Ultimate Guide: Honeymoon in Sri Lanka

 “It is better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times”

You have probably heard a lot about what a beautiful country Sri Lanka is… so why not visit Sri Lanka and make your dreams a reality?

You are probably wondering: “Why should I choose to honeymoon in Sri Lanka?”

Your honeymoon is the perfect occasion to explore this magical island of paradise – the pearl of the Indian Ocean. A honeymoon in Sri Lanka will not only give you a chance to spend quality time with your life partner but will also include unmatchable views from your bedroom window as well as interesting activities to spice up your holiday.

Here’s a brief:

Sri Lanka has a wide variety of attractive landscapes that honeymooners can indulge in: exotic beaches, serene greenery, cascading waterfalls, unique wildlife, and an abundance of history and culture.

Now let us answer that above question in detail and begin this guide with some of the most romantic locations that make up a honeymoon in Sri Lanka.

Absolutely romantic honeymoon locations that will sweep you off your feet

  • Mirissa
  • Passikudah
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Yala
  • Ella


Amazing sunsets at Mirissa beach


Mirissa is on the southern coast; a peaceful location with a crescent shaped secluded beach, producing an intimate setting – ideal for newlyweds. A tempting pass time on the soft sand beaches of Mirissa is to sip a coconut and gaze into the waters from sunrise to sunset as this amazing beach provides the much needed privacy for a romantic escape for honeymooners.

Add fun to your holiday:

While in the southern coast, indulge in some thrilling water sports activities such as canoeing, diving, snorkeling, sailing, jet skiing and much more in the neighboring towns of Unawatuna, Galle and Bentota.

Distance from Colombo: 86kms, 1hour and 42 minutes drive.
Distance from Airport (BIA): 110kms, 1 hour and 50 minutes drive.
Best time to Visit: November to April

Break of dawn in Passikudah


The recently discovered eastern coast of Passikudah offers calm waters in which couples can enjoy a safe swim. The village itself is a small one which has become renowned island wide over the last few years due to its virgin beach: golden bay, clear and shallow waters. Honeymooners can pamper themselves with world-class service here at one of the many top notch holiday resorts such as Amaya Beach, Sunrise by Jetwing, Maalu Maalu, Anantaya Passikudah and many more.

Add fun to your holiday:

Water sports are also common here while a perfectly romantic morning would be to watch the sunrise on this beautiful eastern coast, which is a view offered by many hotel rooms along the coast. If surfing is your kind of honeymoon activity, drive south, while still on the eastern coast, to Arugam Bay, for the best beach for surfing.

Distance from Colombo: 296kms, 6 and a half hours drive.
Distance from Airport (BIA):  264kms, 6 hours drive.
Best time to Visit: March to October

Cozy hills of Nuwara Eliya


The lovely city of Nuwara Eliya, also known as “Little England” is a popular stop for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka. The newlyweds can get a feel of the colonial culture with a breathtaking backdrop of green mountains and valleys, cascading waterfalls and red brick houses.

Add fun to your holiday:

Also in Nuwara Eliya, couples can enjoy romantic nature walks on the Horton Plains during a visit to the World’s End and can also plan a trip to one of the many neighboring waterfalls where they can enjoy a chilled bath together!

Distance from Colombo: 166 kms, 5 hours drive.
Distance from Airport (BIA): 155kms, 4 and a half hours drive.
Best time to visit: December to April

Wildlife indulgence at Yala


If you and your loved one are fond of nature and wildlife, Yala is the best place to begin your honeymoon. Yala National Park has a high density of leopards along with other jungle animals.

Come to think of it, honeymooning amidst a wildlife population is quite an off-beat way to spend your honeymoon and you can go back home and narrate experiences that not many of your friends or relatives must have had on their honeymoon!

While reading this, you are probably wondering: “where am I going to stay in this wildlife bound area?” Several luxury camping sites such as Leopard Trails and Mahoora Safari Camps are available for honeymooners who want a blend of comfort, luxury and exciting adventures all in one stay.

While on one side is the jungle life in Yala, the other side offers splendid beaches of the southern coast that you can also indulge in. So there you have Yala – one town – offering two completely different experiences of Mother Nature!

