Hikkaduwa Beach is an attractive stretch of golden sand which is idael for snorkeling, surfing, and more, plus it is a great place to unwind and explore. It has been a hotspot for backpackers since the 1970s, and although it has seen some development it still remains laid back and welcoming.
The waves here can be up to three meters high between November and March, putting it firmly on the travelling surfer’s itenerary. When the sea is calmer there is good snorkelling to be had. Sea turtles are often spotted out by the reef just off the beach. If you don’t manage to see any you can visit the sea turtle hatchery where babies are hatched to make sure that they don’t wind up in the nets of fishermen.
Nearby Hikkaduwa is a Tsunami Museum where you can read firsthand accounts and see photogrpahs of that fateful day in 2004 and its aftermath. Visiting almost feels like paying your respects to all those who perished. There is also a giant Buddha that was donated from Japan after the tsunami.
Another day trip is to Rathgama Lake where you can try a dugout canoe and paddle over to the islands where the hermit monks live. In Hikkaduwa there’s also shopping and dining, and you can visit a silk factory in which you can see the silkworms spinning.
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