Why Ahangama is a Must-Visit for Digital Nomads 

Are you thinking of remote working from Ahangama? Wondering what the vibes are like, if the internet works, and what the town has to offer? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. Welcome to our digital nomad guide to Ahangama, and why we think it’s a must-visit location.

When you’ve been a digital nomad for a while, you know there are those places you keep coming back to. Those towns or cities you gravitate towards, those easy places to meet great people, the perfect spots to relax and chill, do those daily activities you love, enjoy the sun on your skin, smash out the best work of your life, and just live.

Many places in the world fit that bill. Changgu, Koh Phangan, The Canary Islands, Lisbon, and Santa Terresa are some of my favourites. But really, if I could only pick one place I would keep coming back to, that would have to be Ahangama.

Two people walking on Ahangama Beach at sunset

It’s hard to explain why. I’ve been to places with better surf, cheaper accommodation, nicer food, more stable internet, or wilder parties. But there’s something about Ahangama that’s just right. Maybe it’s the not-too-hot, not-too-cold, Goldilocks location that all digital nomads are looking for.

Somedays I can just sit on a rooftop with some headphones and the sun on my face in a complete flow state solving problems I could never do elsewhere. Other days, it’s just so easy to disconnect, hit some party waves with some friends, hang out, and have a laugh. And on the odd occasion, it’s just easy to disappear and go for an adventure. 

The sun setting behind the clouds with a very orange sky in Ahangama

Every day in Ahangama is enjoyable, and moving between moments has never felt simpler.

Who knows, it might be the effortless blend of chilled laidback vibes, the perfect combination of work and play, the great community to laugh and live with, and obviously, the surf that keeps you coming back for more. Here, the mix of stunning beaches, fun waves, vibrant cafes, and the odd loose party creates a vibe that’s perfect for digital nomads. 

In this article, I’ll try and give you all the details of what makes Ahangama great and all the insights on how to make the most of your visit, I bet you’ll be booking a flight straight after reading it! 

A digital nomad working on the beach in Ahangama

Why Ahangama is great for digital nomads

The vibe

Ahangama just hits a little differently. For such a small town it packs a wider range of experiences, different types of people, and contrasting vibes than anywhere else we’ve been in Sri Lanka. It’s almost got a city-like buzz located in a small tranquil coastal town.

Throughout the day you’ll always be able to find somewhere that matches your energy. If you head to the town center, you’ll be surrounded by the chaos of locals going about their day, watching them trade fish for mangos, clambering out of packed trains, and beeping their Tuk Tuk horns as they weave along the roads. 

Locals on a train at Ahangama train station

But if you walk 30 meters down one of the small backstreet alleys off the main street it’s so easy to escape the dust and the noise and find a deserted beach with almost no one on it – feel the wind through your hair, the sand between your toes, the salt on your skin, and all of a sudden the chaos passes for pure relaxation.

A girl walks down Ahangama beach with a beautiful sunset in the background

These small pockets of magic exist in so many places throughout the town. Whether you want to find a quiet cove to float in, have a popping heavy jungle party, work around other digital nomads, be social in a bar, hit some big waves, or just take a quiet walk through the backstreets to find some monkeys, there will always be a vibe that keeps you canceling your next travel plans.

But there’s something deeper about Ahangama’s energy that makes this the perfect town for digital nomads. When we first visited in 2019 there was almost nothing apart from the surf and a few shacks on the beach. Since then, this town has seen some explosive growth with many hotels, bars, co-working spaces, and small businesses being set up by foreigners and locals wanting to make their dreams a reality.

People sitting at a bar on Ahangama beach

This town is now like the Sri Lankan gold rush with so many entrepreneurs moving here and putting in the grind to make their thing work, and always with a smile on their faces. When you’re around such infectious energy, it’s so easy to catch the bug and find the motivation to really crank out your own projects. 

So whether you’re an online business owner looking to up your mojo, or maybe a remote worker just wanting to enjoy the surf and beach life, Ahangama has the perfect vibe for digital nomads. 

