Best Travel Time
There are no particularly bad times to travel to Sri Lanka, the time of year just dictates what side of the island you go to. The monsoon season on the west and south side of Sri Lanka lasts from May to September. During this time, the weather is hot and the rain downpours are extreme, the surf is also not as good as there are unfavourable winds every day. Luckily the east side of the island has its best surf conditions and weather through these months. The monsoon season on the east is from October to January.
Air & Water Temperature
The south of the island has an average air temperature of 30°C and water temp of 28°. Once you get away from the coast and into the highlands it can get much colder, with snow even occasionally recorded high up in the mountains. It’s definitely worth taking some warmer clothing if you are planning to explore the inland region.
No wetsuit required, its bikini or boardshorts all day, every day. Booties might be an idea if you are planning on surfing reefs as they can be quite sharp, and have the odd Sea Urchin laying around.
Southwest: November – April
The surf capital of the southwest has plenty of surf shops, surf schools as well as surf spots. There’s beach and reef breaks to cater to every ability level. The beach directly next to the town is perfect for beginners and the ideal place to catch your first waves.
A few minutes away from Hikkaduwa is Benny’s Reef. It’s a left that works well when the swell is between 3-5ft, and caters more to advanced surfers. If you decide to check it out you’ll get the best waves between mid and high tide.
Lazy Left – Midigama
A left point break that breaks over a reef, there is also the odd right that rolls through the other side of the point. The wave suits both beginners and advanced surfers depending on the conditions. If the wind is from the north, and you have around 3-5ft of swell this is a great place to go.
Rams Right – Midigama
Right-hand reef break directly in front of Rams hotel. A little heavier and shallower so definitely better for more advanced surfers. There’s also a great restaurant on the other side of the road called Surf View.
The bay itself is calm and quiet but there is an off-shore reef break that is a bit of a paddle. Definitely for advanced surfers. Works best when the swell is around the 3-5ft.
Idyllic location with both lefts and rights breaking off either edge of the beach. The spots is great for anyone from the total beginner to the seasoned pro.
Small fishing town with a long beach break out front that’s great for beginners. In the middle of the beach is a small island accessible on foot at low tide with a house on it. Off both sides of the island there’s little point breaks that offer long, mellow rides.
Southeast: May – October
Arugam Bay is ‘the’ surf spot in Sri lanka. Its located on the opposite side of the island to Colombo and is accessible with bus or taxi. The beach has countless surf hotels, surf schools, shops, restaurants and bars. At the bay, you can catch both lefts and rights but as you start walking up the beach it turns into a right hand point break.
Is a little north of Arugam bay and is a right-hander that suits every type of surfer. You can get long and mellow waves.
Right-hand point break that’s mellow and perfect for all surfers if the swell is a little smaller.
A short TukTuk ride away, then a little walk down the path and you’re there. Another right-hand point break that is a little less crowded than other spots in the area.
Fast right-hand reef break that is more for advanced surfer. Can hold bigger swell of around 8ft and works best when the wind is from the southeast.
Colombo International Airport (CMB), otherwise known as Bandaranaike, is the only international airport in Sri Lanka. Most airlines fly here, or have partners that fly here. Favourites are Qatar who allow 32 kg of luggage which includes surfboards for no extra charge. Emirates also allows surfboards for free, as long as they are under 2 meters and total luggage is less than 23kg. Most airlines stop in either Qatar or the UAE before flying on to Colombo. Flights usually cost between 550 – 650 € return.
Before travelling to Sri Lanka you need to complete the ‘Sri Lankan Electronic Travel Authorisation’ online, and pay 20 USD for 30 days, or 35 USD for 90 days. You also need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the point of arrival. If you forget to organise your Visa before you leave, you can also do it on arrival, it is more expensive, and takes a long time.
You don’t need any extra vaccinations to visit Sri Lanka. Check with your local travel agency before you depart as this can change.
For up to date travel information you can click here.
So that your trip to Sri Lanka with Pure Surf Camps is a total success we've put together a few tips for your surf vacation:
Try the tea. Sri Lanka is famous for amazing and varied teas, and make sure to leave some space in your bag because you’re going to want to take some home for yourself and as gifts for friends and family. Best bet is to go check out a tea factory and do a tour, then buy it directly from the source. It costs around 10€ for a kg and there are no import restrictions on tea.
Jewellery is another thing you can find plenty of. The quality is amazing and its very cheap. The stones are locally sourced and you can even get pieces custom made. Best to not go to the cheapest street merchant but try one of the local shops.
