The southern coast of Sri Lanka is best known for its stunning beaches and calm, turquoise waters. While swimming, sun bathing and surfing are the main activities, the region is very diverse and there are many opportunities to do things away from the beach.
Mirissa is one of the best places in the world to watch Blue and Sperm whales, while Yala National Park at the eastern tip offers the greatest chance anywhere to spot leopards along with other wild animals such as crocodiles, elephants and an amazing variety of birds.
Further inland, visitors can explore the World Heritage Site listed Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a truly magical and beautiful place, as well as Uda Walawe National Park, one of the best places to see elephants in the wild on the island.
The coastal towns such as Weligama, Matara, Tangalle, Hambantota and Kirinda are all well set up for visitors and offer a wide variety of accommodation, cuisine and activities.
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