I finally put together our 10-day travel through Sri Lanka’s beautiful south coast. I hope it inspires you when planning your trip.
DAY 1&2 Arugam Bay
We got up at 5 am to get from the jungle to the eastern coast, to Arugam Bay. In the second bus, I experienced the most annoying bus ride in my life. It was loud, crowded and hot, which is normal, but there was this guy who was falling asleep every five minutes and using my shoulder as a pillow, I moved every time and coughed to wake him up, but he was falling asleep again and again, it was so “great”. However, let’s move to Arugam Bay.
No doubt it’s one of the most touristic places in Sri Lanka, but for a very good reason. It’s the definition of a paradise, really. We stayed in a little hut Tropicana homestay, super close to the dreamy beach.
If you go to Arugam Bay please wake up disgustingly early to see the sunrise, every single day. I’ve never seen more beautiful sunrises, and I probably never will again. So so worth it! Karma restaurant is the best place for breakfast, it’s not Sri Lankan, but since we’ve been living in a host family for three weeks we really loved the smoothies, oats and waffles, all vegan! Oh, and there were little kitties ❤.
Another thing I recommend you to do is to rent a bike and go to beaches nearby. We went to the famous Peanut farm beach, we really wanted to take a surf lesson, but the waves were so big and wild we changed our mind quite quickly. So if you can surf, or the waves are calmer- lucky you!
In the evening we did yoga on a rooftop while listening to the waves ❤, I’m not much into yoga but I really loved this 90-minute session (1000 rupees) in Bay vista.
The last place you should definitely not miss is the Secret Garden, which we found by accident, I swear a restaurant cannot have a more beautiful atmosphere, your feet in the sand, sitting under a palm tree, listening to good music and surrounded by a lot of pretty lights.
DAY 3 Hambantota
Why did we end up here? Just because it was between Arugam Bay and Mirissa, and we didn’t want to spend a whole day on a bus. We didn’t plan our traveling on the south coast much, otherwise, we would have not ended up here I guess. When we were entering our accommodation Hamba safari hostel, it felt like entering someone’s garden, but the lady was really nice and we had breakfast in her living room the next morning. There’s not much to do in Hambantota, it took us quite long to find the way to the beach and a bit longer to find a place to eat, but these places in the middle of nowhere, where you hardly meet any tourists have their magic, no doubt.
DAY 5 Mirissa
Mirissa beach is another dream ❤, our accommodation Bird House, a little cozy hut again was really lovely (in reality it looks much better than in the pictures on booking.com), we arrived about fifteen minutes before the official check-in time, we were completely alone there, so we left our luggage there and went to wonderful Mirissa beach, where we had lunch right on the beach in Salt Mirissa
We went to see the sunrise the next morning, because we had to get up early, but it wasn’t so spectacular, so rather go for the sunset, which gets incredibly purple.
You should definitely not miss this place on your travels through Sri Lanka.
DAY 6&7 Galle
On the sixth day, we had to leave Mirissa because we stayed in Sri Lanka for 33 days and for these three days we needed to extend our visa, it was really annoying to travel to Colombo just because of three days, but it was quite quick and for citizens of the Czech Republic for free, luckily.
After getting the needed stamp into our passport we went in the near of Galle, we stayed in Freeze on the beach in an adorable hut, I’ve never seen a cuter place but after it got dark a lot of tiny friends decided to join us, and since the hut consists only of the bed, sleeping there with cockroaches waling over your blanket, that was a bit too much for us. Luckily above us, there were some normal rooms, that were completely booked buut! The Slovaks that stayed there were so kind to let us sleep in one of their rooms, I love these acts of random kindness ❤
In August it’s off-season on the western coast, which means closed restaurants and a lot of trash on the beaches, which they probably clean up for the main season (?). We found just one place to have dinner in the near of our accommodation, which belonged to a family living there, and we got some very delicious Sri Lankan food, like in our host family. I’d love to tell you the name, but I’m not even sure they had one.
The next morning we had to move to another accommodation because this one was booked, but it was just 10 meters away from Freeze on the beach, we were quite surprised when a neighbor brought us to the same guy who we just paid for the previous night. The Tropical Beach Hostel & Cabanas was not ready yet and got to booking.com by accident. But we preferred a bit messy empty hostel instead of the cute hut full of little friends, also this place had access to a pretty beach, full of trash, but pretty.
These places are not directly in Galle, so we went there with a tuk-tuk, the famous lighthouse is quite cool, but even better it is to simply get lost in the streets with a lot of tiny shops, we had lunch in a restaurant called A minute by tuk-tuk, by the way wherever you are, get fruit smoothies, they’re cheap and extremely good.
DAY 8, 9 Hikkaduwa
According to my research, Hikkaduwa beach is one of the prettiest in Sri Lanka and I can’t but agree. We stayed in The Citadel, which was one of the best accommodation, we had. A whole bungalow for ourselves. If you go here, and you definitely should, don’t miss the little charity second hand New Use, where you can also get some zero waste supplies.
I finally got my stainless straws there.
Another must do is snorkeling, the fish I’ve seen, it looked like colored in photoshop, it was such an amazing experience I can’t even put it into words, the coral reefs are quite sharp but it was definitely worth it. Unforgettable.
We got delicious breakfast in Mika wü which is a completely pink Japanese restaurant with delicious smoothie bowls. For dinner by the beach, we went to Top secret restaurant, but this area is quite touristic and you find a place to eat pretty easily.
DAY 10 Negombo
To Negombo we went mostly because it’s close to the airport, the neighborhood we stayed in was quite dirty and messy, the beach was not so nice anymore but there were some nice restaurants when we walked a bit, we also found two casual cafés, that were not Sri Lankan, but good for grabbing a dessert (Tea Lounge for example) . We really appreciated being close and stress-free the day of departure.
We stayed in Hostel Ruwini, entering this place felt like entering someone’s garden again, but it really was the hostel in the end. Later we really entered a garden, which was supposed to be a restaurant according to google maps, you should not always listen to aunt Google.
Btw, very important question- do you like papaya?