Distance from Colombo: 285kms, 5 hours hours drive.
Distance from Airport (BIA): 302kms, 5 hours 15 minutes drive.
Best time to visit: February to July

Peace and Tranquil at Ella


Spending quality time in your partners arms with jaw-dropping views like those in Ella, amidst a cozy climate; provide a great start for your married life. Ella is a gorgeous looking mountainous village in Sri Lanka that has been recently discovered as a honeymoon destination.

Oh and you HAVE TO DO THIS… I’m sure you’ll agree.

Enjoy a romantic train ride to Ella from Kandy or Colombo. The journey offers tremendous views of the gorgeous hill country of Sri Lanka.

More romance in Ella…

Luscious tea plantations, jungle canopies and cloud covers present an ideal setting to nestle yourselves cozily. The highlight in Ella is to walk hand in hand to the Ella Gap at the crack of dawn where you will see stunning views of the Ella Rock and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the southern coast of Sri Lanka!

Distance from Colombo: 208kms, 5 hours 40 minutes drive.
Distance from Airport (BIA):  210kms, 5 hours 50 minutes drive.
Best time to Visit: Year round holiday friendly destination

Sri Lanka honeymoon resorts that are worth a visit


Amanwella – Tangalle


Presenting a memorable few days of alone time with your partner, Amanwella beach resort in Tangalle is one of the best.

What will you see here?

Exhibiting the blue waters of the Indian ocean at the southern coast of Sri Lanka, this hotel comes with 30 contemporary suites, each having a private plunge pool and terrace, offering guests luxury service at its best.

What else can you do here?

While enjoying your stay at this resort, you can also partake in a rare opportunity to watch turtles on nearby beaches during a private walk along the coast with your spouse. If you are an elephant lover, don’t forget to visit the neighboring national parks where lots of elephant herds can be seen.

Saman Villas – Bentota


This is another stunning beach property ideal for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka because it is located on the secluded beachfront of Bentota on the south western coast of the island.

Why Saman Villas in Bentota?

Saman Villas guarantees an undisturbed romantic holiday where you can dine under the stars on the beach or at the bar overlooking a breathtaking view of the coast, while you spend your days idling together in the pool beside a beautiful water garden. The property is perched on a rocky outcrop, offering luxury villas with tremendous views.

Gal Oya Lodge


While enjoying the modern luxuries, couples should also try out eco friendly hotels such as Gal Oya Lodge during their honeymoon in Sri Lanka. Located in the middle of luscious and green forests of Gal Oya National Park, Gal Oya Lodge blends well into its surroundings and offers sensitively designed luxury accommodation for couples.

How is this place environmentally friendly?

Eco friendly hotels such as these practice environmentally responsible tourism and in doing so, Gal Oya Lodge has built its bungalow accommodation from locally sourced natural materials and with minimum impact on land. Each spacious bungalow has a private living room, bedroom, and an airy bathroom with double sinks and outdoor showers.

Anantaya Passikuda


Anantaya Pasikuda is an exclusively intimate beach hideaway for couples just beginning their lives together. The calm ocean speaks of love while the star filled skies are an opportunity for romantic open air dinners. Catch the unforgettable experience of sunrise on the eastern coast while relaxing on the private beach of Anantaya Resort and Spa.

What are the rooms like?

The rooms are designed with focus on providing each guest their own intimacy. Depending on your budget, you can choose to stay in an ultra luxurious villa with plunge pools, suite rooms or deluxe rooms, all offering the best amenities and staff who will pamper you more than your parents have!

Jetwing Lighthouse – Galle


Your holiday in Sri Lanka is not complete without visiting one of the designs of the iconic Architect Geoffrey Bawa. An elegant and romantic beach resort in the southern city of Galle, Jetwing Lighthouse is the place to be to enjoy an evening sunset with a drink in your hand and your partner by your side.

Why Jetwing Lighthouse?

A highlight at this hotel is the level of service and hospitality: each room is assigned to a private butler, offering honeymoon couples privacy to the max. Excellent cuisines are served at the restaurants, spa facilities are also a must-try here and of course, there is sightseeing to explore the historical city of Galle.

Ceylon tea trails – Hatton


Amidst Sri Lanka’s spectacular hill country scenery lies the estate of Ceylon Tea Trails in the beautiful town of Hatton. The property boasts 4 luxurious tea plantation houses, unmatchable hospitality and delicious food, each of which is linked with walking and cycling trails. The rooms are made cozy with wood fires, waffle linens, flip flops and organic bath accessories such as green tea soap.

What else can you do here?

