Watersports That Are Safe And Fun For Children
Being a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an excellent place for watersports. Although many parents may-understandably- be wary of their children’s safety when it comes to watersports, there are some which are fun and safe, guaranteed to please the whole family.
Hikkaduwa – Snorkelling
Situated on the south coast of the island, Hikkaduwa is perhaps, the best-known beach in Sri Lanka. Hikka, as it is more commonly known, has transformed from a bustling fishing village to one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is the quintessential Sri Lankan beach experience with blue waters that kiss the golden beaches, making Hikka the ideal place for swimming and just lazing by the beach. However, if you and your family are feeling more adventurous you should opt for snorkelling at the Hikkaduwa National Park, one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka. The park is a few meters off the coast of Hikkaduwa so you can only get there by boat, but you should definitely make the effort to do so because it is magical. The park is brimming with a variety of colourful fish and home to over 60 species of coral. It was declared a National Park primarily to protect the coral reef after years of neglect, and it’s been working! The best time to visit the park is in the morning as that is when visibility is best, and between November and April.
Weligama – Surfing
An hour drive from Hikkaduwa, you will find the beautiful town of Weligama, which translates to ‘sandy village’– a testament to golden beaches. Recently, Weligama has gone through a surge of popularity and become one of the country’s premier surfing spots. If you and your family don’t have any experience in surfing, do not fear– there are numerous surf schools peppered along the bay. The surf schools here are geared to teach kids in a fun and safe manner, with the instructors making sure you’re never in the water alone. Apart from that, you can explore some of the coves along Bandrawatta Beach which are great for swimming.
Another unique Sri Lankan experience would be whale watching. Weligama is only a 20 min tuk-tuk ride to Mirissa which is the best place for whale watching. Sperm whales and blue whales frequent the waters here, with the occasional killer whale. This is an exciting activity for the whole family as you will get to be a few feet away from the largest mammal on earth! An added bonus is that you also get to see spinner dolphins that often follow the boats.
Kitulgala – Whitewater rafting
Kitulgala is a small town on the west of Sri Lanka bordering a rainforest and is often referred to as the wettest part of the island as it experiences two monsoon cycles. There are many outdoor activities to do here from jungle trekking to cave exploration, but Kitulgala’s main attraction is white water rafting. There are adventure camps which will organise a well-rounded tour for you and your family; where you can trek through the thick jungle, scale down waterfalls, and tackle some of the world’s best rapids, all with the necessary guidance.