Surf at Elephant Rock – Arugam Bay


Elephant Rock, titled after the rock's assumed similarity to an elephant, is a popular surf spot for beginners, positioned only 4km away from Arugam Bay. Although Elephant Rock may be well known, it is one of the least crowded beaches on the island, primarily due to its lack of road access. To get here, you must take a tuk-tuk, get dropped off at the main road, and from there, it's just a little walk.

Why Visit Elephant Rock?

Elephant Rock is a small outcrop at the edge of a cove that offers fantastic panoramic views; it is a beautiful golden strip of beach and is unspoiled apart from a few people selling drinks out of small boats. Sri Lanka is an island full of lagoons, especially near beaches, and at the rear end of Elephant Rock, there is a lovely lagoon with dark, murky waters flanked by a small mangrove forest. However, please remember that, as a precaution, locals advise you not to swim in the lagoon. When the tide is high, you have to wade through the water to get to the beach, as the sea floods in the lagoon and submerges the sandbank joining the two.

Exploring Elephant Rock

To reach Elephant Rock, the journey itself is an adventure. After arriving in Arugam Bay, a popular tourist destination on the east coast of Sri Lanka, you'll need to hire a tuk-tuk. The tuk-tuk ride takes you through scenic routes, offering glimpses of local life and stunning landscapes. Once you reach the main road, the tuk-tuk will drop you off, and from there, you'll embark on a short walk towards Elephant Rock. The path includes a bit of scrambling, where you navigate through rocks and vegetation. Depending on the tide, you might also need to wade through the water to reach the beach. This unique journey adds to the charm and allure of Elephant Rock.

Surfing at Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock's popularity stems from its suitability for beginners in surfing. The waves here are calm and manageable, providing an excellent learning environment. Elephant Rock offers a less intimidating experience than other renowned surf spots, whether you're a first-time surfer or looking to improve your skills. The reliable consistency of the waves and the absence of large crowds allow beginners to practice confidently. If you don't have your surfboard, don't worry—surfboard rentals are available nearby, and experienced instructors can provide lessons to help you get started.

Other Activities and Amenities

While surfing is the main attraction at Elephant Rock, other activities exist. Boat rides and fishing trips can be arranged, allowing you to explore the coastal beauty and try your hand at catching some fish. As you stroll along the beach, you'll notice small boat vendors selling refreshing drinks, providing a taste of the local flavours. However, it's important to note that amenities near Elephant Rock are limited, so bringing water and snacks with you is advisable to ensure a comfortable visit.

Tips for Visiting Elephant Rock

To make the most of your visit to Elephant Rock, consider the following tips:

  1. Check the tides: Timing your visit with the waves is essential to avoid any inconvenience while accessing the beach. The high tide might require wading through the water, so plan accordingly.
  2. Wear appropriate footwear: The journey to Elephant Rock involves walking and scrambling on uneven terrain. Therefore, it's recommended to wear sturdy footwear to protect your feet and ensure stability.
  3. Bring water and snacks: As mentioned earlier, amenities near Elephant Rock are limited. Bringing your water and snacks will ensure you stay hydrated and energized at the beach.
  4. Please respect the environment: Elephant Rock is a new natural site, and preserving its beauty is crucial. Follow local recommendations, dispose of trash properly, and leave no trace behind.

Preserving the Beauty of Elephant Rock

With the increasing popularity of tourist destinations, it's vital to prioritize responsible tourism. However, elephant Rock's charm lies in its untouched beauty, and we must strive to maintain its allure. By respecting the environment, adhering to local guidelines, and practising sustainable travel habits, we can ensure that future generations can also enjoy this hidden gem.

Elephant Rock, resembling an elephant and its beginner-friendly surfing conditions, is a true hidden gem on Sri Lanka's east coast. Its stunning panoramic views, a golden strip of beach, and unique lagoon create an idyllic setting for adventure and relaxation. While the journey to Elephant Rock may require a tuk-tuk ride, a short walk, scrambling, and sometimes wading through water, the experience is well worth it. Whether you're a novice surfer or simply seeking a tranquil beach escape, Elephant Rock offers an unforgettable experience in an unspoiled and less crowded environment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Elephant Rock

  1. Q: Is Elephant Rock suitable for experienced surfers? A: Elephant Rock is more suitable for beginners due to its manageable waves, providing an ideal learning environment.
  2. Q: Can I swim in the lagoon at Elephant Rock? A: Locals advise against swimming in the lagoon at Elephant Rock due to safety concerns.
  3. Q: Are there any accommodations near Elephant Rocks? A: Accommodations are available nearby Arugam Bay, which is only 4km away from Elephant Rock.
  4. Q: Is there any entrance fee to visit Elephant Rocks? A: No entrance fee is required to visit Elephant Rocks.
  5. Q: Are there any restaurants or cafes near Elephant Rock? A: While amenities are limited near Elephant Rock, small boat vendors can sell drinks along the beach.


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