If you’re looking for the best beaches in Sri Lanka, your search is over! They are all located without a shadow of a doubt in the Tangalla area. The water’s so blue and when the sun shines above, the ocean turns emerald and turquoise. And there’s a beach for everyone. The Tangalla coastline conceals secrets beaches and coves. There are kilometers of soft sand where you can walk for hours and not see a single other tourist (Rekawa Beach), stretches where turtles come lay their eggs at night, or simply more popular beaches with fun and convenient little shacks that serve grilled fish, curry and cold drinks on the sand.
We found great accommodation at Peacock Family Stay (booking.com) right by the Rekawa Lagoon. We seriously had the entire beach to ourselves. We could see a couple of people swimming about 500 meters west, but that was it. I went for a run on the beach every day and loved the wild atmosphere there. There is not a single hotel built along the Rekawa beach, it’s a natural reserve all along, with palm trees, tropical birds and mangrove lagoons for miles: breathtaking!
Saman, the young at Dikwella alone on the beach near the market owner of the bungalows where we stayed (100 meters from the beach), was most friendly and charming. He collects seashells and uses them to decorate the walls of his cabanas. My parents and him sat down on the beach to watch the sun go down behind the forest of palms. He was nice and patient, speaking English slowly, learning French. Saman was expecting April, May and June to be very slow in terms of business. He said tourists would come again in the summer time, so this would give him time to make more seashell jewelry and build another bungalow to be able to host 15 people in total. Just having the beach for the 3 of us was amazing, but we could still handle 12 other tourists; we’d make it work! We really had a wonderful time relaxing around Tangalla.
We rented 2 scooters (motorbikes) and spent a day riding along the coast to find new sandy spots. And let me tell you, the beaches of Goyambokka, Dikwella and Talalla aren’t to be missed! Goyambokka is superb with turquoise and calm water to swim, white sand to lie on, bamboo huts to find shade and a Goyambokka few sexy foreign tourists walking around. The sand at Dikwella is utterly white and fine. There are only 2 hotels on the beach and they aren’t busy. I suppose the town and local market are right by the beach so it isn’t the cleanest spot but this is what Sri Lanka is about: boisterous and colorful towns amid amazing natural scenery. Plus, there is a spectacular 50m-high Buddha statue in the back of the town and a long corridor where wall paintings depict the punishments reserved to sinners in the afterlife… no wonder everyone is so nice around Tangalla! And at Talalla Beach, a couple of colorful fishing boats lie on the golden sand. We took off our shoes (and helmets), jumped in and took a deep breath. I’ll stop here. I think you get the picture.
Last thing: if you are at Hatton (Adam’s Peak) and you want to head south to Tangalla, there is no direct bus. You can either head to Colombo, and then change bus to catch the highway through Galle (long way…) or take the back road through the mountains (scenic, but we had to take 5 different buses and spend the night 30 min from Tangalla at Embilipitiya, 2 hours north of Tangalla). Either way, it’s not quick.