5 Travel Adventures to Try in Sri Lanka

If adventure is what you are seeking, then look no further than Sri Lanka! There are fewer countries on this planet that are packed with as much thrill and adventure as in Lanka – there is adventure in the water… there is adventure on the land and adventure in the skies. Check this out…

1. Diving and Snorkeling

Image of Big green sea turtle and scuba divers in bright blue clear water
Big green sea turtle and scuba divers in bright blue clear water | Source:  Daniel Wilhelm Nilsson/Shutterstock.com

The Sri Lankan shores are festooned with hidden treasures strewn all over its coastline.

Each year thousands of starry eyed adventurers from all over the world throng Sri Lanka to enjoy diving and snorkeling in the Coral gardens at Kalpitiya, Ampara, Trincomalee , Hikkaduwa and almost ten other diving destinations.

The shallow waters at many of these dive sites are brimming with zillions of exotic fishes and coral clusters that illuminate the waters with colors and hues that your eyes would have not seen before.  

Talk about oceans and seas and the first thing that comes to one’s mind is Sea Pirates and the stories of bygone era of explorers and merchant traders who lost their way at seas. Then there are stories of ancient and recent ship wrecks that occurred during the wartime or otherwise.

Hold your breath – The Sri Lankan shores have witnessed almost fifty shipwrecks lying at just 9.5 meters to as deep as 45 meters.

Check this out  http://www.divesrilanka.com/ ….If you want to enjoy the thrill of “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea” – or should we say “Titanic”??

2. Hot Air Ballooning

Sri Lanka is like a gift hamper and its diverse terrains are comparable to assortment of goodies waiting to be opened by you.

There is water on all the sides and then there are highlands in the heart of Sri Lanka. There are archeological sites and then there are vast plains and dense forests bustling with birds and animals.

If you want to see Sri Lanka the way birds do – then go hot air ballooning in Lanka!

Imagine the fun and adventure of drifting along with the air and passing over the ravines bustling with elephants, peacocks, deer and other wild animals without disturbing them?  Visualize the thrill of how those mountains, lakes and rivers look like from a bird’s eye view?

If you are planning hot air ballooning, then the best time to visit Sri Lanka is between Octobers through April.

This is the time when the wind currents are mild and the rains take rest.

Just Google and you’ll find quite a few operators offering hot air ballooning packages ranging $180 and above.

Image of Colorful hot air balloon with bright burning flame in sri lanka
Colorful hot air balloon with bright burning flame in sri lanka | Source: Carlos Caetano/Dreamstime.com

A typical flight starts just after the dawn. In the meantime you can get some hands on experience of inflating the balloon under the supervision of your pilot.

As the sun rises on the horizon and the landscape wishes you a “good morning”…hop inside the balloon basket as your pilot starts ascending higher up in the air.

Remember to carry a pair of good binoculars and a camera as you might get to click some rare pictures of nature and archeological sites that you will cherish throughout your lives.

3. Whale Watching

Image of Whale watching
Whale watching | Source:  Gerckens-Photo-Hamburg/Shutterstock.com

Being on Sri Lankan shores is like exploring gigantic aquarium owned and managed by Mother Nature! On the shores you’ll get to see the smaller version of Piscean creatures – venture a little deeper into the waters and you’ll find yourself face to face with the giants and the most intelligent inhabitants of the high seas.

The waters near Mirissa, Trincomalee and Galle boast of an impressive record of positive sighting of Spinner Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Bottle Nose Dolphins and Striped Dolphins coupled with consistent positive sightings of various types of whale species like the Sperm Whale, the Blue Whale and Killer Whales, as well!  There have been mind-boggling sightings of Dolphins and Whale species which have not been identified by marine scientists as yet.

There’s some real good news for adventurists planning for whale watching in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Navy resumed its whale watching cruises from Trincomalee and Galle naval bases w.e.f. 2nd of May 2014.

