The favourable monsoon weather patterns around Sri Lanka makes its an ideal location for water sporting, as one half of the island’s coastal waters are always in great shape for an aquatic adventure. Windsurfing is one such activity that thrives in these blue waters.
The Negombo waters situated in the West Coast of Sri Lanka, just outside Colombo, was the first and still a favourite location for windsurfing in the country. The months from December to April have the best wind and ocean conditions to indulge in this sport. In addition, the Negombo coast also offers a range of watersports including water-skiing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
The south-west coast of the country also promises to deliver an exciting windsurfing experience. The strong winds that are frequently felt in the area gives great potential for this sport. The Sunshine Watersports Centre in Bentota is the only VDWS certified surf centre on the island and provides training and certification for windsurfers. There is also the Club Intersport and Lanka Sportreizen that provides a range of water-sports in Bentota.
White-Water Rafting and Canoeing
The premier location for white-water rafting in Sri Lanka is the Kitulgala-Kelani Forest Reserve. The Kelani River that makes its way through this reserve is of the perfect velocity to provide all adventure enthusiasts with an exciting experience with rafting and a number of other water sports like canoeing. There are different packages available for white-water rafting to those of different skill levels. A one-hour ride along the Kelani River at Kitulgala is perfect for beginners while those with a little bit of experience under their belt can resort to the experienced paddlers only routes down the river of Kotmale, Mahaweli and Kalu Ganga. These rides will give you a whole range of experiences from an exhilarating adrenaline rush to a calm serenity amidst the slow moving waters. You will also have the opportunity to feast your eyes on the beauty of tea and rubber plantations and mountains enveloped by patches of rainforest.
Sri Lanka’s low country lakes, lagoons and rivers in other parts of the island also offer opportunities for scenic boat rides, canoeing and kayaking.
Kelani River: White-water rafting for beginners. Enjoy a one-hour rafting adventure with some challenging rapids – although children as young as six can conquer them with the help of their family – and moments of peace where you can drift along and enjoy the enchanting scenery.
Kotmale River: A six hour journey which takes you into Colombo along steep grade 5 rapids. Previous experience is essential.
Mahaweli River: Sri Lanka’s largest river offers a variety of white-water rafting opportunities, from easy grade 2 sections to hair-raising grade 6 drops. This trip is for experienced paddlers only.
Sitawaka River: Located in the neighbouring valley to Kitulgala, the Sitawaka offers rapid grades of four and five, although the middle section calm and you can float along without experiencing the rapids. The lower end of the river has grade three and four rapids. Only 90 minutes from Colombo, this trip is a great day out for those wanting to do adventure activities in Sri Lanka.
Bentota and Beruwala
The seas surrounding Bentota and nearby Beruwela are ideal for a sailing experience filled with excitement, wonder and adventure. Setting off from the Beruwela Harbour at 9 am on a luxurious catamaran, you can sail your way across the beautiful blue ocean to a small islet where you can leave your boat. The ocean space at your stop is perfect for snorkeling, paddleboarding and swimming. You will have access to one of the experienced crew members who will guide you during the activities.
After exploring the beauty of the ocean and immersing yourself in its salty freshness, you can take a thrilling speed boat ride to an island which is home to a towering lighthouse. The walk up to the lighthouse is dotted with colorful tropical forest and a lush coconut plantation. On your way back to shore, you can indulge in some snacks and drinks and close your eyes to enjoy the bliss of the blue waters with the sun tanning your skin all the way.
Trincomalee or Pasikudah
The east coast of Sri Lanka is a paradise of its own. The palm-fringed beaches with soft golden sand is a perfect destination to unwind, relax or enjoy some adventure. A sailing experience on these waters will take you on a journey that truly inspires you and gives new light to your soul. You will set out to see on the Topaz, a private catamaran operated by an experienced international crew. You will sail through the waves of the ocean towards a collection of spectacular private coves where you can enjoy a range of activities including snorkelling and swimming or stand-up paddle boarding. You will also have the opportunity to take the helm and learn some sailing techniques, which maybe an opportunity of a lifetime. This experience, although split into morning and afternoon sessions, lasts a full day – laze about on deck and enjoy the rush of sailing as the sun beams down.
