Ahangama Beach, Everything You Need to Know

Are you considering visiting Ahangama Beach? Wondering what the vibes are like, if there’s much to do, how crowded it gets, or where’s good to eat? Don’t worry we’ve got the answers, welcome to our guide to Ahangama Beach, we hope you enjoy it.

There still isn’t an official Ahangama Beach. There’s nothing on the maps, a few random pins on Google, and no sign in town pointing to a location. It’s funny actually, when we first arrived in 2019 no one would even mention Ahangama Beach, it just wasn’t a thing. Back then Kabalana was the only beach in town, and a year later, the small stretch of sand outside of the Insight Resort Hotel had its moments. 

A girl stands on the edge of the rock pools at low tide on Ahangama Beach

You see, over the years Ahangama has seen some explosive growth. New hotels have popped up out of nowhere, old ones have been renovated to new hipster surfer stays, and many restaurants have changed hands. With every small change, the vibes of Ahangama have evolved and the focal point of the town has moved up and down the coast.

Over the last few years, the most amount of development has been focused around the small stretch of sand in the bay between Dream Sea Surf Camp and The French Bakery.

A side view of the restaurants and sand at Ahangama Beach at sunset

More restaurants have been set up than I can count on both hands, new hotels and cocktail bars have appeared from nowhere, and the beach has evolved from a walkway we used to skip past on our way to the breaks to a vibrant hotspot for all kinds of travellers. 

Here at Tales of the Topics, we’re all about clarity, and given the community has spoken, we’re putting the stake in the ground and claiming this is the only spot that can be called Ahangama Beach! 

The rope swing and palm trees on Ahangama Beach at sunset

Ahangama Beach at a glance

These days Ahangama Beach has grown into something beautiful in its own way and a must-visit if you’re looking for a social spot that’s a little different. 

You won’t find long stretches of deserted sand, giant walls of palm trees, the best sunset viewpoints, or the best place to swim. But what you will find is a vibe like no other. If you visit, here’s what to expect.

Two girls walk down Ahangama Beach towards the sunloungers

The good

  • Great vibes – groups hanging out, locals playing in the sea, surfers on the breaks, and people enjoying a few cocktails. Ahangama Beach is just chilled cool social vibes.
  • Food and drink – there are so many options, from swanky cocktail bars to local rice and curry. It’s one of the best places to grab a bite to eat or an espresso martini.
  • Good surf  – Animals is one of Ahangama’s best A-frames and there is a fun beach break when it works, it’s a good spot for intermediate and advanced surfers.
  • Chilling – grab a sunbed, sit on the rocks, find some space on the sand, or your favourite bar. There are so many options making it great for a chilled-out day.
A girl lounges on a bench reading a book at La Bella near Ahangama Beach

The bad

  • Small and crowded – Ahangama Beach is short, maybe only 100 meters long. If there are more than 30-40 people it can start to feel crowded.
  • Average swimming – Although it’s sand bottom there are strong currents and lots of waves, not great for floating but fun if you want to mess around. 
  • Expensive – most of the bars and restaurants are owned by Europeans, expect European prices!

The beach

Ahangama Beach is a small stretch of sand in a little bay created by a rock wall that protects the road and coastline from eroding into the ocean. It’s not going to win any prizes for the most photogenic beach but it is beautiful in its own way.

People walking down Ahangama Beach at dusk

Upon the rock wall are many bohemian bars, restaurants, and hotels – some with street-style artwork, others with dangling dreamcatchers, and almost all of them have a makeshift decking out onto the beach that gives a stunning higgledy-piggledy shoreline you won’t find in many other towns.  

Groups of people sitting in Elita, Carries and Hotel de Uncle at sunset on Ahangama Beach

The beach has a hard golden sand that can sometimes be a little damp because the waves wash up close to the rocks at high tide.

Most of the restaurants and bars put out beds you can rent for $2 a day or you can take them for free if you grab some food, some people also like to find a spot and lie on the rock wall. We personally like to find a quiet piece of sand, put some towels down, and just relax.

3 friends and a dog sitting on the sand on Ahangama Beach

Dreamsea Surf Camp is at one end of the bay and has a beautiful garden with a pool and the best rope swing in Ahangama. If you’re looking to get one of those famous head-back feet-to-the-air shots this is the spot.

