By: Mikael and Thrillism
11 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
Weligama literally translates to sandy village, but a more fitting name would be surfing village. Like most southern Sri Lankan towns, this place is all about the surf, and the area has everything from small and consistent beginner beach breaks to more challenging reef breaks.
Weligama is often described as the perfect surf town, so it’s no surprise that there are dozens of reputable surf schools to choose from. Whether you’re looking for chill vibes or more of a party, you’ve got plenty of options for deciding on a Weligama surf camp that meets your needs.
Before you embark on your epic surf adventure to Sri Lanka, check out this Weligama surf guide where we’ll cover everything from choosing the right Weligama surf school to eating at the best restaurants.
The nice thing about traveling to Weligama is that it’s not too far from Colombo, the island’s capital. Unless you’re backpacking around all of Sri Lanka, the norm is to head to Weligama straight from Colombo’s international airport.
Starting from here, you can either take a train, bus, taxi or rent a car and drive yourself. A direct taxi is the easiest way to go (especially if you’re not comfortable driving on Sri Lankan roads) and it takes about 2 hours from the airport.
Taking the bus or train will take slightly longer, but it’s also significantly cheaper than hiring a private taxi.
Weligama surf beach is right down the road from Ahangama, another popular surf town in Sri Lanka’s southern region. The entire stretch of coastline in this area is known for its pristine beauty as well as its consistent waves (at least from October to March).
It’s still a fairly sleepy town, but there are definitely signs of development, like the big Mariott hotel that went in a few weeks back.
The culture of the area is strongly influenced by the sea, so definitely expect to eat lots of seafood curries along with your roti. The overall atmosphere is pretty chill with a strong yoga presence, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to party at the local Tiki Bar if that’s what you’re looking for.
The main thing that makes Weligama stand out as one of the best surf destinations in Sri Lanka, in Asia, and even in the entire world is its prime location. It takes only 15-30 minutes to drive east to Mirissa and Matara and 30-45 minutes to drive west to Hikkaduwa.
Since a lot of people specifically come here for the Weligama surf spots, the cost of staying in this area will be a bit more than more remote parts of Sri Lanka. But don’t let that stop you from visiting – it’s still insanely affordable compared to surf destinations like Costa Rica, Portugal, and the Maldives.
To give you an idea of an appropriate budget, you could easily get by on about 40 USD per day. However, $40 will only get you the basics, like a roof over your head and cheap local meals. For a more luxurious Weligama surf trip, plan for a daily budget of around $75.
Technically it’s possible to surf year-round, but the Weligama surf forecast is best from late September/early October to late March/early April. Here’s a complete break down of the month-to-month Weligama surf report:
Since this sandy village is located in Sri Lanka’s surfing epicenter, we suggest that you get out and see what the area and surrounding surf towns have to offer. You will want to spend at least some of your time riding Weligama breaks, like the Main Beach Break, Midigama, Coconut Point, and nearby Mirissa Bay.
This long stretch of sandy beach is the ultimate Weligama surf beginner spot, which is why you’ll see tons of surf schools and board rentals lining the water’s edge here. The only downside to this break is that it can get crowded, especially during high season, but nevertheless, it’s a great place to learn.
Midigama Beach is a 10-minute drive from Weli, and it’s a must-add town for intermediate and advanced surfers who want to spice things up. Midigama is home to 3 popular breaks: Lazy Left, Right, and Rams Right.
These two breaks are located in the small local town of Gurubebila, which is right in between Weligama and Midigama (so about 5 minutes from Weligama’s main beach). Plantation Point keeps things exciting with a nice combination of rights and lefts and the Coconut Point A-Frame is fun for more experienced surfers.
About 15 minutes from Weligama you’ll find Mirissa Bay, a surfing hotspot for skilled beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers. The vibes here are more resort-y than in Weligama, so it’s a great place to spend the day for some high-end luxury in between wave riding sessions.
The Surfer has labeled itself as the ultimate surf and yoga camp experience in Sri Lanka, and most guests completely agree. Just look up “the surfer Weligama TripAdvisor” or “the surfer Weligama reviews” and you’ll see what we mean.
“The bottom line is that, no matter what kind of surfing level and ambition you arrive with, there is always something on offer from The Surfer.”
– The Surfer
Because of the growing popularity of The Surfer, they now offer 2 camps in different Weli locations, including The Beach Surf Camp and TS2 Weligama Surf Camp. Both are popular choices, and each one actually includes the same things, but The Beach Camp is better for beginners since it’s located right at the Weligama Bay surf break.
