When to visit?
The southern coast of our beautiful island faces high- and a low season. The surf however, is consistent all year around. The peak season runs from December to March. During this period is dry season and it is not as windy when monsoon season kicks in.
From May to October monsoons hits the South. Luckily, this doesn’t mean heavy tropical rain all day around, just a few showers every now and then. During these months, the swell is strong and consistent – but is accompanied with onshore wind. Monsoon season attracts more advanced surfers but is also an excellent season for beginners who are still learning how to surf. Moreover, less crowds! :)
Do I have to speak and understand English to enjoy the retreat?
Yes, in order to make the most out of it we do recommend you have a basic knowledge of the English language
What if I can’t swim?
You do not need to be a strong swimmer. In fact most of our instructors learned to surf first before they could swim ;). Our first lessons are only in waist deep water. However, do let our instructor know if you have trouble swimming. For more advanced lessons we recommend you can swim at least 40 meters without a floating device
I have never surfed in my life. Is this retreat for me?
Yes, absolutely! Lots of our guests have never even touched a surfboard before. We are here to help you to learn to surf and make your first experience on the board an unforgettable one!
What happens if the weather is bad during the surf retreat?
The occasional rains are not a problem for surfing, as you will be in the water for most of your surf lesson anyway :) In the event dangerous surf conditions occur, we will obviously reschedule or postpone a class
Is there a minimum age to take part in the surf retreat?
You need to be at least 18 years old to book your retreat. We do accept children from 10—16 when they are accompanied by a parent(s) or guardian.
What if I don’t know which course to choose?
We kindly ask you to fill out a small questionnaire when booking your retreat. Based on your answers, we will advise you on which course is best for you
When does the retreat start?
The retreat always starts on Sunday and ends on the following Sunday
Is it possible to stay 2 weeks in a row?
Depending on availability, yes!
When can I arrive?
Our check-in time is every Sunday at 2 pm and check-out is the following Sunday at 12 pm. We will have a “welcome dinner” at 7 PM. Feel free to arrive anytime after 2 PM on Sunday. In case of a late arrival (ie after 7 PM) please let us know in advance
Can I arrive before the check-in time?
Of course you are more than welcome to drop your stuff earlier but your room will be ready at 2 PM. We’ll be happy to give you some tips (food, beaches, drinks) on what to do in the meantime, so feel free to drop by earlier!
What if I arrive late?
If you miss the first surf lesson(s), our team will be more than happy to get you up to speed with the theory you’ve missed and get you ready for your lessons
Can I leave early?
If you have to leave early to catch a flight, you could leave on Saturday late afternoon after our final surf session. You do miss our “Goodbye Dinner”" though so plan your trip carefully ;)
Can I change my dates?
Yes, pending availability you are free to change your dates 3 weeks before your arrival.
When is my first lesson?
Monday morning :)
When should I pay?
You will receive an invoice shortly after your reservation request. We require a 20% deposit to reserve your spot within 48 hours after the reservation, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival by cash or card. If you want to make use of the non-refundable reservation offer you'll pay the full amount within 48 hours
How can I pay for my retreat?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Discover & JCB
Do you offer a discount?
Yes, We offer 10% discount for all non-refundable reservations
Can I cancel and get a refund?
We offer a full refund within 48hrs of booking. Non refundable bookings are not eligible for a refund.
Can I get a refund or discount if I miss the activity or if I want to check-out early?
Unfortunately we are unable to give any discount or refunds.
Is breakfast included?
Breakfast is not included, but we have a lovely kitchen that you are free to use. Breakfast is only included in the select surf camp packages.
How do I get to Layback?
Layback is located just 400m from the local bus station, you’ll find it opposite of the police station.
Do you sell those wicked #iamlayback rashguards?
Yes we do! Just ask for one, Thilina and Linda are happy to assist you in finding the right size.
Do you rent out boards?
We have local partners at Weligama beach that you can rent good boards from.
Is there a kitchen available?
There is a fully equipped kitchen that you are welcome to use.
Can I pay by card?
You can pay with card at Layback, but we add a small fee. But be prepared to use cash, most of the places in Weligama do not accept card.
Can I use wifi?
Yes! Btw, we love social media and our Instagram account @laybackweligama check it out for some inspiration.
Where is the nearest supermarket?
Only a 5 minute walking from Layback. There are two big supermarkets in Weligama.
Do you serve alcohol?
No, we do not but there is a liquor store at the main street in Weligama, just a couple of minutes from the hostel.
Do you have any job vacancies?
We are always looking for creative and like minded people. Send us a message about why you would like to work for us and what you do and we will get back to you as soon as we can!
Do you provide towels?
Yes, and they are free of charge.
Can you arrange a transfer from the airport?
