Pottuvil – Ultimate Guide to The Surf Town of Sri Lanka

Arugambay surf point, best surfing beach in Sri Lanka, surf beach in Asia

Pottuvil, a small town in the South Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka blessed with beautiful Beaches, Forests, wildlife, historical sites, ricefields, lagoons and much more. It is situated in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. A 112 km drive from Batticaloa via A4 Highway would lead you to this beautiful small town. This beautiful surf town is also situated 274 km from the world heritage city of Galle. A car would take about 4.30 hours drive to reach Pottuvil from Galle.

How to Reach Pottuvil from Colombo?

In fact, there are 3 main routes you can visit Pottuvil from Colombo. Every route from Colombo to Pottuvil have its own advantages. So Checkout the traffic and weather before you start your journey to Pottuvil.

  •  Southern Express way /E01 and Colombo – Batticaloa Highway/ Colombo – Ratnapura – Wellawaya – Batticaloa Rd/A4
  •  Colombo – Batticaloa Highway/ Colombo – Ratnapura – Wellawaya – Batticaloa Rd/A4
  •  Panadura-Nambapana-Ratnapura Highway/PNR Highway/Ratnapura – Horana – Panadura Highway/A8 and Colombo – Batticaloa Highway/Colombo – Ratnapura – Wellawaya – Batticaloa Rd/A4

Tourist Attractions around Pottuvil.

1. Arugam Bay

The world famous Sri Lankan surfing spot on the East Coast of Sri Lanka is absolutely a mind blowing destination for surf lovers and backpackers! The charm of the small town, welcoming locals and friendly tourists would become your new besties for life. The Peak season for surfing in Arugambay is from June until September. The waves could rise up for a perfect surfing experience in this season. In the meantime it becomes the party town in Sri Lanka since the southern coast would be hit by heavy monsoonal rainfall. The resorts will be filled with tourists and the beach will be crowded too. so book your hotels and resorts earlier.

Surfing Schools in Arugam bay

There are plenty of surf schools in Arugam bay. So you can learn surfing in Arugambay if you don’t know how to surf. Here you can learn surfing with people around the world. some of the Surfing schools are Safa Arugambay, Surf Camp ABay, Dylan’s Surf Company, Abay Girls Surf Club, etc.

Best spots for Surfing in Arugam bay

Abay is home to giant waves. This coastal town has many surf points to suit all levels of surfers, from “rookies” to “Aggro”. Hence Some of the popular surf breaks in Abay loved by most surfers all around the world is listed out down below.

Arugambay Surf | Photography: Inna
  • A’bay Main point
  • Baby point
  • Peanut farm beach
  • Elephant Rock point.
  • Crocodile Rock Beach
  • Whiskey Point
  • Okanda
  • Pottuvil Point

2. Lahugala Kithulana National Park

If you are willing to see the very small but  closest national park from Pottuvil town, Lahugala Kithulana National Park is the one you are looking for. You can see small tanks and beru grass around the tanks here. Therefore this small park is populated by more than 500 asian elephants. Lahugala is also home to a highly populated grey langur, wild hogs, spotted deer and  many varieties of wading birds and raptors.

On your journey to Lahugala , you will encounter the peacock dance if you are lucky. Even if you are not trekking into the forest area you may witness some rare sightings of wild life when you travel via the Colombo – Batticaloa Highway.

Peacock, Sri lanka, Kumana National Park
Peacock dance

3. Kumana National Park

One of the best natural bird centres in Sri Lanka with countless species of inland and migrant birds is situated in the east part of Yala National Forest Reserve can be visited from Pottuvil town approximately in 45 mins which is located 32km south from Pottuvil Town. 

Kumana National Park is also renowned as the paradise of birds such as pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets and little cormorants. Although it is a famous place for birds, we can also spot many species of mammals too, mostly Leopard and elephants. Be aware of Crocodiles and other types of wild lizards in the water bodies as they don’t like visitors a lot. Kumana should be on your ticklist if you are visiting pottuvil since it is a very good place to explore the wildlife in the eastern province of Sri Lanka.

4. Muhudu Maha Viharaya 

The most popular archeological site in Pottuvil is none other than Muhuthu Maha viharaya. In fact, It was built by King Kavan Tissa over 2000 years ago. The ruins of ancient stupas statues can be found in this place which is excavated from the sand dunes of Pottuvil. These sand dunes are considered as the widest sand dunes present in Sri Lanka.



Muhudu Maha Viharaya | Image by: Gihan Shanaka

5. Sand Dunes of Pottuvil

These sand dunes are one of a kind sand dunes in the world. Covering the coastal areas of Pottuvil, these sand dunes can be seen from Urani  to Panama coastal lines. The size of the sand dunes may vary from 3m-15m in height and you can witness these marvelous creations of nature in pottuvil, Sri Lanka.

