Sri Lanka, the best places to chill in Tangalle
Tangalle is a true find. Nestled at the South-West tip of the island, this little fishing harbour charms the traveler with its pink-hued wild beaches, its unspoilt nature and its neverending palm tree groves. This paradise is where local turtles choose to lay their eggs, and to witness this event, under the starlit sky, felt like I was on another planet.
What to do and see in Tangalle ?
Contrary to the beaches in Mirissa or Hikkaduwa, very few tourists venture out to Tangalle because of sometimes dangerous swimming conditions. When they would rather stay in their luxury hotels, I spent my time wandering on the beach, taking in beautiful sunsets, exercising in nature and visiting temples.
The turtle egg-laying site
Thanks to the Turtle Conservation Project, an NGO that protects turtles and their nests on Rewaka Beach, you can witness the animals laying their eggs.
The meeting point is at 8pm at the conservation center, from which you depart with a group and a guide, all the way to the beach where you spend part of the night waiting for the turtles. Sri Lanka has five different species of turtles, some of which can be as 4 feet tall and weigh 300 pounds. A magical experience, a little tainted by the sheer number of tourists present for the event.
Turtle conservation Project, 1000RP/adult - 500RP/kid, Rewaka Road, Tangalle
Le Mulkirigala Rock temple
Twelve miles from Tangalle sits one of the island’s oldest temples, the Mulkirigala Rock Temple. Perched in the middle of nowhere, it is embedded in the rock of a cliff 950 feet above the ground. The place is very peaceful, and attracts more monkeys than tourists. I payed a guide to tell me more about the temple’s history, but he seemed as clueless as my other travel guide… Better to concentrate on the beauty and serenity of the surroundings. After climbing steep stairs, I was rewarded with breathtaking views of the rainforest.
Mulkirigala Rock temple, 500RP, 30 min in tutuk from Tangalle
Where to sleep in Tangalle ?
Tangalle itself is well-known for its luxury hotels, but the backcountry counts guesthouses with attractive and reasonable lodging options. After a long search, I found a real gem: the Turtle View Resort, hidden a few feet from the beach. I felt immediately at home in a spacious bungalow surrounded by a tropical garden. It had its own patio, where I could relax or engage in a coco battle. My hosts were very agreeable, spoke good English and were great cooks. I had one of the best breakfasts of my trip there, with sambol and hopper. For lunch and dinner, I could choose between the catch of the day or a traditional dish.
* Sambol : fish with a mix of coconut and spices
* Hopper : pancakes with a rice floor and spices
Turlte View Resort, 5000RP/night (30€) in march, Belivinna Goda, Rewaka, Netolpitiya, Tangalle - Phone. : +94 77 196 3140
How to come to Tangalle ?
Hikkaduwa/Tangalle : 2h15 by bus 1800RP (11€) - 1h30 by taxi 8100RP (50€)
Tangalle/Tissamaharama : 3h15 by bus 4100RP (25€)
Tangalle/Arugam Bay : 3h30 by taxi 16 300RP (100€)