Absolutely, we are happy to arrange a transfer from the airport with a trusted driver. Just send us a message and we will sort it.
How much is a tuktuk from Weligama to Mirissa?
During the day you should pay around 400 Rs. During the night the price should be maximum 800 Rs.
How do I go from Weligama to Hiriketiya?
There are several ways. The cheepest is to go by bus and it takes around 1,5-2 hours. You can either take a bus from Weligama all the way to Hiriketiya, or a bus from Weligama to Matara and then change for a bus to Hiriketiya. Buses should go to Tangalle or Dickwella.
A tuk tuk is a bit easier and should cost around 2500 - 4000 Rs. If you want to travell more in comfort you can also rent a car.
We are also happy to arrange a scooter for rent. The traffic in and around Matara can be a bit hectic, but the route is otherwise scenic and super nice!
How do I go from Weligama to Ella?
Most of our guests choose to go by bus. It takes around six to seven hours. Take a bus from Weligama to Matara. In Matara you will have to change buses. This is the direct bus that pass Ella and thus might be crowded. We therefore recomend you to take a bus that goes to Welliyaya, as there are several bus routes going Matara-Wellyaya and the buses are thus less crowded. From Wellyaya you just take another 45 minute bus to Ella.
What’s the best way to go to the airport from Weligama?
We are happy to arrange a transport for you with one of our trusted taxi drivers. Otherwise you can go to Colombo (the airport is an hour outside of the city) and take the train from Colombo Fort to Weligama. The trainride should take around 3-4 hours. And yes, the trains can be extremely crowded.
Can I do a day trip to Galle from Weligama?
Yes, and we encourage you to do as Galle is beautiful. Read more about it on our blog!
Why should I stay in Weligama?
Weligama is the perfect base if you wish to explore the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is also such a good spot if you are in to surfing as there are so many amazing waves all around Weligama.
What to do in Weligama?
There are so many things to do! Head over to our explore page or our blog to find some inspiration.
Can I travel to Weligama by myself?
Sri Lanka is relatively easy to travel in as a solo traveller. Using local transportation like buses and trains might be a little bit stressful depending on your recent travel experiences. But people always try to help if you ask.
Weligama attracts a diverse crowd of travellers. Backpackers, digital nomads, families, solo travellers… This means that the area has something for everyone.
Are there any ATM’s in Weligama?
There are several ATM’s that are operated by different banks.
Can I pay with credit card everywhere?
No you can’t. You should bring cash or a credit card that you can use to withdraw money.
Where can I practice yoga in Weligama?
Weligama has multiple yoga-spots. Head over to out blog to read our yoga-guide.
Do I need a visa for Sri Lanka?
Yes you do. You can get 90 days visa from Sri Lankan embassy in your home country or get 30 days visa on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka. A cheaper option is to buy one online. This will also get you in the country much quicker whereas the lines for visa can get quite long at the airport.
Can you help with visa extension?
Yes of course, speak to us when you get here and we will be happy to help.
Do I have to go to Colombo for visa extension?
No, all we need is your passport, photo (35mm x 45mm) and duly filled application form.
What is the turnaround time?
2-5 business days. Depends on the day you’re handing over your documents to us.
How long can I extend for?
In the first instance you can get an extension of up to 90 days from the date of arrival. Secondly, another 90 days summing up to 180 days from the date of arrival.
Where do I have to go if I want to extend the visa myself?
You have to go to the Department of Immigration office in Colombo. Address: 4th Floor, Suhurupaya, Sri Subhuthipura Road, Battaramulla. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM. Earlier you go, less time you spend. You have to carefully plan that day as you will be spending your entire day for this process going to Colombo, long waiting hours and coming back.
Where can I surf in Weligama?
Weligama Bay is the closest spot and it is just a couple of minutes by foot from the hostel. There is also several other surfing spots within a 10 minute tuk tuk ride from Layback.
How far is the nearest surfspot from Layback?
Less than a five minute walk!
Where is the best surf-spot located?
Sri Lanka is blessed with year round waves. And the wave you’d like to ride really depends on your level. A short walk from our hostel is Weligama beach which provides perfect beginner waves. Layback also offers group and private lessons, which will give you the confidence and support to get in the water and ride some waves. With swell coming through from all directions, you are guaranteed a wave everyday. Take a short trip up to Midigama and surf a killer right and left hander, or head to Mirissa for some more reef breaks. We would be happy to show you all our many surf spots. The water is warm, the sun is hot so bring along your sunscreen and leave the wetsuit behind.
How much is it to rent a board for an hour?
250 - 500 LKR per hour.
When is the best time to visit?
The ‘high season’ is from November to March with the busiest crowds around Christmas and New Year. We have a lot of feedback from guests that they actually prefer ‘off season’ as the crowds are less busy and we have lovely weather and good waves all year round here.