Looking for a true desert island experience? This is a tall order, but you may just find it on Sri Lanka’s east coast.
The east of Sri Lanka is a true hidden gem, so far unspoilt by mass tourism. It’s less developed than other parts of the island, a little rough around the edges but the ideal place to discover the real, authentic Sri Lanka.
This is an area steeped in tradition, but also one that is regenerating after the devastation of the civil war years. You’ll experience a laid-back, rustic way of life here, which is guaranteed to have you under its spell almost as soon as you arrive.
One of the best reasons to come to Sri Lanka’s east coast is, of course, its beaches. Picture powdery white sand stretching along the coastline, only broken by hidden bays and charming fishing villages.
You may even have the unforgettable experience of having a pristine beach all to yourself, especially at sleepy Uppuveli. But over at Arugam Bay is where keen surfers will find the best waves – some even say the best in the whole of Asia.
But there are also a few surprises along the way, from beautiful Hindu temples and impressive Buddha statues to colourful markets and the ruins of colonial forts.
Must-see highlights of the east include the natural harbour and impressive fort at the ancient settlement of Trincomalee, the majestic Buddha statues at Maligawila and the Dutch-era architecture at colonial Batticaloa.
And for a taste of nature in all its glory, visit the Kumana National Park to glimpse elephants, bears, leopards and crocodiles in the wild. Offering a far less zoo-like experience than some other national parks, Kumana is also famous for its 200-hectare bird reserve – where you may even spot a rare Sri Lankan black-necked stork.
Plan your trip to the East Coast today!