Sri Lanka is a wonderful island to explore with white sand tropical beaches, amazing cuisine and an array of sacred sights to explore. When you’re done unwinding by the pool, take a look at some of these exciting adventures the island has to offer.
Udawalawe National Park safari
Just over a three hour drive from Hikkaduwa, the island’s most famous national park is said to rival the savannahs of Africa and is a must-visit. Enjoy an early morning safari and watch as the park comes to life with herds of elephant and buffalo trekking across the plains.
Snorkelling and scuba diving
Hikkaduwa Marine National Park is a magnificent underwater ecosystem harbouring over 60 species of impressive, living coral, 170 species of reef fish and a number of endangered sea turtles. Just a few hundred metres off shore you’ll be met with calm, shallow water and hundreds of colourful fish waiting to be discovered. You’ll find reputable diving schools within the town itself with trips and courses suitable for complete beginners through to those with more experience.
Discover the last kingdom of Sri Lanka
Kandy, nestled in the cool hills of the old kingdom, is a magical fortress to explore, around three and a half hours drive from the capital. You’ll find bustling street markets, grand architecture, palaces, royal parks and the famed Temple of the Last Tooth which houses Buddha’s tooth in a gold casket.
Kayaking and canoeing
With over 100 rivers and a wealth of swamps, lagoons and canals, Sri Lanka provides no end of opportunities to try out kayaking and canoeing. About a 40-minute drive north of Bentota you’ll find the famous Kalu Ganga river, also know as the Black River, where it meets the Indian Ocean. Explorers can enjoy a leisurely trip down this beautiful river, taking in the spectacular landscapes and enjoying the wide variety of nature and wildlife along the river edge.
Learn to surf
South West Sri Lanka is home to one of the world’s best surfing playgrounds, with something for everyone from beginner to expert. Most of the action is centred around Hikkaduwa which boasts two miles of golden sand beaches and a variety of surf spots and schools to choose from. An hours drive south of Hikkaduwa, Weligama Bay you’ll find another prime spot for newbies with surf available all year around.
Cycle the Bawa trails in Bentota
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore Sri Lanka. Renowned for its palm backed, golden sand beaches the coastal resort of Bentota is bursting with luxurious accommodation but the nearby countryside provides some exciting cycling opportunities. Follow trails along the Bentota River through an array of local settlements, rubber plantations and cinnamon estates.
Trek to the top of Sigiriya rock
For the eager and adventurous, head further inland to the central province and discover the ancient city of Sigiriya, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to the rock fortress can enjoy the terraced gardens, caves and platforms of the lower levels or navigate the steep, spiraling stairs on the exposed side of the rock to reach the summit and Sky Palace. Allow around four hours if you intend to reach the top.
Whale watching cruise
Sri Lanka is one of the best places to spot whales and regular boat trips are offered from the popular coastal resort of Hikkaduwa and nearby Mirissa. Setting off at 7am, enjoy a full day at sea as schools of dolphins swim along with your boat and giant humpback whales breech the ocean’s surface. Blue and sperm whales have also regularly been spotted in the calm Indian water.
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