Sri Lanka has a diversified landscape from place to place and the most fabulous part of it is indeed the seaside. Mountains, plains, and slopes do no less, but coastal areas get more attraction for the particular reason of the country being an island. It is a plus point when it comes to the tourism field as well since islands are one of the most preferred landmarks of travelers. However, among these spectacular coasts in Sri Lanka, extending around, starting from Pedro Point to Dondra Point, Hikkaduwa earns a special position. It is like, when the locals hear the name Hikkaduwa, they cannot resist visiting it.
However, you may wonder now what is so special about a random coast on an island.
Keep calm, and continue reading about this wonderful coastal town, ‘Hikka’ – as the locals call it, and the things that one can experience visiting there.
Where is Hikkaduwa?
Hikkaduwa is a beautiful town located on the South Coast of Sri Lanka and belongs to the Galle district of the Southern Province. It is located about 17 km northwest of Galle, the capital of Southern Sri Lanka, and 98 km south of Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
What is Special about Hikkaduwa?
Simply, this town is a fabulous combination of tropical woodland and coastal shorelines. It is one of the most famous tourist attraction spots on the island with its wide range of beaches, hotels, and restaurants. Therefore, Hikkaduwa gets a huge crowd annually into its territories.
You may wonder now, is it just because of the beaches that Hikkaduwa gets more attraction? That is not true. There are dozens of things that one can do other than sitting on the beach and enjoying the sea view. Let us now get to know about the most wonderful things that one can do in Hikkaduwa.
- Going on a River Safari
- Visiting the Turtle Hatcheries
- Touring around the City
- Visiting Hikkaduwa Coral Reef Sanctuary
- Enjoying Fresh Seafood
Excited to know more about the fascination of these activities? Continue reading!
1. Snorkeling in Hikkaduwa
Having one of the two marine parks in Sri Lanka within its territory, Hikkaduwa can be considered one of the best places for snorkeling. Hence, it comes to the top of the list of the things that one can do in Hikkaduwa.
Snorkeling is always a good thing to do in a place where the ocean is. The best thing is, it does not need any preparation. You just have to rent snorkeling gear as the first step. And yes, you will be able to find snorkeling gear for a reasonable price if you walk around a bit in Hikka. Besides, you don’t have to fear even if you have no prior experience with snorkeling. The service providers around the city offer packages that include a few hours of training as well.
However, the spectacular sights that you can observe if you snorkel in Hikkaduwa are just simply indescribable. The blue waters, colorful reefs, along with the variety of mighty fish species are surely going to delight your eyes. Accordingly, you are going to enjoy an experience like no other as you snorkel through the amazing settings underwater at Hikkaduwa. Hence, snorkeling in Hikkaduwa is simply something that you should not miss while you are here in Sri Lanka.
2. Swimming in Hikkaduwa
As you relax by the shores, you can surely enhance the delight of your day if you choose to have a swim amidst the blue waves at Hikka. The clear waters over there, the cool breeze that flows across, and the wonderful atmosphere there, have the amazing powers of soothing any. However, it is important to note that there are certain areas that are dangerous for swimming. Of course, there are no issues if you are swimming in a pool in a hotel or resort. Still, if you are choosing to swim in the ocean of Hikkaduwa, be mindful to get advice from a travel guide or the locals in the surrounding area. Through their experiences, they will help you choose a good area for a swim in beautiful Hikka.
3. Surfing in Hikkaduwa
Surfing is indeed one of the most popular water sports among the tourists who arrive in Sri Lanka. And guess what! Hikkaduwa is one of the best places for surfing on this splendid island. Sometimes, the waves at Hikka go exceeding 6 feet, offering the thrill and the excitement that many surfers love. Besides, the surf breaks at Hikkaduwa are second to none on the island making this area a favorite of many surf lovers. However, among the surfing points at Hikkaduwa, the following places remain the best.
- Bennys: It’s a spot for experienced surfers, especially those who prefer left-hand breaks.
- Beach Break: Beginners and intermediate surfers alike will enjoy this break. It is regarded as one of the safest areas.
- Main Reef: Hikkaduwa’s Main Reef is ideal for both left and right breakers and is a safe spot for surfers of all abilities.
- North Jetty: For left-hand breakers, this is the place to go.
However, if you need any assistance with choosing a place for surfing at Hikkaduwa, you can simply reach the locals or your tour guide.
4. Going on a River Safari
A tour in Hikkaduwa is never complete without a river safari through the scenic settings in this charming coastal town. However, among the various rivers out there, the Madu River happens to be the most popular for a river safari.
The wonderful ecosystem out there comprises a variety of flora and fauna, which highlights the value of nature, and delights the soul of any who goes on a river safari. Further, there are some significant places that one can visit while going on a river safari at Madu River. They are Cinnamon Island, Kothduwa Temple, mangrove forest, Sathapaha Duwa (Smallest Island), and Nay Duwa. So, if one plans to visit all these places around it is better to allocate 3 – 4 hours for this journey to experience the best out of it.
Besides, most of the service providers try their best to follow eco-friendly practices as they offer these catamaran rides on the Madu river. And yes, these rides create amazing photo opportunities as well. So, all these things would make your river safari at Hikkaduwa an unforgettable experience.
5. Visiting the Turtle Hatcheries
Turtle Hatcheries are a common sight around the South Coast of Sri Lanka. And among them, the majority are located around the beautiful town of Hikkaduwa.
