Tangalle – the highlight of Sri Lanka’s south coast


Tangalle was our favourite hang out in Sri Lanka. The beach is spectacular – long and sandy. The balance of not too touristy and still easy to live the tourist life is perfect, meaning it is just as easy to find a hammock and a mango lassie as it is to find a spot to yourself. There is no party here, we even had a hard time to find a piña colada. Go here to relax! Drink and eat fresh fruit. Find a beach café with hammocks. Read a book. Take it eeeeasy.


Turtle watching at Rekawa beach

About 10 km north east from Tangalle you find the Turtle Conservation Project at Rekawa beach and the possibility to observe meter long turtles lay eggs or miniature ones hatch and venture to sea two months later.

Lagoon trip – animals and nature

In the lagoon you find a variety of wild life, such as monkeys, monitor lizards and birds – big, small, colorful. Explore the lagoon from a canoe (by yourself or with a guide). Renting a canoe for two hours costs 1000 rupies and with a map, dry sack and two life jackets you are ready to go. The map is not really made to scale, but it is easy getting round anyways. The trip is best made early in the morning or at dusk for the best chance to enjoy the wild life. If you want to see monkeys it is supposed to be best in the morning.

Where to stay

Budget guest houses: Siesta or Viraj’s Garden

“Siesta” and Viraj’s Garden are both run by nice young couples and they offered a very good price for their rooms. I do recommend either of these places because of the nice people running them and the good service they offer.

Where to eat

Pearl beach

We discovered Pearl Beach as we were searching for hammocks to lay down in while exploring the beach. We were greeted by the owner Kamal and were about to leave as he started talking about his cooking, which completely got us hooked. Pearl Beach was newly opened when we were here, and the logistics not in place yet. No menu, no opening hours, no expectations.

Since you go to Tangalle to relax – just go with it and enjoy Kamal’s food which is the BEST you will EVER have! We had vegetarian rice and curry three times and it was different and amazing every time. You just need to give Kamal time to go to the market. And cook. We also had breakfast there – equally delicious egg hoppers with onion sambol.

How to get there

Unlike the other south coast beach towns, you can’t access Tangalle from the train. It is also a little further away from the capital, which might be why it is less crowded. To go here you take a local bus to Tangalle town, and then a three wheeler taxi/tuk tuk to the beach area where you find a lot of accomodation options.

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Good Things

  • Beautiful, long, not too crowded beach
  • Wild life
  • Relaxing

Bad Things

  • Strong currents

The Breakdown

Beach life
Wild life
Budget life
Hammock life
Piña colada life
Active life

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