Situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka is the fun coastal town of Hikkaduwa. Almost 20km northwest of Galle and approximately 100km away from Colombo, Hikkaduwa Beach was one of the first beaches to have been discovered in the island, by tourists in 1960. The town is actually located around the main road, which connects Colombo to Galle.
One of the most famous tourist destinations in Galle district, the pristine beach, along with crystal-clear water and the range of water sports and activities available here have successfully captivated the attention of tourists from all over the world.
The 2004 tsunami caused by the earthquake in the Indian Ocean had an adverse effect on this town. Most of the villages near the sea, like Paraliya, Telwatta, Rathgama, and Kahawa were wiped out, while the local people were engulfed by the raging waters, causing immense loss of property and life. But after continuous international help and aid from the Sri Lankan Government, the town is back on its feet, and has recovered completely.
The sandy wide beach has various local shops selling gems, jewellery, masks, antiques, souvenirs etc. Besides the beach, Hikkaduwa is renowned for marine activities like surfing, diving, and snorkeling. The shallow waters of the sea house the best coral gardens found in this part of the world. There is also a Coral Sanctuary, which is concerned with the protection and preservation of the reef. Countless fish, bird and animal species are also present at Hikkaduwa, making it a rich ecological habitat. The nightlife of the town is vibrant, giving travelers a chance to get in touch with locals. The Tsunami Memorial, which was built in memory of those who did not survive the tragic and disastrous incident, is one of the most visited places in Hikkaduwa.
Location: South coast of Sri Lanka, 20km from Galle, 98km from Colombo
How to get there: Regular trains and buses ply the road between Galle and Hikkaduwa; besides private vehicles can be hired.