How to do Arugam Bay
Updated: Oct 3
Okay folks, it’s time we talk about how to do A’bay. Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched too many people come here for a short stay, and go back without really enjoying the best of Arugam Bay, simply because they didn’t quite know how to plan a day here. There’s a method to this madness.
The key factor in planning Arugam Bay is the inescapable no-go time zone right in the middle of the day here, where basically, it gets too hot to do anything but rest. In old Sri Lankan lingo, this time period around noon is called the devil-tree-climbing hours, or yakku gas nagina welāwa, in Sinhala. It’s basically when it gets so hot, that even supernatural beings have to crawl up a tree and take it easy. In Arugam Bay, the devil-tree-climbing hours stretch a little longer, going from 11 am to around 3:30 pm. Planning your day with activities before and after the devil-tree-climbing hours is the key to nailing A’bay and discovering its magic without getting burnt out. So, here’s how the Spice Trail recommends you do it.
Make the most of your mornings
Some of Arugam Bay’s finest moments are made in the mornings. With mornings being the coolest daylit time of the area to be out and about, the more you plan to wake up and venture out early, the more you're getting out of your time here. Go see the fishermen bring in their catch, get a surf in or go for an early swim to enjoy the calmest time of the eastern sea. Taking a walk and watching birds at the lagoon from the Ulla bridge is also highly recommended. Basically, if you feel like you’ve ‘earned’ your breakfast by the time you sit down for some deliciousness at the Spice Trail, you’re on the right track to ace A’bay.
Those devil-tree-climbing hours
Between 11am and 3pm, plan to do relaxed things. Lounge somewhere shady, scope out a chilled-out lunch place that involves hardly any walking and most importantly, make time for a post-lunch nap. Afternoon naps are sacred and mandatory here in Arugam Bay. A short nap goes a long way in terms of conserving energy, and it is also where you make up for all that early morning activity we talked about earlier. Wake up by 3pm just in time to get an iced latte and a slice of cake at our Bites café, and you’ll feel like you’ve been reborn to claim the greatest evening at the bay. Between this and sunset, it’s prime-time for planning beach activities, wildlife watching or checking out nearby historical sites.
The night is all yours
Weighing out the restaurant options for dinner, discovering bars, and stumbling into beach parties or ending up at some jungle rave is all part of a night here. But, it’s not just partying and going out; there are many laid-back ways to enjoy Arugam Bay’s spectacular evenings. Consider packing some dinner and a cooler full of beers for a quiet night on one of the many popular beaches here; talk to us if you want to take it up a notch and have your own private barbecue night on the shore. Our crew will also be able to tell you the nicest sunset spots around and the best evening drives to check out those dazzlingly starry nights here. For parents with young kids, remember to pack that baby monitor you never use, or take advantage of Spice Trail’s continuous wifi to use a baby cam app and double up your phone as a monitor throughout the resort. Because, going for a date night at the restaurant here can be made into a very special experience—just ask us to set up your private table poolside with a custom meal.
Essentially, the nights here in Arugam Bay are already magical, you just have to choose where you want to be when they unravel.
The bonus: eastern sunrises
You’re probably thinking that we’re really pushing it with this one; but, if you’re looking to bag a truly transcendental experience from your Arugam Bay trip, witnessing an east coast sunrise from the beach is it. Sunrises along the east coast are simply incredible, and the Spice Trail being just across the street from Arugam Bay’s main beach means it’s easy enough to make it to the shore at 5:30am even if you’re half crawling. Many people find it quite awe-inspiring to watch our primary energy source dawn in and wake up the whole world. The best part? You get to sneak back into bed and still feel like a champ, because you’ve literally just watched the day being made.
And that folks, is how you plan Arugam Bay right. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to cruise in, enjoy the bay like a pro, and ease out without breaking too much of a sweat.