These two cities even though small in area provides adequate Inns, eateries and three-five star hotels providing delicious cousins of all sorts of sea foods, Continental dishes and the Traditional local ones too. These places are famous for the trendy beaches, blue waters and vast areas of Corals. For the energetic and dance mood visitor / tourist it has night life that goes on from dusk to dawn. Snorkel lovers can scuba dive and even go on rides in the traditional sail clothe fishing boats.
SURFING IN HIKKADUWA, WEWALA, NARIGAMA, THIRANAGAMA
Hikkaduwa is Sri Lanka's surf center from November to April, and has hosted numerous international competitions. It is particularly good for beginners as the waves are comparatively gentle, most breaking on the reefs rather than the beach. The focus is around the main break, known as the "A-Frame" because of its distinctive apex, in Wewala. At Wewala, there's good surf for board riders: international surfers flock here Nov to April.
Narigama & Thirangama further south beach widens out into a fine strip for sunbathing provide good waves for body surfing.
Hikkaduwa is a good base for scuba diving. Local operators run trips up to 20 sites along the coast. Most rewarding sites close to Hikkaduwa are the rock formations, especially the deep Kirala Gala (21 m to 38m), 10 minutes offshore, where there is also a wide range of pristine coral with groupers, barracuda & batfish.
A number of wrecks, some in fairly shallow water, can also be visited, such as the Earl of Shaftesbury, though the wreck-diving is better in the bays further south at VOC Galle Dutch Fort and Weligama Bay Beach.
SNORKELING, CORAL GADENS & WECKS
Hikkaduwa has excellent snorkeling just offshore. Only 200m offshore, in shallow water no more than 4m deep, a reef protects an expanse of brilliant coral populated by vividly colourful reef fish. It is a perfect snorkeling territory. Compared with glass bottomed boats that operate from the beach, snorkeling herein is an eco friendly means of enjoyment.
ALUTH VIHARA (Purana Totagamuwa Raja Maha Vihara)
The monastery at Telwatta, 2 km north of Hikkaduwa, was a celebrated centre of learning as far back as the 15th century. The original complex of monastery & temple was destroyed by the Portuguese; the present buildings date from 1805, an atmospheric complex with particularly impressive well-preserved murals, reclining Buddha statues & fine Makara toranas (Dragon arches).
About 2km north of town lies the tiny yet eye catching little white building, Seenigama temple is squeezed onto a tiny island just offshore. The Devil's Temple here is of importance for local fishermen who pray for a profitable catch of fish as well as for the protection of their lives. We can ride by motor boat or traditional catamaran.
Just inland from the main coastal highway, 2km south of Hikkaduwa, this small lakeside bird sanctuary is especially rich in waterfowl & shore-birds such as the green sandpiper.
4km south of Hikkaduwa, just past where the Galle road crosses the railway line, on the inland side is located the Kumarakanda Vihara, looking for all the world like a Baroque Portuguese church rather than a Buddhist temple. A spectacular flight of steps leads up to the principal shrine, which contains a reclining Buddha statue & various murals, including depictions of the sacred footprint, lions & processions.
Inland from Kumarakanda Vihara is a sylvan county lane that runs to the picturesque Ratgama Lagoon, which has abundant bird life & a large population of water monitors. There are three islands in the lagoon. One of the islands, Polgasduwa (Coconut Island) is home to a forest hermitage founded by a German monk. Lagoon trips are by primitive wooden catamarans. Late afternoon is the best time to see birds & other wildlife, including monkeys.