Sri Lanka 2017-18 Surf Season (Oct - May) Book your room at Lions Rest Hotel

Discover south Sri Lanka’s backcountry

There are an unbelievable amount of  eco, physical and cultural activities to keep you busy during your stay. Whatever you would like to do we can bespoke an literary for you and arrange your adventure.

Mountain biking

Exploring the backcountry on a mountain bike is a great way to get a slice of what south Sri Lanka has to offer: Waterfalls, river trails, local villages, ancient temples, the paddy fields, spice plantations, nature parks, ride in a tropical paradise. Tours are organised for small groups with a local guide with local knowledge. Bike are maintained to a high standard and tour guides are trained in safety, first-aid and minimising the ecological impact of your trip. Depending on your experience as a rider there are options from gentle touring to exhilarating downhill trails.

National Park trekking

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve in south-west Sri Lanka is the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. Meaning Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), Sinharaja is home to a fantastic level of biodiversity. There is a huge selection of Sri Lanka’s endemic species – mammals, birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and rare amphibians. Of Sri Lanka’s 800+ endemic species, 200+ trees and vines, many plants found in the forest are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Sinharaja forest was declared a biosphere reserve in 1978 and on the World Heritage list in 1988. Protected and well worth a visit.  As you may expect Sri Lanka has it’s share or poisonous plants, snakes, and insects so you will find your guide an invaluable source of information.

In the south-east, from the coast line inland, is Yala National Park. Its a big old space, about a thousand square km and Sri Lanka second largest national park. The weather is dry and in some areas semi arid for much of the year, a completely different micro climate to Sinaraja forest. You will find 400 of Sri Lanka’s wild elephants, water buffalo, leopards, spotted deer, langur and toque monkeys. Safaris can be easily organised.

Visit a festival

You will find that pretty much every month there is at least two festivals, the majority of which coincide with those of Buddhism and a full moon. So who doesn’t enjoy a full moon party? Just ask Mike about the time where he had 200 dancing Sri Lankans, playing OMD to from his iPod at the local Full Moon Beach party. The Buddhist community of Sri Lanka observe the Full Moon or Poya Days and with three other major religions on the island there are no fewer than 25 public holidays. Nice!

Tea plantation tours

Scotsman James Taylor planted Sri Lanka’s first tea bushes 1867 on the Loolecondera Estate in Kandy. Now today Sri Lanka exports about three hundred thousand tons of tea per year of tea, that’s 99 billion cuppas.  There are plenty of local tea plantations to tour, take in the green rolling hills and the aromatic smells of the plantation, wind down and relax and with a cup of Ceylon tea, considered up there with the words finest.

Shopping for adrenaline sports brands

There are many obvious things you can purchase from garments, jewellery, silks and spices. However what you might not know is Sri Lanka has the factories for many adrenaline sports brands. Some of the major power kite manufactures: Core, Best, Carved, North and Faith all have bases. Not your sweatshop style factories either as perhaps their corporate videos show.  Best power kites video has with many happy Sri Lankans diligently stitching and assembling. We are not so sure about big brand surf wear yet, still researching some of the other factories and would only like to promote the ones with ethical supply chains, not to mention developing our own surfer owned ethical brand. There is an organisation, Sri Lanka Apparel, set up specifically for ‘Ethical Business and Manufacturing Practices’ Garments Without Guilt and there are connected labels that confirm what you are buying.

Learn Sri Lankan style cooking

Every night is curry night, maybe even for breakfast. You are welcome to join us in the kitchen and learn how to use some of the Sri Lankan spices in different ways although we might get you to do some chopping.

The Backcountry

Backcountry-Sri-LankaDiscover the back country. There are plenty of tours by Tuk Tuk to local villages inland. You don't have to go far to find yourself unspoilt rural Sri Lanka and get a taste of village life.

Ayurvedic Health

Auvedic Tearments-Photo-Credit-Sri-Lanka-Tourist-BoardAyurvedic Treatments. This accent and holistic and herbal healing practice has some simple treatments and massage to help you unwind and find your zone state.

Rent a Scooter

Bike-Sri-LankaIf you have never rented a scooter please don't do this. We have a couple for rent if you are sure, surfboards on bike racks are now illegal and the roads are mental.

Jeep Safari Yala

Safari-Lepoard-Surf-South-Sri-Lanka Jeep - Treehouse Yala Safari Tour in Yala National Safari Park. Explore sunset and sunrise with leopards, elephants, crocodiles, water buffalo, and all manner of birds and other animals. Local guide, Private chef, treehouse overnight experience.

Fireworks Factory

NYE-Fireworks-Factory-Surf-Not an official tour but a trip can be arranged to buy fireworks for after a BBQ. Everyone chips in and the display is on the free land in Gurubebila. NYE 2013 was Epic!

Go Surfing

x Your-wave-is-coming-Surf-South Sri LankaThe best surf times are with the high tide at sunrise and sunset. Surfboard hire, lessons and transport available.


Kite-BoardBeaches-Surf-South-Sri-Lanka Midigama-Kite boarding is a small but growing sport in the region. 2km crescent beaches with consistent winds. Bring your own kit for now but watch this space.