If you walk further the beach turns into a stunning stretch of rockpools where you can find many local stilt fishermen.

The stilt fishermen and rock pool on Ahangama Beach

The other side of the bay ends at Thileni’s, a cool beachfront restaurant and bar that’s the best place to sit and watch the pros hit the big waves at animals.

And if you walk further you’ll end up on Insights Beach which is a great spot to watch the sunset in Ahangama.

A big orange sun low on the horizon with palm tree silhouettes in Ahangama

The vibe

Ahangama Beach is all about the laid back fun vibes. Everywhere you look something is going on – surfers hitting big waves, beginners splashing around in the whitewash, local kids playing in the shallows, couples grabbing iced coffees in the shade, wannabe influencers showing off their poses, late risers lounging around nursing their hangovers, and obviously that one person who thinks 10am beers is a good idea! 

A surfer holding an umbrella on a wave at Ahangama Beach

I’ve always hated the phrase melting pot – but maybe this will be the first time I use it to describe Ahangama Beach.

The mornings and evenings are when the vibe really shines. Early in the day, the light is soft and the wind will almost always blow offshore providing beautiful glassy waves. At this time you’ll find many surfers on the breaks whilst other people watch and eat their breakfast on the decks of the restaurants. It’s a very chilled, slow, quiet vibe.

Two people walk down Ahangama Beach in the morning whilst kids play in the ocean

As the day progresses the energy at the beach increases and so does the midday heat. Many people turn up after their morning surfs to find some shade, hang out in the bars, chill on the beach, or swim in the ocean.

It’s the kind of place filled with laughter, chatter, and the clinking of cans – or coconuts if you’re that way inclined. 

A group hang out in Hotel de Uncles bar at sunset in Ahangama

The energy keeps ramping up as the beers settle in and the sun starts to set, there’s not many places we’d rather be in the evening enjoying drinks with new friends and watching the sky change to a fiery orange.

Even when it’s dark, Ahangama Beach is still one of the best places in town to hang out, meet people, and enjoy the social vibes.

Two groups of friends drinking beers and having fun in The Pickled Pelican

If you’re wondering whether Ahangama Beach is worth a visit, hopefully the vibe tells you everything you need to know.

Things to do

Despite being small, Ahangama Beach is not short of things to do. It’s definitely a place where you can rock up in the morning, leave at midnight, and not have a moment when you were wanting for more. Here are a few recommendations so you make the most out of your visit.

Lounge around

Ahangama Beach is a great place for those who love to laze. The vibe is super relaxing so why not embrace it? Grab a sunbed, find a warm spot on the sand, or stretch out on the rocks and just chill.

Tourist lying on the sand at Ahangama Beach

Go for a swim

The ocean at Ahangama Beach is shallow and has a nice sand bottom so it’s always a good place to go for a dip and cool off. The water is not flat and the waves do come into the bay so it’s always a bit of a sporty swim – don’t expect to float around much but it’s still fun to play in the waves. 

There is a shallow reef at either end of the bay so it’s best to stay in the middle or you might run into the rocks. At mid-tide, sometimes the reef creates small natural pools where you can find a chilled spot to relax and watch the sunset.

A couple sitting in the ocean with a low orange sun at the horizon near Ahangama Beach at sunset

Hit the surf 

Animals Surf Spot is located on the right side of the bay and is one of the biggest and most powerful A-frames in Ahangama. This spot tends to be quieter than most in the town so if you’re an intermediate or advanced surfer it’s a great place to get some long left-hand walls or some shorter fast right-handers. 

A man surfing a wave at Animals Surf Spot

In the right conditions, another wave works off of the Dreamsea reef on the other side of the bay which is a nice left-hander and there is also a fun fast beach break between these two spots. If you can surf, there are plenty of options at Ahangama Beach. 

If you’re a beginner there are a few locals on the beach that offer lessons for $15-20 a session. We’ll be honest this spot isn’t the best to learn, the waves here are small and the currents don’t make it the easiest. But if you’re on the beach and spontaneously decide to give it a go then why not, you won’t regret it. Kabalana Beach and Weligama are the best spots nearby for beginners.