A digital nomad sits on a chair with his laptop on his legs

Amazing Surf

The Rock, Marshmallows, Sticks, and Animals. Ahangama has some of the most well-known surf spots in Sri Lanka. To be honest, I’m not sure who put the town on the map first – Google Maps or Magicseaweed! So if you like to work and surf, Ahangama is the perfect town for you.

A man surfing a wave in Ahangama, one of the top things to do as a digital nomad

Ahangama has many reef breaks so it’s great for intermediate and advanced surfers who have endless spots to choose from. Whether you prefer a shortboard or longboard, mellow takeoffs, or steeper rides, there’s something for everyone. 

If you’re looking for world-class waves, Ahangama is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to find them. The Rock is a stunning big aframe that’s all over Instagram and the beach break nearby is regularly used for competitions. If you’re like me though, you’ll probably search for a nice quiet spot, this is also one of the only towns where you can find a peak all to yourself if you look hard enough.

A local man surfing an overhead wave at The Rock Kabalana

If you’re a beginner, Kabalana Beach is a great place to learn with cheaper lessons and fewer crowds than some of the surrounding towns. Board rental is typically $2-3 a day and you can organise private lessons for under $10-15 a session.

If you fancy a surf camp, there are more in Ahangama than anywhere else in Sri Lanka – LaPoint, Dreamsea, and Ticket to Ride are some of the best.

Read more: Ahangama Surf Guide, Find The Secret Spots

A beginner surf catches a wave in Ahangama with the sun setting behind her

A base for adventures

Most tourists who visit Sri Lanka hop along the coast from town to town every few days to tick off all the “must-sees”. We’ll be honest, we think this is a tiring way to explore the South because all the towns are a short bus ride away, and the hassle of moving is never worth it – it’s best to pick 1-2 towns as your base and visit the others on day trips.

A man drives a Tuk Tuk down a road in Sri Lanka

Ahangama will always be one of our top recommendations. Here, the hotels are nicer, the food options are better, the surf is quieter, and there are less rowdy tourists to ruin your vibe. 

The town also has a nice central location to use as a base – Galle, Mirissa, Weligama, Unawatuna, and Madiha are all less than a 30-minute ride away. Even a safari in Udawlawe to see Elephants, a day trip to the rainforest, or a river cruise is simple to organise without having to move location.

Read more: 6 Must-See Beaches in Ahangama

An Elephant next to a jeep at Udawalwe Safari


Ahangama is always a great place to meet people. The community is as diverse as it is welcoming, there is a good mix of business owners, long-stay surfers, remote workers from the Western world, photographers, micro-influencers, tourists, and so much more. 

A girl sits on a rooftop table at Elements Ahangama being social

Here, the line between locals and foreigners blurs more than other towns and everyone is really friendly. Join a volleyball game on the beach, chat with surfers on the breaks, have a laugh over a few beers, dance the night away with a new group, or just chat work in the office. The community here is almost like an extended family and you’ll find it easy to meet new lifelong friends.

A man plays football with the local kids on Kabalana Beach

Digital nomad infrastructure

Between all the waves and the sun, at some point, as digital nomads, we know we have to rack up the board and open the laptop.

A laptop on a bench and palm trees in the background

Sri Lanka often likes to make this a little challenging – the internet is often slow, there are fewer comfortable places to work, and you might run into the odd power cut. But, if there’s one town on the island that bucks this trend, it would have to be Ahangama.

Here, the influx of foreign business owners has made this the premium digital nomad destination with a lot more infrastructure to make working easy – many hotels have fiber internet, the mobile networks are stable-ish, there are co-live accommodations, a couple of airconditioned co-work spaces, and tonnes of cafes to explore – it’s probably the easiest town to work from in Sri Lanka.

A girl working on her laptop in Cactus Ahangama

Food, bars, and nightlife

Once you’ve closed the laptop, Ahangama is a great place to relax, hang out, and grab some food. There are loads of options from hipster surf cafes, local curry shacks, Middle Eastern street food, jungle Asian restaurants, or beachfront burgers. It’s a foodie’s heaven.

