The golden shores, greenery, and the blue ocean of Tangalle, the coastal town of Sri Lanka
Tangalle, the Charming Coastal Town of Sri Lanka

Many tourists that visit Sri Lanka choose to go straight to the southern coastline from the airport. Undoubtedly, the southern coastline gets the most attention in Sri Lanka’s tourism. In fact, there are many beautiful beach towns for you to visit on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Tangalle is one of the best among the most stunning beach towns in the southern province. It is located in the Hambantota district of the southern province.

Nowadays, Tangalle is also emerging as a major tourist destination with several trending hotels and restaurants. Apart from the gorgeous beachline of Tangalle, there are several other tourist attractions that you can visit in the area. Many believe that Tangalla is one of the best locations and also a must-visit town in the south of Sri Lanka. So, here is all you need to know before planning your trip to Tangalle, the charming coastal town of Sri Lanka!

Is Tangalle Worth Visiting?

Of course, your trip to Sri Lanka’s southern coast would be incomplete without paying a visit to Tangalle. Why do we say so? Simply, because there are many fun and valuable experiences that you can get around Tangalle. Keep reading to get to know all about the most interesting things that you can enjoy out there!

1. Relaxing at the Beach 

One of the must-have experiences of a beach vacation is, of course, having a relaxing time at the beach. Simply, if you are in Tangalle, you can have the luxury of having the time of your life, relaxing at the golden beachline.

There are several amazing beaches in the Tangalle area. Some of the best beaches to have a relaxing beach day are as follows.

  • Goyambokka beach
  • Medilla beach
  • Marakolliya beach
  • Medaketiya activity beach
  • Mawella beach

All these beaches are absolutely breathtaking. It will be fun and also convenient to have a beach day at one such place as there are restaurants and other service providers close to the beach. In some places, you can also rent sun loungers and hammocks where you will be able to have such a relaxing time while having a beautiful tan that you can take home with you.

It is no secret that a relaxing day at the beach is one of the best ways to start or end a vacation in Sri Lanka. Believe us! The stunning views of the dazzling Indian ocean come as a bonus for you when relaxing at Tangalle beach. So, while you are in Tangalle, don’t forget to spend some quality hours on the stunning white sands, watching the waves.

2. Bird Watching

Here is something different that you can try while you are in Tangalle. Are you also a nature enthusiast who enjoys watching wildlife and birdlife? Then, Tangalle should be on your must-visit list in Sri Lanka.

The Kalametiya bird sanctuary is the place to go in Tangalle for a bird-watching tour. It is a spectacular wetland located in Tangalle. You can reach the sanctuary within 30 minutes of Tangalle town. If you are a fan of bird watching, you will find this place to be a small paradise. Inside the sanctuary, you will find saltwater lagoons, mangrove groves, and plains. Many consider that they are very suitable habitats for bird species such as open-billed storks, pelicans, shorebirds, migratory ducks, etc. However, as per the records, over 150 species of endemic and migratory birds live here.

This is a valuable experience to have around the Tangalle area as the Kalametiya bird sanctuary is one of the oldest and most significant sanctuaries situated in the southern province. Apart from the incredible avifauna, you can also see approximately 41 types of fish and 38 species of reptiles there. A comfortable boat ride is an ideal way to explore the sanctuary to go bird-watching. However, don’t forget to take your binoculars with you when you go bird-watching in this natural paradise in Tangalle. 

3. Surfing

Sri Lanka is famous as one of the most ideal locations for surfing in South Asia. There are many awesome surfing spots on the coastline around Sri Lanka. Tangalle is also among them. It may not be the best location to go surfing but the mesmerizing views can make the surfing experience there a thousand times better.

There are mainly light beach waves in Tangalle. These waves are very suitable for beginners in surfing. So, if you are new to surfing and love to learn surfing, Tangalle is the place to go! Furthermore, there are several surf schools along the Tangalle coast from where you can get surfing lessons for reasonable prices and the necessary equipment for surfing.

Besides, the major surfing spots of the country are mostly crowded throughout the year. Yet in Tangalle, you can have a more peaceful surfing experience as there aren’t that many surfers around. So, if you love to hang out in less crowded locations, then Tangalle suits you the best. The ideal season to surf in Tangalle is between November and March. So, if you are visiting Tangalle, try to go surfing as well as it would be one of the best experiences of your Sri Lankan vacation.

4. Village Tours

Apart from tourism, many of the residents of the Tangalle area depend on fishing for their livelihood. Hence, there is a fishing village situated in Tangalle. So, why not? A village tour in the Tangalle fishing village can be included in your tour.

