Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the hottest surf destinations in South Asia, with an ideal mix of beginner breaks and serious points. This 11-day adventure squeezes in plenty of salty surf days with a dash of culture. After a tour of Kandy and a train ride through tea plantations to Ella, you'll hit the coast for a few days each at two surf meccas: Arugam Bay and Hiriketiya Beach. This itinerary is best between May and October when swells are hitting the east of the island and the Bay of Benegal.


  • Surf at Arugam Bay and Hiriketiya Beach, two of the best spots in Sri Lanka
  • Take in the stunning scenery as you ride a train amid lush tea plantations
  • Tour the cultural capital of Kandy
  • Snorkel with sea turtles at Hiriketiya Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Kandy & Cultural Walking Tour Kandy
Day 2 Train Journey to Ella Ella
Day 3 Transfer to Arugam Bay, Surfing at Arugam Bay Arugam Bay
Day 4 Surfing at Arugam Bay Arugam Bay
Day 5 Surfing at Arugam Bay Arugam Bay
Day 6 Surfing at Pottuvil Point Arugam Bay
Day 7 Transfer to Dikwella, Leisure Day Dikwella
Day 8 Surfing at Hiriketiya Dikwella
Day 9 Snorkeling with Turtles, Surfing at Hiriketiya Dikwella
Day 10 Surfing at Hiriketiya Dikwella
Day 11 Transfer to Colombo, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Colombo, Transfer to Kandy & Cultural Walking Tour

Visit the Royal Palace in Kandy
Beautiful Kandy

Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. On arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality with a private transfer to Kandy, the cultural capital.

Kick off your vacation with a guided tour through the ancient UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings. One highlight is a visit to the Royal Palace, which overlooks serene Lake Kandy and houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha in the Dalada Maligawa ("Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic"). An important pilgrimage site for Buddhists worldwide, the highlights of this complex include a series of shrines, temples, and gardens. Finish with a visit to arts and crafts shops and batik factories, where you can pick up souvenirs before returning to your hotel.

Day 2: Trail Journey to Ella

A rail journey from Nuwara Eliya to the picturesque Ella
A rail journey from Nuwara Eliya to the picturesque Ella

Embark on a train ride from Nuwara Eliya to picturesque Ella. Power down through Sri Lanka's southern hill country, crossing the tea plantations before winding up into the clouds, weaving in and out of the many mountain tunnels on the final descent to Ella. 

If you have time when you arrive, lace up a pair of sturdy shoes and hike to Little Adam's Peak. This memorable climb treks past lush tea estates, waterfalls, and rice fields to reach one of Sri Lanka's highest peaks. Rising 3,743 feet (1,141 m) above the surrounding landscape, the gentle trek up Punchi Sri Pada—often called Little Adam's Peak—rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views across the valleys and fields below.

Day 3: Transfer to Arugam Bay, Surfing at Arugam Bay

Whisky Point
Whisky Point north of Arugam Bay

Seek out the swell at Arugam Bay, considered one of Asia's best surfing destinations. A private driver will transfer you from Ella to the bay area, so sit back, relax, and hope for good waves.

During the surfing season—from May to September—experienced surfers to those just getting their feet wet flock to Arugam Bay to test their skills at any of the surfing points that offer breaks for all levels. There are gentle swells at Pottuvil Point or Peanut Farm for something more challenging. If you're a beginner, head to Whisky Point, north of Arugam Bay. "Mellow" does not do this break justice because the waves at Whisky Point are about as chill as it gets. It's great for beginners, featuring soft, easy-going rights that break off at Boulder Point. 

And when the sun has set, and you've showered the salt away, check out the nightlife or enjoy a quiet seafood dinner between the coconut palms.
Plan your trip to Sri Lanka
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Surfing at Arugam Bay

Duck Dive
Fishing boats on the shore at Arugam Bay

You're in Sri Lanka to surf, so grab an early breakfast and head out to conquer the waves at Main Point. This is the most famous surf spot around Arugam Bay, as it's a classic regional point break that offers a 165-500-foot (50-150 m) ride coming off a series of boulders. The bottom is mixed sand and reef, so most beginners stick to the mini point just behind the main attraction. The only reason to leave the ocean? Lunch.

