Things To Do in Pasikuda Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s east coast isn’t as well-known as many of the long-standing resorts to the south and west of the country, however the beaches to be found here are spectacular. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise with swaying palms, endless sandy beaches, a relaxed and easygoing vibe, and with water sports and lesser-known sights to explore, you’ll love Pasikuda Beach. Close to sedate Batticaloa and its vast lagoon, its predominantly Tamil-Hindu culture gives the region its own warm, unique and unforgettable flavour.

Pasikuda Beach

Pasikuda is the pin up of picture postcard beaches thanks to its soft white sand and translucent water. Between May and September, this is the best place in Sri Lanka for a Sri Lankan beach holiday. Most days are cloudless, the ocean is warm, and water clarity is very good which makes it ideal for snorkelling, diving, sailing and a host of other water sports. The curve of Pasikuda bay means that swimming can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Pasikuda is a relatively new destination in Sri Lanka for luxury beach holidays and the resorts lining Pasikuda, such as Uga Bay, all benefit from generous manicured gardens, wide-open beachfronts and the most surreal ocean views. The original village of Pasikuda with its guesthouses, hawker stalls and fishing boats infuse local flavor to the south of the bay. During the high season, jet skis, kayaks and sailing boats occupy the water.

Uga Bay sits right in the centre of Pasikuda Bay, and its wide beach frontage is easily identified by the twin palm trees that stand marooned amidst an ocean of milky-white sand. The grounds are lush and private, its rooms stylish, and service is highly personalised. To book a stay at the best hotel in Pasikuda, please click here.

Kalkudah Beach

Just 20-minutes’ drive from Pasikuda is the gloriously secluded Kalkudah Beach. Stretching as far as the eye can see, this bay – backed by a profusion of coconut palm estates and cashew nut plantations – offers a complete contrast to Pasikuda. Aside from a couple of low-key resorts, the beach is otherwise completely undeveloped – a rare find anywhere in the world. You can walk or jog for miles along Kalkudah’s soft, ivory sands without seeing a soul except for local fishermen casting their nets into the sea. Kalkudah isn’t as good for swimming as Pasikuda due to seasonal currents and the absence of life guards though it does feel more ‘local’ and Crusoe-esque. Cycle here from Pasikuda along a sandy track winding through villages, over a railway line and through coconut plantations.

The difference between Kalkudah and Pasikuda beaches

Although Pasikuda and Kalkudah are exceptional paradise beaches, they have a very different look and feel. Pasikuda’s wide bay is home to around 14 luxury resorts each with a range of wining and dining options. During the high season water sports providers in Pasikuda operate activities such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and jet skiing. Pasikudah suits all types of visitors, though its safe swimming and first-class facilities are a particular favourite with families. Kalkudah’s desert-island feel makes it popular with those seeking pure escapism and few distractions. However, since Kalkudah is only 20-minutes’ drive from Pasikuda, it can easily be visited from Uga Bay.

Getting to Kalkudah and Pasikuda Beach

Pasikuda is approximately 300-kilometres from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, and the main international airport. Most visitors arrive here as part of a round tour of the island, particularly from the Cultural Triangle, though you can reduce your travel time by taking a one-hour domestic flight from Colombo direct to Batticaloa Airport, 45-minutes’ drive away.

What to do in Pasikuda

Pasikuda’s prime attraction is its relaxed holiday vibe. You could spend your days on the beach or exploring the range of water sports activities in the bay. Travel a little further afield and you’ll find the region is home to a wealth of cultural and natural attractions.

Hire a bicycle
Exploring the quieter roads of the Eastern Province by bicycle, particularly in and around Batticaloa’s three lagoons, is a great way to absorb local life and appreciate nature. Pass by fishermen, vast rice fields, herds of buffalo, lots of water birds and little villages.
Visit Batticaloa town and fort
The closest town to Pasikudah is Batticaloa, a sedate backwater edged on three sides by water. The town was the first landing spot of the Dutch in 1602 and is still home to a handful of colonial-era remnants including fine British-era buildings, churches, a slender lighthouse and a fort dating back to 1628 (with superb 360-degree views). Don’t miss Bridge Street Market, a community initiative where locally-grown curd, bee honey and kithul are sold alongside heirloom carvings and traditional instruments.
Explore the Batticaloa Lagoon
The Batticaloa Lagoon stretches for 56km between two of Sri Lanka’s main districts – Batticaloa and Ampara. This aquatic habitat is home to a dazzling array of migratory, resident and endemic birds. Together with the Valaichchenai and Vakari lagoons, it forms part of a diverse and critical estuarine ecosystem that acts as a lifeblood for local communities who grow rice and coconut, and engage in fishing and shrimp farming.
Discover the Kokkadicholai Thaanthonreeswarar Kovil
Thought to date back to the 4th century BC, this decorated Kovil around an hour’s drive from Pasikuda is one of the oldest of its kind in Sri Lanka. Devotees flock here for the annual September chariot festival marked by processions, prayers and holy acts.
Walk along Kallady Beach
A very popular stretch of beachfront close to Batticaloa town is Kallady Beach where you might find yourselves sharing the white sand with local families and fishermen hauling in nets. Backed by casuarina trees, it’s a very peaceful place for relaxing beach walks.
Indulge in water sports
Pasikuda Bay is one of Sri Lanka’s best spots for sailing and water sports between May and September. Board a luxurious catamaran for a sunset cruise; explore the wreck of the HMS Hermes on a dive beneath the waves; or see vivid fish and coral on a snorkelling trip. Other water sports include jet skiing, kayaking and wind surfing.