Table of Contents
- Sports and Outdoor activities in Sri Lanka
- Watching a cricket match
- Activities in Sri Lanka: Surfing
- Activities in Sri Lanka: Whitewater rafting and other water sports
- Activities in Sri Lanka: Scuba diving and snorkelling
- Hiking and trekking
- Introspection and yoga
- Other activities
Sports and Outdoor activities in Sri Lanka
Because of the country’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes, there are several alternatives for outdoor and activity-based vacations in Sri Lanka. While there are numerous other ways to stay active, such as yoga, ballooning, and mountain biking, water-based hobbies, such as surfing and diving, are well represented. When it comes to spectator sports, watching Sri Lanka’s cricket team play is a must if you’re lucky enough to organize your Sri Lanka trip around a match. This always generates a lot of national interest.
Cricket is one of the most popular activities in Sri Lanka. A large number of local as well as foreign travellers flock into Sri Lanka cricket stadiums to watch international cricket games. Sri Lanka is a venue for many international games, such as the LPL. Tour operators such as Seerendipity Tours offer special tour packages to Sri Lanka targeting international tourists who like to watch cricket matches on the island.
Cricket is undoubtedly the most treasured legacy of the British colonial past among the typical Sri Lankan. Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka, as it is in India and Pakistan. Children play this game in any available place, making balls, bats, and wickets out of rolled-up cloth and discarded twigs. Meanwhile, during international matches, the country grinds to a halt, with devoted supporters clustered around every available radio or television set.
Despite the fact that the national squad is very young to international cricket, having just been granted full Test status in 1982, they have more than held their own. However, when it comes to one-day cricket, Sri Lanka has taken the world by storm. Their batting lineup, which comprised the powerful Sanath Jayasuriya and the graceful Aravinda da Silva, was the highlight of their 1996 World Cup campaign and played a key role in their victory. They came very close to repeating this feat when they reached the World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011.
It should come as no surprise that the Sri Lankan team’s accomplishments have acted as a tremendous source of national pride and camaraderie. Although Sinhalese players have typically dominated the team, Muttiah Muralitharan, nicknamed “Murali,” is a Tamil player who may be the best Sri Lanka has ever had. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, two great batters who now average above fifty in test matches, are the other standouts.
Watching a cricket match
If you have the opportunity, attend a cricket match; the bright atmosphere and unruly crowd provide a completely different experience from the normally solemn ambiance of English cricket grounds. One-day or Twenty20 matches are particularly suggested. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, and the cricket pitch in Galle are the principal Test match grounds on the island. The recently built cricket stadiums in Dambulla and Hambantota, as well as Kandy, Galle, and Colombo‘s Premadasa Stadium, are the primary venues for Twenty20 and One-Day International cricket matches. Tickets for the games are available from the respective venues. Seerendipity Tours and Travels provides cricket vacations to Sri Lanka. Visit the Sri Lanka Cricket website to learn more about cricket in Sri Lanka.
Activities in Sri Lanka: Surfing
Given that many of the waves that break on the Sri Lankan coast originate in Antarctica, it stands to reason that the Sri Lanka boasts a lot of outstanding surfing places. The most prominent area is Arugam Bay on Sri Lanka’s east coast, which is the only place in the country with a worldwide reputation among surfers. Other popular surfing places are Hikkaduwa, Medawatta (on the outskirts of Matara), and the south coast hamlet of Midigama. Each of these locations rents out boards. Many spots in Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa provide surfing tours along the coast; these activities are sometimes coupled with excursions to other locations. The surfing season between Arugam Bay, Midigama, and Hikkaduwa spans from April to October and from November to April between those two places.
Activities in Sri Lanka: Whitewater rafting and other water sports
Kitulgal is the best place on the island for whitewater rafting, with the Kelani Ganga river roaring out of the hill country into boulder-strewn grade 3-5 rapids. You can either arrange local trips or plan ahead of time.
