6 Places You Must Visit With Your Friends In Sri Lanka
Are you planning the most unforgettable trip to Sri Lanka with your closest buddies? If you’ve been swarmed with the countless travel blogs, diaries and not to mention 100s of bucket lists to cross out while on the island, you’re probably pretty confused and overwhelmed now. Our guide will (hopefully!) ease that confusion – here are some recommended places you must visit with your friends in Sri Lanka, there’s something in here for everyone!
Love history and exploring the ruins of cities like Athens or Rome? Then, Polonnaruwa is the place to be! One of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms, it is one of the most diverse places on the island that combines history, culture and wildlife. Visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site from the Sacred Quadrangle to the Gal Vihara.
As for those interested in staying close to nature, Polonnaruwa is located in proximity to Minneriya National Park and Kaudulla National Park. Hire a safari jeep with the troupe and embark on an exciting excursion into the island’s thick jungles. Plan your visit between June to September if you want to witness the largest gathering of wild elephants in the world!
If you have a bit more time to spend here, explore the other attractions you need to visit Polonnaruwa too!
Tangalle is THE place to be, for beach lovers. If you’re looking for a quieter spot, away from the crowded beaches (sorry, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa!), then Tangalle’s pristine, spotless beaches will be the cherry on the cake for your group trip. The beach here is a lot more rugged than the others though, with large boulders peeking from the sun-kissed shores. Take a break from the golden hues, and venture into town in search of the largest blowhole in the country – and the second largest in the world! Visit the Hummanaya Blowhole which is just a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride from Tangalle town.
A hop, skip and a jump away lies the bustling city of Matara, the southernmost point of the island. The city is full of crumbling ruins from the Dutch era, like the second most important Dutch Fort, after the Galle Fort. While you’re there, visit Polhena Beach, rumoured to be the best beach in Matara – a small sandy cove that is sheltered by an offshore reef, and the occasional sea turtle makes its way to the shore too. Matara is also home to the country’s oldest lighthouse, Dondra Head Lighthouse. While you cannot climb to the top of it, the surrounding area is ideal for a group picture!
Trinco is on the northeast coast of the island and it is a good place to watch a sunrise from. Unlike the south coast, the sea here is a lot calmer which is great for leisurely swimmers and idling your day by the beach. One of the best places to visit here is Marble Beach which is actually more of a bay than a beach. The bay got its name from the clear blue-green waters that glisten under the sun like marbles and the beach is bookended by jungle, creating your own cocoon of paradise. While you’re here you should also visit Koneswaram Temple, an important Hindu temple that is atop a rocky outcrop. If you’re strapped for time, here’s how you can explore the east coast in a day.
Are you craving for adventure? Grab the gang and head out for a bit of surfing! Arugam Bay is a surfer’s paradise. Amazing surf points, beach shacks, golden sands and azure waters are the perfect base for a beach holiday. Although a popular tourist destination, Arugam Bay has still managed to retain some of the charms of a rustic beachside town without becoming too crowded. Escape to the nearby national Lahugala National Park for a safari excursion!
Haputale is a small town on the southern edge of the Sri Lankan hill country. The town is perched on a cliff surrounded by tea plantations and has a spectacular view of the surroundings. Trek through the Horton Plains National Park during your visit here. The whole trail is about 9.5km which takes about 3 hours, where you’ll come across the iconic Baker’s Falls and the World’s End; a steep slope which has a drop of 880m. It is a really pleasant walk since it is mainly flat ground but good walking shoes is recommended. A packed lunch or snacks will come in handy while you trek the park. Here are a few fun things you can do in Haputale with your friends.