Layback is another Weligama surf and yoga camp that’s great if you’re looking for a boutique experience that caters to your inner surfing yogi. It’s only been around since 2017, but it has quickly made a name for itself as a place to breathe and relax, to be creative, to work, or simply to enjoy a cold beer.
“In the midst of local life yet with the beach only a few minutes away from our doorstep, Layback is a quiet getaway for surfers and travelers. We invite you to our corner of the world.”
You can either sign up for individual Weligama surf lessons here or sign up for the full-on retreat that includes 7 nights accommodation, daily yoga, surf theory and lessons, free use of all surfing equipment, transportation to and from surf spots, and a handful of your meals.
The Surf’s Up Weligama surf course is one of the best options for young travelers who are looking to have a good time. It’s located in the center of Weligama within steps of the Main Beach. There’s a rooftop cocktail bar overlooking the water that’s the perfect chill-out or party place after your daily surf lessons.
“At Surf’sUp, no one will torture your free nature with a per-minute schedule. Surfing is freedom. Freedom of action and choice.”
– Surf’s Up Weligama
There’s strong Russian influence here with a mix of local and Russian ISA-certified instructors. No matter the instructor you get, you’ll walk away from Surf’s Up with the skills you need to surf on your own anywhere in the world. They’ve got a few packages to choose from, and each one includes a private room, daily breakfast, lessons, yoga, and equipment rentals.
Surf Discovery is another Russian-run camp that teaches in both Russian and English. They’ve got camps around the world in Costa Rica, Portugal, Bali, and Sri Lanka, offering both intensive courses and individual lessons. Their Weligama surf school has cozy oceanfront accommodations and they offer excursions to nearby surfing hotspots and island attractions.
“Lessons are taught by certified instructors, champions of Russia, who have extensive experience in different countries of the world.”
– Surf Discovery
There are a few SD packages to choose from, but the most popular is definitely the Surf Vacation Package. This 5-day surf course includes 5 lessons and over 10 hours of theory, so you’ll definitely walk away with both the practical and theoretical skills you need.
Whether you’re looking for a full week or just a few days of surf lessons, Surf n Lanka caters to every individual traveler by offering flexible surf packages. The best option is the “Big” Package, which includes 7 days of accommodation, board rental, a day-trip excursion, and best of all, 12 surf lessons to help you become a true surfer by the end of the trip.
“We are a family-run business. We and our team are born on this beautiful island. You won‘t get more Sri Lanka feeling in any other surf camp. If you are a guest at Surf ‘n Lanka you are part of the family.”
– Surf n Lanka
We’ve covered some great choices already, but there are a few more Weligama surf camps that have caught the attention of surfing travelers over the years:
If you want to stay right on the beach in a fancy Weligama surf resort, definitely expect to pay a higher nightly rate for your accommodations. Staying at a Weligama surf hostel a few hundred meters inland will definitely save you some cash to spend on other fun activities.
Just try to establish your accommodation budget beforehand, that way you can browse for a place to stay that’s within your price range from the get-go. Here are a few of the top options for where to stay for every budget:
Every surfer’s gotta eat, so expect to chow down on lots of curries, seafood, and roti during your time in Weligama. Roti is a quick, easy, and delicious treat that will give you the best taste of local flavors, but you’ll find everything from pizza to smoothie bowls here.
In terms of specific places to eat, here are a few must-try restaurants during your time in Weligama:
If the Weligama surf conditions aren’t working, you’ve still got plenty of ways to fill your time. You can hang out at the beach, go diving, hit the spa for a massage, sign up for a yoga class, go for a sunset whale watching tour, visit a local tea farm – this list could go on for a while.
One thing you definitely shouldn’t miss out on is Galle Fort, which is about 45 minutes from Weligama but well worth the drive. This coastal fortress was built in the late 1500s by the Portuguese and has played a very prominent role in Sri Lankan history over the centuries.
What if I’m in Sri Lanka outside of the Weligama surf season? Where should I go instead?
Here’s the beauty of surfing in Sri Lanka… there’s no bad time to visit if surfing is the main activity on your agenda. That’s because the low season for the southern coast corresponds with the high surfing season for the eastern coast (Arugam Bay) and vice versa.
Where’s the best place to surf in Weligama for beginners?
The Weligama Beach Break is perfect for beginners, and even though it does get crowded, there’s plenty of space to test your skills (and learn new ones) on this long stretch of beach.