Add dates

Southern Province, Sri Lanka Architecture

Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Architecture

From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

1. From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

After getting picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara, begin the 3-hour journey to the Sigirya rock fortress. Here you will discover the historical and cultural values of ancient Sri Lanka and get to witness the engineering skills and artistic capabilities of Sri Lankan artisans and engineers. Wander through this vast complex and admire the various palaces, pools, gardens, and paintings. Later, head to the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world. Marvel at the beautiful Buddhist paintings and statues housed in this cave and see for yourself why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, visit a spice garden where you can soak up the aromas of the various traditional spices grown here such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Head back to your hotel in the evening, just in time for dinner.

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

2. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

Kalutara: Turtle Hatchery Visit, Boat Safari, and Galle Tour

3. Kalutara: Turtle Hatchery Visit, Boat Safari, and Galle Tour

The tour begins at 8:30am with pickup from your hotel and travels out of Kalutara towards the south-west of Sri Lanka. Arrive at the first stop of the day, Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, at around 9:30am. At the hatchery, learn about the 5 endangered sea turtle species that come to the shores of Sri Lanka to nest, and learn how the Kosgoda Turtle Care Program helps protect these nests until they are ready to hatch. At the hatchery, enjoy the unique opportunity to see, touch, and feed baby turtles as well as injured adults. After about an hour at the hatchery head to the bustling coastal town of Balapitiya for a boat safari along the vibrant Madu River. Enjoy a 30-minute cruise on the river learning about and admiring its flourishing ecosystem. On the boat, pass through secretive passages created by the mangroves and see basking crocodiles and other river wildlife. Next, visit one of the river’s small islands known for its cinnamon harvesting natives, then experience the restorative qualities of the infamous fish massage. At approximately 1pm take some free time to grab lunch and energize for the rest of the afternoon’s activities. Arrive in the city of Galle by 3pm and set out on a sightseeing exploration of this Old Colonial location. Discover the streets and landmarks of Galle, bursting with history, where Portuguese and Dutch settlers made their headquarters. Visit the Galle Fort, which is one of the best preserved fortifications in Asia, then admire the architecture of the Maritime Museum, Galle National Museum, and the local lighthouse. At the end of an insightful day, the tour finishes at 5pm and you will arrive back at your hotel at around 6:30pm.

From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

4. From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

Check out some of Sri Lanka’s most gripping scenery while experiencing firsthand the flora and fauna of this stunning region. Marshy wetlands, river islands, baby turtles and fish foot massages await you in this sultry, exotic wonderland. First stop: Bawa’s estate in Lunuganga. Sir Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned lawyer-turned-architect, made this place his country home and experimental lab from 1947 till his death in 1998. See the surrounding exotic gardens of this partial country inn, as well as Bawa’s many architectural additions. Next stop: Kosgoda for an exciting visit to a real turtle hatchery. Learn about the conservation of sea turtles and dip into touch pools, deep tubs of seawater where curious guests can actually handle the baby versions. Proceed to Balapitiya and enjoy a lovely boat safari on Madu River. This is a high biodiversity zone that relies on the lagoon created by the river as it flows into the Indian Ocean. See the dense mangrove forest that grows along the marshy banks of the river, as well as several free-standing islands. On one such island you will find an old Buddhist monastery. The locals work harvesting cinnamon, and here you can experience the famous fish massage at a ‘massage parlor’, or hut on stilts. Relax while the fish work their magic on your toes. Afterwards, stop for lunch on your way back to Kalutara.

From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

5. From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is the Kothduwa Temple. This Buddhist temple is located on the island and is known as the Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The island is within the Madu Ganga Estuary. Madu Ganga is an archipelago of fifteen different islands and a lagoon. It is believed that a Relic of Lord Buddha was once sheltered in the Kothduwa temple circa 340CE.  Enjoy lunch then visit the Lunuganga Garden. Geoffrey Bawa was one of Asia's finest architects. He passed away in 2003. Lunuganga was Bawa’s country home. It sits in an enchanting atmosphere with glorious views. It is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. Admire the home’s features and blissfulness. It is now run as a country hotel and the proceeds go to Negombo.

