9 things to do in and around Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province, about 98 km south of Colombo. The name Hikkaduwa is thought to have been derived from the two words Ship Kaduwa, with Ship being the shorter version of Shilpaya which refers to knowledge in Sinhalese and Kaduwa which means sword. It is believed therefore that the name Hikkaduwa means sword of knowledge. Hikkaduwa has been a firm fixture on the Sri Lankan tourist map since the 1970s, so you'll find some guesthouses, shops and restaurants lining the beach. 

This lovely place offers charm and adventure, a different kind of luxury to what we might think of in the west. Here you'll find friendly locals, old hippies, yoga studios and long stretches of beach, scrappy bars with coconut cocktails, and family restaurants where you can feast for cheap!

  • Hikkaduwa National Park
  • Explore the dark world of the moonstone mines
  • Hikkaduwa Lake
  • Seenigama Vihara Temple. There are several interesting Buddhist temples around Hikkaduwa, all easily reachable by tuktuk or bicycle – though be very careful cycling along the fast-paced Galle Road.
  • Thotagamuwa Rajamaha Viharaya (ancient buddhist temple)
  • Surfing - Considered one of the best surfing spots in Sri Lanka, you can hire wetsuits and boards along the beachfront stores . You can also hire snorkelling gear as well.
  • Discover the towns hippy charm. You'll find Hikkaduwa Batiks wood carvings, spices, tea and jewellery (as well as more conventional stores if you need some more sun cream or toiletries)
  • Turtle Hatchery. 2 kms north of Hikkaduwa is a very small private Turtle Research Centre, which works to protect this endangered species.
  • Explore Ayurveda. Often consider the 'sister science' to yoga Ayurvedic medicine has historical roots in the Indian subcontinent, as a Natural and Holistic Approach to Health and Well-Being. Many of these small centres don't have websites, you'll see them as you Explore Hikkaduwa. A nearby example here.

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