Bentota is the epicentre of water sports in Sri Lanka, with its lagoon ideal for a variety of activities such as windsurfing, jet skiing, speed boating, inner tubing, and banana boating. Watersports can also be organised with numerous beach hotels and other independent suppliers in Negombo. Due to their superior wind conditions and combination of sea and more protected lagoons, the Kalpitiya Peninsula and Negombo are popular kitesurfing destinations. Wakeboarding is also becoming increasingly popular. Negombo and Hikkaduwa are two major hubs.
Activities in Sri Lanka: Scuba diving and snorkelling
There are enough underwater attractions in Sri Lanka to make a few days of diving a good complement to a trip, even if you aren’t planning on diving. Dive Sri Lanka provides a useful overview of what’s available. Few people believe Sri Lanka to be one of the best diving destinations in Asia. Bentota, Beruwala, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama, and Uppuvel in Sri Lanka all have excellent diving schools at reasonable prices. When compared to most other parts of the world, diving packages and instruction are quite inexpensive.
The west coast of Sri Lanka is home to an extensive network of dive sites and schools. There is a plethora of marine life in addition to a number of wrecks, stunning (although difficult) underwater caverns, and rock formations. Despite the plethora of fresh and spectacular wrecks to discover, east coast dive destinations remain relatively undiscovered. The Hermes, a 270-metre-long aircraft carrier that sank during WWII and is now submerged at a depth of 60 metres, is one such ruin.
The west coast’s diving season normally runs from November to April, which is also considered the ideal time to visit Sri Lanka, whereas the east coast’s season runs from May to October. If you’re particularly determined and don’t mind diving in stormy weather with minimal visibility, you might be able to find someone who will take you out if practically all of the diving schools on the island close during this period.
There isn’t much great snorkelling in Sri Lanka because there isn’t much coral near the coast. However, the abundance of tropical fish that visit the coast compensates for this. If you don’t mind boats flying by, some of the best snorkelling places on the island are Pigeon Island, the beach at Polhena, and the Coral Sanctuary near Hikkaduwa.
Hiking and trekking
The vast majority of Sri Lanka’s vast trekking potential remains unexplored. With its stunning terrain, panoramic views, and temperate climate, the hilly area of Sri Lanka, in particular, provides ideal trekking conditions. Trekking through the immensely diverse lowland rainforests, such as the Sinharaja jungle, can, on the other hand, be a very gratifying experience. There are a few tour operators in Sri Lanka that offer trekking and hiking vacations. Environmentally conscious hotels and lodges frequently offer shorter guided walks, and some of them even hire guides to accompany visitors on walks.
Cycling in Sri Lanka may be an incredible pleasure, as long as you avoid the dangerous main highways. The island is ideal for touring because of its small size and natural diversity, particularly in the hill country, which has exhilarating switchback roads, a cooler climate, and almost no traffic. First and foremost, use caution. Cyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents since bus and truck drivers regard them as a waste of good asphalt and do not give them the right to be on the road at all. As a result, you should always be prepared to shift out of the way quickly (in fact, riding completely off the roadway and along the dirt shoulder is often safer). Not only are you vulnerable to oncoming traffic from behind, but you also risk being driven into the ditch by vehicles that are lawfully on your side of the road but overtaking you.
Bike rentals are available in most tourist cities (or ask your guesthouse; they may know someone who has spare bikes lying about or who will lend you theirs for a small fee). High-quality mountain bikes can also be rented in a variety of locations. Prices are typically far lower than a few dollars per day, though they can vary greatly.
Introspection and yoga
Despite the fact that many of the island’s many Ayurvedic institutes now incorporate yoga classes into their treatment regimens, and it is occasionally possible to participate without first taking an Ayurvedic course, yoga isn’t as popular in Sri Lanka as it is in India. If not, you won’t have many options.
The majority of meditation classes are available in and around Kandy.
Many firms provide balloon rides that provide an amazing aerial perspective of the island. The majority of flights are to and from the Cultural Triangle (the area around Dambulla and Sigiriya), although there are also flights to other locations, including the south coast.
Colombo, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya all have stunning golf courses. A variety of companies offer customised golf experiences.