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5 Water-Based Activities For The Adventurer

If there’s one exciting thing about visiting an island nation, it’s all the water that encompasses it. Sri Lanka has a great climate, and the wet and dry zones balance out perfectly. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to do as many water-based activities as you can when you visit! Here are a few you could try out.

Surfing

Surfing is in its early stages in Sri Lanka. It’s only just started to take off, but there are tons of great spots to catch some waves along the island’s coastline. Arugam Bay is Sri Lanka’s most famous surf spot and accommodates surfers of all skill levels. The crescent-shaped beach gets a little packed during the surf season, but it’s still worth a visit!

For beginners, the spot that’s highly recommended is Weligama Beach Break. There are plenty of instructors around the area advertising their classes, so you could learn how to surf on the spot! For the more experienced surfers, surf points like Rams, Lazy Left (Midigama), and Okanda are ideal locations.

Snorkelling/Scuba diving

With the kind of biodiversity Sri Lanka entertains, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a snorkelling/scuba diving adventure here! From April to September, the East coast is the place to be! If you’ve never been diving before, the PADI training centres position around the island could help you learn everything you need for a fulfilling experience underwater. Some of the best spots to go snorkelling include Pigeon Island, Nilaveli Beach and Passikudah. The ideal spots for scuba diving are Trincomalee (this includes Pigeon Island and Nilaveli, as well as the enticing shipwreck close to the coast, Irakkandy), and Kirinda, which can be accessed only during March and April.

Fishing

Fishing is an ancient livelihood in the island nation, with almost every coastal town being utterly reliant on the industry to make a living. If you’re intrigued by the unusual fishing method known as ‘stilt fishing’, this would be a good time to find out what it’s all about! Along the beaches of Mirissa, Hikkaduwa and more, you’d see poles with crossbars attached to them and people precariously perched on them. The pole is embedded into the seabed along the shallow waters. The fisherman gets atop the crossbar, not disturbing the fish below. When they spot a fish, they use a rod to impale it, and then drop it into a bag. Stilt fishing is a traditional method employed by many fishermen in Sri Lanka, but it requires great balance, quick reflexes and a sharp eye, a bit too tedious for those who haven’t had the experience. You could instead opt for deep sea fishing, which is bound to get you a few larger, more challenging species to wrestle aboard.

White-water Rafting

Everyone’s always talking about Sri Lanka’s amazing beaches, but there’s not as much talk about its beautiful rivers—some feistier than the others, but still a worthy challenge to those with lionheart. And by feisty, we mean the frothy rapids! Kithulgala is the most popular spot for white water rafting. Located about a couple hours away from Colombo, it’s also quite accessible. The Kelani River, which runs through it, comprises 4 minor and 5 major rapids. With the forests lining either side of the river’s bank, it’s certainly a scenic and mesmerising route across Sri Lanka’s wettest zone. These turbulent waters are sure to test your endurance and physical strength overall.

Water Sports

From Jet ski adventures to stand up paddle boarding, there are a variety of watersports to partake in along the gentle waters of the Bentota River. The town of Bentota is most noted as a hub for water activities as travellers can benefit from beach or river-related excursions.