If you want to do more than just “being alone” with your partner at Ceylon Tea Trails, the hotel has a library of books and DVD’ s, beautiful gardens, a tennis court, bikes available for a ride, picnic baskets arranged on order, nature trails with an in-house naturalist and much more!

98 acres resort and spa – Ella


There is a lot of hype about this honeymoon resort in the small, yet gorgeous village of Ella. The hype is well deserved though because it is the only luxury hotel in Ella and has lived up to the standards of reviewing agencies such as TripAdvisor, Bookings.com and Agoda. The resort consists of several well designed chalets that have a lovely view of the plantation and mountainous landscape. The chalets are widely spaced out; giving honeymoon couples the quietness, relaxation and privacy they deserve.

Jetwing Vil Uyana – Sigiriya


Situated in the heart of Sigiriya, Jetwing Vil Uyana is another eco luxury honeymoon resort in Sri Lanka. As a peaceful and secluded property, it is surrounded by an abundance of greenery such as reed beds and paddy fields, and a beautiful manmade lake.

What kind of atmosphere will you see here?

A private nature reserve has been created with this hotel where in which you and your spouse will stay in a private chalet that looks like a villa which you have all to yourself. These chalets are placed in a setting of paddy fields, water, garden, forest or marsh. Each chalet is built to blend with the thriving eco system and has a private balcony overlooking a plunge pool, and a spacious bathroom. Do not be deceived by the simple exterior of the chalets as the interior will definitely live up to more than your expectations.


What you didn’t know you could do while on a honeymoon in Sri Lanka


How about some rock climbing while you are enjoying your stay at Jetwing Vil Uyana – Sigiriya? If you and spouse are up for a calorie burning fun activity, all you need is a couple of hours to visit the neighboring “Lion’s Rock” and climb to the top of it to enjoy charming views of central Sri Lanka. You can also have a look at the beautiful paintings and frescoes engraved into the rock that tells a story about the ancient Kingdom during which this Rock Fortress was built.

Another adventurous, yet suitable only for the fit kind of activity is to climb the Adam’s Peak in Nuwara Eliya. The climb takes about 7-8 hours (or more) both ways depending on your fitness levels. Usually tourists begin this trek in the wee hours of the night – around 2.00 a.m so that you reach the peak in time to watch the beautiful sunrise (you can literally see the sun move!) and the amazing view from up there. December to May is the peak season for this mountain climbing activity, and don’t be surprised to find groups of Pilgrims doing the climb barefoot!

Tea plantations are many in the hill country areas of Sri Lanka. If you have a few nights in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy or Ella, stop by at a tea factory and learn about the manufacturing process of tea. Also don’t forget to gear up in traditional style and head on out into the plantations yourself for an exciting tea plucking experience. These are irreplaceable memories that you and your partner will cherish forever.

Sometimes, when on a honeymoon, an overdose of pampering can get boring don’t you think so?

Well, another adventurous activity that you can opt for on your honeymoon in Sri Lanka is that of white water rafting, on the way to the hills of Sri Lanka. Kitulgala is the popular spot for rafting where you can stop at one of the many sheds that offer rafting gear, an expert guide who will go with you and an adventurous rafting session in the white waters of Kelani River.

Did you know Sri Lanka also has places where you can see whales and dolphins?! Yes, Mirissa in the southern coast (discussed above), and Kalpitiya in the western coast are popular locations for whale and dolphin watching. Simply inform your hotel or tour agency if you would like to book a boat for this activity and the necessary arrangements can be made.

Elephants are plenty in Sri Lanka. One option is to observe them in their natural surroundings in National Parks around the country (Wilpattu, Minneriya, Udawalawa). You could also visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage close to Kandy or the Millenium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle if you want to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with elephants while they are being fed or bathed.

If you are one of those nature lovers and have chosen to camp a night or two in Yala, don’t forget to go for a jeep safari ride that takes you through the National Park. Bring your binoculars along so you can spot and observe the wildlife in their natural surroundings.

As a newly-wed couple, you can obtain blessings from the Buddhist Monks at The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – Sri Dalada Maligawa (Kandy), the most popular temple in all of Sri Lanka. Every morning, prayer activities take place here so make sure to dedicate a morning to see this very historical cultural temple, observe the traditional prayer activities and begin your life together with the blessings of the Buddhist Monks.

