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Experience the best of Sri Lanka’s southern coast with our digital tour guide.
From the picturesque beaches of Weligama, Ahangama, and Mirissa to the local seafood restaurants and bustling fishing villages, discover the vibrant culture and natural beauty of this tropical paradise. Go on a thrilling safari and spot exotic wildlife in their natural habitat.
The list is compiled thanks to suggestions from many people who have visited before, so all of the credit goes to them! Special thanks to Nick, and Reshan.
If you want the short version click on the google map link below for all of the lunch, dinner, accommodation activities.
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) Take cash.
Time: 1.5 Hours Ahead from Dubai (GMT+5:30)
Flight from Dubai: 4 Hours 15 mins.
Phone: Get a sim card from the airport.
1. Fly into Colombo airport
2. Travel Down to the south – approx 2 hours 20 minutes drive
3. Arrange a Taxi in advance, your hotel can help you.
3. Stay in Weligama, I suggest day trips to Ahangama, Merissa or Hiriketiya from there.
WELIGAMA ( meaning Sandy village )
Situated in the bay this is a perfect base for you to stay, there are lots of accomodation options, restaurants, surf schools, cafes, rooftop bars and more, all a short walk. (2 – 5 minutes max)
Where we stayed, direct beach access, amazing Sri Lankan breakfast, amazing pizza (I know??)
The staff are friendly, it’s always busy, the rooms are clean, I would suggest upgrading to a premium room for a sea view.
Approx DHS 500 / £100 per night
for the best room with sea view. The cost will fluctuate depending on season and availability.
You’ll find amazing people here, many travelers and explorers. The top floor is an open restaurant that serves fresh seafood, rooftop views and tasty pastries, the floor below has table tennis, yoga spaces and hammocks. Staying here means you can organize surf lessons and daily activities including transportation, a really great way to dip into the community.
Lunch: Order the Seared Tuna and a king coconut
Cost: Approx DHS 27 / £6
If you’re in need of that particular coffee hit, there are a few “speciality” concepts that really hit the spot. Soul Cafe is an open air cafe with multi level seats overlooking the skate ramp and concept store. If you pass by, grab a pastry too. super tasty.
A stunning cafe (with rooms) with artisan coffee and tea, all day brunch with vegan and gluten free options. It’s next door to Soul and a 30 second walk from w15.
Burrata Pizza, you won’t regret it .
Leafy relaxing, calm, try the pork or the prawns.
– Ceylon Sliders
Rooftop views, mocktails, cocktails, filling foods, concept stores. over looking the fishermen in the Bay.
This will be one of the most memorable nights you can have, Doctors house is situated on one of the most beautiful plots overlooking the sea and surfers, have dinner at “The Upstairs” and later continue the night amongst the old buildings and brick ruins with Dj’s playing everything from soul, to deep house. It’s around a 20 minute drive from Weligama in a tuk tuk, so go early and enjoy the late evening / nights.
This will probably be the only opportunity for you to spend a little bit more than usual, but it’s still enormously good value considering the amount of food and drink you can order.
Dinner: Order the Pumpkin Tortellini
Cost: Approx DHS 350 / £77 for 4 mains and drinks for 4
Or skip dinner and go straight to the party / grab a pizza downstairs.
This takes about 10 minutes to get to from W15 in Weligama, you can happily spend the entire day at Petti Petti, after lounging in the pool and eating lunch, walk it off by exploring the long beaches that lead to Parrot rock and Coconut Tree Hill.
Lunch: Order the Deviled Prawns ( Starter)
Cost: Approx DHS 26 / £5.50
Mains: Spiced crab with spaghetti
Cost: Approx DHS 29 / £6.32
Undeniably the water seems more blue here, Ahangama offers so much, from coworking spaces with wide beach views, to overgrown jungle restaurants on train tracks – you can explore the long length of the beaches here, sunbathe under palms and if you’re lucky enough you might see stilt fishermen.
The sun is HOT here, make sure you’re covered and wearing a lot of SPF, with the strong winds approaching signaling the start of the monsoon season, it’s easy to be under the sun rays without realizing how hot it is.
Stop at Hakuna Matata and enjoy breathtaking views of the wide open ocean, the waves roll in as you enjoy quite possibly one of the best Sri Lankan curries. Spicy, tangy and made with fresh fish, you’ll be thinking about this for the rest of the trip.
Lunch: Order the Sri Lankan rice and curry
Cost: Approx DHS 27 / £6
More Suggestions for Ahangama
In the day you can find cute curated vintage clothes in a garden terrace, inside are traditional interiors, wood furniture, bench seating – it’s all very very cool.
The afternoon offers lazy drinks burgers, spicy pasta with local flavors, the night transforms into an incredibly party with Djs so good you’ll wake up needing the track list. I had such a good time I forgot to take any pictures…..
10/10 must visit.
Lastly, Yala National park feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity, Yala national park is home many animals, you can see families of Elephants enjoying the lush vegetation and lakes along side water buffalo, jackals, leopards, bears, crocs and a lot more.
Your guide will take you all around the park for around 2 – 3 hours and you’ll leave before sunset when it closes. Take binoculars to see the animals in detail, All of my images were taken with my Richoh Grx iii camera which is my favorite to travel with, it has a fixed lense which isn’t ideal for wildlife photography so if you’re aiming to take those sorts of images take a zoom lens and a significantly larger camera.