The turkish breakfast served at Sisters Away in Ahangama

After you’ve eaten, there are countless bars to grab a local arrack or a pina colada and watch the sunset, meet some people, or play some bar games.

And if you continue into the night, there’s always a party to attend or a bonfire on the beach. Ahangama is just full of things to do and has a great social vibe that is perfect for balancing work with play.

Read more: 12 Amazing Things To Do In Ahangama

Groups of people watch fireworks and a bonfire at Ahangama Beach

Why avoid Ahangama

I’ll be honest, there’s almost no reason for us to avoid Ahangama. But one person’s chalk is another’s cheese, so here’s why you might want to skip the town.

It’s relatively expensive

Ahangama has become popular over the years evolving from a small undiscovered surf town to one of the hottest up-and-coming must-visit destinations.

With all the foreigners setting up swanky hotels, the additional visitor demand, and the inflationary pressures Sri Lanka has been facing, it is now a relatively expensive town for digital nomads.

A girl walk through the jungle walkway towards Dreamsea

It must be said this is all relative. The prices in Ahangama are comparable and slightly cheaper than the Canary Islands, Portugal, and other popular European digital nomad hotspots. But when you think about it, this town is in Sri Lanka and the country is in Asia, so compared to Thailand or Indonesia, it’s definitely on the expensive side. 

Ahangama can still be done cheaply, it’s possible to find local places to stay for $10-15 a night, and food from local restaurants is only $2. But if you’re looking for luxury at rock-bottom prices Ahangama isn’t the town for you – there’s a full cost breakdown and what to expect further in this article. 

Black Honey hotel shot over the rice fields, one of the best spots for digital nomads to work

Small-town vibes

So many of the benefits of Ahangama come from its laid-back, small-town vibes – quiet-ish surf, empty beaches, fun parties, and amazing community. None of this would be possible if the town was bigger and more developed. 

But Ahangama isn’t a city or even a big town, it’s a small surf destination, and for some that might feel a little limiting.

You won’t find loads of other digital nomads, meetups are rare, local transport is poor, hotel showers are often cold, and you won’t find many swanky restaurants or rooftop bars. If you like the buzz of a big city or the luxury of somewhere more developed then there are better options in the world.

Locals sitting on a sea wall with umbrellas in Ahangama

Internet speeds

Sri Lanka is always full of surprises and excitement, and the internet is no different. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and it definitely adds a bit of spice and stress whilst you’re digital nomading.

But if you know what you’re doing, the issues are easy to avoid, here’s everything you need to know about staying connected to keep your trip stress-free.

A girl reading a book at La Bell on Ahangama Beach

Wifi connectivity

The wifi in Sri Lanka is hit or miss. A lot of hotels and cafes use unreliable mobile connectivity, if more than two people are working it tends to be difficult to have any video calls and web pages are slow to load. We highly suggest using your SIM card if only mobile wifi is available.

Mobile2 – 8 MbpsPoor
Fiber30 – 80 MbpsHigh

The fiber connection in Ahangama is much better typically providing 50 Mbps+ and it’s fine for anything you need to do, I often find it faster than the internet in London and other major European cities.

All of the co-work and co-live spaces use fiber in Ahangama and many of the hotels have it too, so if you need stable internet, it’s best to stay or work from one of these places. 

A digital nomad and his laptop in Ahangama

Mobile connectivity

People online will tell you that Dialog or Mobitel are the best providers in Sri Lanka, but this advice is outdated. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, and it really depends on where you are visiting.

The real key to working in Sri Lanka is to buy a few SIM cards and match them to where you are going, at least one will work in any town you visit. 

Dialog6 – 12 MbpsMedium$6 / 20gb
Mobitel20 – 30 MbpsHigh$5 / 20gb
Hutch3 – 15 MbpsMedium$3 unlimited

In Ahangama, we suggest getting a Mobitel SIM, which is the best provider in the town and has good 20gb or unlimited internet packages.

A group of travelers have beers and chat in a bar in Ahangama

It’s always a good idea to get a backup SIM as well, if you buy a Mobitel we like to match it with another Hutch SIM because they are cheap and tend to work in most places where Mobitel doesn’t.

