12 Things You Shouldn’t Miss in The Deep South

  1. The Hummanaya Blow Hole is a natural fountains, caused when sea water rushes through a submerged cavern and is pushed upwards. The spray is often as high as 25 meters, giving onlookers a sea bath on land.
  2. Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular in the clear waters of Tangalle. When the seas are calm, from October to April, beautiful coral reefs, colourful fishes, and even sea turtles can be spotted. Tangalle Divers scuba shop near the Tangalle Bay Hotel offers daily trips during the season.
  3. Turtle watching at Rekawa is one of the area’s most popular attractions. The beach is among Sri Lanka’s most important turtle nesting sites, and a night visit with Turtle Conservation Project is a chance to learn more about these majestic creatures. Lucky visitors may see a female turtle as she comes ashore to lay her eggs.
  4. At the Mulgirigala Rock Temple ancient rock steps lead the visitor through a series of natural caves, with unique wall paintings and Buddha statues, and on the summit. Guides are on site to make the visit more enjoyable.
  5. A visit to the Traditional Brassworkers of Angulmaduwa is an interesting stop on the way to Mulgirigala. This village is famous as the place where Sri Lankan brass work began. Today, artisans create bells, oil lamps, and other brass items using methods that are centuries old. Tour the display shop, and buy a brass souvenir of your visit.
  6. At Bundala National Park shallow lagoons teem with color as thousands of migratory birds seek shelter from the northern winters. Flocks of flamingos, plovers, ducks and other migrants share the wetlands with resident storks, herons, and egrets. The park also offers a chance to spot elephants, crocodile, jackal, and other wildlife.
  7. Take a Jungle River Safari at Amblantota at twilight, and watch as playful monkeys follow the boat down the winding river. Peacocks settle in the trees for the night, birds of prey circle overhead, and giant bats take flight, as the mystery of the jungle surrounds you.
  8. Ussangoda is a legendary landing place of Ravana, the evil king of Hindu mythology who piloted his special peacock chariot across the skies. The area’s landscape is unusual, and its red earth is barren – possibly the result of a meteor that struck in ancient times.
  9. Yala National Park is the island’s most popular reserve. Yala has one of the world’s largest populations of leopard, and these secretive creatures can often be seen sunning on the rocks or lying along the branches of a tree. Even if they’re not on view, a safari is a chance to see large herds of elephant, sloth bear, and other wildlife. 
  10. The Situlpawwa Temple, which lies within Yala National Park, dates back over 2,000 years. In fact, the paintings in this rock temple are said to be older than the famous frescoes at Sirigirya. Climb to the top for a spectacular overview of the site.
  11. A boat ride on the Tissa Tank is a popular activity. This ancient reservoir was constructed in the 3rd century BC by an early Sri Lankan king. A tour of the lake today includes a trip around ‘bird island,’ a bird watcher’s delight with its many bitterns, herons and egrets.
  12. Kirinda, with its unique temple, rocky beach and spectacular views, is only 10 km from Tissamaharama. From the rocks a statue of an early queen looks out over the sea; representing a part of Sri Lanka’s heritage and a dynasty that reigned for centuries. On a clear day, the famous lighthouse at Great Basses Reef appears in the distance
  13. Udawalawa Elephant Orphange
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