ARUGAM BAY, SRI LANKA
Lovely Arugam Bay, a moon-shaped curl of soft sand, is home to a famed point break that many consider as the best surf spot in the country. It’s a small, secluded area, with a population of a few hundred, and everything is dotted along a single road which parallels the coast. Briefly put, it’s the epitome of the laid-back beach scene that first drew surfers and sun-seekers to Sri Lanka.
If you’re not a surfer, there are plenty of other draws: beachfront guesthouses, oceanside restaurants and a mellow, swing-another-day-in-a-hammock kind of vibe that’s totally removed from the brash west-coast beach resorts. Arugam Bay also makes a great base for several adventures in the surrounding hinterland.
During the low season (November to April) things get extremely quiet and many places close altogether, but it can also be a serene time to visit, with few tourists and verdant landscapes. In season, its appeal to surfers is obvious, but through the year, it is simple a lovely place to relax. The southern half is lined with fishing boats and you can watch the catch being brought in. Shacks for the hard-working crews are at the edge of the sand. At sunset, locals gather to watch the reflected glow off the ocean.