Fun in the South Coast of Sri Lanka
Traveling with a family can be a daunting task for many, especially when little kids are involved because they always need to be kept stimulated. I have had my share of kids being bored and upset because a place we traveled to did not have much to keep them entertained. We found the perfect holiday destination: Sri Lanka, especially the South Coast where there are lots to enjoy. The South Coast has miles of golden sandy beaches, numerous water sports centers, historical sites, and many more to explore.
The South Coast of Sri Lanka, popular from late November till early March, is a famous tourist destination in Sri Lanka and this makes this region full of fun activities. During the winter break in December, my wife, my two kids, and I headed to the tiny island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean for a change from the gloomy winter to the sunshine. After arriving in Colombo, we headed to Koggala by plane—Cinnamon Air, a Sri Lankan domestic carrier, you can travel to Koggala by means of daily scheduled flights right from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. The flight was a treat for the kids from the get-go! They were especially thrilled to see the open cockpit and the pilots’ attentiveness to point interesting sights during the flight.
After settling down, we spent a couple of days visiting few beaches. From our beach visits, we realized that beaches in Koggala are ideal for rest and relaxation because these are not visited by the masses—so, they are unspoiled and quiet. It was fun to just play in these beaches, just with your family. When we wanted more activity on the beaches, we went to Unawatuna where there is more action and the kids could enjoy playing on the beaches and mingling with other visitors, both local and foreign. On a later date, we visited Hikkaduwa, which is famous for its coral reefs. The Hikkaduwa beach has diving and snorkeling shops where they sell and rent snorkeling gear and we were ecstatic that we could go snorkeling just a few meters from the shoreline. The experience of gliding over the astonishingly colorful coral garden was one of the best activities we have enjoyed.
While we enjoyed spending out time on the beaches and in the sea, we also wanted to explore what was a bit inward. In Galle, we visited the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Build by the Dutch during the colonial period in 17th Century, this fortress still keeps its Old-World charm. We entered the fortress through a gate that is at least 10 meters thick and we felt like that we had gone back in time. The insides of the fortress are preserved with great care to maintain the visual appeal of the Dutch architecture. In addition to shops and houses, there are other fort-related structures such as old dungeons, humongous walls, and lighthouses which were fascinating to the kids. We spent about a day exploring the Galle Fort—another day well spent.
On the following day, we headed to Bentota, another town in the South Coast that is hugely popular among tourist visiting Sri Lanka. On the way to Bentota, we stopped at the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda hoping this would be exciting. It absolutely was! We could see the endangered little turtles up close where they were nurtured before they were released to the ocean. The kids especially enjoyed the fact that they could touch and hold some of the strong turtles.
After spending some time at the hatchery, we continued our trip to Bentota. There, we found several establishments that offer water sports such as jet skis, banana boat rides, water skating, etc. When my kids knew that they could hop on a jet ski, their faces were filled with smiles. We tried a small shop that rented jet skis and we received excellent service from the owner and his assistant, which was quite common among locals we interacted with. We were very well taken care of when we tried the jet skis on the sea and it was a superb experience. We spent a whole day trying out various activities in the sea.
It was too bad that that was the last day we could spend in this paradise island.We were a bit sad that we had to leave this amazing island the following day for home. However, our trip to Sri Lanka had given us a plenty of good memories we will cherish forever. We packed our bags on the following day and headed to Koggala Lake to take the Cinnamon Air flight from Koggala to Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, which took us to Colombo in just an hour. We are sure to come back next year for another amazing set of experiences!