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Hikkaduwa

Without a doubt, beach lovers visiting Sri Lanka should visit Hikkaduwa, considered the most popular beach resort here. Situated almost 100 km south of Colombo, it is famed for its surf, sand and corals as well as food, festivities and fun! Hikkaduwa is geared towards tourism - there are ample shops selling beach wear, renting bicycles, souvenirs, fabric and jewellery. Also, it has a wide range of accommodation options available, from high end hotels to laidback guesthouses, catering to all budgets, needs and tastes. In keeping with its happening image, it has a vibrant nightlife with bars, restaurants and clubs hosting several beach parties and entertainment festivals.

The highlight of Hikkaduwa however is its beach with a wonderful array of beach and sea activities along 3-4 km. Snorkelling and diving in the clear waters is a popular pastime here - the amazing underwater coral reefs, abundance of colourful species of fish and shipwrecks ensure promising dives. The coral gardens found in Hikkaduwa are considered the most superior in Asia, and the sea up to 200m from the coast is very shallow. If you do not want to swim in the ocean, you can still admire the corals and fish by taking a ride on glass bottomed boats. There are several places that offer diving courses, equipment and suits, so you do not have to worry about this aspect.

Hikkaduwa is also famous for surfing - it is the second best surf spot in the island following Arugam Bay on the east coast. Waves that are ideal for board and body surfing are found a short distance southwards from the reef centre, and range from 4-11 feet. The best time for surfing and other sea activities in Hikkaduwa is during October to April after the monsoon season.

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