Updated: Aug 13, 2021
Sri Lanka is widely known for being resplendent in natural beauty, hosting misty mountains and sandy beaches just hours away from each other. If you’re someone who loves breathtaking sunsets and days in the sun, the South of Sri Lanka is just the place for you. Full of good food and unforgettable experiences, here’s a list of things you can do in the South of Sri Lanka.
Stay somewhere pretty
Whilst many visitors to the South prefer getting accommodation right on the beach, there are tons of inland properties that are beautiful and often cost effective. One such property is W15 Ahangama which is a hidden away, hill-side property with an elevated view of the ocean. Inclusive of comfortable rooms, a beautiful pool and delicious food, this is a great place to experience if you were to stay in Ahangama.
Many yogis and healers have set down their roots in the South, opening their very own yoga shalas along the coast. Start your morning with a relaxing class of yoga that sets the tone for the day – stretch, breathe and bring your mind to peace with the fluid movements and mindful actions of vinyasa flow.
Visit Martin Wickramasinghe's Folk Museum
Set in his ancestral home, the museum isn’t necessarily about popular novelist Martin Wickramasinghe himself, but showcases a treasure trove of information about Sri Lankan folklore. Here, you can find everything you need to know about local history and culture, from religion, the industries, the tools, the garments, and the transport pertaining to ancient Sri Lanka. A highly educational experience, the museum will take about an hour of your time to truly appreciate.
Visit a turtle hatchery
Dotted along the Southern coast of the island, turtle hatcheries are abundant on the strip from Koggala to Galle. The hatcheries act as a safe haven to birth turtles, keeping them away from the many egg-eating predators on the beach such as mongoose, wild animals and even humans. Staff at the hatcheries go in search of turtle eggs at night to bring back to their infirmaries, bury them, and let them hatch in a peaceful environment. As soon as they’re hatched, they are immediately sent back out into the ocean. The hatchery also cares for turtles who suffer from injuries caused by fishing nets and motor boats, and ensures the overall well-being of these majestic sea creatures.
When picking a hatchery to visit, always remember to make sure you’re supporting a legitimate place that cares about the animals, such as the Sea Turtle Hatchery Habaraduwa, and not ones who may be viewing the hatchery as a profit-making business.
Catch a Wave
On warm sunny days in the South, a surfing lesson is a truly enjoyable experience. Places like W15 offer classes with the #1 Surf Champion in Sri Lanka, Lucky, and facilitates a holistic guide for beginners especially. Going through the basics, technique, and safety, the class shows you how to expertly tackle the waves of Weligama Bay, which is a great spot for beginner surfers, and if timed well, can end in a beautiful sunset too.
Grab some Grub
The Southern coast of Sri Lanka is dotted with incredible culinary experiences and W15 is a popular haunt amongst tourists and locals alike. Absolutely stunning at night, you can grab a candle-lit table right on the Weligama beach and dig into some delicious intercontinental fare ranging from juicy burgers, to scrumptious breakfast dishes to wood-fired pizzas and so much more. Don’t forget to savor a signature cocktail for a true island experience.
Snorkel with fish and feed the turtles
Full of small waves and calm waters, the Polhena beach is a great spot for snorkeling and swimming when in the South. Pop on your snorkeling gear and wander through the blue waters, little fish and beautiful corals of the Indian Ocean. If you’re lucky, you’d bump into more species like sting rays and turtles who you can feed kelp to. If you want to check it out, get in touch with Oscar from @turtlebayactivities who makes sure you snorkel in the most ethical and sustainable way possible.
A sunset boat ride
You can take a boat ride along the Koggala river and explore some of the islands found there. A special attraction is Martin Wickramasinghe’s famous Madol Duwa island, which he has written a novel about. Though unoccupied now, you can still explore the island and experience its beauty first hand.
The Koggala river also hosts an island that specialize in the cultivation of original cinnamon that is only found in Sri Lanka. The five families that occupy the island support their livelihood by growing cinnamon trees from which the bark is carefully pealed, dried, and made into cinnamon sticks, powder, or oil. You are also given a delicious cinnamon tea, without any sugar, to enhance its various health benefits.
The third inhabited island on the Koggala river is a monastery occupied by a few monks who visitors can bring food to. Be sure to dress modestly as this island is a sacred place that also hosts a temple.
To end your excursion, as the sun sets, you can see many species of birds settling into their nests for the night, a peaceful way to end an eventful day.
With many things to see and do, the South of Sri Lanka is bound to be an eventful experience each time you visit. For a more detailed look at what more the South has to offer, check out the Weligama video and Ahangama video now live on our YouTube channel!
With a whole variety of travel adventures dotted around this island, it’s clear that Sri Lanka has more than meets the eye! This is why, we’re putting Sri Lanka on the top of our travel destinations. We’d suggest you should too! This blog post is apart of our "This is Sri Lanka" initiative that began a little over two and a half years ago. The intent was to showcase the lesser known gems found all over the island and share a locals perspective with those hoping to visit Sri Lanka. Over that last few years, the This is Sri Lanka initiative has seen collaboration with like minded bloggers, celebrities and companies who have banded together to create an informative and uplifting travel series about the island to showcase its many possibilities. Created and hosted by Shenelle and Shehaan, Make sure you head over to our Youtube Channel to view over 25 Cinematic travel vlogs we've created around Sri Lanka in the past year.
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