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The southern beaches of Sri Lanka are the most popular for tourists, with the main season extending from October to April when the monsoon has moved on and the sea is calm and tranquil under bright blue skies. Bentota is one of the loveliest resorts on the coastal road, featuring good hotels, water sports and a picturesque beach at the river mouth.
Scuba divers enjoy Hikkaduwa, where there is a marine sanctuary abundant with coral and tropical fish, and the Kirinda Beach, just south of the town of Tissa, which also offers spectacular underwater sights. Close to the popular tourist resort town of Galle is Unawatuna, with its beautiful stretch of safe sandy beach. At Kudawella a novel feature is a blowhole that throws huge columns of water into the air whenever waves break on the rocks. For those who prefer small guesthouses and empty beaches over resorts, Koggala, Mirissa, Dickwella and Tangalle all remain relatively undiscovered beach areas.
The southern coastline of Sri Lanka was seriously damaged in the 2004 tsunami and it took many years for certain areas to be rebuilt, but the tourist resorts have all fully recovered and there is no longer much evidence of the catastrophe which marked the region for so long.