Turtle Beach is a popular spot in Sri Lanka for one thing – turtles! So here’s exactly where to find the wild Hikkaduwa turtles and a guide to visiting.
How To Get To Turtle Beach Sri Lanka
Turtle Beach is located in Hikkaduwa, a seaside resort town in southwest of Sri Lanka. Approximately a 2 hour drive from the capital of Sri Lanka – Colombo.
The Hikkaduwa turtles can usually be found swimming around directly in front of the Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon Hotel.
From the main part of Hikkaduwa Beach, simply head left (when facing the ocean) until you hit a rocky divide.
There are steps leading over the divide, and down to a small piece of beach in front of the HikkaTranz by Cinnamon Hotel, where the turtles like to hang.
We’ve added a mapping point to make things easier.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
If you’re based in the capital Colombo the From Colombo: Hikkaduwa Village Tour with Boat Ride & BBQ is a full day of exploring and includes seeing the turtles.
Turtle Beach Entrance Fee
It’s free to visit Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach Opening Times
The beach is open all day, every day.
Best Time To Visit Turtle Beach + Tips
The best time to visit the West coast of Sri Lanka, is between December – March. These months should make sure you avoid the west coast monsoon seasons.
However, the Hikkaduwa turtles can be found at Turtle Beach all year round.
If are wanting to catch the turtle nesting season, this is from January to March.
For the best time to head to Turtle Beach, we would recommend visiting as close to sunrise as possible.
The earlier in the morning you visit, the less tourists you’ll find. Therefore you’re likely have the best experience as the turtles swim around you without the crowds.
What To Pack
Underwater Camera: GoPro HERO7
Waterproof Phone Case: LifeProof Fre Waterproof Phone Case
Day Bag: Manfrotto Manhattan Mover-50
Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF-50
Microfibre Towel: Microfibre Quick Dry Towel
Rain Jacket: Columbia Lightweight Rain Jacket
What To Expect When Visiting Turtle Beach
The wild Hikkaduwa turtles are super local to this part of the coastline and can be spotted by snorkelling up and down the beaches all year round.
However, you can see the turtles from the shore when they come in close, to feed on seaweed.
They come in regularly to feed making this area one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
These wild turtles in Hikkaduwa are completely free and they have been known to visit a certain point of the shore to feed on the seaweed and lay their eggs for many years.
There are conservation workers that hang around the rocky area helping tourists gather seaweed for those that want to feed the turtles. The conservation workers are also there to make sure nobody is touching or mistreating the animals.
There are also many turtle hatcheries around Hikkaduwa and the under water world is one of the towns main tourism points. Consequently, you can be sure that the locals take great care of their wildlife.
Respecting The Wildlife
Finally, these animals are incredible, and as mentioned Hikkaduwa thrives off its local marine life.
Don’t crowd the turtles, touch the turtles or get in their way as they go about their business.
That said, grab a photo, give them some seaweed and your trip to Turtle Beach will definitely be a memorable one!
Also, do not leave Hikkaduwa without catching a sunset on Hikkaduwa Beach! The photo doesn’t do it justice but it was by far one of the best we caught in Sri Lanka.
Where To Stay In Hikkaduwa
Luxury – Villa Saffron
Situated in Hikkaduwa, Villa Saffron Hikkaduwa offers seafront accommodation 1.4 miles from Hikkaduwa Coral Reef and provides facilities like an outdoor swimming pool, a garden and a terrace.
With free WiFi, this 5-star resort offers room service. The property is 1.6 miles from Hikkaduwa Bus Stand.
At the resort, all rooms come with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
Villa Saffron Hikkaduwa features certain units with sea views, and the rooms include a kettle. The units at the accommodation come with a seating area.
Mid-Budget – Villa Red Lobster
Featuring an outdoor pool, Villa Red Lobster in Hikkaduwa provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking for guests who drive.
The bed and breakfast offers a continental or Asian breakfast. The restaurant at Villa Red Lobster serves international cuisine.
Both a bicycle rental service and a car rental service are available at the accommodation.
Hikkaduwa Coral Reef is 200 yards from Villa Red Lobster, while Hikkaduwa Bus Stand is 900 yards away.
Budget – Hikka Train Hostel
Hikka Train Hostel @ Surf Beach is conveniently situated just 150 yards from Hikkaduwa fishing harbour.
Guests can utilize the barbeque facilities and enjoy free Wi-Fi access at all areas.
Set just a few steps from the popular Hikkaduwa Beach, this affordable hostel is located within 550 yards from Hikkaduwa Railway Station and 15.5 miles to the historical Galle Fort. Colombo city is 60.9 miles away.
The fan-cooled rooms at Hikka Train Hostel come with a flat-screen TV, seating area and work desk. Bathroom facilities include hot-water showers.
For more places to stay in Hikkaduwa, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
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Saturday 11th of August 2018
Hi :-) And thank you for all your great articles here on your blog - lots of great inspiration!! We are planning a trip to Sri Lanka in february 2019, and would really like to visit Hikkaduwa beach to visit the turtles there, as you write about. But I would like to know what time a year you visited this place? I do not suppose that the turtles visit this beach all year around...? Thank you and have a great trip wherever you go next time :-))
Best regards Stine Denmark
Saturday 11th of August 2018
Hey Stine :) Thanks so much, you will love Hikkaduwa! We visited around June/July time and not sure about other times of the year. Sorry.