Whale Watching

Whale Watching Surf South Sri LankaWhale Watching trips leave early from Mirissa Harbor for 4hrs including brunch. You may see any of the 5 types of whale and 4 types of dolphin.

Epic Sunset Beaches

Sunset-Surf-South-Sri-Lanka CoconutsWhy not grab a beer and watch the sun go down in Gurubebeila, perhaps on the Sunset Terrace at Lion's Rest Hotel. There are some other good spots on the coastline listed here.

Surf Lessons

Surf-Etiquete-Beginners-Sri LankaBook Surf Lessons on Weligama beach break. Safe to learn, daily lessons with Lions Rest Hotel. Lesson#1 Avoid dropping in on your fellow surfers.

Feed a Cow

Village Cows Gurubebila-Surf South Sri Lanka Gurubebila free land is used for grazing cows by local farmers. They are particularly friendly especially for roadside sweetcorn, water melon skin and coconut.


Yoga Surfing Sri LankaYoga Classes are available with the resident teachers at Lion's Rest Hotel, Gurubebila. A perfect balance to with surfing training core strength and flexibility.

New Years Eve 15

NYE with Surfing-Life-Gurubebila-Surf South Sri LankaDetails tbc 31/12/15. Check out Lion's Rest, Surfing Life, Lucky Guest House and KBH for dinners and drinks. Meet on the land for midnight fireworks and then off to the dance bars in Mirissa or Unawatuna. This was NYE 2014..

Coconut a day

Village Eat Coconuts-Surf-South-Sri-LankaCoconuts are hailing to be the next superfood. Super isotonic and refreshing, great after a surf. Available from this man it Gurubebila and everywhere else.

Stilt Fisherman

Stilt Fisherman Surf South Sri Lanka iMany make a living from tourism pictures however there are some that still fish in the traditional ways. See them at sunrise in Gurubebila.

Tea Plantation

Tea-Plantation-Photo-Credit-Sri-Lanka Tourist BoardPlenty of local tea plantations to tour, take in the green rolling hills, aromatic smells of the plantation, wind down and relax and with a cup of Ceylon tea.

Visit a Temple

Visit-a-Temple-Night Surf-South Sri LankaBuddhism is the majority religion in the south, visit a temple day and night. There are many temple festivals and full moon poya days.

Local Stilt Fishing

Stilt-Fishing-Locals-Sri-LankaBefriend and challenge a local fisherman to one-on-one-off Stilt Fishing. All friendly in Gurubebila. Beware carbon rods in thunderstorms.

Cooking Lessons

Sri-Lankan-Food-Cooking Lessons - Surf South Sri LankaPrivate Sri Lankan cookery with local village guest houses can be arranged. Everyone is always keen to share their unique recipe.

Night Fishing

Seasonal Lobster Fishing 1 Surf South Sri LankaGuided night time local reef trip to catch lobster and edible reef fish. Not for the fainthearted but an amazing experience.

Catamaran Fishing

Local Catamaran Fishing Surf South Sri LankaLocal Catamaran Fishing is a super trip. Go line fishing with the pros,  16000 LKR for the boat and crew, up to 6 guests. Catch some calamari bait then some big fish or take the boat to the secret breaks.

Sport Fishing

Fishing Deep Sea Unawatuna Surf South Sri LankaDeep sea, line and rod fishing trips can be arranged, so far from Unawatuna in pairs and if you are "gona need a bigga boat" Mirissa with groups of 6. Please contact us for more more info.

Local Bread Van

Village Bread Van Surf South Sri Lanka Every village has a local bread van also selling tasty snacks. Each van has a special tune on repeat, like an ice cream van. In Gurubebila, Santa Clause is coming to town all year round.

Fish Pedicure

Fish-Pedicure-Surf-South-SrAs part of the Kogala lake tour for a few rupees you can indulge in a fish spa pedicure. Its a bit odd but quite fun.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving Unawatuna Perl Divers Surf South Sri Lanka  (2)Scuba Diving is available from Weligama, Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa. Please contact us for more info.

Mountain Biking

Mountain-Biking-Sri-Lanka-Tourist-Board-Photo Mountain Biking, mostly group touring. The bike shop in Weligama sells cheap Chinese MTBs, bigger shops in Matara and Galle have more range. Galle has regular organised tours including MTBs.

Go Banannas

Bananas-Surf-South-Sri-LankBananas are a rich source of vitamin B6, Tryptophan and potassium. Perfect snack.

Xmas & Boxing Day

NYE Christmas-2-Surf-South-Sri-Lanka2014 Lions Rest Hotel will most likely host a traditional roast, more tbc. Last year we all bought birthday hats at Surfing Life as we couldn't find crackers, was a big group table. Lovely stuff.

Sunset Catamaran

Boats Sunset Catamaran 2 Surf-South-Sri-Lanka WelligamaSunset Catamaran tours can be arranged, departing around 4pm from Mirissa Harbour. 5,000 LKR per head or privately for 60,000 LKR.

Private Tours

Tours-Sri-Lanka-Rent-DriverTailor your own freestyle tour  of the heritage sites and countryside of Sri Lanka with one of our drivers in an air-conditioned, people carrier. Airport transfers also.