Arugam Bay
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles435 reviews
Excellent
225
Very good
130
Average
38
Poor
21
Terrible
21

544max
Colombo, Sri Lanka2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
As I read here there are many people having had trouble renting a board at Hasan surfshop so I decided also to share my experience. Seems to be Hasan's business strategy to charge people extrem high prices for board repair in case of damage to a rented board. I was charged 3000 for a 1 cm scratch and my friend 7000 for a small cut as well. When we tried to negociate he became very agressive saying that if we dont pay now we should repair it on our own and if the board wasnt ready the next morning he would charge an extra day board rental. He did not even want to give the passport back in the end. There are many otherboard shops so dont rent your board at this location! You are never sure not to damage a rented board and hasan will try to make you pay even for superficial scratches. He also tried to charge a guy in my hostel for a damage that was done by another person before who also had already payed for it. Just mind this shop to keep free from trouble!
Written September 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

835chuckieh
South Africa98 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016
If you like over crowded breaks, local surfers who have no concept of surf culture or etiquette, learners with Mini-Mals sitting at the peak bailing their boards, reef cuts that get infected from disgusting bacteria ridden water and the fattest laziest wave you'll ever surf, then Arugam Bay may just be the spot for you.

On my first night arriving at my hotel I was offered Marijuana and Cocaine and if that was not enough of a shock, the all night parties on the beach with thumping dance music that goes on until 7am in the morning (despite only a few locals remaining) sure did the trick.

Its hard to find anything good to say about Arugam Bay, other than that the food is cheap and there are some genuinely nice locals (those that don't surf or operate in the local Tuk Tuk mafia).

Take my advice if you have any sense between your ears, take your hard earned money and spend it on another country and go somewhere decent, this place is overrated and a complete crap hole to surf.
Written July 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SunMountains111
Colombo3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
Hasan Surf House in Arugum Bay charged me 9,000 rupees for damage to a surfboard. When I said that was way too expensive he started threatening me. When I said I would go to the police he threatened me even more ... saying it would cost me much more and that he know how to get money from me because he is Sri Lankan. When I appealed to the Australian owner of the shop he just cursed at me and said he does not deal with people he let's his manager do that (threat and extort). Please be careful.
BTW, the prices for food and lodging are way too expensive for what you get there.
Written September 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Clare F
London, England, United Kingdom3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Friends
I travelled from Colombo - Negombo - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Arugam Bay(stopping in Ella for the fantastic view!) - Galle - Yala National Park (Overnight safari) - Galle - Colombo in 16 days. (I spent one whole week in Galle though)

Things I would HIGHLY recommend:
- Taking the train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya - I could have stayed on it all day - the view was INCREDIBLE!
-Stopping in Ella - but you really only need a stop for lunch to appreciate the stunning views.
- Staying at 'Hideaway' in Arugam Bay. BY FAR the best place I stayed on this trip (apart from my friend's Villa in Galle - but unless we have the same friend you won't find anywhere more welcoming/clean/friendly and helpful as this place. On a travellers budget, of course. Although saying that I did stay in some high end hotels and I still would put 'Hideaway' up there!) We had an air conditioned room, which was perfect. The staff were so very friendly (not overly so though - afterall, I am English! ;-)). The food was excellent! It is run by a Sri Lankan lady who appears to know exactly what the good things in life are. Somewhere chilled to relax, clean and with great service. I am a real foodie, so that fresh food was a real hit for me. She also gave us some excellent tips.
-Safari - we saw a leopard - I was over the moon! This however can be really hit and miss.

I drew on quite a lot of reviews before I went travelling so wanted to provide something vaguely useful too.

If I were to do this trip again I would probably miss out Negombo and spend a bit more time in the Hill Country. I enjoy a good view and a nice beach and this holiday had exactly that.

In a bid to manage your expectations however be ware that Sri Lanka is not easy to travel around. The best way is to hire a driver. But you do need to haggle. This is an expensive way to travel, and often hair-raising - apparently the best time to over take on the road in Sri Lanka is on a corner!!

Try:
Hoppers
String Hoppers
anything coconut related
all curries
Fruit on the train

Beware:
Street food (just take extra precaution)

