Traditionally among the most popular of all tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay has been receiving western travellers for decades. Offering arguably the best surf on the island, this pristine strip of white beach on the island's South East coast has been cultivating its laidback, tourist-friendly atmosphere since a group of intrepid Australian surfers set up shop here in the late 1960s. Arugam Bay is great place to relax for a few days. It also is a good base for exploring the surrounding area, and day trips to nearby Yala East or Lahugala National Parks can be arranged. Also of interest is the Kudumbigala archeological reserve, which contains a centuries-old network of caves once occupied by Buddhist monks. Arugam Bay was hit very hard by the 2004 tsunami, but continues to make a stirring comeback. Visit now, before rapid tourism development will change its unique character forever.