Whenever we visit Ahangama we try and choose a hotel with fiber internet because it makes everything so much easier. But sometimes we like to stay in a nice beachfront location or we can’t find any suitable hotels so we have to use our SIMs for work. When this happens we rarely have any issues so don’t worry about staying online if you get the right SIM.

Top tip: the airport charges 4x the local stores – it’s best to download offline Google Maps and get a cheap SIM at your destination. 

A man works on his laptop whilst looking out to the ocean in Ahangama

Co-working and cafes

If your hotel doesn’t have a suitable place to work, or you like to get out of your room and head to a co-working space or a cafe then there are lots of suitable options in Ahangama. Here are some of our favourite places to check out.

Focus Hub

Focus Hub is the most popular co-working space in town and the best place for getting your head down and doing some quiet work.

Located on the second floor of a commercial building in the center of town, this co-work space is comfortable with good air conditioning and the choice between tables, stalls, or beanbags to sit on. 

The focus hub sign, one of the best digital nomad cowork spaces in Ahangama

Focus Hub has fiber internet with a battery backup so if the power goes down you can still stay connected. A day pass is $6 and you can get a month for $110, free water is included in the price and they can make granola bowls if you get hungry. The only downside to this co-working space is that it gets busy and closes at 10pm, which isn’t great if you work on European times.

Location: Ahangama Town

Cafe Ceylon

If you’re looking for the cheapest and quietest co-working space in Ahangama you should head to Cafe Ceylon. This restaurant and hotel has a nice quiet workspace with good fiber that barely anyone uses. There is no aircon, but with good internet, free water, and late opening times it’s great for anyone who wants to find somewhere empty to work from. A day pass is $5 and a month pass is $110.

Location: Kabalana Beach


Nets is the latest co-live and co-working space in Ahangama offering top-quality facilities and laid-back vibes. This pastel pink hotel and workspace is tucked 200 meters back from the beach in the jungle with a pool, good fiber internet, and nice decor. It’s a little expensive at $10 a day or $150 a month, but if you want a quiet co-work space with the best service you won’t find better than Nets.

Location: Jungle near Sion

Nets cowork and colive location


If you’re like me, sometimes you’ll want to work from the beach or just be surrounded by some buzzing vibes. If you’re ever in that mood in Ahangama, it’s best to head to Cactus which is a fun beachfront cafe with good wifi, a stunning well put together garden, great views over the Indian Ocean, and nice coffee. 

The garden at Cactus

Here, it is a little noisy and there will be tourists chilling or drinking around you. But, Cactus lets digital nomads work for free if you buy some drinks or some food and it’s easy to put some headphones in and hide away for a few hours. If you want to be around some energy whilst you work, Catus is a great option.

Location: Ahangama Beach

Digital Nomads working from Cactus in Ahangama

Black Honey

1km back from Kabalana Beach, past the jungle, and overlooking the rice paddies is one of the coolest spots in town, Black Honey. This new hotel, coworking space, and swanky restaurant has amazing aesthetics with pastel colours, marble table tops, and black-rimmed curved windows.

It’s the perfect place to come for a chilled morning, have some of the best food in town, and do some casual work whilst overlooking the rice paddies. Black Honey doesn’t charge digital nomads if they buy drinks or food. 

Location: Kabalana rice paddies

A digital nomad working from one of the desks in Black Honey

Read more: 15 Best Restaurants in Ahangama

Where to stay

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
  • Ahangama Town – where the hustle and bustle happens – best for the hipster cafes, parties, and being close to the shops
  • Sion – a quieter stretch of hotels on the east side of town – best for luxury hotels and peaceful vacations
A map of Ahangama and the three main regions to stay in

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 waves, and the jungle is where you get cheap stays or unique accommodation – and the opportunity to see monkeys!

If you’re staying in Ahangama for a while then all of these areas tend to be comfortable and good for digital nomads, but our favourite places to stay are in Ahangama Town, the beachfront at Kabalana, or the jungle near Kabalana – the vibes are just better in these places and life is easier. Here are some of our top hotel recommendations for digital nomads in Ahangama.