Read more: Ahangama Surf Guide, Find The Secret Spots

A group of beginners learning to surf at Ahangama Beach

Get a little tipsy 

No day at Ahangama Beach is complete without chilling in one of its quirky bars. Each one has a unique character and some are quiet whilst others are social so pick your spot, sip on a chilled beer or a fancy cocktail, and enjoy the sunshine. 

A man making two espresso martinis at Hotel de Uncles

All the bars tend to have different happy hours throughout the day so we like to do a little bar crawl down the beach and score the deals. Just watch out, 2 for 1 in Sri Lanka actually means buy 2 get 1 free.

Grab some food 

Ahangama Beach might have the most amount of food options per square foot in Sri Lanka, and a lot of them are great options too. Beachfront rice and curry, burger joints, hipster brunches, Sri Lankan European fusions, fresh bakery bread, upmarket traditional dishes, and of course pizza. 

A smoothie bowl served on Ahangama Beach

There are so many options to choose from you may as well have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Ahangama Beach. 

Pictures on the swing

If you’re still waiting for that killer Sri Lankan Instagram picture then you should head to the swing outside of Dreamsea Surf Camp, it’s probably the most Instagrammable spot in Ahangama.

A girl swinging in the rope swing near Dreamsea Surf Camp at Ahangama Beach

Sunset always has the best colours but there might be a queue to hop on, so if you’re looking for an empty beach shot it’s best to get them in the morning.

Explore the rock pools

At low tide, the rock pools past Dreamsea are stunning and definitely worth exploring. Here you can find many little fish, crabs, or an octopus if you’re lucky. In a couple of sections, some nice big sand bottom pools are great for a quiet dip away from the crowds and without any waves.

A girl exploring the rock pools with stilt fishermen in the background

The local stilt fishermen also use this stretch of the reef to catch their dinner so it’s a good place to watch this Sri Lankan tradition in action. 

Party until the am

Ahangama Beach might not be as renowned for the wild daily parties you’ll find in Mirissa or Hikkaduwa, but it does have some fun vibes. Every week something is happening and the type of crowd makes it one of our favourite places to party in Sri Lanka. You won’t find expensive entry prices, angry people, or dodgy drinks, just good vibes and people having fun.

A girl holding beers at a party in Hotel de Uncles in Ahangama

Every week Lamana and Hakuna Matata throw a big party on Thursday until sunrise which is the most popular event. Many other smaller one-off events happen all the time – disco nights at House of Uncle, acoustic at Crust, lock-ins at Pickled Pelican, or the big techno raves at La Bella, there’s always something going on.

If you’re lucky to be in town when one of the parties spills out onto the beach you’re in for a treat.

A group of party people watch fireworks on Ahangama Beach

Read more: 12 Amazing Things To Do In Ahangama, An Insider’s Guide

Where to eat and drink

There are so many good restaurants and bars on Ahangama Beach that you’re spoiled for choice. We tried to challenge ourselves and only recommend a top 5 but we found it impossible. So here are our top 8 instead, maybe you’ll need to extend your trip so you can try them all… we’d always recommend that option!

Hotel de Uncles

Uncles has been around for a while as a swanky city cocktail bar based in Colombo but now they’ve brought those funky vibes, great cocktails, and top quality to the South Coast. We’re glad, we think it’s our new favourite place to eat and drink on Ahangama Beach. 

A girl sits in front of the graffiti artwork at Hotel de Uncle

Hotel de Uncles serves a mix of traditional Sri Lankan dishes with an upmarket feel and some nice handpicked small plates. The meals are on the smaller side so you might want to order a few dishes but the quality is high and they are good value, we suggest trying the Lamprais which is a spicy curry steamed cooked in a banana leaf. 

A Lamprais served at Hotel de Uncle on Ahangama Beach

Every day between 3-6pm Hotel de Uncles has a buy 2 get 1 free happy hour on all their drinks and they sometimes have a DJ playing funky disco music. It’s definitely one of our favourite places to grab an Espresso Martini or a Long Island Ice Tea if we want to let a little loose.

