The big unmissable destination in the south. It's at once endlessly exotic, bursting with the scent of spices and salty winds, and yet also, with its wonderful collection of Dutch-colonial buildings, a town of great beauty. Classic architecture melds with a dramatic tropical setting to create a reality that is endlessly interesting. Wandering the old walls and streets at random yields one architectural surprise after another as you explore the amazing collection of structures dating back through the centuries.
Crack open a coconut, slip into a hammock and rock gently in the breeze, allowing the hours, days and even weeks to slip calmly by. Welcome to Mirissa, which is 4km southeast of Weligama, and is another quickly developing crescent of beach.
Modest guesthouses abound and there are a string of simple cafes along the sand that seem to come and go with the tides. So far the government has stopped the kinds of sand-encroaching construction as seen at Unawatuna, but only time will tell as visitor numbers just keep growing.
You’ll need to go to Weligama or Matara for most services, although there are internet and phone places, and small markets near the 149km marker.
Tangalla is the gateway to the wide-open spaces and wide-open beaches of southeast Sri Lanka. It's the last town of any size before Hambantota and has some old world charm. But you're really here to find your perfect beach and revel in it.
The most visited and the second largest wildlife observation park of the country. The reason why this is a must visit of any tourist is because of the large herds of elephants and leopards ruling the entire jungle zone with a much higher density than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Other than for the wild boars, butterfly species, reptiles and deer there are several other sites which one can visit such as the Sithulpauwwa Ancient Rock Temple which accommodated 12,000 monks. And the bridal stage of the Queen who devoted her life to the sea – Queen Vihara Maha Devi is also within the park premises. Out of all the 90 bird species within Yala Park range around 40 of them are migrant while the others are endemic and could be captured only on a serious travel-o-holic visit!
An internationally prominent lodging ground of the migratory water birds at Sri Lanka harboring more than 190 bird species in the season. You would be able to spot large flocks of greater flamingos near the watery areas of Bundala. The park is the first site to be declared as a Ramsar site and was also designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. With 07 terrestrial habitat types and 06 wetland types the dry shrubs are the mostly found plant life at Bundala. In numbers, a total of 383 plant species belonging to 90 families, 324 species of vertebrates including 32 species of fish, 15 species of amphibians, 48 species of reptiles, 197 species of birds and 32 species of mammals, 52 species of butterflies as invertebrates are residing at Bundala.
TThe city of the sky-rising buildings, the federation of street sellers – the one-of-a-kind semi culture of trading, the city with the bustling business and places you could roam around all the way. Watch the sun drift down to the ocean while eating an authentic isso-wade (a prawn food item) at the beaches and you can name it The City of Lanka.