For short trips the trusty TukTuk is the best way to go. It’s a great way to travel, and most drivers have straps to attach your board to the roof. For longer trips the train through the middle of Sri Lanka is spectacular and there are fun bus trips to be had all over the island. The locals are super friendly and always willing to help you get on and off at the right spot.
Eat with the locals. The food is amazing. You obviously have great curries, but other things you can’t leave without trying are Kottu, Coconut Rotti, String Hoppers and Sambal. The food is spicy, so if you don’t do well with spicy food make sure you let the staff know.
Try and keep enough cash for at least a few days, it can sometimes take a while to find an ATM, especially one that works, or isn’t empty.
Don’t underestimate how spicy the food can get, Sinhalese cuisine is one of the spiciest in the world. The spices are not only added for flavour, but also enable the food to be stored longer by acting as an anti-bacterial.
Know your boundaries in the surf and on land. Don’t paddle straight out at spots you don’t know, in waves that are too big, and don’t run directly into the jungle. Every year around 40 people die in the jungle from elephants, snakes and Leopards. If you want to explore the jungle go with a Safari.
Leave the elephant rides. You’re much better of supporting local Safari companies who show you elephants in their own habitat rather than supporting the companies who usually keep these animals in less than ideal conditions.
Sri Lanka has a mix of religions and depending on what part of the country you are in customs can change slightly. A big portion of the population are Buddhists and there are a few rules you need to follow when visiting temples. When you go, keep shoulders covered, take your shoes off, and don’t wear anything on your head. Also, never take a photo with your back facing a Buddha Statue. The local monks are extremely revered, they are extremely friendly and always willing to help, but are not allowed to be touched, so no shaking hands.
Sri Lanka will not only greet you with warm, tropical weather and great surf, but also stunning landscapes, amazing wildlife, delicious food, a rich history and super friendly locals.
The islands documented history goes back 3,000 years with evidence of pre-historic settlements being found that date back 125,000 years. The location of Sri Lanka, directly south of India, made it an integral part of the silk road and a melting pot of culture and a highly prized bit of property. The Portuguese invaded and took over in the 1500’s, then the Dutch defeated them in the 1600’s, and then, finally, the British came and took it in the 1800’s and named the country Ceylon. In 1948 Sri Lanka became an independent country once again. You can see the influence in the architecture and the people, but Sri Lankan culture, customs and way of life stayed strong through all of this and their people and monuments lasted through all of the wars.
There a variety of religions and people in Sri Lanka. In the south the majority are Buddhist, with most temples and monuments dedicated to the Buddha, and in the north, it is more Hinduism. There is also a big Muslim and Christian population. The two main ethnic groups are the Sinhalese, and the Tamils. This, in a very simplified way, was the cause of the civil war which lasted for 26 years.
The economy in Sri Lanka revolves heavily around tea production in the inland highlands where mountains can reach the 2,500-meter mark. There are also coffee and rubber tree plantations at lower levels. The fishing industry supports a big portion of the coastal population and tourism is becoming an ever-increasing source of income for the country with the end of the civil war. Ayurveda treatments also stem from Sri Lanka and are extremely popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
The people learn English from the 1st year of school so communication is no problem and the infrastructure is also okay, trains are available through a big portion of the country and buses can take you everywhere else. It’s definitely worth dedicating a day to go into the jungle on a safari through one of the many national parks in the country..
Through the International Pure Surf Camps offers we recommend a trip to this tropical paradise from October and April.
Learn to Surf Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has proved itself as the perfect destination for anybody wanting to learn to surf, or just catch great waves, in a tropical paradise. Regardless of what time of year you travel you can find great waves, but the best months for our camps are from October to April, right through the European winter. So not only do you experience amazing culture, eat great food, surf world-class waves and enjoy tropical sunshine, but you also miss out on cold, grey weather back home.
The waves are consistent throughout this time of year and the beaches provide mellow, fun waves that are ideal to learn on. If you head out to the more exposed reefs and point breaks the waves get bigger and more powerful to suit more advanced surfers. The trade winds blow offshore during these months and the Indian Ocean pushes lots of swell up from the southwest so there are glassy waves every day.
Surf Villa Sri Lanka
Unbeatable location directly next to Ahangama Bay. When you’re in the pool you feel as if you can swim right out into the Indian Ocean.
The Villa offers superior suites and a 5-star restaurant which will make your holiday a perfect combination of action out in the water and total relaxation back at the base. There are Yoga classes, spa treatments and massages all available directly through the Surf Villa Sri Lanka.
