Daily sunrise and sunset yoga classes at Eraeliya are available by appointment. Alternatively, you could join one of the one-hour drop-in sessions on the rooftops of Hangtime Hostel (9am daily) or Ceylon Sliders (6.30am daily) in Weligama. Both places host local and visiting yoga teachers focussing on different techniques. For something a little different, you can combine SUP with yoga (yes, it’s a thing!) at SUP Yoga Sri Lanka.
Weligama is one of Sri Lanka’s very best surfing destinations, and is particularly good if you’re looking to learn as the main bay in Weligama is sandy, shallow and safe for beginners. The sheer number of surfing operators lined up along the beach here can be quite daunting so we’d recommend chatting to a few first. One hour surfing lessons start at LKR2,500, though many outfits offer packages of lessons. Although they are not the cheapest, Good Story, on Weligama’s main beach, offers excellent surf lessons with experienced teachers. If you’re an experienced surfer you can hire boards from upwards of LKR350/hour, and surf at other popular local surfing beaches including Ahangama, Mirissa, Kabalana, Medilla and Madiha. You can also surf off our beach – for advice, drop into the Cape Weligama Beach Club.
You can body board in our bay, and rent boards from the Cape Weligama Beach Club who also offer guided body boarding tours. Body boarding is also possible in Weligama.
Some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful scenery can be spied just a few kilometres inland. The best way to appreciate the region is on two wheels, on a scenic guided bicycle ride that takes you along quiet back lanes, beside paddy fields home to much wildlife, lotus-strewn lakes, villages and temples. This is offered from the Cape Weligama Beach Club too, and they have really good quality bicycles (plus helmets) which can also be hired to explore independently.
Snorkelling & diving
The reefs off our stunning coastline offer a variety of corals and a colourful variety of reef fish. You can discover them on your own or on a guided snorkelling adventure. Snorkelling is possible in our little bay, and there are lots of other great snorkelling spots nearby.
If you’d like to take it a step further, we have a five-star PADI Dive Centre just 100-metres away. They offer Bubblemaker (for kids 8+) and Discover Dives as well as fully certifiable courses: Scuba Diver Course (2.5-3 days) or Open Water Course (5 days) with theory sessions included. Beginners can take their first underwater breaths in a specially designed pool and then when they are ready, dive the Indian Ocean. There are a number of dive sites in the area and experienced divers can hire equipment and join one of their daily dive excursions.
The diving season typically runs from November until April. Dive sites include Weligama’s famous Yala Rocks, a series of massive boulders with beautiful swim throughs, which teems with marine life. Other dive sites include Prince Heinrich’s Patch and the shipwrecks of Galle, which every diving enthusiast should experience. Shipwrecks in Galle date back as far as the 1800’s and most take just 45 minutes to reach in their specially designed boat.
Southern Sri Lanka offers some of the world’s best whale sightings potential. The seas off our coastline are home to a resident pod of blue whales, the world’s largest mammal, and these can often be spotted on a daily basis. Super pods of sperm whales, Brydes whales and Killer whales are also seen, alongside acrobatic pods of spinner dolphins in their thousands. The main launch pad for whale watching trips is Mirissa Harbour, a 10-minute drive away. It’s essential to choose your boat wisely – larger boats are better if you get seasick as they are more stable and all should carry have correct safety equipment. Reliable operators with a passion (and respect) for whales include Mirissa Water Sports and Raja and the Whales. South coast whale watching is best from November to April when the seas are calm.
We love Sail Lanka Charter. This experienced company has a fleet of luxury sailing catamarans that operate on the south coast, from Galle, between November and April. You can choose from three-hour BBQ or sunset sails to one day charters, exploring hidden coves along the southern coastline, stopping for swimming, snorkelling and stand up paddleboarding and enjoying a variety of drinks and snacks onboard. There’s no better way to explore the south coast! The all-day voyages are for private bookings only and depart from Mirissa Harbour.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
The Cape Weligama Beach Club have some stand up paddleboards for rent – you can either opt to explore our coastline or head into Weligama (better for beginners).
Koggala Lake, just a 15-minute drive away from the hotel, is one of Sri Lanka’s largest inland waterbodies. It’s home to eight islands which are edged by thick vegetation home to mangroves, cinnamon, palms and a local variety of balsa wood. Exploring the lake by boat is a serene way to soak up its tranquillity, appreciate the scenery and spy the array of wildlife that lives here such as purple faced leaf monkeys, sea eagles, grey herons, cormorants, monitor lizards and marsh crocodiles. Another option is to navigate the lake by kayak/canoe.
Just inland from Weligama, on a hill that rises high above the coastline, is a cinnamon plantation, and the British owners operate insightful hosted tours of the estate. The visit starts with an introduction to cinnamon and where you’ll see the cinnamon peelers in action. It’s a very difficult craft, but they make it look easy! From here, you wander through the estate and to a little factory with a furnace to see how cinnamon oil is produced. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy lunch or perhaps afternoon tea up at Top House, the owners’ lovely hilltop home.
Handunugoda Tea Factory
Sri Lanka’s high grown hill country teas are much prized, and well-known. Yet, nearly 75 percent of Sri Lankan tea is grown in the low country. Handunugoda Tea Estate is one such, and is also probably one of the closest tea estates to the coast. What makes it unique is that it produces white tea as well as black tea. On a typical tour, you’ll be shown how the leaves are cultivated (white tea is a little different, as you’ll discover) and have a tour of the tea factory, which is full of antiquated heavy juddering machinery. You can buy tea here too. Try to organise a tour (in advance) hosted by the owner and planter, Herman Gunarathne.
Galle’s Fort was first established by the Portuguese back in the 16th century yet added to in successive years by the Dutch and British before finally becoming a World Heritage Site in 1988. It is a fascinating amalgamation of differing colonial styles, mixed in with a few less appealing 20th century constructions, which provide a real contrast. The fort is a wonderful place to explore on foot, with or without a guide, and along its atmospheric streets you’ll find churches, magnificent villas, restaurants, cafes, boutiques and hole-in-the-wall ice cream parlours. Aim to get here by around 4pm when the heat of the day is a little less.