At the end of summer 2016 my sister traveled to beautiful Sri Lanka for 16 days. You can read part 1 of her trip here, where she talks about her visit to. This blog post is about the second part of her trip including her visit to Arugam Bay, Tangalle and Negombo…
1. Arugam Bay
After a six hour drive from Dambulla, we arrived at stunning Arugam Bay. It was like arriving in paradise! We stayed in a beautiful villa called Kottukal Beach House, around a 10 minute drive from the main tourist area. This was our second favourite hotel during our Sri Lanka trip (Heritance Kandalama being the first), as the villa is in a quiet location with its own empty beach. It also has a private pool and has four bedrooms for guests to hire independently, with live-in friendly staff. We liked it so much that we stayed for an extra night!
The breakfasts were also amazing – we’d recommend the traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, which included various curries (vegetable curry, chicken, seerfish and dahl), hoppers, coconut stuffed pancakes, roti and fresh passionfruit juice.
A 10 minute drive away was Arugam Bay beach, a beach famous for surfing and water sports. In early September the weather was warm (around 30-35 degrees Celsius) and perfect for sunbathing!
From Arugam Bay we drove 4 hours to Tangalle on the south coast. On the way we drove past Udawalawe National Park, and saw this elephant by the road side!
Arriving at Tangalle, we stayed in a beautiful location, at a hotel called Good Karma. The hotel consists of a number of two-story villas, and has its own pool and beach area. There is also a good restaurant on site where we ate all of our meals during our two day stay.
Whilst staying at Good Karma, we took a tour one night to go to a nearby beach and watch a giant turtle lay her eggs. It was amazing and one of the highlights of the holiday!
On the way from Tangalle to Koggala, we came across this incredible beach. It was the best beach we had seen during the entire trip – the sand was so white and the water crystal blue!
In Koggala we stayed at the Beach Cabanas Retreat and Spa. The area surrounding Koggala was quite touristy, particularly in the neighbouring Koggala Beach Hotel, so we would not recommend visiting this area and probably found this the least enjoyable part of our trip. If we were to do the trip again, we would probably miss out Koggala and go to Galle instead – although stopping to go whale watching in Mirissa is a must on the way past! And stopping to see the men fishing on stilts:
As we were flying from Colombo around midday, we decided to drive up and stay the night in Negombo as the traffic in Sri Lanka can be so unpredictable. And we were so glad that we did – we stayed the night in another great Jetwing hotel called the Jetwing Beach. The rooms were amazing – they had huge private outdoor bathrooms that were full of lizards and toads, which we loved! The hotel also had a 100m outdoor swimming pool and great views of the lake. We wished we had stayed for 2 nights and would recommend this hotel to relax in before your flight!