About five years ago, I embarked on a solo adventure across Sri Lanka, exploring the wonders of this beautiful country. While I had the opportunity to see many incredible places, there was one hidden gem that unfortunately didn’t make it onto my itinerary: Tangalle.
In this article, I’m thrilled to share with you the most captivating experiences to indulge in while in Tangalle and its surrounding areas, as revealed by Anwesha from Going Places with Anwesha. Prepare to uncover the charm of this serene and secluded town in the Hambantota district, which offers a perfect blend of relaxation and an authentic island lifestyle.
A Serene Beach Destination
Tangalle is the perfect starting point for your Sri Lanka adventure if you’re in search of tranquil beaches, mangroves, and an immersive experience of local island life. Let’s dive into the top things you must experience in Tangalle.
1. Rent a Bike or Scooter
To make the most of your sightseeing in South Sri Lanka, renting a bike or scooter is highly recommended. While local buses and tuk-tuks are available, having your own vehicle ensures uninterrupted beach time without the hassle of negotiating fares with tuk-tuk drivers.
2. Dive into Goyambokka Beach
While many Tangalle beaches have strong waves unsuitable for swimming, Goyambokka Beach stands out as a hidden oasis. Its calm bays, protected by reefs, offer the perfect opportunity for a relaxing beach session. Imagine yourself lounging on the wide stretch of white sandy beaches, basking in the warm Sri Lankan sun.
3. Turtle Watching at Rekawa Beach
Rekawa Beach serves as a nesting ground for various species of turtles, including green turtles, loggerhead turtles, hawksbill turtles, and olive ridley turtles. The Rekawa Turtle Watch is a remarkable marine conservation project that ensures the safety of these nesting sites and the hatching of turtle eggs. During the peak seasons from April to July, you can witness the magic of turtles making their way to the sea.
4. Discover Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara
For those seeking spiritual experiences, a visit to the ancient Buddhist temple, Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara, is a must. Perched atop a natural rock, this temple boasts seven caves, each housing magnificent Buddha statues. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance and admire the intricate wall paintings that adorn the viharas.
5. Dive or Snorkel in Tangalle Lagoon
Tangalle offers fantastic opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling in Sri Lanka. Delve into the underwater world teeming with mesmerizing sea creatures such as lionfish, angel fish, octopuses, scorpion fish, and even lobsters. Depending on your diving skills and experience, you may also discover caves, shipwrecks, and coral tunnels.
6. Witness the Hummanaya Blowhole
Prepare to be astonished by the spectacular Hummanaya Blowhole, the second-largest blowhole in the world. During the monsoon season, the water shoots up to heights ranging from 25 meters (82 feet) to 30 meters (98 feet), creating a breathtaking sight. It’s a natural wonder that you should not miss.
7. Birdwatching in Bundala National Park
If you have a passion for birdwatching or simply enjoy immersing yourself in nature, a visit to Bundala National Park is a must. Just a 40-minute drive from Tangalle, this park is renowned for its abundance of greater flamingos and other migratory bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for stunning avian encounters.
8. Surf at Hiriketiya Beach
Hiriketiya Beach, a mere 20-minute drive from Tangalle town, is a surfer’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch some waves, this beach offers the perfect setting. Numerous surf gear rental shops line the picturesque bay, allowing you to try your hand at surfing and experience the thrill of riding the waves.
As the largest town in South Sri Lanka, Tangalle boasts a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From cozy budget hostels to luxurious 5-star resorts, you’ll find the perfect place to call home during your stay in Tangalle.
Where to go After Tangalle
Once you’ve fully embraced the wonders of Tangalle, why not embark on a thrilling wildlife safari at Yala National Park? Famous for its leopard population, this national park promises an unforgettable adventure. I was fortunate enough to spot three leopards during my visit, and I’m sure you’ll have incredible wildlife encounters too.
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Anwesha, the talented travel blogger behind Going Places with Anwesha, captures her journeys through her lenses. Her blog focuses on her experiences in India and neighboring countries, inspiring others to embrace their wanderlust. So, get ready to shed your inhibitions and travel to your heart’s content!