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11 Outdoor Activities in Sri Lanka That You Cannot Give a Miss

11 Outdoor Activities in Sri Lanka That You Cannot Give a Miss

Sri Lanka is an island that has been a crucial part of historical legends since times immemorial. Once hailed as the fortressed kingdom of the ten-headed demon Ravana, Sri Lanka is now one of the leading tourist destinations. Tourists from all around the globe fly in to enjoy a piece of their own tropical heaven in Sri Lanka. And if you’re contemplating on visiting this tropical paradise soon, you should read extensively about exciting 11 adventure activities in Sri Lanka that cannot be missed from your itinerary –

1. Surf through the foamy waves of the Indian Ocean –

Surf through the foamy waves of the Indian Ocean

With Sri Lanka being an island, you will find a never-ending ring of the shore where you can lounge for endless hours. But we suggest you take hold of the surfing boat and jump into the foamy waters of the Hikkaduwa. A trainer always accompanies you so that you can enjoy to the fullest.

Note – Learning to surf takes practice so make sure you book a minimum 3-day package.

2. Bottle-feed an orphaned baby elephant –

Bottle-feed an orphaned baby elephant

Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is home to nearly 90 elephants who are sheltered amidst lush coconut plantations extensively taken care of. The recently inaugurated Pinnawala Zoo is accessible to the public where you are allowed to pet elephants from a safe distance under strict supervision.

Note – Make sure you do not irritate the animal. Elephants are peaceful animals but your safety is always in your hands. It always helps to be cautious.

3. Watch the whale frolic in deep blue waters –

Watch the whale frolic in deep blue waters –

Since whales are the largest creatures of the sea, it is hard to notice them while you’re on a regular beach holiday. But Sri Lanka, being an island, offers great chances to watch gentle giants like Blue whales, Minke whales, Killer whales, Bottlenose dolphins & Spinner dolphins from an extremely close proximity. Therefore, don’t forget to have you tour operator include whale watching as a top Sri Lanka adventure activity in your itinerary.  Ideal locations are Kalpitiya & Trincomalee.

Note – Take pills to cure motion sickness in the sea one hour before the activity starts. Carry sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, camera, binoculars & snacks. Throwing garbage at the sea is strongly prohibited.

4. Pet a turtle in a hatchery –

Pet a turtle in a hatchery

Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot. It is home to many endangered species of birds & animals. And Turtle Hatchery at Bentota is an effort by the country to help conserve and facilitate the breeding of exotic turtles like Loggerhead turtle, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Hawksbill & Green Turtle. A trip to the hatchery allows you to watch the turtles go back to the ocean after they lay their eggs in the nest.

Note – Using flash-incorporated cameras to click photos of the turtles is prohibited. Making noise while watching the turtles is discouraged as well. Since turtles can lose their sense of direction through disturbances created by flashy lights & excessive sound, it is better not to disturb them.

5. Observe the beautiful landscapes of Sri Lanka from a Hot Air Balloon –

landscapes of Sri Lanka from a Hot Air Balloon

If you don’t have the stomach to try extreme sports like trekking, rock climbing or surfing, we suggest that indulging in a hot air balloon ride is going to offer you the same amount of thrill with a much lesser effort! You are accompanied by an expert as you admire Sri Lanka from a breathtaking height. It sure is going to be an experience of a lifetime.

Note – As you go above, make sure you watch out for leopards. You can easily spot them lounging on top of the highest tree branches. They are surely a sight to behold.  This is the most preferable adventure activity in Sri Lanka

6. Savor in the exotic Sri Lankan Cuisine –

Savor in the exotic Sri Lankan Cuisine

Skipping the high-end eateries, we suggest one dish from the streets that is sure to become your favorite – Kottu. It is a mix of flatbread pieces deep fried and cooked with your choice of meat & vegetables, seasoned with a spicy curry sauce. Trying out the native cuisine should definitely be a part of your activities in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Note – To stay away from cases of food poisoning, make sure you eat from a clean restaurant.

7. Explore the colorful underwater lifestyle –

Explore the colorful underwater lifestyle

Being surrounded by the mighty Indian Ocean from all the sides, it would be vain if you did not dive beneath the waters to swim through the colorful reefs and watch exotic species of fish slip past you. Snorkeling is a common sport here in Sri Lanka’s largest reef – the Bar Reef and you are always accompanied by professionals.

Note – The best time to try snorkeling is during summers when the waters are warm and the sun shines brightly so that plenty of light penetrates the water for you to enjoy the underwater beauty.

8. Enjoy a buffet dinner in a rainforest camp –

Enjoy a buffet dinner in a rainforest camp

Enjoy camping in the lush rainforests of the Yala National Park. This rich forest reserve is home to the nearly 200 species of exotic as well as endangered birds, and more than forty species of mammals, including spotted deer, Asiatic elephants, and leopards.

Note – Camping in the forest is always more enjoyable with a large group of friends. The organization makes sure you have the time of your life with outdoor feasts of Sri Lankan Cuisine beneath the starry sky and bonfires.

9. Tour through the ruins of the Dutch Fort –

Tour through the ruins of the Dutch Fort

A stroll through the premises of the Dutch Fort will transport you to the colonial era with its vintage Portuguese and Dutch architectural set-up of the surroundings. You can visit the National Maritime Museum, and gaze at the vintage styled living spaces beside souvenir shops and eateries.

Note – Make sure you buy King Coconuts from street vendors and enjoy its sweet water and pulp during the leisurely evening tour. These coconuts are bright orange in color and are sweeter to taste than regular green coconuts.

10. Witness the tea-making procedure inside a tea-factory –

Witness the tea-making procedure inside a tea-factory

Visit the Embilmeegama Tea Factory in Kandy that is an ideal place to drop by and watch the tea-pickers bring in baskets of fresh greens to the factory where they are processed, cured, toasted, rolled and graded before packaging.

Note – Don’t forget to take home a sample of the tea leaves directly from the factory! It is one of the most preferable activity in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

11. Visit a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site –

Visit a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site

The Dambulla Cave Temple, situated approximately 4 hours from Colombo, is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, owing to its stark artistic beauty. The statues along with the elaborately narrative ceiling paintings depict the imageries of Buddha’s first sermon. The museum inside the Temple is another visual spectacle that you cannot afford to miss.

Note – Avoid clicking pictures with your back facing any statue of the Buddha. It is illegal. Having religious tattoos & tattoos of Buddha is prohibited in Sri Lanka. If you have one, your entry into the country can be possibly denied.

Sri Lanka is an exotic place to be. Make sure you make the most out of your visit by covering every task in your list of Sri Lanka Adventure Activities during your holidays.

We wish you a safe and a fruitful journey!


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