It will be one of the most unforgettable experiences that you can get there. Besides, it would be enriching and valuable to learn about unique and different lifestyles and cultures surrounding a small fishing village in Sri Lanka. There is also a fishing market in this village where you can buy super fresh seafood

Since most of the villagers are fishermen, they spend very busy lives. During your tour, you will be able to see how these fishermen spend their day, manage their activities, and sell their harvest in the local fishing market. The villagers are mostly friendly and welcoming. So, you can have a chat with them to learn a thing or two about life in a small fishing village. You will also be able to taste a delicious home-cooked meal enriched with fresh seafood and the best spices. Cycling or walking is the best way to have a village tour in Tangalle. 

Best Places to Visit in Tangalle

While enjoying those interesting activities, you might also like to visit several places around the charming town of Tangalle. So, here is all you need to know about some of the tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss visiting while you are in Tangalle.

1. Tangalle Lagoon

Tangalle lagoon is located in the southern area of Tangalle. It is a superb location to go on a day trip while you are in this beautiful coastal town. It is a safe haven for a variety of marine life and bird life. So, don’t forget to spare a day from your Tangalle tour to explore the Tangalle lagoon.

The best way to explore the lagoon is by kayaking or canoeing. It will be a memorable experience to ride through the calm waters of the lagoon enjoying the wildlife living amidst the mangroves. Tangalle lagoon is the ideal place to enjoy nature while having a slow ride. You can easily arrange a kayak or a canoe with a service provider there. During your trip, make sure that you stay in the kayak or the canoe at all times. Also, be careful about the law mangrove branches during your ride.

This extraordinary safari will be a highlight of your Tangalle visit for sure. While hanging out on the popular beaches is always a fun activity to do, having a peaceful ride in the lagoon will be an escape from your busy life. The best time to explore the Tangalle lagoon is 1 or 2 hours before sunset as the scenery is at its best under the evening sun rays. Also, you will be able to spot the most wildlife during this time.

2. Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe national park is a popular wildlife and safari park in Sri Lanka. It is the sixth-largest animal sanctuary in the country. Udawalawe national park is situated just 59 kilometers away from Tangalle. You will be able to reach the park from Tangalle within 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you are a fan of wildlife and jeep safaris, then you should arrange a tour of Udawalawe national park when you are visiting Tangalle.

This national park is famous for its large population of Asian elephants. There are about 500 elephants in Udawalawe and they usually flock together in herds of hundreds. Apart from the large herds of majestic elephants, you will also be able to see other wildlife such as the water buffalo, wild boar, spotted deer, sambar deer, jackal, mongooses, and grey langurs.

It is also a safe haven for multiple varieties of endemic and migratory birdlife. Some such birds that you can see in the park are as follows.

  • Sri Lankan junglefowl
  • Sri Lanka spurfowl
  • Sri Lanka green pigeon
  • Sri Lankan grey hornbill
  • Sri Lanka wood shrike
  • Booted eagle
  • Common kestrel
  • Harris’s hawk
  • Rosy starling
  • Black-capped kingfisher
  • Wood sandpiper

Udawalawe national park is basically a dry monsoon forest. It receives an annual rainfall of about 1520 mm and the temperature stays between 24 to 29 degrees. There are many service providers in the area for you to arrange a fun jeep safari in the park.

3. Rekawa Turtle Hatchery

The Sri Lankan coastline attracts different kinds of sea turtles. In fact, on the Sri Lankan coastline, you can see up to 7 different kinds of endangered sea turtles. The Rekawa turtle hatchery is a conservation site that protects these sea turtles in the Tangalle area. It operates under a conservation project which is dedicated to protecting endangered and endemic species of sea turtles. This nature preserve is situated on Rekawa road in Tangalle.

This place is so worth a visit as you will be able to see many different kinds of sea turtles here. Some of the turtle species that you can observe in this place are:

  • Loggerhead
  • Green Hawksbill
  • Olive Ridley
  • Leatherback turtles

There are also many sea turtle eggs in the hatchery. They take care of the eggs and then the sea turtles until they are ready to survive on their own in the ocean. While you can visit the turtle hatchery at any time of the year, however, try to visit during the months between April to July as about 10-15 sea turtles visit the shore at night at this time. You can visit the hatchery to see the turtles and also volunteer for a good cause. You may also be able to release some hatchlings into the ocean as well. After all, this is a must-visit site if you are in Tangalle.

4. Mulkirigala Rock Temple

Since Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural country, there are many religious and cultural attractions around the island. Among them, the majority belong to the Buddhists since the highest percentage of the Sri Lankan community belongs to that religion. Mulkirigala rock temple is one such Buddhist temple that you can find in close proximity to Tangalle.

This temple is situated on a rock that rises above 676 feet. Moreover, this temple is actually a temple complex that consists of seven cave temples, and they are in five terraced areas of different altitudes. One of the significant features of the temple is its bo tree. There is a belief that this bo tree is a part of one of the 32 saplings of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. In addition, many believe that the stupa of the temple is housing the relics of Lord Buddha, offered to the temple by King Saddhatissa.