You also have plenty of options if you want to go out and explore. You can check out the largest animal in the world, the Blue Whale, on locally run whale watching tours. The old fortified seaside town of Galle is also nearby and well worth a trip as is the old hippie village of Mirissa and its beach bars.
Surf Camp Sri Lanka
Surf Camp Sri Lanka is in the southwestern surfer town of Ahangama. You’ll get great waves here during the European winter months, as well as being able to enjoy perfect weather, warm water, white sand beaches and fresh coconuts from the beachside coconut trees.
The first surf session usually hits the water early in the morning before breakfast. After a few hours in the water breakfast consisting of fresh tropical fruit, bread, local delicacies as well as coffee and Ceylon tea will taste even better. Then after breakfast you can catch a TukTuk to the next spot and surf some more.
The team know all the spots and can read the conditions to find a spot that suits your skill level, and the type of surfing you’re going to be doing. You don’t need to make any decisions in the morning, just wake up, throw on some boardshorts or a bikini, and get taken to your perfect waves.
The camp consists of two modern buildings which have been lovingly furnished and have all the comforts of home. The first is the Surf Villa, located directly on the beach, it has a garden area with hammocks and a spa, a large outdoor roofed patio area and spectacular ocean view. The second is the Surf House. This is only a few steps away from the ocean in the township of Ahangama.
At both spots breakfast and dinner is prepared by our onsite chefs and are included in the price. There’s nothing quite like coming back from an exhausting day of surfing to a freshly cooked meal, a stunning view, and a cold drink. You have the choice of Double Rooms and Dorms at both houses and each room always has its own private bathroom.
Close to the camp you have the option to go whale watching and check out Blue Whales, that happen to be the largest animal in the world. You can go to Yale National Park and go on a Safari and see things like elephants, snakes, crocodiles or if you’re lucky a leopard. There are also sea turtle hatcheries, tea plantations, Nature Reserves and endless palm-tree-lined white sand beaches nearby to explore.
Surf Retreat Sri Lanka
Surf Retreat Sri Lanka is for those of you who are looking to combine luxury, with your tropical surf trip. The newly built complex is modern, immaculately designed and comfortably furnished. The retreat sits amongst beautiful natural surroundings on the outskirts of Weligama.
The retreat has a big pool, sun terrace, manicured garden, a spectacular open-air restaurant, and all only 120 meters from the beach. The large range of surf spots available is bound to keep everybody happy. The camp also run 5 days’ worth of surf courses a week. If you’re a little more advanced in the water you can also take part in the Surf Guiding where the team will show you the best spots, give you some local info, then let you catch the waves of your life.
Surf & Yoga
This is the perfect stress-free surf getaway. Everything is organised, delicious food, yoga sessions, surf courses, massage & as many coconuts as you want to drink are included in the accommodation price.
At the camps heart, you have a giant swimming pool, tropical garden and a yoga deck. A small stream runs through the property giving the yoga sessions a picturesque backdrop. The camp is small and intimate only accommodating 10 guests at a time meaning evenings are enjoyed eating together, playing the guitar, enjoying a cold drink and enjoying the tropical weather of Sri Lanka out in the garden under the lanterns in the trees.
Surf House Sri Lanka
Surf House Sri Lanka is right on the Weligama Beach where you have great views and great surf all in tropical conditions. The Weligama Beach break is perfect to catch your first waves and 5 minutes either way you’ll find epic spots for more advanced surfers. Regardless of your skill level after you’re finished your trip you’ll be a much better surfer than when you arrived.
If travel here through the European winter you will arrive when the waves, and weather, are their best. To make your trip even more amazing you have white sand beaches at your doorstep littered with huge Coconut Trees, an amazing nature reserve and tea plantation not too far away, as well as 28°C water.
The Surf House is made up of two parts, the Beach House that is directly on the beach, and a slightly cheaper option which is 100 meters inland. All the rooms are modern, clean, and comfortably furnished. Daily breakfast is included on the rooftop restaurant, where you can also eat dinner with other guests and share a drink together.
There are 2 surf courses, the beginners and advanced, with the team making sure there is no more than 4 students to 1 coach. This means you will advance your surf skills extremely quickly. If you are confident in the water and have a bit of experience under you belt you can choose to take part in the Surf Guiding. The team even have a boat available so you can get to some secret spots that nobody else can access, the boat is also used for the weekly boat trip along the coast which we definitely recommend.
The team offers a Surf & Yoga package where you get 6 surf sessions and 6 yoga classes a week. The camp also offers regular movie nights, table tennis tournaments, trips to the famous Weligama beach parties in their own party bus, or just some casual pool and beach games. Escape next winter by booking a trip to Surf House Sri Lanka!