The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Mirissa Water Sports Centre offers some of the most popular activities on Sri Lanka's south coast. Red Dot can arrange a superior whale and dolphin expedition by modern catamaran, complete with professional crew, which sets out from Mirissa Harbour at 6:30am. Afterwards, journey to the Instagram-perfect bay of Weligama and anchor near Taprobane Island for some paddle boarding and snorkelling. A full morning's experience including breakfast and a three-course lunch.
No beach is more magnificent than Mirissa, which is popular for surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, sailing and sea-kayaking: we strongly recommend that you book in advance. Surfing territory is in the coastal villages of Ahangama, Midigama and Weligama which provide some of the best waves in Sri Lanka. Travel along the south coast for more glorious beaches at Dickwella and Tangalle.
Dickwella’s Beeralu Lace Craft Village shows off hand woven Beeralu lace (pillow lace) which is a recognised national craft and a vital source of income for rural women of the south coast.
Dondra Head, with its octagonal 19C lighthouse, the largest in the country, marks Sri Lanka's most southerly tip.
For a temple with a difference, try Wewurukannala Vihara near Dickwella. As well as boasting the largest statue of the Buddha in a seated position, it also possesses an unnerving interpretation of Hell, a dungeon depicting in grotesque paintings the punishments meted out for various sins.
High up many people's list of things to do in Tangalle is a visit to Mulgirigala Rock Temple, half-an-hour's drive inland from the coast. It is perched on an enormous boulder more than 200m high. According to ancient inscriptions carved on the rock, Mulgirigala dates back almost 2,000 years when it was a site of a Buddhist monastery. The serene white Dagoba stands at the peak of the rock with magnificent coastal views.
Nature lovers have much to occupy them. Go turtle watching in Rekawa: to see marine turtles nesting or hatchlings being born and swimming back to sea is a remarkable ritual. The Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project is an ideal way to observe this endangered species in a way that contributes to its survival.
Tangalle Lagoon is an evocative spot, especially as the sun begins to fall when the trees come alive with birdsong. Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, further south, is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest bird sanctuaries and another great experience in Sri Lanka. Kingfishers and flamingos can be seen amid the mangrove swamps and lagoons. Best time to visit is from November to April.