These centers shelter a good variety of turtle species, and among them are injured turtles as well. They take good care of them and protect the endangered turtle species. Besides, these turtle hatcheries protect the turtle eggs, and when the turtle babies are out, they carefully release them into the waters. And if you are lucky enough, you can even join this wonderful course of releasing baby turtles into the waters. If there’s a team of yours who would love to volunteer with such an activity, you can contact a turtle hatchery, get to know a date that they are releasing turtles, and be a part of those activities as well. Apart from that, visiting a turtle hatchery would be a wonderful experience since it creates opportunities to observe the turtles, and to pose for a few photographs with these turtles as well.
6. Touring around the City
Hikkaduwa, as well as the city of Galle, which is just a few miles away from Hikkaduwa, are significant tourist attractions on this little island. Therefore, if one visits either Hikka or Galle, touring around both these cities happens to be a must.
By now, you surely know about several places that you can visit, and several activities that you can enjoy in and around Hikkaduwa. Hence, we thought of focusing this section a bit to highlight what to experience if you take part in a city tour around the majestic city of Galle.
As you might already know, Galle is one of the most ancient cities in Sri Lanka and was a significant location during the colonization period. Therefore, the remains from the past are still visible in this town, enhancing its grandeur furthermore.
The most highlighted attraction in Galle is undoubtedly the Galle Fort. It was constructed by the Dutch, and it still stands in good condition by the shores, adding beauty to the city limits. And yes, the Galle Lighthouse, which stands in the same area, makes a good addition to those wonderful sceneries. Besides, there are several amazing structures within the Galle Fort that showcase the shades of colonial architecture. Most of them have turned into restaurants and shops at the moment, and thus, visiting them would also magnify the delight of your city tour. Apart from that, you can also visit the Dutch Reformed Church, National Museum of Galle, Peace Pagoda Temple, Maritime Museum, as well as the Meeran Jumma Mosque as you explore the charming city of Galle.
7. Visiting Hikkaduwa Coral Reef Sanctuary
Hikkaduwa Coral Reef Sanctuary is a place that you should not miss while you are touring the city of Hikka. The area of this sanctuary has the most diversified and accessible reefs. In fact, there are approximately 60 kinds of hard coral fish and over 170 species of reef fish out there. Hence, we can certainly mention that Hikka offers you the most spectacular scenery of the Sri Lankan underwater world.
Of course, you can either choose to snorkel through the water amidst the shoals of vibrant fish species or observe the corals through the glass-bottomed boats. However it is, the dazzling scenes of the underwater world would never fail to stun your eyes.
8. Enjoying Fresh Seafood
The Indian Ocean waves that surround Sri Lanka are a great fishing area with a variety of catches. The majority of them are caught fresh and prepared in a variety of ways, leaving anyone salivating. Hikkaduwa is a major coastal city that is rich with a good collection of fresh seafood dishes that are capable of amusing any. Hence, tasting seafood from Hikkaduwa happens to be a must as you visit this city of charms.
Some of the most popular seafood dishes from Hikkaduwa are as follows.
- Fried Seafood
- Fish Ambul Thiyal
- Crab Curry
- Hot Butter Cuttlefish
- Sri Lankan Seafood Platter with Lobsters
- Devilled Seafood dishes
- Claypot Prawn Curry
- Shrimp Salad
- Sri Lankan Oyster Dish
- Dry Fish Curry
Some of the above seafood dishes have influences from other countries’ cuisines. Nonetheless, with a few traditional culinary flourishes, they arrive at dishes with real Sri Lankan flavors. Furthermore, it’s not just their flavors that pique the interest. Their rich appearance and the taste of Sri Lankan seafood make them even more unique. So, never miss a seafood dish while you are in Hikka!
How to Reach Hikkaduwa?
You can reach Hikkaduwa by public transportation which includes bus and train services, as well as by private transportation. However, the most interesting and easiest way to reach Hikkaduwa is certainly by train.
The Sri Lankan Railways run trains every four hours from Colombo Fort Station to Hikkaduwa on the Colombo-Matara route. This train ride usually takes around two hours. The cost for a trip may range between SLR 200 – SLR 500 and differs according to the ticket class that you choose.
Further, if you prefer traveling by bus, you can get a bus to Ambalangoda from the Colombo Fort Bus terminal, and then take a taxi to travel to Hikkaduwa from Ambalangoda. The cost for the bus ride may range between SLR 100 – SLR 200. Also, it will take nearly 3 hours to reach Ambalangoda.
If you are planning to use private transportation, of course, you can choose to drive on your own, or take a taxi. However, the ride from Colombo to Hikkaduwa will only take around 1 and half hours. Moreover, if you are using a taxi service it will cost you around SLR 5000 – SLR 8000.
Accommodation at Hikkaduwa
Since Hikkaduwa is a major tourist attraction it offers accommodation facilities covering a wide range. From homestays to bungalows to luxury hotels, it has a wonderful variety of options for you to choose from. Their prices vary according to the facilities offered, and the star levels. However, getting accommodation to suit your budget is never a problem in this wonderful palm-fringed coastal town.
The Bottom Line
After all, the coastal town of Hikkaduwa, well-known for its astonishing beauty, powerful tides, water sports, and nightlife is a must-visit on this little island. It offers you the perfect location for a wonderful holiday with plenty of amusements and a coastal outlook. Indeed, Hikkaduwa’s beaches are magnificent and vast, with a stretch of places to dine, drink, stay, or shop. So, what else can you ask for? Visit Hikkaduwa, and witness this delight yourself. Happy and safe traveling!