If you are up for some adventure head towards Kithulgala for a spot of whitewater rafting. This particular spot in the Kelani River offers you grade three rapids and is ideal for both beginners and intermediates. Located at the very heart of nature, senses will be soothed by serene bird calls and that mysterious music of the forest as you row by. The best time for white water rafting is from April to November.
Sri Lanka is one of those countries that boasts a stupendous wildlife population. Venture into the wild where the Sri Lankan leopards, the majestic elephants and colorful bird life roam free, and catch a glimpse of these exquisite creatures in their natural habitat. Yala and Wilpattu wildlife sanctuaries are the best places to encounter wildlife at close range while Kumana and the Muthurajawela marshlands are well-known for their vibrant birdlife.
Whale and Dolphin watching
Get onboard a satisfying cruise to witness magnificent whales and mischievous dolphins at play. February, March and December are the best months to embark on this cruise and the stretch between Mirissa and Galle is the area most known for these cruises. While friendly dolphins will definitely come out to say hello, you will also be able to catch a glimpse of the Blue Whale, Bryde’s Whale, Killer Whale and Pilot Whale during this tour.
Scenic Train Ride
Sri Lanka Railways runs the nation’s railways, and trains are a great way to cross the country. Although they are slow, there are few overnight or all-day ordeals to contend with. A train ride is almost always more relaxed than a bus ride. In addition, a couple of companies run private air-con train cars, which are attached onto regular trains. Although more expensive and less atmospheric than the 1st-class observation cars on Sri Lanka Railways, these private cars offer air-con and snacks and may have seats available when regular classes are already fully booked. Rajadhani Express runs to Kandy, Badulla, Galle and Matara, while Expo Rail serves Kandy and the Hill Country.
Those who love the outdoors and have a taste for adventure can explore the Sri Lanka on bicycle. There are four National Cycle Trails located at scenic spots throughout the country. Including one starting at Sabaragamuwa, which is a province located near the Central Highlands. The network of roads criss-crossing the country is vast, and they range from tarred roads to country streets and gravel paths. Bicycles provide travellers with freedom to explore places that are inaccessible to cars and vans. The terrain varies along different parts of the island and one can find trails suitable for beginners as well as experts.
Hot air ballooning
Ever thought of soaring in the skies like a bird, enjoying the panorama that unfolds below through a bird’s eye view and taking in the sunset from up above? Imagine the sprawling greenery of the paddy fields below, the rivers snaking along the bed of the earth and the setting sun in the distance, the familiar landmarks take a different shape from up above; wind in your ears, soft chirping of the birds that fly by to their nests and you feel completely weightless as time seems to stand still. The scenery will surely take your breath away and let you truly enjoy the stunning natural landscapes.
Diving and Snorkeling
As beautiful as Sri Lanka is on land, it is equally matched with its spectacular underwater scenery. Beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean lies a separate world of tropical fish, coloured coral and mysterious shipwrecks. Located 5 to 9 degrees north of the equator means that the Sri Lanka seas are perennially warm and when in season they remain at an inviting temperature of around 27C. Sea conditions are governed by the two monsoons – the northeast and southwest- permitting calm seas and clear waters along the south and western coastline from November to April and from April to October along the eastern coast of the island. Diving and snorkeling in Sri Lanka is all the more interesting because of the different types of reef that is found in the seas around the island. There are sandstone platforms, coral banks, boulders and rock cliffs that are found both close as well as far away from the shore. Most of the reefs found on the western coast are sandstone platforms. In the Southwest and southern coast rock boulder reefs are more common as are small fringing coral reefs.
Diving Sites in Sri Lanka: Hikkaduwa, Kalpitiya, Kirinda, Weligama, Trincomalee
Trekking and Hiking
Sri Lanka’s hill country offers a diverse collection of flora and fauna that has fascinated eco-tourists and biologists for decades. For many, trekking and hiking starts at the quaint little town of Belihuloya. Belihuloya is found in the central province of the island and makes an excellent base to start out your nature tours. The many thick jungles, spectacular mountains and lush paddy fields provide a relaxing diversity that hikers would fall in love with. The long rivers and sparkling waterfalls scattered in the area make an excellent stop by for a quick dip after being warmed by the island’s tropical sun. Very close to Belihuloya you find one of the most beautiful stretches of land in the island; the Horton Plains National Park. The Horton Plains make a mosaic of wonders and highlight the 880 meter drop called the World’s End and the lush Baker’s Waterfall. From this part of the island the scenery is truly mind blowing. The Adam’s Peak Wilderness Sanctuary is also another excellent spot for trekking. The sunrise from up here is nothing short of breathless and the many who hike up this mountain begin their ascent at night in order to catch this remarkable view. Then there is the little city of Bandarawela. Located in close proximity to the Adam’s Peak, the town is known for its many interesting walks such as the Little Adam’s Peak, Ella Rock and the Namunukula Mountain Range. Once you head to the Kandy region don’t miss the sheer beauty of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Stretching to an interesting 155 square km this range boasts exquisite scenery, large forests, long rivers, lush waterfalls and rare and endemic fauna and flora. For hikers this whole island is truly paradise.