Adventure

12 Adventures to try in Sri Lanka – for those who dare

Adams Peak

Image of Beautiful Morning at little Adams peak in Ella
Beautiful Morning at little Adams peak in Ella | Source:  Nuwan Liyanage/Shutterstock.com

Adam’s Peak is a stunning, popular mountain that’s just waiting for you to climb it! This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers more than just stunning views—and fantastic hiking trails. Climb to the top of this 2, 243 meter peak during the pilgrimage season to receive blessings from Buddhist or Japanese monks. Stop by the Makara Thorana statue. Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Or trek through the nature sanctuary on one of only two trails that provide access. There’s simply no comparing the Shadow of the Mount sunrise experience here at Adam’s Peak. There are comfortable places to stay nearby, easy access for arriving, and delicious places to eat after a long hike. We know you’ll love your newest adventure at Adam’s Peak!

Ella

Image of View from Adam's peak small Ella
View from Adam’s peak small Ella | Source:  dodes11/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for tea plantations, waterfalls, and hiking, then Ella is the place for you! There are a multitude of trails with rewarding view all over Ella. Trek to the top of Little Adam’s peak (which is not strenuous, but a gorgeous view) or take a more adventurous trail to the top of Ella peak. Both of them show the unfurling tea plantations that seem to stretch to the horizon. Up for some waterfall viewing? Great! Ella has several waterfalls within walking distance of the train station. Don’t forget to stop at Ravana falls, which has a scandalous story attached to it thanks to King Ravana. If you want some British Colonial Era history, there are lots of opportunities for that in Ella, including the Black Rock Bridge. Or stop into the Dhowa rock temple for a little peace and quiet. The center of Ella boasts the best accommodations and food. You won’t go hungry or tired in this quiet, beautiful little gem in the Sri Lankan Highlands.

Image of Tourist couple having breakfast at bungalow terrace Ella
Tourist couple having breakfast at bungalow terrace Ella | Source:  paul prescott/Shutterstock.com
Image of Waterfall in Ella
Waterfall in Ella | Source:  klifordas/Shutterstock.com
Image of The Nine Arches Bridge at Ella
The Nine Arches Bridge at Ella | Source:  Alexander Ishchenko/Shutterstock.com
Image of Ella Rock
Ella Rock | Source:  Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock.com

Surfing

Image of Silhouette of a surfer sri lanka
Silhouette of a surfer sri lanka | Source: Maciej Bledowski /Dreamstime.com

Ready for a surfing good time? Head over to Sri Lanka to shred some waves! The locations to try out will change according to the time of year, as weather varies depending on the coast. Check out places like Hikkaduwa along the south western coast for separate wave points, not to mention the best surfing in the area. Arugam Bay is the surfing capital in Sri Lanka, where the average surf runs from one to fifteen meters, and many tourists love the laid back feel. No matter where you try surfing, you’ll find plenty of surf shops and rental stores to set you up, and lots of beach space to rest. (Not to mention delicious food to eat!) Grab your board. It’s wave time!

Diving

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

If exploring the underwater world of fish, reefs, and the haunting tragedy of historical shipwrecks is on your list, then come to Sri Lanka! Diving in Sri Lanka is more than just a few coral reefs and lots of fish—although we have that too! Shipwrecks, underwater caves, and many more underwater adventures await here. Whether you go to the east coast or the west coast, there are plenty of opportunities. Check out the Great Basses in Kirinda or the wreck of the SS Conch in Hikkaduwa. The rock formations in Beruwala are unforgettable—be sure to keep an eye out for barracudas while you’re there. If you like deeper dives, there are plenty of places over thirty meters deep, or some easier ones at fifteen. Book a comfortable stay in one of many accommodations and be sure to stock up on excellent local food so you have the energy to swim. With all the diving there is in Sri Lanka, you’ll need it!