Hop aboard the “Princess of Lanka” and surrender yourselves to the masters of high seas, while they take you deep inside the ocean to take a peek at the largest mammals on earth.

Apart from the Navy there are several other private operators who can help you realize your dream of watching these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

4. Deep Sea Fishing

Image of Silhouettes of the traditional fishermen at the sunset near Galle
Silhouettes of the traditional fishermen at the sunset near Galle | Source:  Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock.com

With over a hundred river basins, numerous creeks, lakes and a coastline of over a thousand miles long, Sri Lanka is an Anglers paradise.

Fishing is a creed of sorts here and the Sri Lankan people are masters of this game! Hikkaduwa, Bentota Weligama and Tangalle on the southern tip of Sri Lanka are best for deep sea fishing.

Adventurists can go as deep as 20kms and fish out some big fat Tunas, Marlins, Seer and Barracudas.

As you get closer to the coast you might get a catch of Grouper, Snapper Emperor, and Bonefish etc.

Kalpitiya, located in the north western province and known for its 14 islands is one great destination to go deep sea fishing.

The Recreational & Sport Fishing Centre, which is aided by the Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation (IOMAC) conducts the Dutch Bay Surf Casting & Deep Sea Fishing competition at Utchimuni and Kandakuli, in Kalpitiya every year.

If you want to experience the thrill of coming up and close to Stingrays and Sharks, then head to Trincomalee which is a fully developed town of Sri Lanka.

There are plenty of world class beach resorts and deep sea tour operators who promise you the best of adventure for each dollar spent! Deep Sea Fishing is greatly dependant on good weather, so plan to visit the southern coasts between Novembers through Aprils and the eastern coasts between May through September.

Unlike deep sea fishing, lagoon fishing is possible throughout the year, as most of the activity is near the river mounts and upstream.

The most sought after spot for lagoon fishing in Sri Lanka is the Bolgoda Lake located in the western province and at a good proximity to Colombo.

The lake sits in the laps of very picturesque surroundings and is a home to several species of fish like the Barramundi, Bull Eyed Mackerels, and the Mangrove Jacks etc. Maduganga with its periphery of 915 hectares and its thick mangroves is one of the largest wetlands of Sri Lanka.

The mangroves in Maduganga are safe homes for all types of invert abates and animals.

Your fishing tour operator will perhaps start your fishing day tour from Balapitiya.

You can look to catch Barramundi, Cat Fish and multitudes of freshwater fishes in and around Maduganga.

5. Rock Climbing

As an adventure sport, rock climbing is comparatively new to Sri Lanka. However, owing to the popular demands from the tourists visiting from Europe, America and a few other countries, the Sri Lankans have successfully discovered some stunning rock climbing spots.

In their quest to master this sport, some tour operators have started inviting professional rock climbers to operate and learn the finer points from them.

The Bambarakanda waterfall, the highest waterfall in Sri lanka has a magnificent rock face that has been categorized as “easy” by rock climbing experts.

The most amusing part of this adventure is to watch the “Bambarakanda Lovers”.

No…They are not human beings – they are in fact two rocks which look like lovers hugging each other! Located just ahead of Bambarakanda is the Lanka Ella Falls.

Rock climbing is possible at this location but you need to have some prior experience to conquer Lanka Ella.

There are several other destinations like the Ella Adventure Park, The Sigiriya Rock fortress, Habarana ,Polonnaruwa and the Hortons plains that offer a blend of trails suited for amateur as well as professional rock climbers.

Apart from the natural trails amateur rock climbers can practice rock climbing at Excel World, an amusement park located in the capital city of Colombo.

Sri Lanka is one life size adventure park, where the themes keep changing at every few kilometers – some destinations are abundant with aquatic life while some are bustling with birds and animals.

The highlands are abundant with mountain slopes dotted with tea plantations, waterfalls and wildlife reserves… and then there are archeological sites of great importance. 

Sri Lanka is all about great food and lion hearted people….all you need to do is let your imagination run amok and treat yourself to an adventure break of a life time!!! Cheers!

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