Hi guys, hope you are doing well. Today I will take you to somewhere close to my home town. That is Blue Beach Island in Nilwella, Matara. I happen to know about this place recently and without taking much time, I went there with my friends, as usual. Take my words; it is an amazing place for night camping/beach camping.
A Rare Land Formation
Before talking about the camping experience, let me tell you something about the formation of Blue Beach Island. It is not just an island; it is a tied island. A tied island means an island connected to the mainland by a narrow piece of land. And that narrow piece of land is called ‘tombolo’. In Sri Lanka, there are very few tied islands and this happens to be one.
Introduction to Blue Beach Island
Blue Beach Island is not a public property; it is a private property. And the owner has started renting the place for groups for camping recently. They have an all-inclusive camping package (only one) for a very reasonable price. They provide all the meals and equipment. You only have to bring a bed sheet (or may be two in cold season). There is a fixed price per head and the minimum number of heads has to be 8. If you have a lesser crowd, you will still have to pay for 8 persons. And maximum size of the crew they are accepting is 18. OK, now you have a basic idea about this place, let’s see how the camping experience would be.
You will have to first arrive to the caretaker’s (of the island) home. Generally they ask to come between 4 pm and 5 pm. If you want, you can have a wash there before going in. You will be served the evening tea. You can park your vehicles there. The rest of the journey has to be completed by feet. I think there is about half to one kilometer to the island from the caretaker’s home. On the way to the island, you will meet Nilwella Fishery Harbour.
After few minutes, you will reach the entrance of the island.
Here is the tombolo I told you above. It is not very long one though. It is fun to stand on a place where the sea waves are coming from both directions. This point onward, it is a private property.
The island is kind of a big one. The camping site is on the other side of the island. The sights along the way are really beautiful. Once you reach the camping site, the first thing you should do is watching sunset (if you are on time). There is large rock platform which is perfect for that. Unfortunately for us, the sunset is covered by a cloud when we were there (see the first image).
This is the large rock I told you about. This is just the top, it spreads over a large area. Sitting there, watching the sea and feeling sea breeze is really something else.
This is the camping site, seen from the top of the rock. The caretaker and the crew were setting the tents. The interesting thing is, they left nothing behind after camping, except the base for the camp fire. They take all these stuff with them and bring them back again with the next group.
After the camp site is set, they start the BBQ. Until the food is ready, you can talk, sing or dance around the table, under the sky. They provide three types of fish, chicken and sausages in the BBQ. They serve one by one to the table. And also, pol roti (coconut roti) is provided as the dinner along with other foods. All these are prepared on the spot, even the pol roti (Using the same BBQ machine. Nice idea right?).
All you have to do is, eat and enjoy. Don’t ever worry that food may not be enough. They provide more than enough. After eating all those fish, chicken and sausages, there was hardly any space for roti in our stomachs. It is your duty to make the moment interesting and enjoyable while eating. They bring fresh water for drinking and washing hands.
While BBQ is going on, they light some Sri Lankan firecrackers. They are not large ones though.
Once you done with eating, other crew members leave except the caretaker. He will be there with you at the camp site. There is no time limitation, if you wish, you can stay awake and enjoy until the morning. But the only rule is no going to the edges of the island and no climbing the rock at night.
Going to Sleep
They setup tents according to the size of the group. Pillows and blankets are provided inside the tents. The tents said to be watertight (it seems like that.) and when it is closed, they are definitely airtight. So in cold weather, you will not face any difficulty. But it hot weather, it is kind of little hot inside the tents. You can leave the tent doors open at night to overcome that issue up to some extent. But if you are healthy enough, the best place to sleep is outside the tents, on the sand. I couldn’t do it since I was not that well at that time, but two of our guys laid the blanket on the sand and slept there.
Don’t expect the comfort of a hotel room here. The sand bed is rigid and not very comfortable. But then again, that is what the traditional camping about.
Beauty of the Morning
Make sure to wake up early in the morning to witness the sunrise. You can climb the rock and sit there waiting for it. Unfortunately for us, we miss the sunrise too. A big cloud covered it all up.
Dondra Lighthouse is visible from Blue Beach Island. In the early morning you will see the light of it also.
A delicious morning tea will be served. Once you are up and out of the tents, they begin to pack the things again. Talking about sanitary facilities, there is no any well built, permanent toilet. There is a portable one covered with polythene (fully covered). As I told you earlier, this is not a place to find comfort.
Then comes my favorite session of the Blue Beach Island camping package, snorkeling. Snorkeling site is at the entrance of the island (at the tombolo). So all the bags have to be taken to the place. They will not rush you to leave camping site, but your breakfast will be delayed as you spent more time there in the morning. You have two options for the breakfast. You can either have it at snorkeling site or at caretaker’s home after snorkeling. My personal advice is to have it at caretaker’s home, it is more neat and relaxed.
You will be provided safety jackets and goggles with breathing tube for snorkeling. The caretaker will assist you in the snorkeling session. He will give all the necessary instructions on how to use the equipment and what to do if anything goes wrong. Snorkeling there is a wonderful and memorable activity. Number of types of colourful fish are down there. And the best thing is, he takes one by one somewhat far towards the deep sea.
No need to explain more and more, watch this video I made of Blue Beach Island snorkeling session.
I hope you enjoyed it, because, I my self enjoyed it a lot. If you ever visit, follow his instructions and don’t swim near edge of the island since there are ‘Sea urchins’.
You can take a bath after snorkeling at caretaker’s house.
That was the last activity for us on the camping package. That was quite an activity though. We were served bread with fried Shrimp and Fish curry (milky). It was so tasty and we finished it all.
So that is how the camping experience goes. I personally love that experience very very much. I would definitely recommend this place for travellers. What you get is worth way more than what you have to spend (That is of course based on the price at the time we went. I believe they will not increase it unfairly). The staff is very friendly, very polite and the service is excellent.
But let me warn you, if you are a comfort seeker, just don’t go there. Because the comfort is not given much attention in this camping package. What they focus is to give you a traditional camping experience.
How to Reach Blue Beach Island…?
OK, if you are convinced to go there, here is the exact location.
They don’t have an official website yet. But you can visit their Facebook page.
So that is about Blue Beach Island. If you have any doubt or if you need more details, feel free to leave comment below. See you in the next article.
Disclaimer: This article is not a sponsored article in any way.