West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

6. West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

The tour starts from your hotel in Colombo or the west coast beach resort. You will be traveling along the beautiful west coast beaches while passing coconut plantations, fishing villages, and towns. You will be stopping at a few places at regular intervals. Your first stop will be at the sea turtle conservation center, where, you witness the sick and handicapped sea turtles are been treated. Later stop at Madu river for the mangrove lagoon tour. Mangroves Mangrove is one of the most important and fragile ecosystems in the world and they grow only in tropical countries such as Sri Lanka. This valuable forest cover is depleting all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, due to many factors such as climate change and human activities. Madu River estuary is a "RAMSAR wetland" and is declared a protected riverine forest. Boat safari Madu Ganga is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka. It is located 70km south of Colombo on the Colombo-Galle main road. Madu Ganga is the second-largest wetland on the island, consisting of 28 islands. The number of families living on the islands is estimated to be around 250. Madu Ganga spreads over 915 hectares of wetland and harbors vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Madu Ganga wetland is fed by seven tributaries and forms the body of the wetland. The water runs through a course of land that spans 2300 hectares. It was declared a national sanctuary in 2006. A cruise on a modern motorboat is the best way to explore the natural wealth of Madu Ganga, the islands in the wetland are largely inaccessible by road. The inhabitants are also using boats and more often paddle boats as the means of transport. This tour offers a particularly appealing boat trip around Madu Ganga. The Ramsa Wetland is one of the most visited natural attractions of Sri Lanka’s west coast, with riverscapes amongst quiet thick grown islands and mangrove forests with sites of immense natural interest. There are plenty of opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife in the aquatic environment, throughout the tour. The most important asset of the fragile ecosystem of Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide protection for a large number of aquatic bird, animal, and plant species. The ecosystem in Madu Ganga is the home of many different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimp, fish, insects, amphibians, and other animal life including crocodiles. While on the boat tour you'll visit one of the oldest temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka, located on a secluded island. You will also get a chance to visit the mask museum and see hundreds of ancient masks and learn about their history, folklore, and use in rituals. You'll also visit a sea turtle conservation center run by volunteers. Learn about why Sri Lanka is a prime turtle nesting site and how important it is for turtle conservation. Before your tour is over, you'll get to enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bentota beach, one of the nicest beaches on the west coast. Buddhist temple, Bentota beach, spice herbal garden, Mask museum After the mangrove lagoon tour, you will be visiting the mask museum and mask carving center. Later visit Bentota beach spice and herbal garden and your tour ends with a visit to one of the most sacred Buddhist temples on the west coast.

2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

7. 2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

The sea off Mirissa between Galle and Matara is one of the best places in the world to see endangered blue whales. This two-day tour also gives you the opportunity to see some of the important places in the southern coastal belt such as Galle fort, Unawatuna beach, sea turtle hatchery and more. On day one, meet your tour representative and proceed to your hotel in Mirissa, En-route enjoy a Bentota and Galle sightseeing tour. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination in the island. Galle is one of the ancient sea ports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. It was later discovered by the Portuguese where they built a fortress and the Dutch that succeeded them fortified it further. This fortress is today a World Heritage Site. During the Galle city tour, visit Galle Fort, Bentota Beach, Galle coastal area, Galle lighthouse, Kande Vihara, Cinnamon Island, a handicraft center and mask carving center. Visit a sea turtle hatchery project, spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown. Then take a Madu Ganga boat ride to discover this Ramsar Wetland. Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean. Overnight stay in Mirissa  Day two is filled with whale-watching experiences. Miriissa off the southern Sri Lanka coast is one of the best-known places for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet – lunge-feeding humpback whales and blue whales. Groups of whales construct enormous circular fishing nets with bubbles to catch vast shoals of herring and then launch themselves high into the air with their mouths wide open. This activity is most prevalent from November to April, but can be observed throughout year. 

Full-day Sightseeing Tour of Colombo, Sri Lanka

8. Full-day Sightseeing Tour of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Situated on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Colombo is said to be the traditional gateway to the Orient. It is the largest city of the island and due to its vital role in the east-west sea trade dating as far back at the 5th century, it is possible to see the remnants of Moorish, Portuguese, Dutch, and British settlement throughout the city. On this full-day tour, you will be given an insiders view to the bustling metropolis and discover the many layers, which form its colorful character. During the day you will have the opportunity to visit sites including the mile-long promenade of Galle Face Green, the exclusive district of Cinnamon Gardens where you will find Independence Hall, the vibrant bazaars of Pettah, and the pristine beaches of Mt. Lavinia. Your journey will be enhanced by the many religious sanctuaries, which manifest in their variety, the peaceful tolerance of the city’s diverse inhabitants. There will also be time to investigate Colombo’s National Museum and get a real taste of the ancient, colonial and modern influences, which make up the city. To keep you refreshed and revived, there will be a delectable lunch overlooking the sea at the Galle Face Hotel and an afternoon tea in the extraordinary restaurant of Colombo Fort, which was once a Dutch hospital.

