Leisure & Activities
White Water Rafting – Kithulgala
Kitulgala is located about 80 kilometers from Colombo on the A7 main road that runs to Nuwara Eliya via Avissawella. Kitulgala is a pleasant town set amidst green hills thick with tropical vegetation. The name Kitulgala itself is derived from the Kitul palm tree, groves of which are abound in the expanses. Kitul sap is concentrated and then crystallized to produce jaggery. Kitul sap is also fermented to make palm wine. Kitulgala is the movie location of where David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.
A calm stretch in the River Kelani between two rocky outcrops on either side is
the movie location where the railway bridge for the movie was constructed. The water flows silently in this stretch of the river, which is quite deep and sluggish.
Kithulgala is the main Rafting hotspot in Sri Lanka. This is a get-away for
independent travelers, family, adventurous couples and for adrenalin junkies. The boulder strewn stretch of the Kelani River at Kitulgala offers an ideal setting for White Water Rafting. White Water Rafting at Kitulgala gives the chance to enjoy the stunning tropical scenery of the region. This adrenaline filled adventure sport is suitable for first time rafters and experts alike. Kitulgala White Water Rafting takes about a 90 minute run each for 6.5 km with five rapids graded 2 and 3. The Rapids with their own distinctive characters are aptly named: Head Chopper, Virgin’s Breast, Butter Crunch, Killer Fall and the Rib Cage. Riding modern rafts equipped with safety gear, White Water Rafting at Kitulgala is safe for even kids over 10 years in age.
The best time to enjoy White Water Rafting at Kitulgala is the period between
May to December. During periods of heavy rain, the river could turn out to be
very volatile and White Water Rafting becomes very unsafe. The adventure
operators on site would advise all water sports enthusiasts on the matter.
However, water levels could drop surprisingly fast, turning the river to its regular state during the rainy season as well.
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore Sri Lanka’s varied landscapes, cultural heritage and experience rural village life. Cycle through rice fields and rural villages, through tea covered hill country or along beautiful palm fringed beaches; explore the ruins of ancient kingdoms dating back to the 3rd century B.C. or jungle tracks in the north-central province. A truly breathtaking awesome experience. Though cycling is enjoyed in exploring the island, cyclists should be extra careful on the main roads. The hurtling buses, zig-zagging three-wheelersand other motorists could push the cyclists into tight corners.
- Though bicycle repair shops can be easily found in major towns, such
workshops aren’t often found in rural areas of Sri Lanka. In these
circumstances, cyclists enjoying riding in Sri Lanka would find a toolkit in their possession handy.
- Always use a bike lock when you park your bike and it’s at your own risk.
- Though cycling is enjoyed in exploring the island, cyclists should be extra careful in the main roads. The hurtling buses, zig-zagging three-wheelers and other motorists could push to the cyclists into tight corners.
Cutting across sharply contrasting geographical regions are four National Cycling Trails. These trails have now been developed over routes along the southern coast up to Koggala, to the Cultural Triangle in the North Central Province, the Sabaragamuwa province at the foothills of the Central Highlands and the magnificent Central Highlands past seamless tea plantations and cascading waterfalls.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
There are many Scuba Diving sites in Sri Lanka that spread out across the Western, Southern and Eastern coasts of the island. These locations are of such variety and beauty enabling even amateur scuba divers, as well as the experienced ones, revel in the opportunities presented. Sri Lanka’s Scuba Diving sites offer opportunities for all to enjoy wreck diving, explore reefs and
their abundance of marine life. Sri Lanka is an all year round Scuba Diving destination. Most of the reputed dive centers offer PADI certifications that may take about 3 to 4 days to complete.
Doing safari trips are a very popular activity in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is Asia’s foremost wildlife destination and probably the best outside Africa. In fact, the country has been recognized as one of the ten global biodiverse hotspots in the world. Beautiful Sri Lanka, situated in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean is a relatively small island yet blessed with some of the world’s greatest natural treasures that are beyond compare.
There are close to sixty National Parks and Reserves situated all over the country, some of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of their high biodiversity, each one unique and exclusive for specific species of fauna and flora.
The most popular National Parks in Sri Lanka;
- Yala National Park
- Wilpattu National Park
- Minneriya National Park
- Kawdulle National Park
- Udawalawe National Park
- Gal Oya National Park
- Wasgamuwa National Park
- Sinharaja Rain Forest
- Kumana National Park
- Horton Plains National Park
Whales & Dolphin Watching Tours
Whale and dolphin watching in Mirissa is one of the most exciting water activities you can do in Sri Lanka during your holiday.
Mirissa is the best place to start your whale and dolphin watching tour in Sri Lanka. In warm Indian ocean you can see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales, sometimes Killer whales, and Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and Striped dolphins. Sometimes you can see turtles and various fish species, for example Bluefin tuna and flying fish.
Hiking & Trekking
For the keen Hikers, Sri Lanka offers attractive opportunities to fulfill their adventures. The beautiful area of Kandy, Haputale, Ohiya, Nuwara Eliya and Diyatalawa, located in the hill country of Sri Lanka, provides a base from which to try out a wide variety of hiking and trekking tours through jungle, across tea estates and up mountains.
Popular Hiking & Trekking hotspots:
- Knuckles Mountain Range
- Adams Peak Mountain
- Little Adams Peak Mountain
- Horton Plains
- Devils Staircase
- Sinharaja Rain Forest
Hot Air Balloon Tours
Hot Air Balloon tours are relatively new activity to Sri Lanka but in response to the ongoing search for new and exciting ways of seeing the country, it provides a remarkable experience never to be forgotten. The perfect vantage point to observe the majesty of Dambulla – Kandalama area as you can fly over the huge tanks and wild life range.
Doing water sports during your vacation is a popular way of fun. Sri Lanka is a ideal hotspot to do water sports as the country is full of Rivers, lakes and Lagoons.
Popular water sport activities in Sri Lanka
- Kite Surfing
- Jet Ski rides