In my personal opinion Arugam Bay is where it’s at! This beachy town is pretty much a Sri Lankan version of what Byron Bay would of been like 20 odd years ago. I loved it so much because it is a chilled beach destination that reminds me of home. Most travellers go to Arugam Bay to surf, relax or check out the wild life which is incredible by the way. The bay is definitely one of the best surf destinations in the world, however you have to go at the right time if you are mainly going for the surf. The surf season starts from May and goes up until the end of October. There are three main surf spots that include The Point, Peanut Farm and Whisky Bay. My favourite surf beach is definitely Peanut Farm as it is a little adventure in it’s own. We hired boards in town for 500 rupee (3 hours), jumped in a tuk tuk (1000 rupee for 3 people return), travelled 15 minutes out of town and arrived at one of the most beautiful secluded spots in Sri Lanka. The wildlife in Arugam Bay is insane! On our way back we saw a wild elephant, a dozen peacocks and buffalo.
If you intend on going on a safari I highly recommend going on a tuk tuk safari. We paid 1000 rupee per person to travel on and off road for 2 and a half hours. We ended up seeing another wild elephant that was approximately 10 meters from our tuk tuk, more peacock, more buffalo, cows, goats, beautiful birds and a crocodile.. Who even knew there were crocodile’s in Sri Lanka!
If you are after a relaxed but vibing place, go to the Beach Hut. This property is located right on the beach and has a bunch of hammocks, heaps of areas to hang around and a great social area to eat, drink and get to know other travellers. The rice and curry lunch special (250 rupee) is delicious and ridiculously cheap for a laid-back 3 coconut (my rating) resort on the beach. They also do dinner specials that include Masala Macaroni and a Fish and Curry buffet.
The culture in Arugam Bay is quite a bit different compared to the south. The area is predominately Muslim so I wouldn’t recommend going skinny dipping. It’s nice to be a little bit more conservative to respect the culture.,