Practical information on Sri Lanka beaches

By: Tatyana Kogut.

Sri Lanka is the country of external compactness and inner infinity. For instance, its beaches seem to be endless, but it takes only three hours to get to Sri Lankas central part with its reserves inhabited by elephants and buffalos, and unique historic buildings on stuffy narrow streets. The western and the eastern coast are separated with 225 km only.

However, there is another thing why Sri Lankas beaches are not as endless as they seem. It is here that the proverb Look before your leap is best proved. Bathing in an unexplored place might be dangerous because of strong currents, some kinds of fish and sea inhabitants. But dont be afraid  many resort beaches have long been testified by tourists, and if you choose a good one, you will be surrounded with all kinds of amenities  from bathing to sailing, diving and sunbathing. But dont expect that you will be allowed to bathe all the time.

Special boards and red flags warn you when ocean is not suitable for swimming. Western waves are too strong whereas the eastern coast might meet you with dead calm. Sometimes you might spend hours walking along the coast and waiting for good weather to come or the ocean to calm down.

Mind that if you find lots of coral pieces on the coast, better not thrust your nose into water, irrespective of whether the weather is good or not. Because if you do, you are likely to get hurt.

At the same time corals are often mentioned when we read about best places for diving. For instance, you cam often hear the word Hikkaduwa (the western coast) when one talks about local hotels, bars, and of course diving centers. This place is very popular with experienced divers and newbies alike. There are lots of instructors found here, so you wont have problems with studying.

But diving opportunities are no less good demonstrating the illusory infinity of Sri Lanka. It is not always that the ocean with its unique flora and fauna is available to divers. Powerful undercurrents make diving impossible as the visibility is getting worse. The best time to come here for diving is January and February.

By the way, you can also fish here. Fishing on Sri Lanka is one of the most popular kinds of entertainment. You can catch Spanish mackerel, or even shark  though small and harmless. The best place to fish is the southern part of the island. But if you are a sleepyhead, this kind of entertainment is not for you: boats depart early in the morning.

The main resort area is the islands western coast. Many travelers say the southern coast is all covered with stones and algae. Eastern beaches are not well-explored and travelers know little about them. Most hotels are located in the west, partly because the countrys capital, Colombo with its international airport, is also in the west (in the south-west, to be more exact). But those fond of windsurfing usually head for the eastern coast.

All in all, Sri Lanka is an all-the-year-round resort with an average temperature of 30? !. But experts claim that the best time to go to the south-western beaches is November-April, and the eastern beaches  April  September.

Today, like some years ago, almost all the islands resorts are opened for tourists. Tsunami consequences were not that disastrous for local buildings, and many local hotels are fully restored. Moreover, thanks to help that Sri Lanka received from other countries, its hotels have been fully renovated and now look even better than they used to be. Tsunami alarm system has also been installed.

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