Arugam Bay is famous for its surfing points that attract surfers from around the world. Many of them make Arugam Bay their home during the surfing period, which is from April to October. Arugam Bay Point, which is at the tip of the bay is considered to be an advanced point, where the waves can rise to a height of five to ten metres depending on the swell and oceanic conditions. As such Arugam Bay point is a haven for experienced surfers. The actual ‘bay’ of Arugam Bay is peppered with small cosy hotels. One area of the beach is full of fishing boats as that is the livelihood of the coastal area, but this does not disturb the surfers.
A little way from the South of Arugam Bay, you will come to an endearing little village called Panama. The unspoilt rural neighbourhood is full of life and tradition that is rare in the modern Sri Lanka. The way of life of the occupiers of Panama still holds traces dating back hundreds of years and it is still being passed on to the next generation. The distinctive village is encircled by farming lands, paddy fields and greenery. The community living in harmony with the natural beauty of Sri Lanka only holds within it 5000 families across the Panama—the only village known to be comprised purely on sinhalese citizens, in the east.
Kumana is well known for its wildlife and more so for its migratory and indigenous bird population. Sightings of changeable hawk eagles, painted and rare black necked storks, egrets, godwits, ibis and many more are possible by the many lagoons, and reflected in eyes of curious, wandering jackals. While on safari, watch out for the elephants, spotted, and sambhur deer. They too are quite active around watering holes like the Kumana Villu swamp, and in pockets of lush foliage. Kumana is situated in the eastern district of Ampara and is 12km south of Arugam Bay. There is a turn off just before the town of Panama, which leads to the National Park.