Adventure and nature tourism, such as whale and dolphin watching, is central to Sri Lankan plans to recover after decades of bloody conflict.
The sea off Mirissa harbour, in Matara district, is among the best place to watch the sea mammals, according to AH Deepika Kumari, managing director of Mirrisa Water Sports, a company that organises whale watching trips in southern Sri Lanka. And the best period for frequent sighting of blue and sperm whales is between November and April. Massive interest from tourists has created a small economic boom, she says.
"The local people were indifferent to us when we started our venture in 2005," she recalls. "But with the company's success, many locals started to show an interest.
"Now, some have put up similar businesses. A host of tourism businesses has created a number of jobs for the local community." (www.bbc.co.uk)
Home to more than half of Sri Lanka's vertebrates, half of the island's endemic flowering plants and more than 34% of its endemic trees and shrubs, the Horton Plains is a mist shrouded and breathtaking wonder and ideal for trekking, hiking and camping. Added to the mystery and romance, one could enjoy the splendor of the leopard, the sambhur, the endemic purple-faced langur, the Sri Lanka bush warbler and the yellow-eared bulbul. more
|Cycling and Mountain biking
Traveling by bike, you get to see the best of the country with a level of intimacy unmatched by most other modes of travel. If you prefer to get about on two wheels but aren't so keen on struggling with uphill climbs, there are many interesting trails in the lowlands that take you through a beautiful landscape of tea, rubber and spice plantations. more
|Diving and Snorkling
The ocean around Sri Lanka whispers of tales bygone, ones of regal maritime visits, of bandits and pirates and journeys of explorers and spice merchants. As you plunge into the warm waters and dive below, these stories come to life. The crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean with a visibility of 20 meters (65ft) provide perfect conditions for diving. more
|Kayaking and Cannoing |
With 103 rivers and a wealth of lagoons, reservoirs, swamps and ancient canals, opportunities to explore the island's aquatic treasures by canoe and kayak are endless. Such trips also afford interaction with nature as spectacular scenery filled with wildlife dominates the horizon. Furthermore, you can gain a privileged insight into rural Sri Lankan life by observing villagers going about their daily activities. more
Surf's up in Sri Lanka! The east coast's Arugam Bay is the best –kept secret among serious surfers, through gaining popularity worldwide not only for its waves but also for the pristine and beautiful beaches that surround it. Sri Lanka is a surfer's paradise anytime of the year. Once the season ends at Arugam Bay, at another surfing hotspot especially for recreational surfers the season begins, along the southern coast in Hikkaduwa, Wewala and Narigama. more
The wide Bentota River separates the sandy beaches, restaurants and bars of Beruwala from the adjacent resorts of Bentota. Most of the resorts in Bentota and Beruwela have been upgraded recently, with spas added to meet the demand for relaxing ayurvedic massage and other health and beauty treatments. Some of the best-located resorts are on the peninsula bathed on one side by the Indian Ocean, and on the other by the river, with coconut palms on both sides. more
|White water rafting
After navigating the Virgin's Breast, you move through another couple of rapids before hitting the Killer Fall, where a sudden 90-degree drop and plenty of churning water really gets the adrenalin going. As the rapids dwindle to a patch of calm waters, the rafters are encouraged to jump in and body raft, just going with the flow past the riverine scenery of towering stands of bamboo, fruit trees and palms. more
Take a demanding trek high in the mountain rainforest of the Knuckles Range, and see the valuable spice – cardamom - growing in the forest, catch sight of rare orchids and birds, and enjoy the exhilaration of exploring spots where few have been before. more
Guided boat trip safaris at Bentota lagoon or at Koggala lagoon are popular among both locals and tourists in Sri Lanka. If undertaken at the right time, the boat safaris in Sri Lankan lagoons may prove to be very enjoyable. more
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