It might surprise you that Sri Lanka is one of the best adventure travel destinations in the world, but this tiny island has incredibly diverse landscapes suited to a wide range of adventure activities.
Within one holiday, travellers can hike through hill country and rainforest, go canyoning and white-water rafting, traverse national parks via safari jeep drives and experience a range of exhilarating sea-based water-sports such as surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing and sailing.
For thrill-seekers searching for that next adrenaline rush to those who just love to be outdoors, Sri Lanka is the best destination for an adventure holiday. Take a look at our round-up of the best adventure activities in Sri Lanka.
Top 8 Sri Lanka Adventure Activities
1. White-water rafting
Fun for all the family! Navigate grade 2 & 3 rapids as you kayak down the Kelani River against a picturesque backdrop of bird-filled woodland, rubber plantations and tea hills. Choose Borderlands for expert guides, quality equipment and international safety standards.
One for adrenaline junkies! Camp for three nights on the edge of the Kelani River in Kitulgala and spend your days climbing and abseiling on the most spectacular canyons in Sri Lanka, hiking through forest to spectacular viewpoints, and white-water rafting grade 2 & 3 rapids.
3. Tea country treks
Trekking in Sri Lanka’s tea country can range from leisurely plantation strolls to full-day hikes through undulating hills, so walking in Sri Lanka works for people of all ages and fitness levels. Our favourites include Horton Plains, Little Adam’s Peak, Ella Rock and Knuckles.
4. Adam’s Peak
Serious hikers should look no further than sacred Adam’s Peak. Make the three-hour mountain climb through the night to reach the summit in time to witness one of the most glorious sunrises in Asia. Between January and March, you will be joined by local devotees.
5. Pidurangala Rock
Sigiriya Rock’s lesser-known neighbour. A slightly more challenging climb than Sigiriya, the ascent up Pidurangala also includes ancient cave temples and glorious views. The bonus is a spectacular vista of Sigiriya Rock from the summit. For those with reasonable fitness.
6 .Sri Lanka’s national parks
Did you know that Sri Lanka has 26 protected wildlife areas? These include biodiversity hotpots in the hills, Pigeon Island in Trincomalee and various national parks like Wilpattu and Yala. Traverse a park on a guided jeep drive and spot endless exotic animals and plants.
7. Whale watching
Head just an hour away from Sri Lanka’s south-west coast between December and March and you have a 90% chance of spotting whales. Spinner dolphins performing aerial acrobatics often ride alongside the boats as well. You can also spot whales from the air.
As an island with almost completely encircled by golden coastline, it is no surprise that there are a host of options for water-sports in Sri Lanka, including snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and jet-skiing. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s best destinations for surfing and kite-surfing.