Sri Lanka is surrounded by beaches, both long stretches of golden sand along the west and east coasts and small coves and bays many surrounded by jungle wilderness on the south coast. In the north, too, there is a popular beach.
The older beach areas, such as Negombo near the airport, and Beruwala, Bentota and Hikkaduwa on the west coast south of Colombo, are well developed holiday areas with hotels and guest houses to suit all budgets and plenty of after-beach action in bars and restaurants. In the south development begun with guest house accommodation has gradually moved up market with exclusive boutique style properties.
On the east coast at Trincomalee with its massive natural harbour, beach life is centred around hotels and low budget guest houses while further south, at Passikudah, new hotels have opened on the beach. Further south, Arugam Bay is for surfers and the young at heart.