Part Two of my Sri Lanka trip and we drove from Ella to Arugam Bay. It took roughly 3 hours to drive there from Ella. We arrived in Arugam a day earlier than planned which meant choosing some last minute accommodation.
Surfers Bay Resort – is right on the main strip. The rooms are perfectly fine, have aircon, beds with Mosquito nets and decent showers. Breakfast is included which is always a bonus.
Upali Surf Resort – We had already booked 3 nights at Upali where we shared a room between 4 of us. It’s fans rather than aircon and both doubles have Mosquito nets. The bathroom is spacious but unfortunately the water pressure for the shower was more of a trickle. There are other places you could shower and there was a tap by the shower which was pretty powerful but did mean squatting under it to wash your hair! However this is a rather dry part of Sri Lanka and the resort is meant to be eco friendly so we sort of knew what we were getting into. The location despite being a 10 minute walk into town and being at the end of the bay, there is a reason why it’s a surfers resort. The bigger break (definitely not for beginners) is right outside the resort and lots of people go up there to watch the surfers with a beer at dusk. The breakfast at Upali I would recommend regardless, the coconut and banana porridge was delicious. It is definitely a more expensive option for the low key living so you may want something like the next place we stayed in.
Water Edge Bay Resort – was right on the each and main strip. The location is perfect as it’s next to lots of great hotels for yoga and the best coffee shop and restaurant we went to. The rooms are similar to the at of Surfers Bay but on the beach. Air con, very good showers and again we shared a room between 4 of us.
Yoga – There are loads of places to do yoga, offered by the hotels within the bay. We tried out quite a few, we may have even gone to yoga twice in 1 day so that we could try as many as possible!
Hideaway Hotel – A beautiful hotel opposite Water Edge. They have a large wooden space where they teach vinyasa, Airo Yoga and a slower paced yoga class. They run workshops too and it is a gorgeous place to practice. The Airo Yoga was so much fun and the teacher was fantastic.
Ocean Sky – We went to a class run by 1 World Yoga here. It was the earliest class I think I had seen in Aragum Bay. It starts at 6am on their roof top so you see the sun come up over looking the sea and it is just magical. There are a few classes a day so check them out.
Bay Vista – Opposite Hideaway and pretty much next to Ocean Sky. We went to two different classes here. They offer morning and evening classes at 9am and 5pm. I really enjoyed both classes the first class in the Monday evening contained a lot of core work and definitely went over the 1 hour slot but it was worth it. The second class we went to was a much slower pace and was delicious too.
There are lots of other hotels that also offer yoga, they will just have a sign outside.
Surfing – Sri Lanka is known for its surfing and like I said above Upali is a great place to watch the pros. There is a whole host of places that offer lessons. We went with some local guys near Emma Beach cafe. They were good and the lesson cost about $12 for an 1.5-2hrs. The only thing I would say is that other instructors seemed to give more instructions once you were out on the waves than ours did. However you can always look around and see who takes your fancy. We decided to surf at 6am every day. Now that might sound painful if you’re not an early riser but there is only one area for beginner surfers and it gets really crowded the later you go. The sea is a lovely temperature and the sun isn’t quite high enough to be hugely in your eyes yet. It was the perfect way to start the day.
Food – There are endless places long the strip to have food. If you like fish I would recommend Mr Fisherman or any restaurant that has a bbq outside. A lot of places are bring your own booze but really the option to buy lion beers from the beer shop next to the supermarket. Being in Sri lank it is of course a must to have lots of curries and roti which is delicious. One of our favourite places was Spice Trail which was next to our favourite coffee and cake shop. We may have gone to spice Trail two days in a row the tuna sashimi is gorgeous.