Day 5: Surfing at Arugam Bay

Arugambay surfing
Enjoy another day perfecting your duck dive

Rise early for another day conquering the bay. After getting to know a few of the breaks yesterday, you'll be clued up on where to go first thing to beat any crowds. Venture back out to your favorite break and lose the day catching waves. When the sun gets low in the sky, return to dry land and seek out the curry houses and beer bars that pump almost as hard as the waves in the peak of summer. 

Day 6: Surfing at Pottuvil Point 

Sri Lankan surfer
Sri Lankan surfer

Famed for its white-sand beaches, Pottuvil Point is every surfer's dream. Expect sweet right-hand breaks and sandy bottoms, ideal for beginners—yet its consistency also makes it attractive to experienced riders. It doesn't hurt that Pottuvil Point occupies a romantic spot on a peninsula sandwiched between the Indian Ocean and a tranquil lagoon.

Despite the scenic locale, the surf crowd thins out toward Pottuvil due to its relative inaccessibility (it requires an hour tuk-tuk ride to get here). Those intrepid enough to make the journey are rewarded with 2,624-foot (800 m) rides from the outside section through to the beach on the inside. The wave tends to double up as it hits a shallow sand bottom at the last section, which will have you hanging on with pure joy. If you can ride this last bit to completion, you'll close out in the bay's shallows—then you can do it all over again.

Day 7: Transfer to Dikwella, Leisure Day

Spend your free time exploring Dikwella's beaches
Spend your free time exploring Dikwella's beaches

Say farewell to Arugam Bay and take a long but easy private transfer to Dikwella on the south coast. After a few busy days in the surf, use today to rest on the shore and soak up this beach paradise. If you can't sit still, go on a  watersports excursion, explore more of the coast, or spend the day at the beach, building sand castles and paddling in the warm waters.

Day 8: Surfing at Hiriketiya

Surfing in the waters of Hiriketiya
Surfing in the waters of Hiriketiya

Two breaks, one beach—that's Hiriketiya Beach in a nutshell. Set in a stunning tropical horseshoe-shaped cove on the far southern edge of Sri Lanka, this laid-back spot is swiftly turning into a surf mecca. It's recently risen from obscurity to a popular pitstop on the Sri Lankan surf trail. And once you see paradise with your own eyes, you'll understand why surfers flock to this bay of sea and coconuts. The beach break offers a chilled ride for beginners to practice all day, while the second is a fast left-hand offering adrenaline-pumping rides above sea urchins and reef.

Day 9: Snorkeling with Turtles, Surfing at Hiriketiya

Snorkeling with Turtles
Snorkeling with Turtles

Dive into the ocean sans surfboard, and come face-to-face with another world. For eager divers and snorkelers, there's a curious underwater world to witness. Close to Hiriketiya Beach, the recently created Nilwella Underwater Gallery features sculptures, structures, and artificial reefs that have been designed to increase local fish numbers and generate more coral reefs. 

Of course, once you're done snorkeling, you can grab your board and head back out to the breaks. In the evening, pop over to Dikwella Beach for a quality cocktail at Smoke & Bitters. This little bar in paradise is rated among the 50 top cocktail bars in all of Asia.

Day 10: Surfing at Hiriketiya

Surfing in the waters of Hiriketiya
Surfing in the waters of Hiriketiya
It's your penultimate day in Sri Lanka, so get out there and carve up the waves. If you've had enough fun at Hiriketiya Beach, check if the swells are pumping nearby Midigama, Kabalana, and Mirissa beaches, where you can expect waves between 2-8 feet (1-2.5 m). Chat with the locals about your skill level, and they'll guide you on where to go for one final surf. Soak up your last vistas of white-sand beaches, fishing boats, coconut palms, and azure blue water before leaving the ocean to find your last fragrant and tart Sri Lankan curry.

Day 11: Transfer to Colombo, Depart

Wave goodbye to beautiful Sri Lanka

Say goodbye to the sunshine, sand, and surf breaks of Sri Lanka—it's time to return home. A driver will collect you from your hotel for the two-hour drive to the international airport in Colombo. Safe travels!

More Great Sri Lanka Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Sri Lanka? Check out these other Sri Lanka itineraries, explore more ways to spend 11 days in Sri Lanka, or discover the best time to visit Sri Lanka.


Map of Surfing Adventure & Culture in Sri Lanka - 11 Days
Map of Surfing Adventure & Culture in Sri Lanka - 11 Days