Enjoy!
Written June 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chamindu Weerasinghe
Sri Lanka32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Most cherished of all my memories had attached to the last trip we made to arugam bay with my family.
The best place for surfing is not the arugambay, best one is called peanut farm. If you wish to go to peanut farm better ask from local tuk tuk driver. It is located 1km away from arugambay, towards panama side. There is700m off road ride, but my hybrid prius made it without any damage. Better to unload all passengers and drive. My advice is to go there with your own vehicle. Don't take tuk tuk. They are unreliable and take 15-20USD. it is not fit for that price. If you want to see pictures. .. you can contact me or check my Facebook. .. If you are planning to go eastern part of sri lanka, this is a place to not to miss.....
Written September 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vanessa P
20 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Serious safety incident
Jun 2018 • Solo
Happens in arugam bay between the main point and elephant rock.
be careful this message is to warn that what happened to me happens 3 days ago because it's just terrible. I was alone, just going to walk on the beach between the main point surf and elephant rock and i was literally attacked by a naked man on the beach. he appeared from the bush I realized that he was naked, and he began to masturbate in front of me and pushed me into the sand. I struggled with all my forces, screaming, but nobody was near. I managed to save myself, I do not know how. the fear of my life. never walk alone in this part. more people from the village unfortunately and the police etc. try to hide everything. this village was great until this moment i was in love with the place. NEVER go alone girls and wherever you go be vigilant. men are not all good. I have been traveling for 9 months I never thought it could happen. in broad daylight at 1:30. in short, be very alert and stay where there are people. I even tried to talk to a rescuer when I joined a part of the beach where there were people and he ignored me despite panic, crying, trauma etc. be careful
even in the popular part of the beach a sheet seller started to touch me seeing me pass on the beach.
Becaful a lot.
Written June 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Siv_and_Keddy
London, UK92 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Serious safety incident
Sep 2018 • Couples
My partner and I have visited Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka a few times as he is a surfer. We found the town very commercial, very catered for tourists - which is fine. There are some lovely restaurants with great local food dishes and some really nice (basic) rooms. Many facilities here are overpriced because of this being a tourist hotspot, but that is to be expected.

Tuk Tuk drivers can be very full on - and annoying - when they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer and they overcharge horrendously. Most places are in walking distance so don’t give in to the pressure unless you need to go out of town. It’s cheaper to hire a bike or moped for those journeys.

What is truly awful, however, is I was groped on the main part of the beach by some young local lads. They came over, looking like they want to shake hands and welcome us. One shook my hand and then grabbed my chest, before laughing and walking away. It was disgusting, I was shocked and distressed and didn’t know what to do. They were old enough to know better and at the end of the day, they just freely sexually assaulted someone in broad daylight!

I was already feeling uncomfortable as the men tend to leer and watch tourist women very closely - and I’m not meaning when they’re in bikinis or swimwear. Just generally. So this is a warning to girls and women - please take care, avoid being out alone and especially walking on the beach or when it’s dark. It really isn’t a pleasant experience and is treated as a joke by the men doing this.
Written May 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma-lee P
Sydney, Australia27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017
Ladies, I have found a place which stocks tampons! As I've been travelling for a few months it's become apparent that tampons are very rare. So to help the women out that are in desperate need, arugam bay in the centre has a supermarket, called food (something) can't recall but they stock tampons. Of course for an extortionate price (980 Rupee) but, if in need this will be your life saver haha. Hope fully this helps!
...It's in the centre across from a hostel, next to an Aussie swimwear store. They are near the counter.
Cheers
Written June 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

124bella
Coffs Harbour, Australia3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Friends
I've visited Arugam Bay multiple times before and always had an amazing time surfing with friends, relaxing and exploring the local beaches and surf breaks. However, i recently visited Arugam Bay with 2 other friends and we had some issues with taking our boards to local surf spots via tuk tuk. Being three girls we felt safer travelling together in one tuk tuk with our boards as opposed to two of us travelling together and one alone. We were told however that we weren't allowed to take all three of our boards on the tuk tuk and the rule was only three! We found this rule quite bizarre considering a tuk tuk is made to seat three people. We were extremely frustrated and feel that if this continues to happen in the future then there will be many more upset tourists and after all Arugam Bay thrives on tourism!
Written April 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lasantha D
Lasantha D
Negombo, Sri Lanka90 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Solo
Arugam Bay is one of worlds to ten surfing points. Therefor so many surfing loved tourists visit Arugam Bay in every season. The main season for Augam Bay is from May to November when the predominant wind is offshore for at least the first half of the day.
Arugam Bay is situated about 350 Km away to the east coast of Sri Lanka from the Katunayeka Bandaranayeka International Airport. There are two three different ways to travel there. One easy road is from Airport to Colombo and then to Rathnapura. From Rathanapura to Kolabageara and through Udawalawa Dam to Thanamalwilla then turn towards Wallawaya after Turn towards Monaragala and then Siyabalanduwa now proceeds to Potuwill.
The other road is through Rathnapura and Ella, Wallawaya to Manaragala. This is very scenic road and there are lots of eye catching views to stop.
Also the other remaining ways are From airport to Awissawella, Hatton, Nuwara Eliya through to Monaragala and then Arugam Bay. This road also has lot of breath taking views to see but rather mountainous road so it is harder to drive.
If you are travelling in night leave the 2nd and 3rd ways use the 1st road. It is much safer and confortable.
Written July 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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