Table of Contents
- Outdoor sports and activities in Sri Lanka
- Play cricket.
- Watching a cricket match
- Surfing in Sri Lanka
- Things to do on the water, like whitewater rafting
- Diving and snorkelling
- Trekking and hiking
- Yoga and introspection
- Other things to do
Outdoor sports and activities in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and wide range of landscapes make it a great place for trips that focus on nature and activities. Yoga, ballooning, and mountain biking are just a few of the many ways to stay busy. Water sports like surfing and diving are also well covered. If you’re good enough to be able to plan your trip to Sri Lanka around a match, you have to go see the cricket team play. A lot of people across the country get very excited about this.
If there is one thing that most Sri Lankans love most about their country’s history as a British colony, it is cricket. In Sri Lanka, as in India and Pakistan, cricket is the most famous sport. Kids play this game anywhere they can find an open spot. They make balls, bats, and wickets out of old twigs and rolled-up pieces of cloth. During foreign games, on the other hand, the whole country stops, with devoted fans swarming around every radio and TV set they can find.
The national team has only been playing international cricket since 1982, when they were given full Test status. Since then, they have more than held their own. The world has taken a big bite out of Sri Lanka’s one-day cricket, though. The best part of their 1996 World Cup campaign and what helped them win was their batting group, which included the powerful Sanath Jayasuriya and the beautiful Aravinda da Silva. It was very close for them to do this again when they made it to the final of the World Cup in 2007 and 2011.
It’s no surprise that the Sri Lankan team’s successes have been a big source of pride and unity for the whole country. Sinhalese players have generally been the best on the team, but Muttiah Muralitharan, also known as “Murali,” is a Tamil player and may be the best Sri Lanka has ever had. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are two other great players. They are both great hitters who now average over fifty in test matches.
Watching a cricket match
If you get the chance, go to a cricket match. The loud crowd and lively environment are very different from the usually sombre mood at English cricket grounds. It is highly recommended to watch one-day or Twenty20 matches. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, and the cricket ground in Galle are the main places on the island where Test matches are played. Twenty20 and one-day international cricket games are mostly played at the brand-new grounds in Dambulla and Hambantota, as well as in Kandy, Galle, and Colombo‘s Premadasa Stadium. You can get tickets for the games at the sites listed below. You should know that Seerendipity Tours and Travels offers cricket trips to Sri Lanka. Visit the Sri Lanka Cricket page to learn more about cricket in Sri Lanka.
Surfing in Sri Lanka
Many of the waves that hit the shore of Sri Lanka come from Antarctica, so it makes sense that the country has a lot of great places to surf. Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s east coast is the most famous spot. It’s the only place in the country that surfers know all over the world. A lot of people like to surf in Hikkaduwa, Medawatta (which is close by, on the outskirts of Matara), and Midigama, a village on the south coast. At all of these places, you can rent boards. There are many places in Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa that offer surfing tours along the coast. These tours are often mixed with trips to other places. From April to October, you can go surfing between Arugam Bay, Midigama, and Hikkaduwa. From November to April, you can go surfing between those two places.
Things to do on the water, like whitewater rafting
In Kitulgala, the Kelani Ganga river roars out of the hills into grade 3–5 rapids with lots of rocks. This is the best place on the island for whitewater kayaking. You can either plan trips within your own area or get ready ahead of time.
The lagoon at Bentota is the centre of water sports in Sri Lanka. It’s the best place for windsurfing, jet skiing, speed boating, inner tubing, and banana boats, among other things. You can also book water sports at many beach hotels and other private providers in Negombo. Kitesurfers like to go to the Kalpitiya Peninsula and Negombo because they have good wind conditions and a mix of open water and safe lagoons. Wakeboarding is also becoming more and more common. Negombo and Hikkaduwa are two of the main hubs.
Diving and snorkelling
Sri Lanka has enough interesting things to see underwater that a few days of diving would be a nice addition to a trip, even if you weren’t going to go diving. Dive Sri Lanka effectively sums up what is on offer. Not many people think of Sri Lanka as one of the best places to dive in Asia. The best diving schools in Sri Lanka can be found in Bentota, Beruwala, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama, and Uppuvel. The prices are also very reasonable. When compared to most other places in the world, diving gear and lessons are pretty cheap here.
There are a lot of dive spots and schools on the west coast of Sri Lanka. There is a lot of marine life as well as a lot of wrecks, beautiful (but difficult to get to) underwater caves, and rock shapes. Even though there are a lot of new and interesting wrecks to find, most dive spots on the east coast haven’t been fully explored yet. The 270-meter-long aircraft carrier Hermes is one of these ruins. It sank during World War II and is now 60 metres below the surface.
On the west coast, the diving season lasts from November to April, which is also thought to be the best time to visit Sri Lanka. On the east coast, the season runs from May to October. If you’re really determined and don’t mind diving in rough weather with low visibility, you might be able to find someone who will take you out. This is when most of the diving schools on the island close.
Sri Lanka doesn’t have a lot of great snorkelling because there isn’t much coral near the coast. But the large number of tropical fish that visit the coast makes up for this. If you don’t mind boats going by, Pigeon Island, the beach at Polhena, and the Coral Sanctuary at Hikkaduwa are some of the best places on the island to swim.
Trekking and hiking
Most of Sri Lanka’s huge hiking potential has still not been discovered. Because of its beautiful scenery, mild weather, and Sri Lanka’s hill country is the best place to go trekking. On the other hand, trekking through the very different lowland rainforests, like the Sinharaja rainforest, may also be a very gratifying experience. A few of Sri Lanka’s tour companies offer walking and hiking tours. Hotels and cabins that care about the environment also often plan shorter guided walks, and some of them hire guides to lead guests on walks.
Cycling in Sri Lanka can be a lot of fun as long as you stay off the main roads, which can be dangerous. The island’s small size and wide range of natural features make it perfect for touring. The hill country, with its thrilling winding roads, cooler weather, and almost no traffic, is especially great for this. In the first place, be careful. Bus and truck drivers don’t let cyclists on the road at all because they think they waste expensive asphalt. This makes cyclists more likely to get into an accident. Because of this, you should always be ready to move out of the way right away. In fact, it’s usually safer to ride off the road and along the dirt side. Cars that are passing you legally on your side of the road or coming up behind you could hit you and push you into the ditch.
You can rent bikes in most tourist towns, or you can ask at your guesthouse; they may know someone who has extra bikes lying around or will let you use theirs for a small fee. It is also possible to rent good mountain bikes in a number of places. Every day, prices are usually much less than a few dollars, but they can change a lot.
Yoga and introspection
Even though many of Sri Lanka’s Ayurvedic centres now offer yoga classes as part of their treatments, the practise isn’t as famous there as it is in India. You can sometimes join these classes without first taking an Ayurvedic course. If not, you won’t have many choices.
Most classes in meditation can be found in and around Kandy.
Other things to do
A lot of businesses offer helicopter rides that give you a great view of the island. Most of the flights go to and from the Cultural Triangle, which is the area around Dambulla and Sigiriya. However, there are also trips to other places, like the south coast.
Colombo, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya are Sri Lanka’s three beautiful golf grounds. A lot of companies offer customised golf trips.