mask or just wearing glasses for swimming, it is interesting to look at this colorfulness at a shallow depth, or you can just swim without them without a mask. Occupation enthralls both children and adults. Small children from shallow water feed these flocks with bread crumbs and also swim with pleasure among the fish. There are several such tiny pools formed by the natural line of reefs.

Sea Turtle Beach (Turtle Beach)

A unique place near the Hikka Tranz hotel, where you can see huge sea turtles almost on the shore. There is no full swimming here, there is a big reef nearby, but playing on the Hikkaduwa beach with turtles in the water you swell a lot. They sail here every day in the morning and swim in the sea in the evening. Turtles are stroked, fed with algae and grass, daredevils dive under them in the hope of shooting unique shots on their cameras.

On the beach, sea turtles

But beginners need to be careful – these pretty tortillas have impressive jaws.

And you can swim on the beach of this hotel, it is also the public beach of Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka. The Coral Rock by Bansei is only a line of palm trees from the coast. Although the water here seems calm, there is a danger of reef currents, and it often happens that careless bathers are brought to shore by rescuers.

In the central part of Hikkaduwa Beach, all restaurants and cafes are open during the day, a lot of noise and music. Further to the south, the beach becomes wider, the coast opens to all the winds.

See also: Trincomalee – a resort in the east of Sri Lanka with local flavor .

Narigama Beach

In the widest place (approximately in the middle of the beach, after 2 km from Hikka Tranz) the sand strip reaches 100 meters, people become smaller and further the beach is almost deserted for several kilometers. The waves hit the shore with increasing force. There are surf schools and people with whiteboards under their arms going to test themselves by the ocean.

Narigama Beach in the morning

In the morning, in addition to surfers, you can find here meditators on the shore of a group of yogis or single yogis, children and adults playing badminton. In the evening, coastal cafes are filled with diners and sunset-loving tourists and locals.

Night life

Compared to other resorts in Sri Lanka, it is believed that in Hikkaduwa nightlife is in full swing. And in fact, there are some good night bars that have parties on the beach, right on the beach. Of course, these clubs can not be compared with nightlife, for example, in Thailand, but if your hotel or guesthouse is somewhere nearby, and you are not a walker to nightlife, then you won’t fall asleep until the morning.

Bar-disco Fanky de Bar
Fanky de bar

Popular discotheque bars that run until late at night have their fans, their own websites and pages on Instagram on Facebook: these are Vibration, Mambo’s and Fanky de Bar. There are two famous night-time restaurants on the coast with Sri Lankan and European cuisine and good music: Harbor and Yula.

What else to do

Shinigama Vihara Temple on the Island
Shinigama Vihara

In addition to turtles, colorful fish on a coral reef and the beach itself, there are no particularly important and significant attractions in Hikkaduwa. And if you are not a fan of surfing, but want to stay in this place longer and get to know it better, then you can rent a bike or bicycle and travel around the area. Such a walk will be pleasant and useful in every sense. Visit the museum and temple of tsunami victims, other local temples (the most interesting is Shinigama Vihara).

Fort Galle
Galle fort

You can go for a day on your own to Fort Galle (the object is on the World Heritage List), Ambalangonda with its famous museum of masks , or the resort of Bentota and another beach resort with beaches without waves – Unawatuna . Such day trips are not very expensive.

If you want to get to the ancient cities of Kirinda and Tissama, to the pilgrimage town of Kataragama or national reserves in Udavalava or Yala , to Kandy or Sigiriya, then such trips are best made through a travel agency, renting a car with a driver. Of course, well guided by the terrain and knowing how to get to these places of Sri Lanka, you can go on an excursion on your own, using public transport. And take a camera with you everywhere, a photo is something that always extends the memories of our beautiful travels.

Sunset in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

The sound of the waves and beautiful sunsets, the gentle wind, the stars in the high night sky, real Ceylon tea and a huge selection of seafood – many return here more than once. Because Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to relax at almost any time of the year! And although there is no chic of some other marine island and famous resorts, but already in the first days it is simply impossible to take your eyes off the ocean and the endless line of beaches. And at the end of the holiday for the romantics (and not only them) this place seems to be the best on the planet!

Hikkaduwa beaches and infrastructure are marked on the map in Russian.

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