Image of Underwater view of scuba diver swimming sri lanka
Underwater view of scuba diver swimming sri lanka | Source:  Dennis Connelly/Dreamstime.com
Image of Divers scuba diving looking at sea turtle and fish under wate
Divers scuba diving looking at sea turtle and fish under wate | Source:  Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Hiking and Trekking

Image of Trekkers on Horton Plains
Trekkers on Horton Plains | Source:  My Good Images/Shutterstock.com

In the mood for having your breath taken away by Sri Lankan’s stunning landscape? Trekking is the activity for you. With five beautiful places in the Hill Country to visit, you’ll never run out of places to go. Horton Plains National Park offers a ten kilometre loop that passes around three major landmarks, such as mini Worlds End, Worlds End, and Baker’s Falls. Stop by Ella for a nature walk that’s riddled with culture, or trek through the Knuckles Range. You’re sure to find stunning mountains there. Finish up your trekking adventures at Adam’s Peak, where people come from all over the world. No matter where you hike, you’ll find plenty of places to restore your energy with a good nights sleep and yummy food. Now go take a hike!

Image of hike on Sri Lanka
hike on Sri Lanka | Source:  Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock.com
Image of view of a young woman in tropical forest drinking from coconut
| Source:  sirtravelalot/Shutterstock.com
Image of Hiker standing in front of a waterfall deep in the jungle
Hiker standing in front of a waterfall deep in the jungle | Source:  Aleksandar Kamasi/Shutterstock.com

Hot Air Ballooning

Image of Lighthouse in fort Galle seascape in Sunlight Rays
Lighthouse in fort Galle seascape in Sunlight Rays | Source:  VLADYSLAV DANILIN/Shutterstock.com

Have you ever wanted to fly? Then try a hot air balloon in Sri Lanka! Not only is it one of the best ways to get a birds-eye view of the lush, jungle terrain, but it offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else. Launching points are limited to Kandalama and Udawalewe, and most flights run in the early morning hours to keep you out of the heat and in the best light. What better way to see Sigiriya than from the sky during the sunrise? It’s an ideal activity to add to your itinerary, and will be sure to make memories forever. Reserve your flight today!

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
Image of Hot air balloons floating over lake in sri lanka
Hot air balloons floating over lake in sri lanka | Source: Woraphon Banchobdi /Dreamstime.com
Image of Singha Park Chiang Rai Balloon
Singha Park Chiang Rai Balloon | Source:  dourleak/Shutterstock.com

Swimming

Image of Young woman relax like a sea star in the ocean on a tropical coast
Young woman relax like a sea star in the ocean on a tropical coast | Source:  Anton Gvozdikov/Shutterstock.com

Ready to relax in crystal clear, blue waters? Pack your swimsuit and head to Sri Lanka—where beaches abound—today! There are an endless supply of beaches available for you to visit all year round depending on the location. Stop by Negombo, Kalpitiya, Unawatuna, Bentota, Batticaloa, or Arugam Bay. Don’t limit yourself to just swimming in the water, clear ocean waters. Soak up the sun, play in the sand, or go snorkelling while you’re out in the water! There’s no lack of wonderful places to get your feet—maybe even your hair!—wet while on the island nation. The food is delicious and the accommodations plenty. We can’t wait to see you there!

Image of Young couple enjoying in ocean Unawatuna
Young couple enjoying in ocean Unawatuna | Source:  paul prescott/Shutterstock.com

Water Skiing

Image of Silhouette of a water skier in action sri lanka
Silhouette of a water skier in action sri lanka | Source: Stuart Elflett/Dreamstime.com

Are you ready to strap on your skis and hit the water? Great! Because Sri Lanka has water skiing opportunities available no matter where you look. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or a skilled water skiing professional, there’s somewhere for you to try this daring sport out. Stop by the Kumudu Valley Waterski Resort, which is run by a German water ski coach and is the perfect place to learn! Or you can waterski in Hikkaduwa—although it’s geared mostly toward beginners and intermediates. Don’t forget Bentota! It’s considered Sri Lanka’s watersport capital, and offers many opportunities for great water skiing. Of course, there are plenty of accommodations to choose from, as well as delicious places to eat, so grab your skis and let’s hit the water!

