In many ways, the South encapsulates traditional Sri Lanka. Stretched out along a great arc of sun-baked coastline from Galle in the West to Tissamaharama in the East, the area remains essentially rural. An island of a thousand sleepy villages sheltered under innumerable palms, where the laid-back pace of life still revolves around coconut farming, rice cultivation and fishing (you may see the distinctively Sri Lankan method of stilt-fishing). Culturally, the South remains a bastion of Sinhalese traditions exemplified by the string of temples and giant Buddha statues found across the coast, and by the colourful festivals celebrated throughout the region, which culminate in the exuberant religious ceremonies enacted nightly at the ancient shrine of Kataragama.
The South’s physical distance from the rest of the island, meant that the ancient kingdom of Ruhunu (or Rohana) – a name still often used to describe the region – evolved into one of the heartlands of traditional Sinhalese culture.

Experiences Recommended By The locals

The region’s varied attractions make it one of Sri Lanka’s most rewarding areas to visit. A gateway to the South – and one of its highlights – is the atmospheric old port of Galle, Sri Lanka’s best-preserved colonial town, while beyond Galle stretch a string of picture-perfect beaches including Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalla. Nearby, the little-visited town of Matara, with its quaint Dutch fort, offers a further taste of Sri Lanka’s colonial past, while ancient Tissamaharama makes a good base from which to visit two of the country’s finest national parks: the placid lagoons and birdlife-rich wetlands of Bundala, and Yala, famous for its elephants and leopards. Udawalawe National Park is home to a large resident population of wild Asian elephants. In addition, it is one of the best places for bird watching. . If you wish you can visit the Elephant Transit Home en route to Yala. The South is also famous for whale watching in Mirissa and visiting the turtle hatchery Beyond Tissamaharama lies the fascinating religious centre of Kataragama, whose various shrines are held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims alike.

Local Hotels

Tailor-Made Holidays

At The Earth Trip we will design and plan your personalised itinerary according to the exact requirements of your trip. Whether you prefer to be on a mountaintop or under a waterfall; wake up in the middle of a jungle or have a picnic with locals in the tea plantations – we select the accommodation and activities in order to suit not only your preferences, but also your budget.

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