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

Ohana Surf House

A few minutes up the road from Ahangama Beach and town center is Ohana Surf House, which is a great option for people who want amazing quality at a good price. This hotel offers really big rooms, super comfy beds, private balconies, a shaded pool, a beautiful rooftop, and a great breakfast. 

The outdoor balcony and seating area for Ohana Surf Camps rooms

Paulo is also a very funny host, it’s great vibes at Ohana with laughs throughout the day. But when you need to get your head down it’s easy to disappear into your room and work from their giant desks. Ohana uses mobile connectivity but it still works and the Mobitel connection is good from the rooms. This is definitely one of our top recommendations in Ahangama for digital nomads.

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 4 – $60pn for good quality
  • Location: 4 – Ahangama Town roadside
  • Work/internet: 4 – Big desks in room, average mobile wifi
  • Rooms: 5 – Big, aircon, comfy beds, nice balcony, cleaned regularly. 

Best place to book: booking.com

The rooftop terrace at Ohana Surf Camp, great for seeing which waves are working

Nuga House / Venus Villa

Nuga House and Venus Villa are two of our favourite places to stay when we’re working in Ahangama. Both of these hotels are owned by the same people but slightly different in what they offer. Nuga House is a communal surf and yoga hotel with a nice restaurant and Venus Villa is a private collection of 8 rooms with a communal kitchen – so you can pick which vibe you fancy.

One of the rooms at Nuga House

Both of these options are based near Kabalana Beach in the jungle so they are great for people who want a quieter time, be a little out of the action, and be close enough to enjoy the benefits of Ahangama Town. The only downside to this hotel is the lack of desks and working areas in the rooms.

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 4 – $60-70pn
  • Location: 3 – Kabalana jungle area
  • Work/internet: 2 – Only communal spaces, average internet
  • Rooms: 4 – Medium sized, aircon, comfy beds, good pool. 

Best place to book (Nuga): booking.com

Best place to book (Venus): booking.com

The rooms overlooking the pool at Venus Villa


If you want to be around other digital nomads and remote workers there is nowhere better to stay than Colive in Ahangama. This accommodation was the first dedicated co-living space in the town with beautifully designed rooms, comfortable workspaces, the best internet, and a good digital nomad crowd. 

Ahangama Colive accomodation pool

Colive is located 250 meters back from the beach in the jungle near Sion. This location definitely is tucked away and it’s a bit far from town, but if you want somewhere where you can really focus and make work your priority then you can’t get better in Ahangama.

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 3 – $60-70pn
  • Location: 3 – Sion jungle area
  • Work/internet: 5 – Lots of workspace options, fiber internet
  • Rooms: 4 – Big rooms, aircon, comfy beds, good pool, great service. 

Best place to book: booking.com

Ahangama Colive rooms

Ceagull Villa

One of our favourite budget hotels in Ahangama is Ceagull. For the price, it’s hard to get better – huge rooms, good aircon, a giant comfy bed, hot high-pressure water, and all the amenities you need for a really comfy stay.

Ceagull is located just behind the rail tracks in the jungle area between Ahangama Town and Kabalana. The location isn’t the most convenient, but that’s what makes it so cheap. If you get a bike it’s easy to explore the town and really for the price you can’t get better quality.

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 5 – $20-25pn
  • Location: 3 – Jungle between Kabalana and Ahangama
  • Work/internet: 3⭐ – Desks in room, average internet
  • Rooms: 4 – Giant rooms, hot showers, aircon, huge beds. 

Best place to book: booking.com


If you’re looking for the best budget beachfront option for digital nomads in Ahangama we highly suggest Tharanga Surfing Villa. This accommodation is located right on Kabalana Beach and is only $25 a night!

The garden at Tharanga Surf Villa

We’ve stayed here multiple times and yes the rooms are basic but they still have aircon, a comfy bed, a balcony, a fridge, a small desk, ok internet, and breakfast included. But for the price, you really can’t beat their beautiful garden and beachfront access. There are not a lot of rooms in this hotel so make sure to book early if you want to get one.

