Surfing Sri Lanka: A Comprehensive Guide


Surfing Sri Lanka offers a unique experience, combining surf safaris in tuk tuks, delicious curries, and fun waves suitable for surfers of all levels. Sri Lanka, a beautiful country with friendly people and stunning landscapes, is the perfect destination for surf enthusiasts. In this guide, we will provide essential information to help you plan your next surf trip to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Travel Basics


The weather in Sri Lanka is typical of a tropical island, with hot and humid conditions. Tropical thunderstorms occasionally provide relief from the heat. To make the most of your surf sessions, it’s advisable to surf in the mornings and evenings to avoid the scorching sun and heat.

Currency and Tipping

The unit of currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee. Tipping is not expected but is appreciated. Some restaurants may add on a service charge, but it’s always recommended to leave around 10 percent of the total bill directly with your server. Tipping tuk-tuk drivers is not necessary unless exceptional service is provided.

Staying Connected

To stay connected, you can purchase a Dialog SIM card at the airport. This SIM card includes 8.5GB of data and 3-4G network coverage. Although using your mobile phone as a hotspot is not allowed, most hotels and restaurants offer free WiFi.

Off-Season Considerations

If you plan to visit during the monsoon season, which is considered the off-season, keep in mind that there will be fewer eating and sleeping options available. Many hotels and restaurants may be closed. However, the weather forecasts in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka are not always accurate, so it’s worth exploring the area even during the monsoon season.

Sri Lanka Surf

Types of Surf Breaks

Sri Lanka offers a variety of surf breaks, including sand bottom points, beach breaks, and reef breaks. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced surfer, there are waves suited to your level. While Sri Lanka doesn’t match the consistency and power of Indonesia, it still provides great waves for surfers of all abilities.

Level of Difficulty

Sri Lanka is an ideal place to learn to surf or to improve your skills. With user-friendly waves and qualified surf instructors, Sri Lanka caters to all experience levels.

Season and Swell Info

There are two main surf hubs in Sri Lanka: the Southwest Coast (Ahangama, Weligama, Hikkaduwa) and the Eastern Province (Arugam Bay). On the Southwest Coast, the best surf conditions are typically from November to April, while the surf season in Arugam Bay is from May to September. Off-season visits may result in fewer available breaks.


Popular breaks in Sri Lanka can be crowded, especially during peak times. However, by exploring different breaks and venturing further away from the main centers, you can find less crowded waves.

Water Temperature

The water temperature in Sri Lanka ranges from 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year. Board shorts and bikinis are suitable attire, but wearing a rash guard for sun protection is recommended.

Getting to the Surf

Hiring a tuk-tuk driver is the easiest way to access the surf spots. Most hotels and resorts can assist in arranging transportation. If you prefer not to use tuk-tuks, it’s important to have an experienced driver due to the chaotic roads in Sri Lanka. Scooter rentals are also available, but caution is advised.

Surf Trip Costs in Sri Lanka

Depending on your budget, there are various accommodation options in Sri Lanka. For low-budget travelers, basic guesthouses and hostels can be found for under $10-$20 USD per night. Mid-range options range from $75 to $150 per night, while luxury options start from $150 per night. Additionally, transportation costs to and from the surf spots should be considered.


Getting around Sri Lanka can be an adventurous experience. Private taxis, buses, and trains are available options for traveling within the country. For surfers, hiring a tuk-tuk driver is recommended due to their familiarity with the surf spots. Renting a car is also possible, but driving in Sri Lanka can be challenging for first-time visitors.

Where to Stay

Sri Lanka offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. From low-budget guesthouses to luxurious villas and surf retreats, there’s something for everyone. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak season.


Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its delicious curries and roti. You’ll find a mix of local dishes and international options at restaurants. Local restaurants offer affordable meals, while mid-range and high-end restaurants provide more diverse dining experiences. Don’t miss the opportunity to try authentic Sri Lankan curries and roti from street vendors.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential when traveling to Sri Lanka, particularly for activities like surfing. Many hotels and surf properties require proof of insurance in case of emergencies or trip cancellations. It’s recommended to choose comprehensive travel insurance that covers surfing and other activities. Companies like battleface and World Nomads provide reliable options.

For more surf travel guides and any additional questions or recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below!

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