Endowed with epic landscapes and intriguing treasures, the island nation of Sri Lanka left the famous explorer Marco Polo entranced beyond words. If you're itching to experience the same kind of awe, try setting foot in Sri Lanka's uncharted east. The earthy local vibe of the fishing communities is something to behold, while the long stretch of coastline, hidden bays and white sand beaches are sure to put you on a trance. A little less developed, the allure of the East glistens with lots of sunshine, sea-oriented Muslim ways, gorgeous Hindu temples, crumbling colonial forts and vibrant markets.
The rebirth of the east
Sri Lanka's eastern province is undeniably beautiful, but years of war and turmoil, and the devastating effects of the 2004 tsunami left their mark on the area. Fired up by the longing for peace and stability - this east is slowly picking up the pieces and is gloriously succeeding. Renewed confidence is evident across the region, with its major towns Trincomalee and Batticaloa once again regaining life and commercial activities. The spectacular swathe of sand in Uppuveli and Nilaveli are impossible to ignore while Passekudah's wide, sweeping bay serves as a calm retreat to the discerning traveller. The surfing hotspot Arugam Bay is becoming popular in the international surfing community and it’s also the perfect base for trips to the Lahugala and Yala national parks and the remote forest hermitage at Kudimbigala. The national parks of Maduru Oya and Gal Oya are worth a visit and so is the lush countryside where elephants and other wildlife roam freely.
Below are some of the highlights of Eastern Sri Lanka.
The port city of Trincomalee
Trincomalee rests on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours. The ancient Buddhist temple is found in the premises of the 17th century Fort Frederick are located here. The grand Koneswaram Temple which stands on Swami Rock cliff on Gokarna bay which is famous for whale watching. The temple and pilgrimage site is framed by jaw-dropping scenery on all sides, with the massive statue of Shiva becoming the focal point.
Arugam Bay, the surfing hotspot
Surfers and sun-seekers flock to the gorgeous Arugam Bay for its famous point break, soft sand, and lowkey beach scene. Far removed from the brash aura of the west coast, Arugam is the perfect spot to enjoy the waves and get inspired by nature. It’s also a great starting point for trips to the Lahugala and Yala national parks and the remote forest hermitage at Kudimbigala.
The Uppuveli and Nilaveli beaches
Fresh seafood, local charm and cozy beach atmosphere make Uppuveli and Nilaveli the ideal spot for tranquil ocean adventures. A little rough on the edges, Uppuveli exudes earthy vibes with its long sandy beach and clear waters. Nilaveli Beach lies in the furthest north of Trinco, offering intimate sea adventures and access to Pigeon Island.
Pigeon Island National Park
More than just a nesting area for rock pigeons, this national park is also a tantalising haven for soft powdery white sands, glittering coral gardens, and hundreds of reef fish (including blacktip reef sharks) and turtles.
Kumana National Park
Less crowded than Yala National Park, Kumana offers a blissful zoo experience largely concentrated on avifauna. It’s home to large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds which can be viewed through the watchtowers. Turtles, cobras, elephants and leopards can also be spotted here, along with lush vegetation including mangrove trees, kumbuk trees and the karan fern.
The amazing town of Ampara
Nestled on the countryside bordered by paddy fields, lakes and palm groves, the town of Ampara contains some of nature’s finest sights and experiences. You can enjoy mangrove ecotours (Pottuvil is the top spot), ride outrigger canoes across the lagoon, and potter around the wild and rich ecosystem in search of lizards, kingfishers, monkeys, birds and crocodiles.
Planning to visit eastern Sri Lanka? We can help you plan the perfect holiday in the uncharted east. Contact our team today to jumpstart your adventure!
When to visit
April to September
The eastern part of Sri Lanka comes into its own as the rest of the country is being battered by monsoonal rains. The best time to visit is from April to September when the weather is generally dry and rain showers are short. It can get very hot so bring lots of sunscreen and stay hydrated.
School term from January to April offers a quieter respite for travellers. Off-peak season falls on inter-monsoonal period when there's plenty of good deals and less crowd. It's a great time to visit if you don't mind the unpredictable rains.
Some popular The East Packages
Treat yourself to a relaxing vacation in Sri Lanka for 8 days! Unveil some remarkable spots and be captivated with stunning views in the beautiful country while unwinding on luxury wellness treatments that will lift your spirits and rejuvenate your body.
Immerse yourself in a luxury Sri Lanka adventure for 9 days! This pristine destination offers such an extraordinary combination of diversity, cultural heritage, people, wild life, adventure, and outdoor luxury experiences. Be amazed by the most beautiful destinations in Sri Lanka, from impressive ancient ruins and breathtaking views to fascinating national parks.
Indulge in a 14-day unique Sri Lankan experience! Whether you opt for diversity, cultural heritage, people, wild life, adventure or outdoor luxury experiences, Sri Lanka has so much beauty and nature that will surely satisfy your wanderlust.
An extensive array of flavours awaits you at Sri Lanka! This country is also known for its rich melting pot of cuisines influenced by cultural and historical factors. If you're looking for a trip that would both please your palate and allow you to uncover cultural heritage, then this 9-day escapade suits you!
Embark on an ultimate 8-day adventure as you discover the amazing wonders of Sri Lanka by jeep! There is no better way to explore safari and admire picturesque attractions than in style courtesy of a 4x4. From visiting national parks and historical sites to navigating the beautiful city of Colombo, Sri Lanka has got you covered!