White Water Rafting

Image of white water rafting tour at Sri Lanka
white water rafting tour at Sri Lanka | Source: Nazar Niyazov /Dreamstime.com

White water rafting isn’t for the faint of heart—are you up for it? Sri Lanka has many wonderful places for you to try! If you’re looking for a more popular route, start with the Kelani River. With names like Head Chopper and Killer Fall, how can you say no? Another great ride is the Sitawaka River, which has higher grades of rapids than the Kelani—up to a 3 and 4. The Mahaweli river offers a four hour run with grades 2-6 (don’t worry! You’re not allowed to go past the six), which will up the intensity level! And finally we have the River Kotmale, which is a six hour ride built for the more experienced rafter. No matter whether you travel alone, with family, or aren’t that adventurous on the water, there’s definitely a place for you on Sri Lanka’s rougher rivers. As always, you’ll be taken care of by experienced guides, delicious food, and safe places to crash at night. Grab an oar! The rapids await.

Image of White Water Rafting in the picturesque Kelani River sri lanka
White Water Rafting in the picturesque Kelani River sri lanka | Source: Chathuranga Jayanath Warnasuriya/Dreamstime.com

Image of White Water Rafting in the picturesque Kelani River sri lanka
White Water Rafting in the picturesque Kelani River sri lanka | Source: Chathuranga Jayanath Warnasuriya/Dreamstime.com
Image of white water rafting tour at Sri Lanka
white water rafting tour at Sri Lanka | Source: Nazar Niyazov/Dreamstime.com

Kayaking and Canoeing

Image of Young lady paddling hard the kayak with lots of splashes
Young lady paddling hard the kayak with lots of splashes | Source:  Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock.com

Ready to climb into a canoe and see the calmer side of Sri Lanka? The beautiful island nation has ample opportunities for exploring places like the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Samanalawewe, or coastal towns like Weligama and Bentota. Ready for a challenge? Book a lesson with a local operator and then head out for a little bit of sea kayaking. Keep an eye on those waves! If you want the calmer, more tranquil side of things, head over to Samanalawewe, otherwise known as the Butterfly Reservoir, for less waves. The sound of the birds calling in the trees will surely relax you! Refresh yourself in a comfortable hotel—there are many!—and lots of delicious Sri Lankan food when you’re done. Let’s get your feet wet in Sri Lanka!

Image of Traditional fisherman in dugout canoe in Tangalle
Traditional fisherman in dugout canoe in Tangalle | Source:  tanyu6ka/Shutterstock.com
Image of People is taking a kayak while the sun is setting the beach and the sea
People is taking a kayak while the sun is setting the beach and the sea | Source:  Ping Tj/Shutterstock.com

Rock Climbing

Grab your ropes and harnesses, we’re going climbing! Rock climbing in Sri Lanka provides yet another unique opportunity to see the countryside and experience an exhilarating challenge. Start at Horton Plains National Park for some challenging climbs, or head over to Bambarakanda Waterfalls for an even more unique climb! Avissawella offers safety bolts along the face, while Ella Adventure Park and the Knuckles Mountain Range provide a variety of climbs depending on your skill level or sense of adventure. No matter where you go, guides can be found to help out, local accommodations for a good nights sleep at the end of a long day. And, of course, yummy food! On belay!

Four-wheel Driving Adventures

Image of The aggregate annual rally of the Land Rover lovers
The aggregate annual rally of the Land Rover lovers | Source:  Kanjanee Chaisin/Shutterstock.com

Sri Lanka boasts some of the best views on the planet—so why not take advantage of them? Grab a 4WD Jeep safari or adventure today! There are so many options to choose from: hourly, single day, or multi day excursions are available. Want to get a different glimpse of the National Parks? Jeeps are one way to do that! Travel through Gal Oya National Park or Horton Plains. Drive from Habarana to the Minneriya Sanctuary on your own wheels while taking in all the ancient sites. No matter what time of year you come to Sri Lanka, you can go on 4WD adventures. There are delicious places to order food and safe places to sleep at night. Come visit the adventurous—and beautiful—side of Sri Lanka today.

Image of 4x4 Off-road car in a puddle making mud splashes