The wooden decking looking out to the ocean at Ahangama Beach


Crust is one of the OGs of Ahangama and has been serving the best pizzas in town long before we first visited. They’ve got a cool setup with a pool table, many benches or beanbags to lounge around, and a quieter area upstairs.

A girl holding a pizza with a string of cheese at Crust in Ahangama

They don’t have a happy hour but their drinks are the cheapest on Ahangama Beach so if you’re looking for a beachfront pizza and beer you can’t get better than Crust.

La Bella

La Bella is in the corner of the bay and has a nice view down the coast so this is a great place to sit on their low benches or a beanbag, grab a drink and watch the sunset. These guys don’t serve food but they do have a great cocktail menu and a buy 2 get 1 free happy hour between 5-7pm. Their watermelon arrack is so good!

Two people drink beers at sunset at La Bella in Ahangama

La Bella tends to play techno and rave music so the vibe is always bordering on a little party even if nothing is on and sometimes they throw big events under their canopy – they’re some of the best in Ahangama.


Cactus is the epitome of cool chilled hangout vibes. This cafe and restaurant have a stunning garden with fresh-cut grass surrounded by chic-style tables, wicker chairs, and low benches. Their food is as fresh as their vibe with tasty bowls packed full of fruit and pickled vegetables, just add one of their Aperol Spritz’s and you’ve got the perfect brunch spot.

The garden an courtyard at Cactus in Ahangama


If you want to find the best spot on Ahangama Beach to watch the surfers you have to visit Thileni’s. This cafe, bar, and restaurant is directly in front of the Animals Surf Spot and when the swell is pumping there’s no better bar in town to watch the pros. Grab an iced coffee, a beer, a cocktail, or some of their tapas plates and enjoy the live action. 

The wooden decking and two people having food at Thileni's

Hakuna Matata 

Hakuna Matata has a special place in our hearts. We’ve been eating their jackfruit burgers and burritos for years and we think they might be the best in Sri Lanka. Located a little further down the beach the vibe tends to be quieter so it’s a nice place to come for an evening drink most days of the week.

A jackfruit burger served at Hakuna Matata in Ahangama

On Thursdays, Hakuna throws the afterparty for Lamana and this place gets jam-packed and the music plays until sunrise.

Pickled Pelican

Every shorefront needs a sports bar and luckily Ahangama Beach has The Pickled Pelican. This part Bali beach bar, part Dutch sports bar has a pool table and flat-screen TV so if any big games are playing this is a great place to come for a beer. In 2022 we watched the World Cup semi-final between England and France at 5am after quite a few espresso martinis in one of Stephan’s famous lock-ins, if you get the chance you have to go to one. 

A girl playing pool at The Pickled Pelican


Last but not least is Carries, one of our favourite places to eat on Ahangama Beach. Clearly taking some influence from Morrocco, this restaurant is full of low tables, coral shades, flowing drapes, and pastel doors. Grab a tagine and one of their tasty frozen cocktails (all named after the Sex and the City characters) and enjoy a chilled afternoon.

Two Moroccan dishes served at Carries in Ahangama

Read more: 15 Best Restaurants in Ahangama

Where to stay near Ahangama Beach

Ahangama stretches 4km along the main road with many hotels claiming they are based in the town when really they are quite far out – so take care when booking. There are 3 distinct regions to stay in Ahangama:

  • Kabalana Beach – the beach and jungle part of the town – best for chilled vibes and beach life (15-minute walk to Ahangama Beach)
  • Ahangama Town – where the hustle and bustle happens – best for the hipster cafes, parties, and being close to the shops (2-minute walk to Ahangama Beach)
  • Sion – a quieter stretch of hotels on the east side of town – best for luxury hotels and peaceful vacations (20-minute walk to Ahangama Beach)

Read more: where to stay in Ahangama and the top hotels

A map of Ahangama Beach relative to the best places to stay in Ahangama

In all of these areas you have the choice to stay beachfront, roadside, or in the jungle. The beachfront is amazing being able to wave check daily and be right in the action but it comes with a higher cost, the roadside is cheaper but still close to the beach, and the jungle is where you get the cheapest stays or unique accommodation – and the opportunity to see monkeys!