Here’s another did you know fact for you – Yoga in Sri Lanka: Yes or No? Yes Yes Yes!

Escape into a yoga or meditation retreat with your partner and enjoy some peaceful time alone, away from the hustle bustle of the real world. Detoxify your body and bring your mind at peace at one of the many yoga retreats throughout the country. Indulge in couples massage therapies amidst charming surroundings of Mother Nature and enjoy pampering at its best!


What you should not miss while on a honeymoon in Sri Lanka?


Try out local bakeries and street food


You haven’t been to Sri Lanka unless you’ve tried the local street food. Kottu Rotti, Hoppers, String Hoppers, Egg Rotti, the authentic rice and curry meal, and much more is found on street shops located on the roadside of all towns throughout the island. Apart from that, you must try local bakeries such as Perera & Sons or Family Baker for breakfast or a quick snack throughout the day. Some delicious pastries and bread items are available here.

Explore village life

When touring the hill country or places like Dambulla and Sigiriya in central Sri Lanka, don’t forget to venture out around your hotel with your partner and visit one of the neighboring village areas. Local folk are very friendly and will be more than happy to welcome tourists and show you around their way of life.

Wander around and explore local shops for gifts and souvenirs

While your tour guide might take you to big craft shops in popular cities for your souvenir shopping, it is also a good idea to go freestyle-ing and explore small, low-key shops to find something out of the ordinary.



Ladies, this one’s for you! Make sure you schedule a night or two in the busy city of Colombo and visit the many local retail clothing stores such as No Limit, House of Fashion, Odel and Fashion Bug for the best deals on clothes. Also drag your spouse along to the Pettah Bazaar, which is the trading hub of the country, to lay your hands on some interesting textiles, lacing, household items, cooking spices and much much more at the best prices in town!

Precious Gem Stones


The Gem industry in Sri Lanka is over 2500 years old and has become very popular over the years. Some of the most beautiful and rarest gemstones are found in this island, most of them being seen in Galle, Ratnapura and Elahera. In terms of distribution, Colombo and Kandy have many certified gem shops for you to explore the wide variety and decide if you would like to invest in a semi-precious stone of Sri Lanka.

Cultural Dance Show in Kandy


An art that is difficult to acquire, Kandyan dancers have been exhibiting this for many many years. While in Kandy, don’t forget to see the cultural dance shows that often take place every evening. The attire, the dancers, the skill and the music; everything is centered on Kandyan culture. It is an interesting and entertaining show indeed.

Glimpse of the Esala Perahera


If your honeymoon in Sri Lanka is planned for July/August, you just have to stop in Kandy during the days of the Esala Perahera. This is a grand10 day Buddhist procession that takes place after the Esala full moon (Poya) holiday. A mix of culture, tradition, elegant costumes, elephants and talent such as dancers, drummers, whippers, stilt walkers, and much more is exhibited in this vibrant procession. Viewers can book seats from the official websites or simply stand on either side of the road to catch a glimpse of this stunning Perahera.


So there we have it, an ultimate guide for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka… romantic destinations, best honeymoon resorts, what you didn’t know you could do in Sri Lanka, and what you should not miss while honeymoon-ing in Sri Lanka! Basically, these are all the reasons why you should choose Sri Lanka as your honeymoon destination. Don’t let the temptation remain a far-fetched dream. Make it a reality and begin planning your honeymoon in Sri Lanka now!

Meditation Centers in Sri Lanka


International Vipassana Meditation Centre

This meditation centre was established with an aim to Lord Buddha’s noble teachings to human beings of all races and religions. With about 50 years of experience in meditation, this center specializes in Vipassana meditation – a technique that allows a person to see the reality of life as it is.

Address: No 108, Wijerama Mawatha,
Colombo 07.
Office Hours: Everyday
8.00 am – 10.30 am
1.30 pm – 5.30 pm
8.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Phone : 0112 694100
Web : www.lankavipassana.org


Damrivi Foundation

Buddhism provides a great philosophy and teachings for a way of life that promotes welfare of humans and environmental harmony. With the inspiration of this conviction a group of academic professionals established this foundation in 2003, guided by Buddhist insights and philosophy. Through these insights, they aim to enrich lives of individuals and society. Activities and programs are customized towards nurturing values, attitudes and ideas of people to ensure wellbeing in all states of mind, equality and social justice, ultimately to diminish all sufferings.

