Mirissa’s Secret Beach
While in Ella, Henriko, Emilie, and myself had heard about a “Secret Beach” in Mirissa, away from the crowds and other tourists. We did some research online and knew that we had to visit it. The good thing about the Secret Beach is that it’s not too secret that it can’t be found, but also not too accessible for everyone.
Since we had spent our first day in Mirissa amongst the main beaches, we wanted to check out the Secret Beach when we returned from whale watching. During the whale watching tour, we befriended an Australian named Wyndham, who was also a solo traveler, so we invited him along as well.
The Secret Beach is accessible by walking, but it is about a 45 minute walk from the main road. Since it was already mid-afternoon, Henriko and I decided to take a tuk-tuk, while Emilie, Emma, and Matias elected to walk. We paid 300 LKR total for the ride (~$2 USD), well worth it! Most tuk tuk drivers should know where the Secret Beach is. If one does not, simply move on to the next one, as there are plenty of drivers in Mirissa.
When Henriko and I arrived at the Secret Beach, there were only about 10 other people there. There is a nice little beach bar situated on the “main beach” with various recliners and sunbeds to relax in. There is another cove around the corner that was completely deserted, with the exception of a few beach dogs. Henriko and I decided to hang out here, as this part of the beach truly felt “secret”. We set up our towels and headed into the water to cool ourselves off. The Secret Beach reminded me of “The Beach” in Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, where the book and movie are based on. Unfortunately, that beach is far from secret, as I chalk it up as tourism at its worst.
Wyndham, Emilie, Emma, and Matias soon met us at the beach and we had a relaxing afternoon, capped off by a beautiful sunset. We all decided that we would be returning here the next day.
The next day at Secret Beach, we decided to splurge and rent daybeds to relax. At only 500 LKR, they were a steal! We again had a great time hanging out at the Secret Beach away from the crowds and noise. The cove with the beach bar was sheltered from the waves, so we had fun skipping rocks there for a bit, trying to outdo each other. Unfortunately the late afternoon turned too cloudy to see another sunset.
For our last night in Mirissa, we decided to eat dinner out on the main beach, as restaurants set up tables and candles right by the water during the evenings. We decided on a place that was offering 150 cocktails for Happy Hour that lasted from 8pm-midnight! I don’t think I’ll ever find cocktails that cheap again in my life. We dined on freshly caught seafood and our drinks of choice.
While we were eating, a mother turtle came out of the water, hoping to lay her eggs. A crowd of people jumped up to surround the turtle trying to touch it and take pictures with the flash on. I felt terrible for the poor creature, who was simply trying to lay her eggs. Luckily, she was able to retreat back into the water fairly quickly. This was just another example of Sri Lanka’s problem with animal tourism. Tourists and locals either don’t know that they are potentially harming the animals or simply don’t care-and I’m not sure which is worse.
Luckily, that did not put too much of a damper on our night. Henriko, Emilie, and I would all be continuing our journeys west along the coast, but we had plans to stay in different beach towns. I was planning on going to Hikkaduwa to get a few dives in, while Henriko and Emilie planned to go to Unawatuna. We made plans to meet up one more time-to explore the colonial town of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage site located near to both Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna.