From the lively beaches of Negombo to the remote inland villages surrounded by thick jungle wilderness, Sri Lanka’s north-west region is rich in variety and is particularly suited for a family holiday. Negombo is an excellent choice: its youthful atmosphere is perfect for children, while adults will be fascinated by the old colonial architecture. From December to April, Kalpitiya is the best place to watching Blue Whale and various other species of whales and dolphins. Kalpitiya is ideal for spotting pods of Spinner Dolphins, Dugongs, stingrays and the endangered marine turtles. Kalpitiya is also well-suited to families as it is home to a myriad of water-sports, ranging from kite-surfing to scuba diving. Wilpattu National Park, home to many types of bird as well as the island’s ‘big game’, which includes Leopards, Elephants, Sambur Deer, Water Buffalo and the Sloth Bear.
With the threat of the civil war lifted, this area can finally enjoy the tourism that is has always deserved. East Coast of the island is an excellent destination whether you want to relax on the beach or cram your days with activities. With many places still mostly untouched by tourism, but an exciting increase in hotel development, there has never been a better time to visit. We have outlined our favorite activities, and excursions in this area, as well as our top property, pick for families. Pigeon Island is one of Sri Lanka’s fantastic marine national parks for snorkelling and diving. Here very rewarding. Apart from the corals and a myriad of colourful fish, look out for marine turtles and black-tipped reef sharks. Trincomalee is an ideal location for whale watching Between April and October when the ocean is in season, dolphin and whale watching is very rewarding on the east coast: look out for Spring Dolphins, Sperm Whales and Blue Whales. Another one of the most picturesque spots on the east coast is a Pasikudah Bay offers various exciting water-sports such as snorkelling, scuba diving and catamaran sailing. A great place for kids. Arugam Bay is renowned one of the world’s 10th best surfing destination of the world. It’s an ideal place to learn surfing with many areas of “surf break” and to organize surfing competitions, especially from May to September.
Sri Lanka’s south coast is the ideal place to watching Dolphins and Whales and the marine turtles. If you go scuba diving – Manta Rays, Electric Rays, Moray Eels and a myriad of colourful fish. Go to Mirissa Harbour early in the morning and take a boat out to sea in search of dolphins and whales, including the mighty Blue Whale. Head to Rekawa to see marine turtles nesting at night – five out of the seven species of this endangered animal come ashore to nest on Sri Lanka’s southern shores. Visit Weligama to explore of the island’s most incredible scuba diving sites. Tangalle is one of the most easterly towns on Sri Lanka’s south coast and is renowned for its spectacular beaches. Relax on the golden sand and take in the glorious panorama of Tangalle Bay and the turquoise ocean stretching into the horizon. Tangalle is close to several national parks and vibrant cultural heritage sites, making it a great place to explore the many different charms of Sri Lanka.
In the peak season for Sri Lanka’s south coast, and tourists are flocking to the many secluded bays and stunning beaches, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort and the nearby cultural and wildlife sites. Whether you want to loll on the sand with a good book, indulge in some exhilarating water-sports, discover more about Sri Lankan culture or see some of the island’s incredible wildlife, the south coast offers it all.
For those who practice surfing, the area of Ahangama offers the most constant, and probably the best, waves in all of Sri Lanka. The coast is characterized above all by thin sandy bays interrupted by rocky outcrops. Unawatuna is a popular destination for travellers. It enjoys a superb location, with the historic city of Galle just 6 km away and to the west, a wooded peninsula dotted with pretty beaches.
The west coast of Sri Lanka enjoys the same benefits of the season as the south – swimmable seas, sightings of whales and dolphins and guaranteed wall-to-wall sunshine – as well as offering quieter beaches.
Bentota is the most popular resort along this stretch of coastline and boasts some enchanting hotels, excellent water-sports and Geoffrey Bawa’s renowned Lunuganga house and gardens. Also, Bentota is a perfect place to do water activities. Bentota offers water sports activities like water skiing, windsurfing, banana ride, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, tube rides, sea diving, snorkelling, surfing and Bentota eco river safari.
14 km from Kosgoda town, you can visit the Buddhist temple called Sri Vijayarama Viharaya (Temple ). The temple has a 35m-long sleeping Buddha longest reclining Buddha statue. Who interested in wildlife should canoe down the Kalu Ganga, which is lined by mysterious mangroves that are teeming with animals and many varieties of bird.
Hikkaduwa is a very famous city situated on the West Coast of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is an excellent spot for water-sports between December and April when the seas are calm. These include snorkelling, jet-skiing, scuba-diving, surfing and kite-surfing. Whale and dolphin watching boat excursions are also available – be sure to set out early to get the best sightings.
Most of the beaches here are very remote; only for explorers and dreamers. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the region are located on the north-eastern coast of the Jaffna Peninsula. It’s very lonely region, but the tsunami of 2004 destroyed the abandoned houses visible along the coast up to Point Pedro. Visiting this area with a day trip from Jaffna can be a memorable experience.