Address: No: 51/A, Isipathana Mawatha, Colombo 05

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00AM–5:00PM

Phone: 011 2 504431

Prana Lounge

Prana Lounge is a solid platform that offers solutions catering to wellbeing as well as treatment options for prevention, healing and cure. This property is located amidst a beautiful heritage building – Colombo Cinnamon Gardens, a peaceful atmosphere indeed. The ultimate goal of this institute is to provide evolving concepts of health management solutions with an aim to grow and glow from your inner self. In addition to yoga, meditation, health related therapies, events, seminars and workshops; Prana Lounge also has a delicious Café Kumbuk that caters to healthy food lovers.

Address: 60 Horton Pl, Colombo 07
Hours: 8.00AM–8.00PM
Phone: 011 2 684808
Website: www.pranalounge.lk


Nilambe Meditation Centre

Nilambe Meditation Centre is an authentic Buddhist meditation retreat, established in the 1970s. Godwin Samararathne was one of the popular founders and meditation teachers at the centre and his guests included Christian priests, Chinese Buddhists and all sorts of other groups. He left this world over a decade ago but he is one personality that will be remembered throughout the existence of Nilambe Meditation Centre. Mr. Alahankoon was another one of the founders and the backbone of the centre and he cared about the place like a father would care about his children.

To get the maximum benefit of the meditation retreat, the Centre advices that the retreat should be started from the beginning, completed fully, not left halfway or not joined halfway through either.  Activity participation is also encouraged for further benefits.

Address: Galaha
Office Hours: 1.00pm to 3.00pm.

Paramita Meditation Centre

Previously a tea plantation now transformed into a meditation centre, the Paramita meditation centre has a picturesque view from the top of a hill. The design of the building gives a feel of a spiritual home for people from across the world to come and learn Buddhist meditation. Visitors are encouraged to settle their mind and body into a natural state upon arrival. Professionals at the centre request you to point out your expectations and anxieties of the real world, as well as open up to an honest life. Participants should isolate themselves by keeping aside all electronic devices that connect them to the outside world and observe Noble Silence to embrace the teachings of Lord Buddha.

Address: No.7, Kandy Road, Kadugannawa, Sri Lanka
Phone: 0094 774481980
Website: www.paramitaibc.org


Kanduboda Siyane Meditation Centre

Kanduboda Siyane meditation centre invites the citizens of the world to discover the fountain of wisdom within themselves through the technique of Vipassana meditation. In 1956, this centre was opened under the sponsorship of a meditation master from Burma. Ven. Sumathipala Thero played an immense role in the creation of the meditation center. Kanduboda Siyane can accommodate up to 70 participators at a time, with accommodation, meals and services offered free of charge. Donations funds the entire centre and meditation programs are designed for visitors to stay weeks or months.

Kanduboda Siyane International Insight Meditation Center,
Kanduboda, Delgoda,
Sri Lanka.
Phone : 0094 11 240 2306, 0094 11 493 1808
Website: www.insight-meditation.org

Rathmalkanda Meditation Centre

In Oct 2006, the founder of Kanduboda Meditation Centre moved to the beautiful town of Ella and established a meditation centre amidst the cool and dry climate there. Nestled in between luscious tea estates, green hills and breathtaking mountain ranges, it is the ideal atmosphere for meditation.

Address: Kitelella Rd, Ella
Hours: 6AM–11PM
Phone: 077 368 1065

Ridi Viharaya

In the village of Ridigama, close to the city of Kurunegala, lies a Silver Temple known as Ridi Viharaya built in the 2nd Century BC. The temple is believed to have provided silver ore for constructing one of the largest stupas in the country. Apart from the temple, there are several rock caves that nomadic monks used for mediation in the ancient days. Today, meditation huts are still popular at the Ridi Viharaya with comfortable meditation rooms.

Address: Ridee Vihara Rd, Ridigama

Phone: 071 263 5016

Ashram Sri Lanka

This spiritual retreat center is in a place full of peace and tranquility, the beauty of flora and fauna, and an opportunity to meditate in the midst of a jungle. Ashram Sri Lanka provides a spiritual awakening for those who are unable to absorb the demands of everyday life. The aim of meditation at this centre is to seek release from the cycle of birth and death. If one is serious about meditation, this seemingly impossible task can be achieved with the prospects of several benefits. Techniques of modern psychology, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity are used here to uplift people’s personal mind development and growth. Ashram Sri Lanka is a refuge and a perfect escape from the ordinary life.

