Hikkudawa is where the beach scene of Sri Lanka can be found – it’s a prominent tourist destination and a place curated for surfing, swimming, soaking up the sun and taking picturesque snaps of the blue waters.
Things to do and Places to Visit in Hikkudawa
Tsunami Photo Museum
This was a small photo museum in Telwatta, filled with photographs, newspaper clippings, and scenes of the powerful Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004. It gives you a clear picture of exactly what happened, what people thought, their experiences and how they felt – actual accounts. The lighting is quite dim but even so, the exhibits remained powerful. It was quite sad but still, it was good to have visited. It is a reminder that nature is beautiful but can also be full of wrath, so be better to be prepared.
Best of all, the entry to the museum is free; you can donate if you wish but the family that owns it is very accommodating. The museum is also open every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Hikkudawa, like most of Sri Lanka, is brimming with wildlife you don’t see everyday – and their sea turtles are a popular example. Unlike my previous turtle sanctuary visit, this one charged LKR 500. A small price to pay, but I’ve already visited one with a tuktuk safari down south of Galle.
The sanctuary functions but purchasing turtle eggs from villagers and burying them in the sand by the beach where they hatch after about 48 days. The buying of eggs is a practice which encourages turtle preservation since the locals will be able to sell their found or hunted eggs instead of reselling or eating them. The sanctuary also showcases sea turtles of all ages swimming around – and you are free to take a picture of them. You can even hold some in your hand.
Just around 20 minutes north of Hikkudawa is the Ariyapala Mask Museum in Ambalangoda which has a large and extensive collection of masks – most of which, if not all, are completely handcrafted. The museum is entirely free, but donation based so you can choose to pay what you want to support the upkeep of the museum.
Aside from the museum, the building also houses a small sculpting shop were visitors can learn how to mould and decorate masks a la Sri Lankan tradition. Sculpting the masks takes a great a deal of effort and lots of experience – most masks take hours upon hours to make!
Tip: If you intend to buy a mask, this has a good selection but the prices are quite expensive.
With Hikkudawa’s amazing coastline, it’s no surprise that surfing is one of the region’s most popular pastimes. There beaches are well-developed given the fact that Hikkudawa has been a frequently visited tourist destination for decades now, thus you can easily find surf shops and surfboard rentals places in huts along the sand. Some of them even offer surfing lessons, if you’re a beginner who wants in on the fun.
Enjoy the beach
The bustling beach scene in this Sri Lankan paradise won’t leave you bored – the coast is typically lined with bars, restaurants, and barbecue huts. If you’re lucky you might even see a sea turtle or two pop up at the end of the day. The beaches tend to me more crowded up north and quieter as you head farther and farther south.
Tip: You will see a lot of “beach boys” trying to approach you. I was alone so they literally kept going up to me. Some would literally say ” I like you”, others would try to sell me stuff, others asking for help, and others trying to get me to go with them for club or drinks. It’s not that I don’t like talking to locals but at some point it became to bothersome like even when I just wanted to laze or relax or read a book or even sleep by the beach, they wouldn’t stop. Some French people actually came to the rescue. Like they just kept me as part of their group when they realised I didn’t have peace.
Again, I am a people person, I like talking to and meeting new people , initially I didn’t care but it became a little too much. It wasn’t like India— I felt safer but it was also bothersome. I later heard from a tour guide/ driver to beware of those people cause they are notorious for some “bad things”. I read in several TripAdvisor reviews and blogs but after the fact already. The french girl I spoke to said that she came to the rescue because she was already warned about it.
Nonetheless, Hikkaduwa is definitely still a beach to enjoy, just steer clear from the “beach boys”.
The wildlife and coral reefs of Hikkudawa make it one of the best paces to go snorkelling – and you don’t even have to go very deep into the water to give it a try. The shallow waters already offer a breathtaking view of colourful reef fish – there are over 60 coral types and 170 coral reef fish to see. Beginners can easily go snorkelling as well, you can find lessons at spots along the beach or through a booking on the internet. It is also very accessible from the most popular accommodations along the Hikkudawa coastline.
7. Eat Local Food
The Hikkudawa streets are lined with numerous food stalls selling cheap and filling local snacks and meals. You can find Hikka Roti with over 50 varieties to choose from, Kottu, fresh seafood off the grill, as well as rice and curry. As for drinks, they have the refreshing and crisp Tiger beer. The crowds usually gather very quickly at these stalls especially during lunch time. Aside from the street food, there are numerous restaurants along the beach you can experiment with.
Kai Boutique Hotel
The resort KAI Hikkudawa is a boutique hotel which offers not only luxury accommodation, but also easy access to the beach as well as other prime tourist locations in the area. It is only a minute walk away fro the beach, giving visitors more time to fully enjoy their stay in Hikkudawa and less time travelling and reading maps.
The rooms are comfortable and designed with a modern touch, fully equipped with toiletries, closets, desk, air conditioning as well as a flat screen TV. There are three different rooms to choose from – double, triple, and twin. The double and twin rooms are good for two persons while the triple room is good for three.
– Free internet connection
– Continental breakfast served daily
– Swimming pool
– Barbecue facilities (paid)
Hashtag Beach Cafe
The Hashtag is the resort’s in-house restaurant which serves delicious Sri Lankan cuisine and seafood fresh from the waters such as crispy fish sandwiches, hummus, and burgers. Not only is the food delicious, but the interiors of the restaurant are also very classy and relaxing – well lit and perfect for Instagram-worthy pictures. It is also an open-air restaurant with a fantastic view of the the beach and clear blue waters which really completes the dining experience.
All in all, if you’re looking for a quality accommodation near the beach, the Resort KAI has everything you could possibly need – from the stunning view of the sunset at their outdoor pool to the fresh-from-the-sea cuisine at Hashtag.
Address: No.387, Galle Road, Hikkaduwa, 80240 Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka