Last updated on February 8th, 2019 at 10:01 pm
Pasikudah beach, also known as Pasikudah bay, is one of the newest tourist areas of Sri Lanka, located in the northern part of the east coast.
Pasikudah beach has an interesting and tangles story. It was already a popular destination in the 60s and 70s however the bright future suddenly changed due to the Sri Lankan Civil War, a conflict that began in 1983 to officially finish in May 2009.
For 26 years the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (or just Tamil Tigers) fought to create an independent state in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka.
To make things harder, the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Pasikudah in 2004 with water up to 2km inland. The full area, already under a tough time due to the war, experienced probably the most challenging time in contemporary history.
Since the end of the civil war, and thanks to the work of the tsunami rehabilitation projects, Pasikudah has been experiencing a new touristic wave, although a minor one, especially when compared with other sites on the east coast of Sri Lanka. And this makes this area a great niche alternative where you can still see and experience local activities, as pupil school trips or cow grazing LOL
Another important consideration is the Sri Lankan government’s strict environmental policies that have prevented, so far, mass development. There are indeed resorts on the beach however they almost disappear in the local nature, with a minimal impact on the beauty of this area.
This is a 3 minutes video I did in my trips in Sri Lanka, with drone as well. It may help to decide on which other places to visit
If you are in Pasikudah you probably just want to have a break at the beach, sun bath, a swim and some relaxing time. And this is what this area can offer best of all.
There are however other things to do in Pasikudah that may keep you busy for one hour or more. Not much stress involved, however, no worries 🙂
These activities may require the help of a local guide (ask the hotel reception). You can also do everything on your own, you may however need a bicycle or a tuk-tuk (plenty of them).
The Coconut Cultural Park is located 100m from the Sunrise by Jetwing resort, really an easy walk if you stay on this side of the bay.
What is it?
There are two attractions in this park. The first one is the visit to the plantation. I was not aware myself of how many types of coconut trees are actually existing, at least on this side of the world.
The tour through the farm is quite informative, with example of cultivation and demonstrations too. Basically all you need to understand on how oil is produced or coir separated and much more.
Coconut farming is an important industry for Sri Lanka and this is a great place to understand the local process and what can they make from coconut.
The second attraction is the locally produced ice cream. There is only one flavour. Guess which one LOL. One of the best coconut ice cream I have ever had!
Opening time is based on the people working there. There is an official 8:30am-6pm however they closed after we left at 5pm. I would suggest going there in the central part of the day
There is a vast choice, based also on the season you visit Pasikudah. There is not however one sports centre. It is all organised by the hotel resort where you stay.
The things to do are:
And obviously, every resort has the swimming pool where you can spend the whole day.
One of the things I love the most is a massage before breakfast, even better if it is an Ayurveda treatment.
And this is what I had at the Amaya resort. One hour of full pleasure.
The 1 hour Ayurvedic massage cost LKR 6,500, or around 50 Australian dollars, which is absolutely a bargain when compared with any massage treatment in Melbourne.
Besides the cost, I was really satisfied with the quality, not to mention the facilities, surely a 5 star.
This is a small temple at the end of an unsealed road. It’s an easy 20 minutes walk from Pasikudah beach and an interesting attraction in the area.
Work is currently undergoing to refurbish the temple.
A beautiful old tree with a huge trunk is right in the centre of the area. The legend says it is the house of the black snake that protects the temple during the night (I haven’t seen any snake track to be honest but legends are there to be believed without questions of course LOL).
I have been travelling for many years and, to be honest, whenever I read on a travel book about a fishing village I tend to avoid it.
Because they usually turn out to be villages with plenty of shops and boats to rent, but no more fishing as tourism is more profitable. Nothing wrong with it obviously, it’s just that I would like to experience something more genuine.
I was travelling with friends and we happened to find this true fishing village. We just walked along Kalkudah beach (more on this later) looking for fishing boats, and here they were.
What an amazing finding. This is the location on the map. Take it as an approximate position. You will see around 10 houses made of palm leaves and, if you go early in the morning, you will experience the fishermen coming back from the sea.
If walking is not your thing you can also do a cycle trail. You can rent a bike at your resort (it may be free of charge)
Local trips can also be organised. Usually hotels provide ready tours, otherwise, you just need to rent a car with a driver. Driving yourself can be dangerous.
I personally suggest Minneriya and Sigiriya as a 2-day trip on its own. The 4-5 hours return trip is quite a tiring one and having a local hotel to break it gives a better experience.
Kalkudah beach is on the opposite side of the peninsula, just a short 15 minutes walk from Pasikudah.
The main difference between the two is that Kalkudah is totally unspoilt. I saw just one resort. Consider that this beach is probably 3-5km long
There is no outer reef and therefore you may have waves also during the dry season and that is why I would not suggest it for a family with kids experience.
This is where I found the fishing village that tells you once again how tourism, till now, has no impact on this area.
I would definitely suggest a long walk in Kalkudah, maybe in the early morning. In saying that I would personally base myself in a resort in Pasikudah.
Obviously, Sri Lanka is a tropical island and the temperature is nice and warm through the year, 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, almost everywhere, probably expect the central regions where it could be cooler in the morning.
The Pasikudah weather is typical of the east coast of Sri Lanka. There is a dry season from March to October. The water is almost too warm at this time of the year (hey, but I am used to the Melbourne water, at 18-20 degrees in summer).
There are absolutely no waves as the whole bay is protected by the outer reef and this makes Pasikudah a great spot for families with kids.
I was there in August and we had an evening storm that lasted almost the whole night. The morning after was perfect blue sky, just cooler than usual, which was awesome. This is to say that storms may come in any season.
November to February is the rainy season. The sea is a bit rougher however thanks to the outer reef the beach experiences an all year around calm water. I was said that in this period the water may be a bit turbid.
In Pasikudah beach you have some great hotel options, mostly resorts, where you can spend easily a day between the beautiful calm beach and the swimming pool, with a drink and some food, and possibly a massage or maybe an hour at the gym 😉
I spent my time between two resorts: Sunrise by Jetwing and Amaya. I got impressed by both and I would definitely suggest either of them.
The entrance to the Amaya Beach Pasikudah says all about the excellence of this luxurious place. But what I liked the most was the architectural choice of the squared columns between the bar area and the rooms, similar to an old Sri Lankan palace.
The rooms are amazing, with a fantastic view of the beach and the bay. Hard to beat.
The food selection is also outstanding with the possibility to eat either local dishes or more western inspired food.
The pool table is the centre of the huge bar area. I was surprised by the cocktail selection that included the usual suspects and some local ones made of coconut arrack. I still remember them 🙂
The highlight of Sunrise by Jetwing is the pool, the second longest in Sri Lanka I was said. It runs from the entrance to the beach, with a never-ending look.
This resort is a beach hotel that extends the sea to the rooms, making it a boutique experience.
Again the food was excellent. I must say that, as in Amaya, I have tried uniquely local food and I couldn’t stop myself asking for more 🙂
For more tips on places to stay in the country have a look at this ultimate guide to where to stay in Sri Lanka.
The drive from Colombo to Pasikudah is a long one, over 6 hours. It’s only 300km however the winding road and the traffic makes it a long experience.
You can rent a car, and a driver, at Colombo airport. You can alternatively book it before arrival.
I would personally suggest it as a full Sri Lankan experience where you stop here and there, and not just a Colombo to Pasikudah trip.
If you are looking more into a point to point transfer then you have two options
You can take a train from Colombo leaving at 6:05am (confirm the time at the station and buy the tickets at least one day prior to the trip). It takes around 7 hours. The arrival station is Valaichchenai and not Pasikudah (used only for local trains). From there an easy 10 minutes tuk-tuk
The alternative is to fly to Batticaloa however this route is covered only by Cinnamon Air and the ticket is quite expensive.
You can find some great information about Sri Lanka transportation on this amazing Google doc.
I loved my time in Pasikudah beach. I mostly relaxed although activities were always available and indeed I had a couple of great walks
I enjoyed a lot the genuine tourism made by both Sri Lankan people and foreigners too. Both beaches are not dedicated uniquely to tourists. They are instead visited by locals, especially at sunset time when it gets cooler.
This is the perfect balance for sustainable tourism.
Indeed, from Colombo, it takes a long time to travel to Pasikudah, and probably this is why this place is still unspoilt.
The Pasikudah bay has probably one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It’s coming out from many years of economic problems, due to war and tsunami. And it is doing this with great character. Fingers crossed it will stay like this for a long time.
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Stef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.
Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry.
Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world.