6. Pottuvil Lagoon

The serene waters of Pottuvil lagoon is composed of both the scenic beauty and the wildlife. It is just a few minutes ride from Pottuvil town towards Batticaloa Highway (A4) North. It is approximately 200 acres surrounded by mangrove forest. The small island in the middle of the lagoon is very iconic to the pottuvil lagoon itself.

Tourists can go on Canoe safari along the mangroves in the lagoon . If you love sunsets, visit here in the evening time. You won’t regret this trip for your lifetime.

7. Elephant Rock

Elephant rock is indeed one of the best spots for Instagrammers to take a mind-blowing sunset photos for the Instagram feed. Although the view of the sunset is much popular for this destination, there are many reasons you should visit here. The 1st one is: You can encounter the wildlife from the top of this rock such as the roaming elephants, monkeys, Birds and the crocodiles on the tiny lagoon near this rock. Be kind to the wildlife and avoid close encounters of crocodiles and elephants since it is really fatal and there are no hospitals close by. Moreover the landscape view from the Elephant rock top is indeed exquisite. In addition the waves here are really good for surfing and the beach is not crowded too. So you can have a good surfing adventure here.

8. Panama

Panama is a small village situated from 14km Away from Pottuvil town which you can reach in couple of minutes. It is a silent village with tranquil beaches and some beautiful forested spots and a beautiful tank colonized by crocodiles and rare birds. This place is really a quite and calm destination. Hence Panama would be the destination you might searching for just to escape the hustle and bustle of crowded tourist destinations. It is really close to Kudumbigala Monastery which you can visit in few minutes from Panama.

9.Kudumbigala Monastery

Kudumbigala is an ancient rock monastery located close to Kumana National Park and 30km away from Arugambay. It’s an amazing destination to meditate, as well as it is a great place to watch sunrise or sunset. Watch wild elephants, monkeys and a wide range of inland and migrant birds. If you visit this place early in the morning or evening you can see amazing sunrise or sunsets. In fact, the endless view of Kudumbigala and Kumana sanctuary from the rock peak would make you awe-struck indeed. then turn around and all you can you can see is the small rock formations that are scattered all over the landscape .

Besides the spectacular views the history of this place is also equally important. Kudumbigala Monastery was built in 246 BC during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. Hence It is Considered as the very first sanctuary built for Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka. Therefore this historical site holds an immense historical value.

What you can eat in Pottuvil?

Pottuvil won’t let you miss the beach vibes in its traditional seafood. Also you can have western sea foods in the hotels and restaurants in Arugam Bay. The spicy Grilled lobsters, crabs and fresh fish from the sea and lagoon will make your tongue explore the new taste buds.  If you love to have some Sri Lankan spicy street food, try it out from the street side shops in Pottuvil town. If you want more try to go on a 30 minutes ride to Akkaraipattu Beach. 

Get around Pottuvil

Pottuvil is really a calm town without any rushing traffic and crowd. Public transport in Pottuvil is really limited so If you are on a budget trip, hiring a scooter or cycle is a great way. So you can to roam around the unexplored destinations in Pottuvil. Moreover you can rent Motorbikes, scooter, tuk-tuk or even cycle in Arugam bay. If you are travelling alone or with a partner, rent a scooty. if you have 3 or 4 people and if you love tuk-tuk, get one. Ask your hotels or locals for such renting places if you are in Pottuvil area or we managed to get 2 rental shops for you!!

Rideme Arugambay

Here you can Hire tuk tuk, cycle as well as scooty to get around Arugam Bay

The Surf City Arugambay

You can rent variety of motor bikes and scooters including Yamaha Fz, Honda DIG, etc

Hotels & Resorts in Pottuvil?

Pottuvil is a surf town which is visited by a lot of backpackers every season, Many hotels in here is really very cost- effective and cheap. The interiors, the atmosphere, service and food here is a lot more than your pay. Further more, eco – friendly designs and also beautiful views from the hotels would make your stay amazing for sure . Moreover beachfront infinity pools and many more awesome hotels are available in this little paradise. So book your hotel below by clicking the icons now from trip advisor or directly from Booking.com and AirBnB.



If you are an adventurer who loves surfing and also take hiking into the untrodden paths in the wild, Pottuvil is the perfect place for you. Although you can also spend your honeymoon on the beach shores and have a romantic sailing experience in the lagoon. In conclusion, Pottuvil can offer its best to make you stay a few more days in Pottuvil.

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