“Ashram Sri Lanka”
Wewe Hena, Horawenna,
Sri Lanka.
Phone:0094  417919580
Web : http://www.ashramsrilanka.org


Rockhill Hermitage International Meditation Centre

This charitable foundation promotes the practice and learning of meditation and Buddhism. Located deep in Sri Lanka’s central mountain regions, you will find pleasant climate conditions, plenty of flora and fauna as well as a natural water spring on site. In addition to a large meditation hall, the hermitage has a monastery, a men’s area, a nunnery and a women’s area. With a massive 15 acres in its possession, Rockhill Hermitage Meditation Centre also has a library, a few caves and some student houses scattered here and there. At the beginning of every month, intensive 10 day meditation courses are held and individual retreats for indefinite periods can also be arranged. Ven Silatawa is the founder of this 36 year old meditation centre and he teaches Vipassana meditation in both English and Sinhala languages.

Address: Rockhill Hermitage,
Hondiyadeniya, Wegirikanda,
Central Province, Sri Lanka

Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone:0094 813 801871
Website: www.rockhillsrilanka.com

The truth about ‘Glamping’ at Gal Oya Lodge

What’s Glamping?

Glamorous camping, luxurious camping = Glamping. Ecological but luxurious camping is what Gal Oya Lodge presents to its holiday-ers. Glamping is a unique experience that lets you choose exclusive accommodation with an amazing backdrop as well as an experience of a lifetime to be sleeping amidst the wildlife. All this and more without having to sacrifice even an ounce of comfort. With Glamping you can connect with Mother Nature without the need to rough it out!

Why Go Glamping at Gal Oya Lodge?

  • It is an ecologically friendly way of experiencing a holiday
  • It is the closest you can get to nature and wildlife
  • The adventures are endless – safaris, cycling, nature treks, encounter with animals


What Gal Oya Lodge Offers:

The concept of design at the Gal Oya Lodge brings you closer to nature while at the same time protecting the environment. They focus on attention to detail in creating the bungalows with materials such as cajan, wood and illuk. The lodge also makes use of appropriate technology and recycling concepts to preserve natural resources like water and energy.

Bungalow style bedrooms are offered to guests, each nestled in the forest in a manner that minimizes its impact on land, framing unmatchable views. Here are the facilities available in each 800 square foot bungalow:

  • Private living room
  • Private verandah
  • King size bed
  • Attached bathroom with double sinks, indoor and outdoor showers

For families looking for maximum nature indulgence, Gal Oya Lodge has created a two-bedroom villa located at the highest point of the lodge, offering a peaceful and remote environment with breathtaking views. A common living room connects both bedrooms, and each bedroom has its own verandah with stunning views.

Experiences at Gal Oya Lodge


Our 20-acre private forest can be explored with a simple jeep safari or with more demanding adventures. You could also choose to experience local culture and living heritage of Sri Lanka during your stay. Gal Oya Lodge will be happy to arrange individualized experiences of the Gal Oya National Park, suited to your requests. In your adventures, you could include bicycle tours, riverside picnics, nature treks, bird walks and park hikes. Every safari adventure is sure to be thrilling and unexpected in its own way.

Deep into Nature

Naturalist guides are available at Gal Oya Lodge to show you around the forest and the wild animals of the area. A re-created version of the traditional safari is now possible at Gal Oya Lodge. They offer boat safaris on Sri Lanka’s largest lake where you can discover wildlife from a completely different perspective. Don’t be surprised if you find elephants swimming and bathing in the lake. Bird life is also exceptional around the lake and you can be sure to spot sea eagles, herons and cormorants along with some migratory birds.

Meet the Veddas!

Another timeless experience for your holiday in Sri Lanka offered by Gal Oya Lodge is a walk through the jungle with one of the last remaining communities of the veddas. During the tour, the Vedda explains how they use medicinal plants, he shows you the spot of their hunting grounds and cave dwellings, and also how hunters survived through the ancient jungles of Gal Oya.

Best turtle experience at turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a vital habitat for sea turtles. It has been observed that five of the seven endangered species come to the shores of Sri Lankan beaches to lay their eggs. Watching adult and newly-hatched turtles is a popular attraction for tourists in Sri Lanka, hence Blue Lanka Tours always include this activity in all their Sri Lanka holiday itineraries. Throughout the south western coastline of Sri Lanka, there are several turtle hatcheries that conserve sea turtles. Kosgoda, Bentota, Induruwa, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna and Koggala are a few towns where you can experience an encounter with turtles.

