Trincomalee is a popular port city located on the east coast of Sri Lanka, about 265kms from Colombo. Once a war torn city, Trinco has now developed into one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka – known for its ideal blend of rest, beach side relaxation and adventure.
For 26 years, civil war raged through north east Sri Lanka, with Trincomalee being close to the front line. In 2004, the great tsunami hit the city, making things worse than it already was. The war reached its conclusion in 2009 and since then, there is plenty of optimism in the air rather than gunfire. It’s a miracle indeed how Trinco is gradually transforming into a fully-fledged tourist resort to cater to tourists interested in exploring the rich history and culture while stretching out on the white sands and engaging in exciting activities such as whale watching.
A day in the sun
At the crack of dawn, guests could enjoy an activity of fishing with the nature team on a fiber glass motor boat. This is an enjoyable eco-friendly activity that is different to the traditional method of fishing and allows guests to cast the line and reel the catch without causing much harm to the fish. The caught fish can be safely unhooked and returned to its natural environment. The activity of fishing is a 2 hour excursion during which all the necessary equipment along with life jackets will be provided.
The waters surrounding Sri Lanka’s coastlines are becoming renowned as perfect whale watching sites. During the whale watching season in Trincomalee, guests can indulge in a unique marine mammal safari. Groups of tourists are mounted onto boats and are taken about 18 to 20 miles into the ocean. Some patience and luck is needed to spot a range of blue whales, sperm whales, common dolphins, spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and several other species such as sea turtles and whale sharks. Killer whales have also been sighted along the coast of Trincomalee on very rare occasions.
Exploring the marine life via the exciting activity of snorkeling is another popular attraction in Trincomalee. Snorkeling can be arranged via the hotel you are staying at or other water sports centers in the area. The package usually includes a 30 minute boat ride to Pigeon Island National Park. This island is home to an abundance of saltwater fish and corals. Guided snorkeling tours are available to discover the rich biodiversity that lies in this unique underwater park. You will be amazed at the 300 species of marine fish and about a 100 colorful coral species varying in shapes, shades, textures.
The city of Trincomalee is rich in historical and cultural heritage. The best time to set out for your city tour is in the mornings or late afternoons as the sunshine can be quite strong during mid-day hours. Centuries old hot water springs are a commonly visited spot by tourists. Also included in this list is the Commonwealth War Cemetery – a memorial for naval officers and military officials who lost their lives during World War II. Other key attractions are the harbor mouth, Koneswaram Temple, Fort Frederick and Lover’s Leap.