Our Travel Official Logo


A gem on Sri Lanka’s coastline

Hikkaduwa: A Coastal Gem of Sri Lanka with Stunning Beaches and Vibrant Coral Reefs

It is a coastal town located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 98 kilometers south of Colombo, the capital city. This picturesque town is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and a laid-back atmosphere, making it a popular destination among both locals and international tourists. It’s rich history, diverse marine life, and abundant natural beauty contribute to its allure as a must-visit location in Sri Lanka.

  1. Historical Background:

It has a long and rich history, dating back to the 1st century BC. The town was originally known as “Giri Kande”, which means “Mountain Fort” in Sinhala. It was an important trading port during the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods, and was known for its pearls and spices.

In the 16th century, it was conquered by the Portuguese. They built a fort at the mouth of the Hikkaduwa River, and used the town as a base for their operations in the South. The Portuguese were eventually expelled from Sri Lanka by the Dutch in the 17th century.

The Dutch ruled it for over 150 years. They built a number of churches and other buildings in the town, and also developed the local economy. In the early 19th century, the British took control of Sri Lanka from the Dutch. They continued to develop Hikkaduwa, and it became a popular tourist destination.

In the 1960s, it experienced a tourism boom. This was due to the discovery of the coral reefs off the coast of the town. The reefs are home to a variety of marine life, making them a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. it is also a good place to surf, and there are a number of surf schools in the town.

Today, it is a popular tourist destination. It is known for its beaches, coral reefs, and water sports. The town also has a number of historical and cultural attractions, including the Hikkaduwa Fort, the Dutch Reformed Church, and the Hikkaduwa Temple

  1. Geographical and Environmental Features:

The coastal beauty of it is a result of its geographical location and the Indian Ocean’s influence. The town enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round, making it an ideal beach destination. The lush greenery surrounding the area adds to its appeal, with coconut palms swaying in the breeze and mangrove ecosystems teeming with wildlife.

  1.  Beaches:hikkaduwa

It is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka, known for its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and water sports. There are a number of different beaches to choose from in Hikkaduwa, each with its own unique charm.

Here are some of the most popular beaches :

  • Hikkaduwa Beach: This is the main beach  and it is a great place to relax, swim, and sunbathe. There are also a number of restaurants and bars located on Hikkaduwa Beach.
  • Narigama Beach: This beach is located a short walk from Hikkaduwa Beach, and it is known for its strong waves, making it a popular spot for surfing.
  • Unawatuna Beach: This beach is located about 10 kilometers south of Hikkaduwa, and it is known for its white sand, clear water, and stunning views.
  • Mirissa Beach: This beach is located about 40 kilometers south of Hikkaduwa, and it is known for its whale watching and dolphin watching.
  • Weligama Beach: This beach is located about 50 kilometers south of Hikkaduwa, and it is known for its kitesurfing and windsurfing.

No matter what you are looking for in a beach vacation, you are sure to find it in Hikkaduwa. With its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and water sports, it is a great place to relax, have fun, and explore.

  1. Coral Reefs and Marine Biodiversity:

  • It is home to a variety of coral reefs, including fringing reefs, patch reefs, and barrier reefs.

    Fringing reef

  • These reefs are home to a wide variety of marine life, including fish, invertebrates, algae, and sponges.
  • Some of the most common fish species found in Hikkaduwa reefs include parrotfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, and surgeonfish.
  • Other marine life found in Hikkaduwa reefs includes sea turtles, octopuses, squid, and moray eels.
  • The coral reefs in Hikkaduwa are a popular tourist destination for snorkeling and diving.
  • Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the reefs and the diverse marine life that they support.

However, the coral reefs in Hikkaduwa are facing a number of threats, including climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

  • Climate change is causing the water temperature to rise, which is causing coral bleaching.
  • Pollution from land-based sources, such as agricultural runoff and sewage, can also damage coral reefs.
  • Overfishing is another threat to coral reefs.

It is important to take action to protect the coral reefs in Hikkaduwa. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing pollution, and managing fishing practices

  1. Turtle Conservation Projects:

It is also known for its turtle conservation efforts. Several turtle hatcheries operate in the region, where endangered sea turtles are protected, and their eggs are safely incubated until they hatch. Tourists visiting these hatcheries can witness the conservation efforts and even participate in releasing baby turtles into the sea, contributing to the preservation of these magnificent creatures.

  1. Surfing and Water Sports:

For adventure enthusiasts, It  offers an array of water sports, with surfing being a significant highlight. The town’s waves are ideal for both beginners and experienced surfers, and there are several surf schools and rental shops available for those looking to learn or improve their skills. Other water activities, such as jet-skiing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding, add to the excitement and thrill of visiting Hikkaduwa.

  1. Cultural Attractions:

Beyond its natural beauty, Hikkaduwa boasts a rich cultural heritage. Travelers can explore nearby temples, such as the Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya, which holds historical and religious significance. The temple stands on a small island and is accessible by a short boat ride, offering a unique and spiritual experience.

  1. Local Cuisine:

Sri Lankan cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors and spices, and Hikkaduwa is no exception. Travelers can indulge in a variety of dishes, from fresh seafood delicacies to traditional rice and curry meals. The town’s seafood markets offer an authentic taste of the region, with dishes prepared using locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.

  1. Nightlife and Entertainment:

It comes alive after the sun sets, offering a vibrant nightlife scene. Restaurants, beach bars, and clubs provide a range of entertainment options, from live music to dance floors where visitors can enjoy the company of locals and fellow travelers alike.

  1. Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Awareness:

As tourism continues to grow in Hikkaduwa, efforts are being made to promote sustainable practices and environmental awareness. Local communities and organizations work together to ensure responsible tourism, which includes waste management, conservation of marine life, and initiatives to minimize the impact of tourism on the delicate ecosystems

In addition to its beaches and coral reefs, it also has a number of other attractions, including:

  • The Hikkaduwa Temple, a Buddhist temple dating back to the 17th century
  • The Hikkaduwa Fort, a Portuguese fort built in the 16th century
  • The Dutch Reformed Church, a Dutch church built in the 17th century
  • The Hikkaduwa National Park, a protected area home to a variety of wildlife

It is a lively town with a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also a number of yoga and meditation centers in Hikkaduwa, making it a popular destination for wellness seekers.

If you are looking for a beach vacation with plenty of activities to enjoy, Hikkaduwa is a great option. It is a beautiful place with a lot to offer visitors.

Here are some tips for planning your trip :

  • The best time to visit Hikkaduwa is during the dry season, which runs from November to April.
  • There are a variety of accommodation options available in Hikkaduwa, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious resorts.
  • Be sure to try the local seafood while you are in Hikkaduwa. There are many great restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood dishes.
  • Hikkaduwa is a great place to learn to surf. There are many surf schools in the town offering lessons for all levels of experience.
  • If you are looking for a more relaxing vacation, Hikkaduwa also has a number of spas and wellness centers.