Destinations for activity holidays in Sri Lanka
Visits to Sri Lanka provide a fantastic mix of culture, people, food, beaches and nature experience. Sri Lanka is becoming more and more recognized as an activity destination. Due to its natural diversity, Sri Lanka has won a reputation as an adventure holiday island, though not for extreme athetes but all the more suitable for families looking for holiday opportunities that are relaxing and exciting at the same time and for all kinds of nature enthusiasts. The wide range of Sri Lanka holiday activities includes wildlife safaris and elephant rides, botanical expeditions and rain forest expeditions, birdwatching and turtle egg deposition watching, whale and dolphin watching, trekking and camping tours, cycling and mountain biking, motorbike tours and off-road motocross, scenic rail rides, hot air ballooning tours, oxcart village life experiences and cultural festival events, rock climbing and caving, white water rafting and canyoning, kayaking and canoeing, water skiing and surf riding. windsurfing and kitesurfing, wetland boat trips and deep sea fishing tours, last not least Ayurveda treatments and Buddhist meditation classes.
Whitewater Rafting in Kithulgala
Kithulgala is a hamlet in the scenic valley of the Kelani River. In the 1950s, it becam the setting for the award winning movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”. Kithulgala's main attraction is Sri Lanka’s best white water rafting opportunity. Rubber rafts are available a few kilometres upstream, The tour covers 5 major rapids and 4 minor ones. This adventure activity is for anyone above the age of 10 years. It must be done with safety gear and a safety briefing at the begin of the tour. Dryvags for electronic equipment are available. The distance of the river rafting will be about 5 km. The calmer parts of the river of the are good for canoe rides. Another adventure opportunity in Kithulagala is a little bit of canyoning in a side valley, here you enjoy jumping into pools or sliding down small waterfalls. Kitulgala offers trekking opportunities to waterfalls is perfect for birdwatching, because wetland and highland flora and fauna mingle here.
Elephant Bath and Orphanage in Pinnawala
The Elephant Orphanage of Pinnawela is one of Sri Lanka's most popular tourist destinations, it has the largest herd of dometicated Asian elephants, almost 100 individuals. The Pinnawela herd is artificial one. This means, the elephants do not belong to a natural enlarged family. They accept and integrate alien baby elephants found left in the jungle. This would not be done in a natural herd, trapped elephant babies left by their families would be doomed to death. The Pinnawela camp is an elephant nursery in the first place. It's also a breeding ground for elephants, Admittedly, Pinnawela is very commerzialised indeed. It's nevertheless worth visiting. You can observe several activities of domesticated elephants in Pinnawela. At about 9.00 am you can take part in the bottle feeding of babies, at 10.00 am you can see the herd bathing, fromrestaurants with observation platforms. More...
Turtle Watching in Rekawa
From April to September, several species of turtles, sometimes even leatherbacks, struggle ashore at night at Rekawa beach to lay their eggs. Locals who became aware of the necessity to protect the eggs instead of selling or eating them, serve as guides of the Turtle Conservation Project. Guided tours take place at night regularly. Camera flashes and other lights are not permitted. There is also a visitor centre at the entrance, with some explanational displays. Though a little bit touristic now, Rekawa's Turtle Conservation Project is still helpful for protecting those amazing creatures and it provides tourists a rare opportunity to watch turtles from close by. Indeed, it's one of the best locations to observe sea turtles in the world. Sri Lanka is a nestling ground for five (of seven) species of sea turtles, Leatherback, Loggerheads, Hawksbills, Olive Ridley and Green Turtles. More...
Whale Watching in Mirissa
In recent years, Mirissa in Sri Lanka earned the reputation to be the No.1 destination for whale watchers, because both Blue Whales and Sperm Whale can sometimes be seen on one single boat trip. Bryde´s whales, Fin whales, dolphins and sometimes even Orcas can be observed, too. Big observation boats for three dozens of passengers and speed boats for a maximum of ten persons are available at Mirissa Beach. Tours start in the very early morning around 6 or 7 o’clock and last around 4 hours, as long as the sea is calm enough, Whale watching season in Mirissa is from December to April, with peak season end of March (whereas the East Coast whale watching period in Trincomalee is later, from May to September. You should be aware: Every visitor is disturbing the whales! You should only use services of local boat tour operatours following international whale watching rules, not going too close.
Kitesurfing in Kalpitiya
Kalpitiya is both a village and a whole 44 km long semi-island. Kalpitiya is famous for dolphin watching and seasonal whale watching, too. In recent years, the tourism sector developed a new activity attraction, viz the best kite surfing opportunities in South Asia. Kalpitiya Lagoon, where most of the surf schools are located now, is ideal for kite surfing beginners, as it it shallow. There are many different spots, also for advanced kitesurfers. During the monsoon months June to September, Kalpitiya offers strong winds of more than 20 knots almost every day and all day long. The anti-monsoon between December and February with winds of 10 to 20 knots is more comfortable for beginners. Another lagoon quite popular with kitesurfers is situated 15 km further south. This Kappalady Lagoon is a narrow stripe, it’s smaller than Kalpitiya Lagoon and can be crowded during peak season. More...