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Adventure Sports in Sri Lanka for Tourists

Updated on February 12, 2011
Windsurfing is a popular activity among tourists visiting Sri Lanka
Windsurfing is a popular activity among tourists visiting Sri Lanka

Adventure Tourism in Sri Lanka is on the rise

With the end of the civil war Tourists are coming to Sri Lanka in great numbers and adventure tourism is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. With beautiful beaches, plenty of mountains, forests and rivers there are plenty of opportunities for adventure lovers and adventure tourists. By far the most popular item among tourists is wind surfing, but mountain and jungle trekking, camping in wildlife parks and white water rafting is getting increasingly popular. Most companies have started to add special packages targeted towards young and the elderly as well, so anyone visiting Sri Lanka can enjoy some sort of adventure. Although there are no major theme parks that have roller coasters etc, the government is planning to build few of them as well, and in the near future Sri Lanka would be the perfect destination for adventure lovers with all sorts of activities available. Sri Lanka was chosen as the second best travel destination by National Geographic and adventure sports like surfing played a major role in that decision.

Surfing at Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka
Surfing at Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka

Windsurfing and Surfing in Sri Lanka

When it comes to adventure sports, windsurfing is the most popular activity among tourists. There are many reasons for this, being an island there beautiful beaches with strong winds and great waves, and since locals are not that much into surfing you can enjoy them in relative privacy. Arugam Bay is considered the best beach for surfing in Sri Lanka and places like Hikkaduwa, Bentota in the southern coast of the island are some other famous surfing beaches in Sri Lanka. You can buy or rent surfing gear in most of these places and in places like Arugam Bay you can get surfing lessons as well.Obviously you want become a professional in one day, but you can try windsurfing under the watchful eye that way.

White Water Rafting in Kithulgala, entertaining adventure sport in Sri Lanka
White Water Rafting in Kithulgala, entertaining adventure sport in Sri Lanka

White Water Rafting in Sri Lanka

Another adventure sport that is gaining popularity among tourists and locals alike. The most famous white water rafting destination in Sri Lanka is Kithulgala, the Kelani river goes through some rocky surfaces in those parts, making it an ideal destination. If you are elderly person or if you are traveling with kids there is the less adventurous flat water rafting. There are various packages available, with some packages enabling to go white water rafting up to 10Km. All the necessary gear is provided by the tour organizers and you will be provide safety equipment like life jackets and helmets as well. One of the most entertaining adventure sports available in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Travel Guides at Amazon

Night Camping and Going Off Road

Although a small island Sri Lanka has around 50 nature reserves and national parks and most of them allow camping in specific areas. Some might not consider this an adventure sport but there is something thrilling about spending a night near a river watching wild Elephants and Jaguars. Parks like Yala are the perfect place to go on an off road adventure as well. There are some sectors in the Yala National park that still doesn't have specific roads etc, where you have to go through muddy fields etc, great for people who are looking to discover wildlife the hard way. You need at least two off road vehicles to make this trip and it will cost you a bit more as well.

Snorkeling and Diving

Snorkeling and Diving is another popular adventure sport among tourists. There are plenty of beautiful beautiful coral reefs that are great to explore marine life. Hikkaduwa has the most famous coral reef in Sri Lanka, although it was damaged a bit by the tsunami it still is a beautiful coral reef to explore. There are plenty more coral reefs in the southern coast if you want to go snorkeling. When it comes to the East coast the beaches near Trincomalee and Arugam Bay offers you the best chance of going snorkeling, and Arugam Bay has some famous ship wrecks that are excellent to go diving.

Trekking and Hiking in Sri Lanka

As mentioned above there are plenty of National parks in Sri Lanka and they provide an ideal place to go trekking and hiking as well. Most famous trekking destination is the Horton plains national park, which was recently included in world heritage list as well. Most famous destination in Horton plains is definitely "Worlds End" and there is main road that leads to it. But there are plenty other much harder paths to reach there and those are ideal for trekking through the jungle. The Knuckles mountain range, Adame peak sanctuary are few other popular destination to go trekking and hiking.

Plenty more things to do

Although not as popular as the ones mentioned above there are plenty more adventure sports available for tourists and locals alike. You can go rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing etc. There are companies dedicated to doing adventure sports so you are better off choosing one of them for your adventure sports. Ask your travel guide for instructions on choosing one or you can make inquiries from your hotel as well.

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    • kashmir-ladakh profile image

      kashmir-ladakh 5 years ago from usa

      Sri lanka is a land of heritage, its beauty is magnificent and everlasting.