From Negombo: 8-Day Ramayana Themed Private Trip & Temples

9. From Negombo: 8-Day Ramayana Themed Private Trip & Temples

Day 01 You will be picked up from your hotel or the airport in the selected cities and greeted by your personal guide and take you to Colombo. Overnight stay at Ceylon City Hotel or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 02 You will drive to Rumassala in Galle (approx. 2 hours). It is part of the Himalaya Hill that was fallen when Mighty Hanuman was carrying it to find life-saving herbs for saving the life of both Lords Rama and Lakshmana. After this visit, you will be taken to Ussangoda (approx. 2 hours drive). It is believed that Lord Hanuman torched some parts of King Ravana’s empire and Ussanggoda is on the torched areas. Proceed to Katharagama (approx. 2 hours) and visit Kataragama shrine. It is said that God Kataragama came from India, married a Jungle Girl from Sri Lanka and lived here. Overnight at Lake Wind Resort or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 03 After breakfast, you will be driven to Ella (approx. 3 hours) where you can visit Ravana falls and Ravana Caves. The locals believe that King Ravana has lived in one of the caves above the waterfalls. On completion, you will be driven to Nuwara Eliya (approx. 2 hours), en-route visit Hakgala Botanical gardens and Seethai Amman Temple. Overnight at Camellia Lake Resort or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 04 In the morning, you will visit the Gayathri Peedam where King Ravana's son Meghanath propitiated Lord Shiva with penance and poojas and in return was granted super natural powers by lord Shiva. After this visit, we will drive to Kandy (approx. 3 hours) en-route visit Sri Bhakta Hanuman Temple - on the hills of Ramboda where Hanuman was searching for Sita. Overnight at Oak ray City Hotel or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 05 Today you can do a city tour of Kandy including visits to Botanical Garden and Temple of Tooth Relic. Overnight at Oak ray City Hotel or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 06 After breakfast drive to Sigiriya. En-route visit Dambulla Cave Temple. In the afternoon, you can climb the Sigiriya rock fortress. Overnight at Sungreen Hotel or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 07 Today you will be driven to Munneshwaram Temple and Mannavari Temple (approx. 5 hours). Munishwaram predates the Ramayana and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was located here and Mannavari Temple is the first lingam installed and prayed by Rama and till date this lingam is called as Ramalinga Shivan. Overnight at Camelot Beach Resort or Similar hotel on B&B basis. Day 08 There is no itinerary planned today. You will be driven to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo or the selected cities.

From Colombo: Private 2-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Trip

10. From Colombo: Private 2-Day Sri Lanka Highlights Trip

Start your private tour around the magical island of Sri Lanka at Colombo International Airport. Meet your knowledgeable local driver and guide and get transported to your hotel in Colombo. Get a good night's sleep before embarking on your tour. After breakfast the following morning, head to an elephant orphanage in a small village and meet some of the gentle giants native to Sri Lanka. Learn how the center rehabilitates young elephants who have been displaced and readies them for re-entry to their natural habitat. Then head to the city of Kandy to tour a spice and herb garden. Get to know some of the most important local spices, including coriander, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, and their uses. Afterwards, check out the fruits of some other local industries, including gem crafting, woodcarving, and batik. Finally, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborate halls painted in red, cream, and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and marvel at the assortment of golden statues while your guide explains the historical and artistic significance of the temple. Return to your Colombo hotel afterwards.  On your second day, journey first to a turtle hatchery on the island's southwestern coast. Come face to face with these fascinating creatures and learn about their intricate life cycle. Then head to the Madu River for a boat safari. Pass through secret passages created by the mangrove trees and let your guide introduce you to the wonders of this flourishing ecosystem. After, continue on to Galle and explore the ancient colonial city where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters at various points in history. Return to your hotel in Colombo. After breakfast, check out from the hotel and get transported back to the Colombo airport if you'll be leaving Sri Lanka after the tour.

  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Multi-day trips
  • Day trips
  • Water activities
  • Adventures
  • Other experiences
27 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 2

Other Sightseeing Options in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Want to discover all there is to do in Southern Province, Sri Lanka? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Our tour started from Colombo with our guide picking us up right on time. The guide was very friendly and helpful and explained a few things to us on the way. The hotel where we stayed in Mirissa was very nice and the staff was very kind! We visited the small turtle park and stayed in Galle which was a good experience but the highlight is Mirissa beach and especially the boat trip. The beautiful memory is probably also due to the fact that we were able to see whales!! Only note: if you suffer from seasickness, the boat tour can be challenging because the ocean is very wavy and the boat moves a lot. I highly recommend it!!

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

Buddika was an excellent guide! He was friendly, knowledge about every area we were in and was willing to tell us stories. He was a safe driver which was helpful since it rained on us on our way back home. The trip exceeded my expectations! We are planning to use this company again soon for another trip since it was so well planned. Great price for a full day's adventure!!

The guide showed up on time in the morning and he was very polite and informing. They took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch near the ocean and the food was delicious. Whole tour was satisfying with very nice views, herbal garden visit and boat tour on Madu River.

Suren was a great guide and I had a very relaxed day - was so nice to see outside of Colombo when I only have a short time here. Thanks!