So you’ve got that two week Easter break from uni and you’ve decided to teach on our English teaching project in Sri Lanka. Or, you’ve taken that week holiday from work to volunteer to help the baby turtles on our turtle conservation project. Or even, you’re taking the kids away during half term on our family volunteer experience.
Whatever the situation; you’ve taken the plunge, you’ve booked your trip, and you’re getting yourself excited for your time in Sri Lanka. Whilst exploring the travel blogs and Lonely Planet pages, you realise that there is so much to do and see and that’s when it hits you… how are you going to choose and how are you going to fit it all in?
You have one weekend in Sri Lanka, two weekends if you’re lucky…how do you spend it? **CUE THIS BLOG**.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a definite answer. As you may be a keen surfer, you may be an eager hiker, or even a passionate historian. You may want to spend your days on the beach or spend your time in the mountains. But lucky for you, Sri Lanka has it all, and I can give you some top tips on where you should spend this one valuable weekend in this incredible country.
This blog will give you an idea of how to spend your weekends whilst on your programme in Ambalangoda. If you’re doing our elephant conservation programme in Wasgamuwa National Park, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered – check out our blog on Wandering Weekends in Wasgamuwa.
Here are three weekends, perfect for three different kinds of travellers; the beach relaxer, the exploring historian and the adventurous hiker. I know time is of the essence with a short weekend, so I’ve also rated these weekends out of 3 for how adventurous, cultural and chilled they are to help you decide.
So you’ve had a busy week, you’re doing double projects – renovation project in the mornings and the childcare project in your afternoons. All you want to do now is chill? I have the perfect place for you and you are already there- the South West of Sri Lanka. Filled with gorgeous beaches, the best surf, stilt fishermen and yoga retreats – not to mention the ultimate food spots.
With Ambalangoda having direct buses that take you all the way up the coast for around 200 Rupees (less than £1) – transport is easy!
Beach is bound to be what you had in mind and the South West coast has this in abundance. Go as far as Tangalle – under 4 hours away – one of the quieter palm fringed bays, or check out the more popular and famous Hiriketiya beach, full of surfers and backpackers trying to catch the next wave.
Go spend a night in Mirissa, full of amazing food, yoga and for those who want to party you will not be disappointed. Grab a smoothie bowl for breakfast and watch the sunset with a couple of drinks on the beach. Have a climb up coconut tree hill or adventure off into the jungle to find the secret beach. Wake early and hit the sea by boat to go whale watching or just chill on the gorgeous golden coastal beach.
Why not make a few stops off on the way home – try Koggola to find the famous fishermen on their stilts or catch the afternoon surf in the top surf spots on the coast – Dewata or Weligama. To top of your weekend go for a swing on the famous Dalawella beach swing (it’s a backpacker must)!
This weekend is full of ultimate CHILL – have you heard anything more perfect? You will come back Sunday revitalised and ready to start your busy week of volunteering again.
CHILL – ☀☀☀
CULTURE – 🕌
ADVENTURE – 🏔🏔
Is history your thing? Are you seeking to uncover the best of the local culture and to explore? Then this weekend is made for you.
The Volunteer House is under an hour drive from the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort. Take a stroll around the 18th Century streets past old warehouses, churches and historic houses, with incredible colonial architecture offering a glimpse into the past. The old beautiful buildings are now transformed into trendy shops, cafes and restaurants – you really could spend hours here!
If you wanted to go a bit further afield to explore the local culture, why not joined PMGY’s Cultural Triangle & Elephants Weekend Trip. Stopping at some incredible landmarks including 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the city of Kandy – the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. As well as exploring the enchanting Golden Temple in Dambulla and the famous Sigiriya, nicknamed ‘Lions Rock’.
CHILL – ☀
CULTURE – 🕌🕌🕌
ADVENTURE – 🏔🏔
Hill country is where the adventure hiker belongs – and if you are happy to brave the 6-hour direct bus from Ambalangoda, it will take you to the beautiful scenic town of Ella where you will be greeted with the luscious rolling hills and tea plantations.
From here there are plenty of adventures that wait for you. Little Adam’s Peak which is a must if you’re a keen hiker, or Nine Arch Bridge to watch the famous trains roll by. Both are known for their gorgeous views and incredible landscapes.
If all this sounds like the perfect trip for you – why not join PMGY on their weekend trips. the Adventure, Hill Country & Safari Weekend Trip take you to these amazing spots and more!
CHILL – ☀
CULTURE – 🕌🕌
ADVENTURE – 🏔🏔🏔
How do these weekends sound to you? Are some of you thinking… what if I want to surf AND explore the history of Sri Lanka? That’s the best thing about it, you can really do both! When you get to Sri Lanka, the coordinators are here to answer all your burning questions about exploring on your weekend. Gather your top places and come with lots of ideas and PMGY will help you.
Where ever you decide to go, I can promise you that Sri Lanka will blow your mind and your weekend will be unforgettable!!
PMGY INTERNATIONAL TEAM