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 4 – $25pn
  • Location: 5 – Kabalana beachfront
  • Work/internet: 3 – Small desk, average internet
  • Rooms: 2 – Small, aircon, ok beds.

Best place to book: booking.com

Timeless Villa

This 20-room hotel is located right on Kabalana Beach and has stunning rooms with giant balconies, a pool, a restaurant, a nice chillout garden, and beachfront access. Timeless Villa is one of our favorite places to stay and a great option for digital nomads who want top-quality, the best location, and to be right next to the surf.

The garden at Timeless Villa looking out to Kabalana Beach

What I loved about staying here was waking up early and stepping out onto the balcony to wave-check every morning. It was perfect knowing whether I should rush to get out or have a few more minutes in bed… which normally resulted in heading straight to the beach.

Timeless Villa was also great to work from with giant rooms, consistent fiber internet, big desks, and a quiet vibe. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the other options, you won’t regret staying here.

The master bedrooms with views looking out over Kabalana Beach at Timeless Villa

At a glance:

  • Price/Value: 3 – $100-120pn
  • Location: 5 – Kabalana beachfront
  • Work/internet: 5 – Big desk and fiber internet
  • Rooms: 5 – Big rooms, good aircon, great beds, huge balconies.

Best place to book: booking.com

A girl standing in the garden near the pool at Timeless Villa

Digital Nomad Visas

Sri Lanka has a visa-on-arrival system for most nationalities and runs an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before traveling, so it’s very easy to get a visa. The Sri Lankan government regularly changes their visa periods and prices so the best place to check is their ETA website for the latest information or to apply.

At the moment you can only get a 30-day visa for $50 on entry with a pre-approved ETA and you’ll need to extend for 2 or 3 months if you want to stay longer. Extensions of the visa currently cost $50 per month. There are three ways to extend:

If you’re going to stay over 30 days we highly suggest using their online visa extension portal to apply for a new visa as soon as possible after landing. The system can be a bit slow and janky so sometimes you’ll get a visa in 4-5 days, and sometimes it takes 10-15, it’s best to apply early and just get it out of the way.

Groups of digital nomads sitting enjoying lunch at Cactus

Ahangama for digital nomads FAQs

When to visit

Ahangama is a year-round destination but it 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 but it will be quiet, some places will be closed, and it will rain a lot more.

Crowds gather to watch the sunset at Kabalana Beach

Cost of living

Sri Lanka is generally quite cheap, definitely not as cheap as other Asian destinations but it can be done on a budget and you can get great value if you look hard enough.

Ahangama tends to be more expensive than a lot of other Sri Lankan towns because of the accommodation prices and the town’s popularity. Ahangama can still be done cheaply though and even if it costs more, the town makes up for it with great value. Here’s what to expect if you visit.

Typical Prices: 

  • Accommodation – budget private room $15-25 per night | mid level private room $50-70 per night
  • Western food – $8-18 per person
  • Local food – $2-4 per person
  • Coffee – $2-3 per coffee
  • Moped rental – $3 per day
  • Tuk Tuk ride – $2-3 in town | $5-10 to the nearby local towns
  • Surf rental – $3-5 a day
  • Drinks – beer $2.5 | cocktails $4-5
  • Mobile internet – $3-5 per month

Top tip: you should negotiate for almost everything you buy that isn’t in a restaurant or a supermarket. The locals will start 2-3x higher than the real price they are willing to pay.

Crime and safety

Ahangama is relatively safe for tourists. Locals are friendly, and crime rates are low. We’ve visited over 5 times and spent a collective 6 months in the town without any issues. The only time to watch out is if you’re a solo female and go to a beach party, some of the locals, and non-locals can be a little creepy.

A lot of people ask us if Sri Lanka is still safe after their economic issues in 2022. We were there at the time and have been back 3 times since. The news has made this seem much worse than it is for tourists and we still think this is a great time to visit. It’s a little quieter than before but the waves keep pumping and the vibe is still great. We always recommend Sri Lanka!

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