Hikkaduwa - a mesmerizing beach protected by a natural coral reef

Hikkaduwa appears to have been an early tourist destination in Ceylon, for it was reported in 1843 that it “is most pleasantly situated, and a great resort of picnic parties from Galle”. Traditionally associated with the cultivation of coconuts, rice and cinnamon, plumbago mining, and the manufacture of lace and drum frames, Hikkaduwa has emerged as a modern destination for sun seekers and wave worshipers. Many who visit Hikkaduwa are usually sun, sea and wave worshippers. The foreign influx began in the late sixties and before long the town began to bustle with fun-seeking visitors. The Germans were the biggest influence for a long time, and although today many signboards and menus are still in German, the clientele is now much more international. In particular, the number of Australians is rising as the fame of Hikkaduwa as a surfer’s destination grows.

Hikkaduwa is about 98km south of Colombo, is one of the most popular beach resorts of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s only marine sanctuary is located here. Hikkaduwa is the place for underwater delights, where there is a marine sanctuary abundant with rare corals and tropical fish. The underwater world of colorful corals and beautiful schools of fish can be either by snorkeling or taking a ride in a glass bottom boat. It is an ideal place for nature lovers with its abundant corals and tropical fishes. Hikkaduwa offers multifarious options for everyone. It has something to offer everyone, corals for snorkelers; waves for surfers and white pristine beaches for those who want to relax and enjoy the sun and sand.

Watching the sun dip down into the Indian Ocean from Hikkaduwa beach mesmerizes you to explore the place further. You can take a leisurely stroll along the beach and get a feel of Hikkaduwa nightlife. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see local fisherman hauling in their catch or later on at night, a turtle coming ashore to lay her eggs! Glass bottom boats are readily available to view the fantastic variety of tropical fishes and exotic corals. So one can enjoy all the advantages that come with renting a beach-front holiday villa in Hikkaduwa and take everything else at their own pace.

There is only one town by the sea that can boast of some of the best surfing waves in Sri Lanka, a long stretch of beach packed with restaurants serving deliciously fresh seafood, an equally long stretch of souvenir shops for the serious shopper, and guesthouses and hotels galore, from the cheap and cheerful to star-class. Hikkaduwa comprises a number of different areas stretching from north to south. Next is the Wewala area packed full of guesthouses and small restaurants, internet cafes and bars. Finally a little south is Narigama, which is a little quieter but has numerous guesthouses. What makes Hikkaduwa stand out from other resorts is the range of accommodation and shopping and dining options.

Hikkaduwa comes into its own as the premier shopping destination for the backpacker. Clothes are tailored here to western tastes and in western sizes. Jewellery is not of the gaudy golden type, but the more understated silver type with beautiful semi-precious stones. There are dozens or souvenir shops with items from masks and puppets, to shells and corals and from musical instruments to batiks and paintings.

Hikkaduwa by night means food, drink and dance. There is a wide choice of restaurants, offering excellent fresh seafood, lots of other travellers to and talk to, and menus that go beyond rice and curry. Hikkaduwa is the kind of laid-back place that tourists tend to fall in love with. It has all the amenities, no serious hassles, and can offer the perfect beach experience for those who just want to laze, swim, surf and shop through their holiday. It is not a place that would stand out among the resorts of Thailand or India, but it is one of the best places on the coast to relax and enjoy yourself in Sri Lanka.

Hikkaduwa Conch

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