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Arugam Bay general and surfing information

About Arugam Bay
314 km. from Colombo, a most beautiful bay with good surfing. The East coast offers infinite possibilities for all kinds of water sports and underwater photography. The many ship-wrecks of the coast are a tempting challenge to the diver. 

Arugam Bay is a fishing village 2 1/2 km south of the small town of Pottuvil at the remote south end of the east coast. It has probably the best surf in Sri Lanka off a low promontory a little further south, and had developed into a low-budget travelers center. There's a wide, sweeping beach in front of the village itself, good for swimming, and south of the surf promontory a long, deserted beach leading down to 'Crocodile Rock', from where wild elephants can quite often be seen.

 Population: 27.000

Distance from Colombo: 314 kms

Useful facts to know:

The surfing season in Arugam Bay starts in April and ends in October.

Average water temperature: 28 degrees

Average air temperature: 32 degrees

Surfspots in Arugam Bay

(text by Stardust hotel:

Arugam Point: This is the main break at Arugam Bay. The point is a long right-hand point/reef break that breaks at the headland in front of Arugam Bay. It is also the best swell magnet of all the points and you can almost always guarantee that the The Point will be a couple of feet bigger than any of the other breaks. It breaks from anything between 2 and 6 feet but tends to max out after 6 foot. Due to its location it is also attracts the biggest crowd but seems to be handle it as it often sections in a few spots. On a good day it provides a clean wall that will barrel in the sections and give you a 400-meter ride right through to the inside. When you ride all the way through the best option is to paddle a few yards to the beach and walk back out to the entry point (booties are advisable as the reef starts from ankle depth). There is also café run by some of the locals that provides a grant vantage point to watch the action from and take in stock up on energy for the next session.

Pottuvil Point: Pottuvil Point is every surfers dream tropical wave. A long deserted sandy beach doted with some huge boulders at the waters edge, make this wave a favorite with some of the season veterans. Less crowded because of the ˝ hour tuk tuk ride north from Arugam Bay, Pottuvil point provides 800 meter rides from the outside section right through to the beach on the inside. The unique thing about this wave is that for most of it you can be working a four foot face and be only a few meters from the beach as the wave grinds down the sandy point. The outside section sucks up and throw's out as the swell raps into the point giving a 30 meter wall to work with before it fades as it hits deeper water for about 10 seconds. The wave then tends to double up as it hits a shallow sand bottom section that will have you hanging in there for all you worth just to try and make the next 40 to 80 meter section. Failure can leave you standing in knee deep water with a mouth full of sand if you manage not to get slammed into one of the boulder's first.

If conditions are right and you can make it through this section then the wave peels perfectly meters from the beach for an eternity until it closes out in the bay and you begin the long walk back. Pottuvil Point needs a decent size swell before it starts working at all and a large swell before the middle section is makeable. If "The Point at Arugam is 6 foot Pottuvil will be 4-5. Beware there is little or no shelter at Pottuvil so bring plenty of drinking water.

Crocodile Rock: A ˝ hour tuk tuk ride to the south will leave you with a twenty minute walk along another beautiful beach to reach Crocodile Rock. I don't know if the place is named after one of the rocks on the point or some of the large salt water crocs that live in the lagoon 50 meters from the break but it is a beautiful spot for a day surf mission. This is the smallest of the three points, and you need a medium to large swell for Croc Rock to work at all. When the point is 6 foot then Croc Rock will be 3 foot. It is however a perfect wave for the beginner/intermediate or long board enthusiastic. A sucky take-off section over sand leads on to a long wall that breaks right down the point for about 400 meters much like inside Pottuvil point. Again bring lots of water and make sure that your tuk-tuk driver is there to pick you up after a session and a long walk back in the searing tropical sun.

Accommodation in Arugam Bay:


Stardust Hotel

visit for more info and bookings.


Middle range:

Mid Bay Hotel

a family run guest house with restaurant and cabanas in a spacious flower garden. Located in the middle of the bay. Bookings can be made through Imco@Surfcity.




The beach in Arugam Bay