This popular resort offers pretty beaches, good waves and a wide range of inexpensive hotels and restaurants. The reefs just offshore attract divers and snorkelers, but the coral is beat-up and the glass-bottomed boats are too numerous for our taste. Hikkaduwa can feel too crowded and overbuilt at times (street hawkers and unofficial "tour guides" can be overbearing), so if you want to get away from it all, stay elsewhere. The small town of Ambalangoda, a short drive north of Hikkaduwa, does not have much beach, but it is an excellent place to shop for crafts. The town is principally known for its masks. There are also good batik-makers and a nationally recognized dance school in the city. Hikkaduwa is 55 mi/90 km south of Colombo.

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