Skip to Content

Exploring Sri Lanka’s Stunning East Coast Beaches

For many years on the row, this part of Sri Lanka was not recommended for travelling as it was considered a very dangerous zone during the Civil War and most Sri Lanka beaches east coast remain unknown.

As tourists avoid it, this is the part of the island that remains pretty much undeveloped and unpopular among tourists from all over the world.

You most probably heard many beautiful things about the south coast and the west coast, as these are more popular.

Some of the following links are affiliate links. When you buy something using the retail links in our article, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost for you. You can read our full disclosure disclaimer and privacy policy.

Sri Lanka east coast beaches Passekudah Beach
Sri Lanka east coast beaches Passekudah Beach

Famous beaches like Mirissa, Unawatuna or Bentota are located in these parts of the island and they are more easily to reach from Colombo International Airport.

But in the last couple of years, things start to change, and more and more bars and hotels appear and tourists come to visit this untamed part of Sri Lanka.

Infrastructure is still under development and the place hides many pristine beaches, traditional villages and natural wonders.

Trincomalee Sri Lanka beaches east coast
Trincomalee Sri Lanka Beach Coast

The area near Kalkudah keeps its peaceful vibe and traditional atmosphere with its pristine beaches that start to be discovered by tourists.

On the northern part of the eastern coast, lies the historic town of Trincomalee famous for its beautiful natural harbour and the beautiful beaches of Nilaveli, Uppuveli and Kuchchaveli.

On the other side of the eastern coast, in the south, there is Arugam Bay, a place famous among surfers for having the best waves for surfers from the entire island.

Let’s discover together which are the three most beautiful beaches from the eastern coast of Sri Lanka and why you should include them into your travel list.

Sri Lanka beaches east coast


Trincomalee, also known as Trinco is the best beach in the eastern part for those of you looking to swim in the warm and shallow waters of the Indian Ocean.

The city is located on a peninsula and is the anglicized version of the Tamil world Tirukonamalai which means “ lord of the sacred hill”.

Pristine beach Trincomalee Sri Lanka
Pristine beach Trincomalee Sri Lanka

The city of Trincomalee is also home of the largest Dutch fort in Sri Lanka and a strategic naval base and Air Force base for the Sri Lanka army.

The beaches from the bay of Trincomalee are the perfect place for relaxing and practising water sports like scuba diving, surfing, fishing and whale watching.

Stay safe while you travel

  • medical safety abroad
  • medical assistance including COVID-19
  • emergency medical evacuation
  • trip interruption -up to $5.000
  • travel delay - up to $100/day

The waves on these Sri Lanka east coast beaches are practically non-existent and the flat waters create great conditions for snorkelling.

Pigeon Island, Uppuveli and Nilaveli Beach are the most famous places from the area where to practice snorkelling as the waters around these areas are full of marine species and fish.

With their calming waters, Uppuveli and Nilaveli are not great just for snorkelling, but also for relaxing and perfecting your tan.

Nilaveli is a long stretch of beach lined with palm trees and soft white sand with turquoise waters and a very chill vibe.

Uppuveli beach, on the other hand, is a long and sandy beach with no waves, more popular among tourists and locals.


Sri Lanka beaches east coast is yet at the development phase so most of the hotels are new and extremely beautiful.

Amaranthe Bay Resort Spa Trincomalee is one of those beautiful hotels located close to Uppuveli beach, 3 miles north to Trincomalee town.

With spacious and contemporary furnished rooms, incredible services and welcoming staff, the hotel offers a wide range of experiences, products and services.

Upon request, the hotel can arrange for you cycling tours, fishing and canoeing sessions to enjoy your time spent on these Sri Lanka east coast beaches.

Get your Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Created by

Passekudah Bay

Unfortunately, this part of the island suffered a lot after the long years of the Civil War and the devastating tsunami from 2004.

But the good news is that it started to recover and the process is quite rapid and new resorts appeared along the long stretch of golden beach.

Sri Lanka east coast beaches Passekudah Beach
Sri Lanka east coast beaches Passekudah Beach

The best time of the year to visit this part of the island and Sri Lanka beaches east coast is between May to October when it is the dry season.

The area is perfect for snorkelling, swimming and fishing and hides many interesting attractions which await to be discovered.

While in the area, pay a visit to the beautiful village of Kalkudah, located just a few kilometres south to Passekudah.


Karpaha Sands is a luxury boutique hotel offering glamping on the pristine Kalkudah beach, on the Eastern part of Sri Lanka.

There are just 17 private luxury tented suites that offer to its guests an incredible experience in the middle of nature.

In this glamping from one of the most beautiful Sri Lanka east coast beaches, luxury meet authenticity and guests can stay close to nature but have all the necessary amenities for a luxurious getaway.

You can relax under a palm tree or swim in the beautiful infinity pool or jump directly into the ocean, located just one foot away.

Get the Complete Areas and Attractins Travel Guide to Sri Lanka!

Our Sri Lanka Travel Guide Areas and Attractions ebook cuts off the unnecessary information and details contained in other travel guide books, to focus straight to the important, practical and useful information and the things you really need to see and visit when you travel to Sri Lanka plan your trip.

Learn everything you need to know about Sri Lanka and easily plan an unforgettable trip!

Arugam Bay

One of the most famous beaches from the whole island, Sri Lanka is a very developed resort with many hotels and restaurants, extremely popular among tourists.

It offers one of the best waves for surfing from all over the island and here you can find one of the most stunning beaches of Sri Lanka, with white sand and turquoise waters.

Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is the best Sri Lanka beaches east coast for relaxing a few days before starting your tour across the island.

It is also a great base to set your camp and explore the beautiful sri lankan landscape.

Among the most popular attractions located close to Arugam Bay are Yala National Park or Lahugala National Park, as well as Kudumbigala archaeological reserve.

Arugam Bay Sri Lanka Beach
Arugam Bay Sri Lanka Beach

You’d better hurry up and visit this beautiful place before it gets too crowded as the number of tourists and surfers from all over the world who visit this place increase considerably from one year to another.


Blue Waters Arugam Bay is an eco-friendly beach resort located right on the beach near some of the most important surf points from the area.

Arugam Bay Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

The hotel offers to its guests’ luxurious rooms and open-air settings that leave a minimum carbon footprint while offering great opportunities to enjoy Sri Lanka nature.

On-site there is a restaurant where guests can have all the daily meals, a garden with barbecue facilities and free private parking.


One of the most affected parts of Sri Lanka by the Civil War and the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka east coast beaches and towns start the long and hard process of recovery.

This is still an untamed part of the island with many beautiful treasures waiting to be discovered by you, the curious tourist.

Waves on Sri Lanka Beach
Great Waves for surfing on Sri Lanka Beach

You might not find the best hotels from the island, but for sure you will find one of the most incredible views of the ocean and pure nature.

Friendly locals and tasty food are another two reasons which you have to take into consideration when planning a trip to Sri Lanka.

It is an incredibly beautiful area of the island and definitely worth paying a visit, no matter if you want to explore the area or just spend a few days at the beach.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.