One of the most common, and oldest of water sports in the country, jet skiing is particularly popular in coastal towns like Bentota and Beruwela.
Sri Lanka’s position in the Indian Ocean means that great deep sea fishing experiences can be had in almost every direction off the country’s coast. From November to April, the best deep sea sport fishing areas are the Western and Southern coasts; in April, the South-Eastern coast is the place to be; and from May to September, the Eastern coast opens up. Fishing experiences are available for experts and beginners.
Sri Lanka provides perfect atmosphere for sailing all year round: sunny weather, good winds and beautiful landscapes. From October until March Mirissa and Beruwela are the places to be. From May until September Trincomalee and Passikudah are the perfect spots for sailing.
Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning makes it an ideal hotspot for surfing. Its two main rainy seasons seem to take turns – so if one part of the coast is choppy, the other is usually calm. The main surfing season for the south is from November to May – we are told that waves here are utter perfection. The best season on the east coast is from April to October, when the waves are longer. Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama and Arugam Bay are some of the best destination to go surfing in Sri Lanka.
Kite surfing, too, is among the many water sports that have gained popularity in Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya, the beach resort town, is the country’s best kite-surfing spot, offering clean winds, blue skies and safe waters.
Since Sri Lanka is blessed with a wide range of water bodies, canoeing is an ideal way to explore the country. The country’s major tributaries – the Mahaweli River, Kalu Ganga - cut through some of the island’s most scenic places, thus making canoeing an ideal part of your holiday to Sri Lanka.
Kitulgala seems to have a penchant for attracting water sports – kayaking is no different; in Kitugala, beginners to advanced kayakers will find the Kelani River a fun place to learn the basics of the sport.
Whale & Dolphin Watching
Marine biologists continue being astounded by what lies beneath Sri Lanka’s southern and eastern sea board. Besides turtles and incredible coral reef-bound creatures, there are bigger mammals that, seemingly, invite tourists to watch their playtime. Dolphins and whale-watching have become a favoured activity among many visiting Sri Lankan beach resorts such as Kalpitiya, Galle, Trincomalee and Mirissa. Dondra Point, off the southern most point of Sri Lanka, is the main port especially between December and April. At this time, it is possible to see dolphins, sperm whales and blue whales.
Sri Lanka’s waters are teeming with life. What better way to get up close and personal than a snorkelling experience off Sri Lanka’s magical coastal belts. Almost all of Sri Lanka’s coastal belts in the south and east have snorkelling shops that allow you to rent equipment and book boat rides.
This distant cousin of snorkelling and scuba diving is yet another infant water sport that has found a following in Sri Lanka. Essentially the ease of snorkelling combined with the comfort of scuba diving, snuba is safer as it is even more carefully supervised. Trincomalee offers the best snuba diving.
Sri Lanka is an all year round Scuba Diving destination with Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Trincomalee, Mirissa, Passikudah and Kirinda being some of the best spots for scuba diving in Sri Lanka. Most of the reputed dive centres offer PADI certifications that may take about 3 to 4 days to complete.
Being an island, Sri Lanka has attracted maritime visitors for centuries – records of which can still be found under water. Over 200 estimated shipwrecks are thought to be around the coast of Sri Lanka. Off the coast of Colombo and down to the southern town of Panadura have the highest known shipwrecks, while the southern coastal belt up to Galle, and the eastern coastal city of Trincomalee, too has many waiting to be explored. Most of these ships are from WW I and WW II times and represent great historical value.
The tiny town of Kitulgala attracts adrenaline junkies beyond white water rafters. The relatively infant sport of Canyoning – exploring canyons by walking, scrambling, jumping, abseiling and or swimming - has found a footing in Sri Lanka. Why not start the day with a Canyoning session and finish with a white water rafting?
Visitors can stretch their ‘sea legs’ in Sri Lanka’s eastern and southern coastal belts. Hire a boat or a catamaran and enjoy sunny weather, blue skies, good winds, beautiful water, and a view of the coast that can’t be beat.
White Water Rafting
In Sri Lanka, the small town of Kitulgala - most famous for white water rafting - welcomes adrenaline junkies from around the world. A recent entrant into Sri Lanka’s sporting calendar, white water rafting - like surfing and other water-based sports - is transforming little hamlets near water bodies. And that is exactly what Kitugala is: a tiny hamlet. Though it has grown up since it first began white water rafting rides a decade or so ago, Kitulgala still remains a small town.
From beginners to the professional windsurfer, Sri Lanka affords the opportunity to locate a windsurfing beach in line with the skill level of the windsurfing enthusiasts. Sri Lanka’s tropical climate means that windsurfing is virtually an all-year activity.