The Mulkirigala rock temple is also historically important as it is one of the 64 temples built by King Kawantissa. Afterward, many notable kings such as King Mahanaga, King Kawantissa, King Dutugemunu, King Parakramabahu the Great, King Saddhatissa, King Valagamba, King Jetta Tissa I, and King Parakramabahu I have contributed to the construction of the temple.

Even though the temple is in Sri Lanka’s south, the temple carries many Buddha images and cave paintings that belong to the Kandyan era. Besides, there is beautiful scenery around the temple as well. If you like visiting historical and religious sites, then you should pay a visit to the Mulkirigala rock temple.

5. Hummanaya Blow Hole

This is the only blowhole that you can find in Sri Lanka. It is also the second-largest blowhole in the world.

Hummanaya is situated just 16 kilometers away from Tangalle. You can reach the site from Tangalle within 30 minutes. To be specific, it is in the Kudawella area. Visit it and we assure you that you will be amazed at this natural wonder.

In order to reach the blowhole, you have to take a small walk of about 10-15 minutes on a beautiful pathway overlooking the ocean. There is a beautiful bird’s eye view of the ocean from the site as well. Many tourists that visit the southern coast don’t forget to pay a visit to the Hummanaya blow hole, simply owing to this natural charm.

This blow hole is created with two giant rocks. A jet of seawater is sprayed with air from between these two giant rocks. Sometimes this jet of water can reach a height of over 80 to 100 feet. The reason why it is called ‘Hummanaya’ is the hooting sound it creates while spraying the water.

It is better if you can visit it during the high tide as the blow hole is at its most active state during that time. There are many small shops on the way to the site from where you can buy various ornaments and souvenirs. There is a small entrance fee to visit the Hummanaya.

6. Wewurukannala

This is another iconic Buddhist temple that you can visit while you are in Tangalle. It is also one of the most popular Buddhist temples in the country.

Wewurukannala is situated just 15 kilometers away from Tanaglle in the Dickwella area. You can reach the temple from Tangalle within 30 minutes. The most significant feature of the Wewurukannala temple is its huge statue of Lord Buddha. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. The height of this seated Buddha statue is 160 feet.

There is a belief that this temple dates back to the time of King Rajadhi (1782-1798). Further, this temple can be categorized into mainly three parts and one part of it is over 250 years old. There are many iconic paintings on the walls of the large temple of Wewurukannala. 

Another feature that gets much attention in the temple is its replica of hell. The life-sized models placed down in the tunnel of the temple are illustrations that depict the plight that an individual has to go through if he/she succumbs to all those earthly temptations that are lining the path to enlightenment. It is mind-blowing how the artists were able to give out a message from Buddhist philosophy to the devotees from such features.

The huge temple complex is so eye-catching and it is so worth a visit. So, don’t forget to visit the Wewurukannala Buddhist temple when you are in Tangalle. 

How to Reach Tangalle?

The distance between Colombo and Tangalle is about 205 kilometers. The easiest and cheapest way to travel to Tangalle from Colombo is by bus.

You can take the bus to Tangalle from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha bus terminal. If not, you can also travel by train. You can take the train to Beliatta from the Fort station and then travel the rest of the distance to Tangalle by bus or taxi. If you do not like to travel by public transportation, you can easily arrange private transport from the airport itself as well.

Moreover, Tangalle has a distance of around 280 kilometers from Kandy. So, if you are visiting Tangalle from Kandy, you can find public transport from Kandy as well.

What is the Best Time to Visit Tangalle?

It is better to consider the climatic conditions especially before visiting a coastal area. So, if you are planning to visit Tangalle, the most suitable time to visit there is during the months from April to July as these months are considered the warmest time for Tangalle. Then, April to September is also considered the best time to visit Tangalle as it is the north and east dry season. However, the weather in Tangalle stays hot and humid all throughout the year. So, despite the season, when you visit there, you can experience a pleasant climate at any time.

Accommodation at Tangalle

Since Tangalle is a popular tourist destination, it is quite easy to find any type of accommodation there. From budget hotels to star-class hotels, there are different kinds of hotels in Tangalle for you to choose from. Therefore, you can easily find a place of accommodation that suits your budget. Many tourists love to find a hotel with a beach-facing view. You can find a hotel online or discuss with your service provider to find a place according to your likes and needs.

The Bottom Line

There are so many amazing places to visit in the tourist paradise of Sri Lanka. So, it is fair if you are in doubt about where to choose for your vacation in the country. Hope you have enough reasons to add Tangalle to your bucket list now!

This beautiful and small coastal town will add so many unforgettable memories to your vacation. After all, Tangalle is an ideal location to have a beach vacation on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. You will fall in love with the peaceful beachline and the colorful surroundings of this coastal paradise. So, now it is your chance to plan the most memorable trip of your life with your loved ones to Tangalle. Happy and safe traveling!