This long crescent of sand, partially shaded by coconut palms, is as good a reason as any to visit Arugam Bay. In season, its appeal to surfers is obvious but throughout the year it is simply a lovely place to kick back and unwind. The southern half of the beach supports a busy fishing community with wooden shacks for the hard-working crews jumbled together at the top of the sand. At dusk, locals residents gather here for a chat and a paddle. Surf schools and board rental Arugam Bay owes its popularity to its solid surf credentials, and, as such, there are a number of surf schools and board rental spots near the sand. Safa Surf School and old favourite Dylan's Surf Company are two good options, offering board rentals, repairs and lessons. Accommodation near Arugam Bay Beach Most local hotels and guesthouses are located virtually on the high tide line. Many of these family-owned enterprises have a homespun charm and what they may lack in terms of polished exteriors, they make up for in the warmth of their welcome. A few small hotels compete for guests, offering air-conditioning and hot water showers, but given the cool night breezes and the tropically hot daytime temperatures, these conveniences are not wholly necessary. Most guesthouses have shared shady terraces for home-cooked meals. Low-season discounts of 20% to 50% are common. Good options right next to the beach include, Nice Place, Happy Panda and Sandy Beach Hotel.