Bentota (West Coast Diving – November through May)
The diving experience in Bentota is an enjoyable one. Even though the number of dive sites in the area is limited, it has exclusive sites such as the Canoe Rock which is an extensive area that needs to be taken on my multiple divers.
In addition to diving, you can also indulge in a number of water sports while at Bentota, including Surfing, Windsurfing, Kite-surfing, Water skiing and Scuba Diving. The latter can only be indulged in during the diving season.
Negombo (West Coast Diving – December through April)
There are two main locations for diving in Negombo. The closer dive sites are about five to enough kilometers from the shore while the third reef is situated much further out in the ocean, about twenty two kilometers away.
While enjoying a memorable dive, you will have the luxury of enjoying the bliss of the white sandy beaches of the Negombo strip during your time there. The best thing about Negombo is its close proximity to Colombo and the Airport.
Beruwala (West Coast Diving – November through May)
Beruwala gives you a one of a kind diving experience on remarkable rock formations that are over thirty minutes away from the shore. During good weather, the water is beautifully translucent allowing the rays of teh sun to stream down to 30 meters deep. The dive sites here are deeper than 20 meters and entertain whale sharks during the season. Therefore, be careful to be aware of the water around you, you may come into contact with a giant of the ocean during your dive.
Hikkaduwa(West Coast Diving – November through May)
Hikkaduwa is a town filled with life and energy. It is a great destination to enjoy the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the ocean and the smiles of the locals. The waters that surround the region harbours a number of cool diving sites including the Shipwreck Conch, the rocky formation of Kirilagala and the HIkkaduwa Deep Rock with an array of cave complexes.
Unawatuna (West Coast Diving – November through May)
This world renowned beach destination is home to never ending stretches of white sandy shores and clear waters. You can choose from a variety of beach side accommodation during your stay there and enjoy hours of diving along its coast. The Giant Maori Wrasse (a.k.a. Napoleon) is constantly encountered during dives in Unawatuna along with a number of intriguing shipwrecks and rocky formations that are covered with natural black coral.
Weligama (West Coast Diving – December through April)
This fishing village situated an hour away from Galle rests beside a large natural bay shielded by a shallow coral reef. The shores of Weligama and Mirissa are recognized among the 10 most pristine beaches around the world. Weligama is an excellent destination for scuba diving, snorkeling and diving with the average dive site depth being 15 to 20 meters deep.
Trincomalee (East Coast Diving – April through October)
The beaches of Trincomalee are beautiful and harbours a stretch of the ocean that is ideal for diving. It is said that the sea around the region is littered with shipwrecks and remains of Japanese Zero fighters which were operational during World War II. Diving down the waters of Trincomalee will take you on an exciting journey of discovering treasures from centuries ago.
Batticaloa (East Coast Diving – May through October)
This was an area that was heavily affected by the war. It is located at the far east corner of Sri Lanka and has to be reached via a difficult terrain that is dry and littered with stray cattle.
Despite its rough demeanor, Batticaloa is a celebrated region in the diving world. It is the land of H.M.S Hermes – The king of dives in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka diving tours has now opened the Deep Sea Diving Resort near the lagoon specially targeting technical diving at the Hermes.
Kitesurfing is yet another exciting activity made possible in Sri Lanka due to the vast ocean that surrounds in and inland water bodies that are plentiful within the island. The best season for kitesurfing on the north-west coast is from May to December while Negombo and Kalpitiya are two excellent locations for kitesurfing in the west and south coasts of the country. Whether you are completely new to kitesurfing or an experienced individual, you will find a setting that is perfect for you.
Hot Air Ballooning
There is no better way to experience the Cultural Triangle, than on board a hot air balloon. This experience starts early morning and lasts for about three hours. Your pilot will brief you on your journey before take off, during which time, you can ask any questions you’d like to about the experience.
Your time floating on air will be a truly memorable one as you look down at the beautiful landscapes in Kandalama, Dambulla and Sigiriya. You will see details of these magnificent cities in a way that you’ve never done before. You may even spot wild elephants and water buffalo as you fly over untouched wilderness and come across a surprise or two as the winds guide you towards unfamiliar terrain. Guided vehicles will follow your flight throughout, therefore, there is no need for any worry. Upon landing, you can celebrate this wonderful experience with champagne.