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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 exciting things to do in Hikkaduwa – Explore all that Hikkaduwa has to offer!
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 exciting things to do in Hikkaduwa – Explore all that Hikkaduwa has to offer!

A South-Western coastal town in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa has long been known as a holiday destination. From coral reefs, to strong surfs, and national parks, here are 6 exciting things to do in Hikkaduwa.


Go surfing

Go surfing

Hikkaduwa is well-known as a surfer's spot – it's no Bali but it does afford some pretty decent waves for beginners and intermediate surfers. The town is full of surf schools where you can get instructions from a local guide, or you can simply rent out a board from any of the beachfront surf shacks for as little as Rs.800 for a full day's use. Once you feel up to it, have some fun out on the waves and get some exercise while you're at it.


Go digging for moonstones

If you've been travelling around the island, you've surely had a glimpse of some really gorgeous moonstones on display at numerous jewellers. Just 7 kilometres away from the scenic Hikkaduwa coast are the moonstone mines, where you can watch miners descend down muddy holes, sometimes 6 to 7 meters deep in search of moonstones. The stones have been mined the same way for centuries in this sweltering forest. The precious stones are cut and polished at the mines before they are sold to gem corporations and private buyers.


Explore the coral reefs

The Hikkaduwa National Park is a sanctuary for marine life and coral reefs that stretch out for kilometres along the coast. The mass of corals is home to shoals of colourful fish, marine plants and crustaceans and can be explored by either snorkelling among the reefs or taking a glass-bottomed boat. Snorkelling equipment can easily be found at any one of the Hikkaduwa hotels along the beachfront, Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon, for instance.


Boating on the Hikkaduwa Lake

The murky waters of the Hikkaduwa Lake are home to lazy monitor lizards and several colourful bird species such as kingfishers and herons. Boat excursions are a great way to explore the lake and its surroundings, plus you get to see another side of the town away from the beach. Ask around for any number of boat tours that are available, and in addition, you can also try your hand at kayaking around the lake if you're feeling brave


Visit the Seenigama Vihara

Just 2 kilometres outside of Hikkaduwa, perched on a small island off the coast, is the Seenigama Vihara, a Buddhist temple where people go to seek vengeance from theft. Strange as it may sound, a lot of people do go there seeking retribution against thieves by saying prayers and buying a special oil made from crushed peppers and chillies. According to the custom, once you reach home, you light a lamp with the oil and recite a mantra. Eventual the thief will be caught once they are struck down by some kind of misfortune. Whether you believe it or not, it's an interesting little island to visit.


Go Whale watching

Go Whale watching

Further south of Hikkaduwa is the town of Mirrisa, where you can hop on a boat and head out to sea in search of dolphins and whales. Spinner dolphins are the most looked forward to as they are not at all shy of the boats and have been known to perform aerobatics – jumping high out of the water close to the boats. Depending on the season, you may also spot sperm whales and the reclusive blue whales.

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