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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Places in Sri Lanka for Adventurous Holiday with Water Sports -Soaking in the sun, sand, and sea

Water sports in Sri Lanka is a given as it is an island with the Indian Ocean all around it. While the sea is ever present, there are some areas that are better than others for water activities.



Bentota is located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, close to the popular tourist city Galle. This is an ideal location for a family vacation, where plenty of water sports can be enjoyed as well. You have jet skiing, banana boat riding, knee boarding, and whatnot in Bentota itself while venturing a few km away from it will bring you to ideal locations for surfing. You will find plenty of restaurants, a number of B&Bs, and many a beach hotel. Sri Lanka prides itself on its sun, sand, and the sea – Bentota being an ideal candidate to prove this point in the luxury of star class hotels.

The problem with the area being a major tourist destination is that it is often crowded. You are unlikely to have the beach to yourself under any circumstance. Even if you are to visit during the offseason, at least a few dozen visitors will be in the sea, along with you.



Another southern coast wonder with water sports, Hikkaduwa is more popular for its waves and the corals. You can snorkel here, as there are plenty of shallow regions protected by natural reefs. There are ideal spots for surfing as well, where the waves rise three to nine meters. There is no particular time to visit Hikkaduwa, though, and you are welcome here anytime. What sets Hikkaduwa – or "Hikka" as it is commonly known – is the crowd. It is less of a family destination and more of a hipster/backpacker one. You will find plenty of youngsters walking the beach carrying surfboards, while some others would be lounging under the shade of a palm tree until night falls.

The nightlife in Hikka is a scene unto itself. There are wild parties on the beach, dancing til the break of dawn, and special music festivals organized annually. If you are looking for a bit of fun mingled with the adrenaline rush of watersports, Hikkaduwa is the place for you.


Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is located on the eastern coast of the island. It is the most sought after destination for surfing, with massive breaks and perfect solitude. The lack of star class hotels and highly developed infrastructure means that not as many people would come to Arugam Bay as they would to Hikkaduwa. Thus, this destination offers a lot of peace and tranquillity to surf or snorkel.

Diving is also a popular activity here, as there are many shipwrecks to explore in the nearby waters.



Located only a few km away from the airport, Negombo is a city on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It has an array of star class hotels by the beach, as well as numerous rest houses and guesthouses. The sea at Negambo is ideal for family fun such as jet skiing, banana boat riding, or even boat excursions. Certain hotels like Jetwing Lagoon offer special training for these activities so that you can try them out even if you are completely new to the arena of water sports.

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