1. Temple Visits

  • Vihara Maha Devi Temple, Kirinde

This is a Buddhist temple built at a height on the beach in memory of where the princess of Kelaniya was supposed to be brought ashore by the tsunami. The temple is built on top of rocks and it has a story house in which the inner circular walls are embedded with the story of Vihara Maha Devi and King Dutugemunu.

  • Tissamaharama Temple

Tissamaharama Temple holds a lot of historical significance and is classified as one of the most important temples in the country. In addition to plenty of ruins that you can see in its vicinity, the temple is a beautiful sight at day time as well as with the night time lighting.

2. National Parks

  • Yala National Park

An extremely popular wild life sanctuary, categorized as the second largest park in the Island is situated approximately 45kms from Hambantota town. Jeep safari’s and camping are common adventurous activities that the park has to offer. Due to the southwest monsoon, this park may be closed for a few months of the year so it is better to check before you plan your things to do in Hambantota.

  • Bundala National Park

This park is along the eastern coast of the town and is a popular bird watching destination because it is home to several species of migratory birds. Lagoons, salterns and marshes in this park are able to give shelter to more than 20,000 birds at any given time. Elephants and other animals migrating from the neighbouring Yala National Park also reside here.

3. Hummanaya Blow Hole

This is the only discovered blowhole in Sri Lanka, and is the second largest out of six blowholes in the world. The southwest monsoon brings in spectacular displays of the Hummanaya blowhole, and this can be seen particularly in June. The outlet of the blowhole lies at a cliff 20 meters above sea level. The fountain explodes every 10-15 minutes as a result of water pressure build up and the spring can shoot up as high as 18 meters, depending on how strong the waves are.

4. Ruins from the British Empire

Mortello Tower is an acient tower built in the late 18th century, during the British rule. This tower was built as a replica of the Mortello Tower in Corsia, in defence of the coastal areas, when the Kandyan Empire was attacking. A two storied tower, 25 feet in height, 40 feet in diameter, and is situated close to a lighthouse, bungalow and gallows.

5. Turtle watching

You will come across a turtle watch activity on the rekawa beach (Tangalle – a town close to Hambantota). Because the main aim here is to protect the turtles, lights such as camera flashes are not allowed. Usually in the months between April – September, visit this beach at nights and you can see hawksbill turtles, green turtles and sometimes leatherback turtles laying eggs on the shores. The eggs are left undisturbed as a part of the turtle conservation project. You can take a tour to the visitor centre for better displays.

6. Kataragama/Kathirgamam annual festival

Pilgrims from several religious faiths visit the city of Kataragama, particularly in the month of July. ‘Pada Yatra’ is the event where pilgrims walk the distance from their district to the temple. This journey begins weeks and months in advance so that pilgrims are able to make it in time to this temple for their festival. Due to severe crowd during the festival, you could opt to visit this temple during non-festival days.

7. Botanic Gardens in Mirijjawila, Hambantota

Spread over 300 acres of land, this dry zone botanic gardens conserves trees and medical herbs. The exhibition of its unique bio diversity makes this garden a popular tourist attraction.

8. Scuba Diving – Tangalle

Approximately 50kms from Hambantota (an hour’s drive), in Tangalle, you will be entertained with a scuba diving activity in the glamorous ocean. This location is ideal for scuba diving due to its calm seas and high visibility for beautiful corals and a wide variety of sea creatures. In addition to that, this area remains relatively unexplored so the adventurous kind will be thrilled to discover several shipwrecks, coral tunnels and caves during your holiday in Hambantota!

Find out more about Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka.