Southern Province Travel Guide

  • The beach at sunset
    The beach at sunset
    by tim07
  • Taj Exotica
    by zurich
  • Hikkaduwa Beach - Sri Lanka
    Hikkaduwa Beach - Sri Lanka
    by chizz
Map of Southern Province
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Hikkaduwa

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Hikkaduwa-1426009/TravelGuide-Hikkaduwa.html

77,322,11

Bentota

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Bentota-1429250/TravelGuide-Bentota.html

56,132,25

Galle

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Galle-1427286/TravelGuide-Galle.html

96,318,11

Unawatuna

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Unawatuna-1415569/TravelGuide-Unawatuna.html

69,150,10

Mirissa South

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Mirissa_South-1420722/TravelGuide-Mirissa_South.html

25,56,0

Kataragama

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Kataragama-1424168/TravelGuide-Kataragama.html

13,30,1

Matara

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Matara-1421268/TravelGuide-Matara.html

23,93,1

Tangalla

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Tangalla-1416486/TravelGuide-Tangalla.html

19,49,6

Yala National Park

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Yala_National_Park-1414064/TravelGuide-Yala_National_Park.html

10,78,0

Madu Ganga

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Madu_Ganga-1422059/TravelGuide-Madu_Ganga.html

1,32,0

Hambantota

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Hambantota-1426480/TravelGuide-Hambantota.html

8,26,1

Tissamaharama

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Tissamaharama-1416158/TravelGuide-Tissamaharama.html

13,49,2

Ahungalla

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Ahungalla-1430539/TravelGuide-Ahungalla.html

3,13,2

Weligama

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Weligama-1414590/TravelGuide-Weligama.html

2,12,3

Kosgoda

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Kosgoda-1423122/TravelGuide-Kosgoda.html

3,16,0

Koggala

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Koggala-1423472/TravelGuide-Koggala.html

0,3,2

Ahangama

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Ahangama-1430551/TravelGuide-Ahangama.html

2,5,1

Kirinda

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Kirinda-1423632/TravelGuide-Kirinda.html

0,5,2

Ambalangoda

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Ambalangoda-1430188/TravelGuide-Ambalangoda.html

1,16,0

Yala

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Yala-1414068/TravelGuide-Yala.html

Induruwa

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Induruwa-1425258/TravelGuide-Induruwa.html

4,19,1

Dondra East

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Sri_Lanka/Southern_Province/Dondra_East-1428024/TravelGuide-Dondra_East.html

1,6,0

Hikkaduwa

See all 77 Hikkaduwa Tips
  • Sandagiri Ayurveda Centre

    Hikkaduwa Things to Do

    Took a 3 hours therapy session for five days continuously. And the feeling is great. Our package included (1) A full body massage (2) Shirodhara (3) Herbal steam bath (4) Facial treatment Sri lankan massage is not a new thing for us. me and my friends tried in an another place but it wasnt much...

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  • Aditya

    Hikkaduwa Hotels

    719/1 Galle Road, Devenigoda, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

  • Truly amazing sri lankan ayurveda...

    Hikkaduwa Things to Do

    Took a 3 hours therapy session for five days continuously. And the feeling is great. Our package included (1) A full body massage (2) Shirodhara (3) Herbal steam bath (4) Facial treatmentSri lankan massage is not a new thing for us. me and my friends tried in an another place but it wasnt much...

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Bentota

See all 56 Bentota Tips
  • Tour guide/driver

    Bentota Transportation

    If you need a tour guide/driver for your excursions by van or tuk tuk , I can recommend a guy called Sena.You can meet him at his "offfice" on the beach between Bentota Beach Hotel and Hotel Ceysands, or you can contact him by mail or phone.

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  • Saman Villas Bentota

    Bentota Hotels

    Way overpriced. Not a 5 star hotel in the least. Location and establishment may be 5 star but the...

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  • Bentota Tour

    Bentota Transportation

    You won't regret using Bentota Tour. I have contacted with many different car charter companies in Sri Lanka beforehand but he was an absolute best chauffeur.Mr.Himashi is an intelligent and knowlegeable about nature/culture and of course Sri Lanka.He speaks well English and is a very punktual guy. Oh, even he speaks Japanese too!His car is Prius...

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Galle

See all 96 Galle Tips
  • Walk around the old town

    Galle Things to Do

    Galle was founded by the Dutch 1636, today streets with cobblestones, colonial houses with wooden decorations, antique shops, small jeweler shops and cozy cafes, churches. The place is small enough to walk around and enjoy the beautfull restored old houses.

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  • Tamarind Hill

    Galle Hotels

    No: 288 Galle Road, Dadella, Galle, 80000, Sri Lanka

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Buses between Hikkaduwa and Galle

    Galle Transportation

    During our visit to Sri Lanka in March 2014, we stayed in the beach resort of Hikkaduwa on the island's south-west coast, about 2 hours south of Colombo. Whilst there, we were keen to visit the nearby town of Galle, famous for its fort walls and international cricket ground, located about 20km away.We could have hired a tuk tuk to take us there...

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Unawatuna

See all 69 Unawatuna Tips
  • A fine roti hut.

    Unawatuna Restaurants

    For those of you who have not been lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka, I should explain the concept of the roti (or rotti) hut. It is basically a place that sells an unleavened bread, either sweet or savoury, and it forms a staple of the Sri Lankan diet, they are everywhere. Roti huts range from the most humble little shacks to quite upmarket places...

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  • Sri Gemunu Beach Resort

    Unawatuna Hotels

    Nice Driver, Best transportation company, Green lanka vacations with Kalum I strongly recommend...

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  • Worth the walk up.

    Unawatuna Things to Do

    I have mentioned in my Unawatuna introduction page that the main draw here is the beach and that is undoubtedly what the vast majority of travellers come here for. There is, however, one other thing to do if you are not intent on topping up your tan and that is to visit the Buddhist shrine at the "far" end of the beach from the main road. It sits...

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Mirissa South

See all 25 Mirissa South Tips
  • Mirissa Water Sports (Pvt) Ltd - Whale...

    Mirissa South Things to Do

    Mirissa water sports ( Pvt) Ltd is the first successful commercial Whale and Dolphin watching trip organizer. MWS provide the best exciting and unforgettable whale watching tours to all visitors to Sri Lanka.Based at Mirissa Harbour, Mirissa Water Sports provides exciting whale watching, sports fishing, sailing, coastal cruises, snorkelling and...

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  • Whale Watching Mirissa

    Mirissa South Things to Do

    Mirissa sri lanka is famous for blue whales and sperm whales watching and the season begins in october to april in every year.during the season the sea is calm and makes comfort travel.whale watching tour operates by private boat tour companies and you will need to contact them early for make reservation and also you will have to be in mirissa...

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  • Madu's cookery class

    Mirissa South Things to Do

    Madu from Amarasinghe's guesthouse offers Sri Lankan cookery courses twice daily. They last for about 2 hours and you can eat the food afterwards. When we were there, we were 7 people in one class; the sheltered outdoor kitchen offers enough space. The day before when we were there to register for the class, the ongoing class had only 4 students,...

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Kataragama

See all 13 Kataragama Tips
  • Lagoon sand & golden beach

    Kataragama Favorites

    This place is few kilometers away from Kataragama, a safari called Yala. This National park is the best place for you to see loads of Elephants, Bears, Leopards, Birds & many more other wild animals within a few hours of travel. The sites are breath taking. When you get to this place, you are in a totally a different world. Experience it...I am...

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  • Mandara Rosen

    Kataragama Hotels

    No 57 Detagamuwa, Kataragama, Sri Lanka, Kataragama, Sri Lanka

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Lagoon sand & golden beach

    Kataragama Favorites

    This place is few kilometers away from Kataragama, a safari called Yala. This National park is the best place for you to see loads of Elephants, Bears, Leopards, Birds & many more other wild animals within a few hours of travel. The sites are breath taking. When you get to this place, you are in a totally a different world. Experiance it...I am...

    more

Matara

See all 23 Matara Tips
  • Loks lovely but be careful.

    Matara Warnings and Dangers

    The beaches at Matara are undoubtedly beautiful and on a hot day it may seem like a good idea to just dive into the surf of the Indian Ocean but beware as it is not as benign as it appears and there have been a number of drownings in this area. The most recent figures I can find, which are admittedly a little old, are that no less than 24 people...

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  • Nawathana Hotel

    Matara Hotels

    I had initially visited Matara on a daytrip from nearby Galle and had popped into the Nawathana...

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  • Great food, inexplicably quiet.

    Matara Restaurants

    I had read good things about hte Pearl Cliff in my guidebook and had decided that I was going to treat myself to a meal there one evening when I was in Matatra. When I say treat myself, all these things are relative, I had a wonderful meal and a couple of beers and it still came to a lot less than £10 ($15US). I had been to see the big Buddha image...

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Tangalla

See all 19 Tangalla Tips
  • Sri Lanka Holiday Tours

    Tangalla Things to Do

    I would like to share my experiences with Sri Lanka Holiday Tours. I met the owner Manju Kasturi on my first visit in Sri Lanka. This time I booked a private driver. The tour was not nice. He took me to places where I didnt wanted to go. At the end of my trip I met Manju he was just building up his new business. He is arranging tours, day trips,...

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  • Amanwella

    Tangalla Hotels

    Bodhi Mawatha, Wella Wathuara, Godellawela, Tangalle, Sri Lanka

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

  • excellent service and amazing trips

    Tangalla Things to Do

    I would like to share my experiences with Sri Lanka Holiday Tours. I met the owner Manju Kasturi on my first visit in Sri Lanka. This time I booked a private driver. The tour was not nice. He took me to places where I didnt wanted to go.At the end of my trip I met Manju he was just building up his new business. He is arranging tours, day trips,...

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Yala National Park

  • 4x4 photo safari

    Yala National Park Things to Do

    The safaris start at dawn and run until the sun goes down, so schedule your departures accordingly. Basic plan is that the park entrance is ~25km from town, which takes about 40 minutes. Once in the park, the driver will bounce down his roads of choice to find the best spots for wildlife viewing. Unless otherwise arranged, time in the park will be...

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  • Too many 4x4's

    Yala National Park Tourist Traps

    There appears to be many more drivers and 4x4's than there are visitors. Everyone in town has some relation to one operator or another and funnels business to them.There are never posted prices, nor do they accept credit. They are very quick to make a deal and get you off, before you can shop around and check prices with anyone else. Case in point,...

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  • Animals at Yala

    Yala National Park Things to Do

    There is plenty to see at Yala. In a couple of days we saw golden jackal, leopard, monitor lizards, crocs, ruddy mongoose, chameleons etc. My tip would be to search in and around the track itself since the vegetation i spretty hick. Your best chances of sightings are in and around the track.

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Madu Ganga

See all 1 Madu Ganga Tips
  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo

    Boat trip on the Madu Ganga river

    by SWFC_Fan Written Aug 30, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We enjoyed a boat trip on the Madu Ganga river during our stay in Sri Lanka in March 2014.

    We had hired a tuk tuk and driver to take us from Hikkaduwa and show us the region's sights for a day. Just before lunchtime, we pulled up outside the Gangabada Asiriya Boat House near the small town of Balapitiya and our driver suggested that we undertake a boat tour on the "blue lagoon".

    We were met by a man in full captain's uniform, including a sailor's hat. We asked him how much a boat trip along the river would cost and he quoted us a price, for the two of us, of 12,000 Rs (£60). He must be joking!! We politely declined and got back into our tuk tuk.

    Our tuk tuk driver was keen that we should experience the boat tour, so he offered to negotiate a better price on our behalf. We told him that the price was far too high and he would have to negotiate a much lower price for us to be interested. I suggested that we would be prepared to pay 4,000 Rs, knowing that we'd possibly end up paying a little more. Our driver said that he would ask the sailor if 4,000 Rs to 5,000 Rs was acceptable, but I told him to strictly stick at 4,000 Rs.

    He returned and told us that 8,000 Rs was the lowest price that he could offer. The problem was that there were other groups of tourists who had already agreed to pay 8,000 Rs; if he charged us 4,000 Rs, then they would want to pay 4,000 Rs too. I couldn't argue with his logic.

    This was only a small problem; our driver knew of "another place" where he was confident that we could get a better price. We drove a few hundred meters and then turned into another entrance (which I'm pretty certain was just a back entrance to the same boat yard!). The difference was, there were no other tourists within earshot here; our driver could negotiate a lower price without upsetting people who had already paid a higher price. He spoke to a man behind the counter and we settled on a price of 4,500 Rs (£22).

    The boat tour, in a speedboat with a small motor on the back, would last for 90 minutes and would include a visit to the island temple of Kothduwa and a stop at an island known as "Cinnamon Island". We would also pass through mangroves and see plenty of local wildlife; giant monitor lizards, fruit bats hanging from the trees and a variety of birdlife.

    As we waited for our boat to arrive, our tuk tuk driver warned us to ensure that we were taken to the "animal temple" and not the "other temple". Apparently, some of the boatmen have a habit of taking tourists to a different (less impressive) temple to the one they promise. Of course, we had no idea if we had been taken to the correct temple or not, but when we showed our tuk tuk driver our photos at the end of the trip, he comfirmed that we hadn't been duped.

    We set off on the tour and found ourselves ducking down on several occasions as we passed under low bridges and sailed through thick mangrove areas with low hanging tree branches.

    A local boy in a canoe paddled up to our boat as we came to a stop in the middle of the river. He presented Emma with a small monkey, which surprised her somewhat as she posed for photos with it (for a small donation). Emma had been expecting him to hand her a mango or a coconut; had she known that he was concealing a live monkey she might not have been so willing to hold her hand out!

    We passed under several more bridges, including a particularly long bridge with a number of pedestrians and cyclists on it. Our boatman explained that this bridge connected an island with 300 families living on it to the mainland. The bridge was not suitable for cars, but could take pedestrians, bicycles and tuk tuks.

    Shortly afterwards, we arrived at the island temple of Kothduwa Rajamaha Viharaya, along with a couple of busier boats each transporting a dozen or more tourists. We followed the instructions, took off our flip flops and climbed the steps to the temple. There was a large Buddha icon and a stupa in a shaded courtyard. We were told about the resident monks and shown the island's other residents; the tree squirrels. It is presumably these squirrels that give the temple the name of the "animal temple". The squirrels are clearly used to being fed and were visibly disappointed when we failed to produce a banana or any other foodstuffs for them. One of them chose to perch a few feet above our heads and urinate a few feet away from us!

    We were given a tour of the temple, including the monks' living quarters and cooking facilities (a kitchen with a stove and a pile of firewood), then we were invited to join a queue where one of the monks tied a piece of string around our wrists and asked us to sign the guestbook/donations book.

    After leaving the island, our boatman pointed out a tiny islet which housed a disused temple and a much larger island known as "Cobra Island". Our boatman explained that this was the island where locals would take any venomous snakes that they caught, leave them there, and nobody would ever set foot on the island. I don't know if there is any truth at all in this, or whether it is just a myth!

    The final stop of our tour was the island of Mada Duwa (Cinnamon Island). This small island was clearly set up to serve the boat trip tourists. We arrived at the island's wooden pier which contained a number of fish spa pools. Tourists were sitting on the wooden boards, dangling their feet into the pools as hundreds of small fish nibbled at their dead skin. There was a small charge for this. There was a further small charge if you wanted to pose for a photo holding a baby alligator at the wooden hut at the edge of the pier. The hut also contained several buckets which contained giant crabs and prawns for visitors to see.

    We then climbed up some steps to the summit of the island. We were invited to sit under a thatched shelter while a local lady gave us a couple of demonstrations of her handiwork; first she showed us how to strip the bark from a cinnamon branch and then she showed us how to make sections of thatched roofing from palm leaves. The latter was actually very impressive. We were given some literature which outlined the numerous uses and benefits of cinnamon and then given the opportunity to purchase some in stick, powder and oil forms.

    We were then taken back to the boatyard where we had started our journey. The tour lasted for around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

    Boat ride on the Madu Ganga river Boat ride on the Madu Ganga river Visiting Kothduwa temple, Madu Ganga river Visiting Cinnamon Island, Madu Ganga river Boat ride on the Madu Ganga river

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Hambantota

See all 8 Hambantota Tips
  • Bundala National Park

    Hambantota Things to Do

    The Bundala National Park is located towards the south of Wirawila Weva. Near the coast of Hambantota.. This is a wildlife sanctuary and is protected by the Wildlife department.. This zone can be reached by normal vehicle, but entry to the park is allowed only with a 4WD Jeep.. If the weather has been good (sunny) for the past several weeks, they...

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  • The Oasis Ayurveda Beach Hotel

    Hambantota Hotels

    The name says it all - it is an oasis in the south of Sri Lanka. If you need to spend some time off...

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  • Thanamalwila River (Hambantota)

    Hambantota Off The Beaten Path

    Thanamalwila is located north of the Hambantota town and borders along the main river system which often rages when there is ample rainfall.. The unique ecosystem offers varying levels of wildlife which cannot be found in other parts of Hambantota. For example: on my last visit I noticed an female elephant roaming around the compound of hostel...

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Tissamaharama

See all 13 Tissamaharama Tips
  • local shops

    Tissamaharama Shopping

    Don't expect a city and not even a town for most of the Western standards but if you are travelling by bus, as I did, it stops in this town if your destination is Yala.To be continued... Here you can:- recharge your local phone card, if you have one- have a meal, a snack or a drink- and if you love it like me, when you see a bunch of hanging...

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  • Blue Turtle Hotel

    Tissamaharama Hotels

    119/2 Mahasenpura, Tikiriwewa

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Too many 4x4's

    Tissamaharama Tourist Traps

    So if you are like everyone else, the main purpose of coming to town is to go on a photo safari through Yala National Park.There appears to be many more drivers and 4x4's than there are visitors. Everyone in town has some relation to one operator or another and funnels business to them.There are never posted prices, nor do they accept credit. They...

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Ahungalla

See all 3 Ahungalla Tips
  • Golden Creeper Spice & Herbal Garden

    Ahungalla Things to Do

    We visited Golden Creeper Spice & Herbal Garden during our stay in Sri Lanka in March 2014.This was one of several stops that we made during a day long tour of the area by tuk tuk. Golden Creeper is located in the village of Ahungalla, to the north of the town of Ambalangoda, on the west coast of Sri Lanka.We arrived at Golden Creeper just after...

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  • Heritance Ahungalla

    Ahungalla Hotels

    Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, LK

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Weligama

See all 2 Weligama Tips
  • Accidental but a great find.

    Weligama Restaurants

    If you have read my introduction to Weligama which, at time of writing has a mere single tip supplied by the very well-respected VT member sachara you will have got an idea that it is not a very much travelled place and you will also know that I didn't even intend to be there, I merely needed to use the facilities!Fortunately, within 100 yards of...

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  • Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

    Weligama Hotels

    I went to Barberyn for 10 days last May to recover from a bout of hard work and stress. I did not...

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Kosgoda

See all 3 Kosgoda Tips
  • Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery

    Kosgoda Things to Do

    We visited Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery during a day-long tuk tuk tour of the region in March 2014. It was billed as a conservation project, where turtles could hatch in a safe environment away from predators and poachers.We arrived at the hatchery in the middle of the afternoon and it was raining heavily.Our first impressions weren't great. As we...

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  • Turtle Hatchery.

    Kosgoda Things to Do

    Visit to the turtle hatchery in Kosgoda. Five of the world's 8 species of turtles nest in Sri Lankan beaches. All 5 species are listed as endangered. The Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda is a conservation project that is helping to sustain and enhance the stability of sea turtles.You can visit the Hatchery, observe its activities and learn about these...

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Top Southern Province Hotels

Bentota Hotels
56 Reviews - 132 Photos
Hikkaduwa Hotels
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Galle Hotels
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Unawatuna Hotels
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Kataragama Hotels
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Tangalla Hotels
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Matara Hotels
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Hambantota Hotels
8 Reviews - 26 Photos
Ahungalla Hotels
3 Reviews - 13 Photos
Weligama Hotels
2 Reviews - 12 Photos
Tissamaharama Hotels
13 Reviews - 49 Photos
Mirissa South Hotels
25 Reviews - 56 Photos
Koggala Lake Hotels
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Southern Province

Plan a Southern Province vacation with reviews, tips and photos posted by real travelers and Southern Province locals