Origins: The Sea Turtle Sanctuary and Research Centre in Sri Lanka was founded in 1978 and has been in operation for nearly 40 years now. The Kosgama Turtle Hatchery was founded by a doctor and a research scientist and is the oldest and biggest turtle conservation project in the island. All turtle hatcheries are non-profit organizations and source their funding through donations and by selling entrance tickets to visitors.

Below are the five out of seven endangered turtle species that can be seen at turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka:

  1. Loggerhead – Endangered
  2. Green turtle – Endangered
  3. Leatherback – Critically Endangered
  4. Hawksbill – Critically Endangered
  5. Olive ridley – Vulnerable

These turtles are being hatched from the captured turtle eggs, trained for three days to make them strong enough to survive in the sea, and then released into the Indian Ocean as three day old baby turtles. While most people are afraid of reptiles, one should be questioned as follows:

Did you know that turtles are also reptiles?!

The oldest known turtle dates back to 220 million years ago. Hence turtles are one of the oldest reptile groups in the world. They are more ancient than other living lizards, crocodiles and snakes.

There are two kinds of turtles: one is the Chelonii and the other is the Testudines. They are differentiated by a special boney shell enveloped from their ribs, which acts as a shield. Both categories have existing and extinct species as well.

Like all other reptiles, turtles have varying internal temperatures, depending on the ambient environment. Although many turtle species live in or around water, they breathe in air and do not lay eggs underwater.

Turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka also treat injured and sick turtles until they are strong enough to go back into the sea. Turtle eggs are purchased from fishermen and authorities from the hatchery bury these eggs in sea sand until they hatch. Dead turtles are also preserved at the hatchery for the purpose of public viewing. The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery alone has managed to release 3.5 million baby turtles to the Indian Ocean as of May 2013 (Asian Tribune reports).

Stilt fishing – a Sri Lankan tradition of all time

Ritipanna is the Sinhalese term for stilt fishing, which is a traditional method for fishing practiced by most fishermen along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. This art is popularly seen in areas such as Ahangama, Koggala, Welipenna,  Kathaluwa and Thalarambe. A narrow pole is tied to a stick that is anchored on the sea bed. Fisher folk climb onto this stick and settle on the pole for a few hours in an effort to catch some fish.

Fishermen found on stilts are those who do not have access to sophisticated equipment for fishing. These men can make a living simply with the help of two wooden poles to make a stilt. One pole is nailed onto the sea bed and the other is placed like a cross bar and acts as a plank for the fishermen to sit on. Each stilt can accommodate only one fisherman. For catching fish, they create a rod made of Kithul, and a small plastic bag is tied around their waist to hold the fish that they catch. With one hand they hold onto the stilt and with the other they hold the rod that catches fish. The tradition of stilt fishing will always be practiced by those who cannot afford to invest in modern fishing equipment.

This picturesque view of stilt fishermen is a huge attraction for tourists. On their list of ‘things to do in Sri Lanka’ is an opportunity to test their skills at stilt fishing in exchange for cash from the stilt fishermen. Hence Blue Lanka Tours makes sure to include this activity in all the itineraries that cover the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

According to stilt fishermen, this art requires a lot of patience and endurance. The first lesson is to strike a balance while sitting on the narrow wooden plank. Then the process requires several hours of waiting in absolute silence while catching the fish. At the end of this still and silent session, the fishermen feel numbness in their feet. They should not move or make any sound because if there is even a slight disturbance in the atmosphere, the fish will swim away. Motor boats, divers and sea bathers in the vicinity could hamper the activity of stilt fishing.

Stilt fishing season is at its peak during the southwest monsoon because fishermen using boats also end up on stilts since the sea is too rough. At sunrise and sunset, stilt fishermen line up on the southern coastal belt. The morning session goes on till about 9.00a.m., or until they have sold their day’s catch to nearby village buyers who come to the stilt fishing location. Fishermen on stilts usually catch small fish like the spotted herring and tiny mackerel. The evening stilt fishing session is usually to entertain foreigners, and this ends at sunset. Tourists like to climb up on the stilt and actually experience this activity as well as capture photographs for memories.