Hikkaduwa is one of the most beautiful, enchantment city in Sri Lanka and is the island's most developed beach resort. It has a range of accommodation, good restaurants and pleasant cafe-lined beaches. Hikkaduwa is surrounded lot of natural resources and her beauty has attracted so many local and foreign visitors through the year.
The beach of Hikkaduwa is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka. This fun coastal town 14 kms from Galle was the first of Sri Lanka's beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkeling and diving in the clear waters are the major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colorful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found on the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow body of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi colored corals, which is home to countless number of colorful fish. Off the beach there is a collection of tine islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations. Many species of fish and large turtles are found here. There are more than four different shipwrecks for diving enthusiasts to explore along with dive shops offering PADI courses and equipment. Plenty of beachfront accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka by the international board-riding set, and the reason so many visit Hikkaduwa is blatantly clear.
The resort area has now engulfed two or three villages south of it, and is now a 4km strip of hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and guesthouses. The beaches are nice and wide and swimming is safe here, though the currents are stronger south of Hikkaduwa proper. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles. Glass bottomed boats are available for visitors wanting to admire the wonders of the deep while keeping their feet dry.
Hikkaduwa refers to a popular tourist destination in the South Western coast of Sri Lanka and the mere mention of ‘Hikkaduwa’ to a Sri Lanka easily reminds him of extravagantly and brightly coloured beautiful coral reefs. It is popular and renowned globally and it is said that there are more foreign tourists at Hikkaduwa than local tourists. This could very well be true and also beneficial for Sri Lanka but it also hampers the serene and heart-warming natural splendour of the area. This is the main reason that the 19th of September, 2002, saw the Hikkaduwa Coral Reef designated as a National Park of Sri Lanka.
The Hikkaduwa National Park belongs to a special category of the Sri Lankan National Parks – the category of Marine National Parks. The Pigeon Island National Park is the only other Marine National Park of the island despite the fact Sri Lanka is completely surrounded by the ocean. Declared as wildlife sanctuary in May 1979 the coral reef at Hikkaduwa was elevated to a nature reserve in light of its diverse eco-system. And 25 years later with the gigantic increase in the number of visits to the area, the Hikkaduwa National Park was born.
The coral reef of Hikkaduwa is shallow and the average depth of the area is just 5 metres. This enables the visitors to view the beauty of the national park easily via glass-bottom boats. Rare and threatened species of turtles visit the coast of Hikkaduwa each year and along with the multitude of other fauna including various types of fish, crabs, oysters, prawns and shrimps the National Park of Hikkaduwa is indeed a sight to see. Sea grass and marine algae are commonly found in the 100 hectares of the national park.
After a short distance southwards from the center of the reef, it diminishes given rise to a wider sandy bottomed beach with good waves ideal for board surfing and body surfing. You can always rent the necessary equipment needed for snorkeling and surfing. Hikkaduwa is an established tourist destination and the surfing there is quite well known. You won't see the Indonesian style overcrowding here though. The reef is coral so a first aid kit and booties are handy. Localism is usually not a problem though we have seen some tourists get some hassle. Respect them and they leave you alone pretty much.
There are many shops selling Masks, Gems, Jewellery, Batik, Antiques and etc. along with several Buddhist temples, all which add spice to life at Hikkaduwa.
If you are planning to visit the fantasy city Hikkaduwa, Madu Ganga (Madu River) is also a remarkable place you must visit. Bordering to the coastal village Balaptiya, Madu Ganga flows by adding an incomparable beauty to the surrounding. It’s unique in its beauty, hundreds of islets, mangroves, indigenous aquatic birds and fish creates a green heaven in front of your eyes. These enchanting landscapes make people breathless by creating a paradise for their own dreams. This green heritage is a kind of lab for the researches, local and foreign university students and journalists who are discovering the secrets of this treasure.Back to Featured Articles