If you’re going to make Ahangama Beach your go-to spot we highly recommend staying within walking distance of Ahangama Town, here are a few of our favourite places to stay.

Dreamsea Surf Camp

Location: Beachfront

Price: $100-120 pn

If you’re looking for the best shorefront accommodation on Ahangama Beach, you must stay at Dreamsea. This surf camp is absolutely stunning with a beautiful jungle entrance, big double rooms, hanging chairs on your balcony, a stunning pool in their well-kept garden, and direct access to the beach. 

A girl walking through the jungle entrance of Dreamsea Surf Camp in Ahangama

Prices are a little expensive at $100+ a night but you do get a top quality service. Dreamsea tends to sell out fast so it’s best to book early if you want to stay, their rooms are only available via Expedia.

Book now: see latest prices

The pool and garden with parasols at Dreamsea Surf Camp

Marshmellow / Pelicanbay

Location: Beachfront

Price: $50-60 pn

If you want to be beachfront but with more affordable prices the best places to stay are in the rooms above the bars and restaurants. We’ve stayed in both Pickled Pelican and Marshmellow and really enjoyed our stays.

The concrete floor saying the marshmellow

The rooms are a little smaller but they still have comfy double beds, nice decor, and a balcony looking right over Ahangama Beach. There was nothing better than waking up in the morning to wave check Animals or sipping a few beers on the roof at sunset! Prices are around $50-60 per night, we thought they were good value for the area.

Book now (Pelicanbay): see latest prices

Book now (Marshmellow): see latest prices

A girl sitting on the balcony at the marshmellow hotel and rooms

Ohana Surf House

Location: Roadside (3 mins to the beach)

Price: $60 pn

A few minutes up Galle Road from Ahangama Beach is Ohana Surf house and it’s a great option for people who want amazing quality for a good price. This hotel offers really big rooms, super comfy beds, private balconies, a shaded pool, a beautiful rooftop, and a great breakfast. Paulo is also a very funny host, it’s great vibes at Ohana and we highly recommend staying here if you can’t find somewhere on the beach in your budget.

Book now: see latest prices

A hanging swinging chair on the balcony of Ohana Surf House in Ahangama

Lihinya Beach Villa

Location: Beachfront (2 min to the beach)

Price: $150-200 pn

If you get the opportunity and you can afford it you should definitely stay at Lihinya Beach Hotel. We think this is the best value upmarket hotel in Ahangama for the price. Stunning beachfront rooms, balconies to watch the sunset, high-quality furnishing, a beautiful pool, a great breakfast, and its beachfront. It’s been our favourite stay in Ahangama so far.

Lihinya is a short 2-minute walk further from Ahangama Beach and almost has its own private beachfront with a great view of Animals Surf Spot. Every morning was just perfect getting out on the waves early and then eating the best breakfast from their private chef. You can’t get much better in Ahangama.

Book now: see latest prices

A front facing view of Lihinya with a girl standing on her balcony and the pool in the foreground

Ahangama Beach FAQs

When is the best time to visit

Ahangama is a year-round destination but does have peak times and different weather throughout the year. The best surf conditions are between November and April when the wind blows consistently offshore and the waves are glassy. The peak months are between January and March when the weather is most consistent. In the other months, you can still visit Ahangama Beach but it will be quiet, some places will be closed, and it will rain a lot more. 

Three local kids walking down Ahangama Beach at sunset

Are there more beaches in Ahangama

Absolutely! We think Ahangama Beach is one of six must-see beaches in the town. Whether you want to find secret little covers or popular sunset spots, long deserted beaches, or the perfect shoreline to swim, there are many beaches worth exploring. 

Read more: 6 Must-See Beaches in Ahangama

A girl walking down a deserted south beach in Ahangama

Where is Ahangama Beach Located

The beach is located in the centre of Ahangama, a small surf town on the South Coast of Sri Lanka.

Location: Dreamsea Surf Camp to the French Bakery

What should I bring

There are many shops, bars, and restaurants on Ahangama Beach so you can pack light. Make sure to bring suncream, some water, and a towel if you plan on swimming.

Pink skys and the view of the top swing in Ahangama Bay

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