Introducing Tangalla – A South Coast Beach Paradise in Sri Lanka

(Photo by Milei.vencel, available under Creative Commons license).

Tangalla is a beautiful island situated on the South coast of Sri Lanka.

It is an ideal spot to spend your holiday as it has beautiful beaches, historic sites, and animal sanctuaries. Whether you’re searching for a bit of surf, sand, sun and sightseeing adventures, Tangalla has it all.

It is full of breath-taking views and fun activities that you can enjoy and possibly make you longing for more.

Things to do in Tangalla


(Photo by Dave Lonsdale, available under Creative Commons license).

Watch the fishermen and batch in

Fisherman in Tangalla

(Photo by Sarvodaya, available under Creative Commons license).

Tangalla is a regional important fishing town.

Here you can come and have a peek into the local life of fishermen. You can observe the boats as they leave and return to the coast of its daily catch. You can also batch of and help pull the heavy (several hundred meters long) net up on the beach. Besides, the fishermen will greatly appreciate your efforts.

Check out the amazing Mulikirigala Rock Cave Temple


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This astonishing rock temple is formerly known as the Rock Cave Monastery.

It has seen over 2000-years of history, dating back as early as the BCE 2nd century. It is a famous excursion into Tangalla, located about 20 km north of the city.

There is a local belief that this temple guards an ever burning lamp fueled by a mustard oil. Its flames are said to be distinguished only by the birth of the next Buddha.

Here you can view a series of caves with many Buddha statues and ancient wall paintings. Set your eyes on the beautiful picturesque surrounding the countryside. You can also entertain yourself with the playful monkeys which surround it.

Enjoy turtle watching in Tangalla

Turtle watching

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Between January and September, some species of marine turtles come ashore at night.

Most come to lay eggs in the sand nests. If you want to go turtle watching, you can go to Rekawa and Kahandamodara Beaches. These are growing places for turtle watching, situated about 10km east of the town.

So, you can come here in the evening and watch local people patrol the beach. They care and protect the turtles and their eggs. They can also escort and show you wild turtles in the dark along the beach.

You can watch turtles as they lay and bury their eggs before returning slowly to the ocean.

This is a satisfying evening experience, as you get to soak up the great journey these wild turtles have made.

Stroll through the Tangalla Market

Sri Lanka Market

(Photo by Mstyslav Chernov, available under Creative Commons license).

Tangalla Market is just an hour of the south of Hambantota.

It is a bustling center of commerce in this region of the island. This is an ideal spot to mingle with the locals and view their daily life. You can buy some clothes, ceramics or fresh local products.

Also, come on Sunday and Wednesday as it is market day. You will see vendors flock to its covered market to sell their wares. You can find just about everything from fruits, vegetables, pots of buffalo curd and handwoven baskets.

The main drag of the town is also the home to a procession of clothes. There are even souvenir shops where you could spend a few of your rupees.

Chip off to the wildlife parks

National Park

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Tangalla is the best place to come if you’re looking to escape the beach and experience the wildlife.

It has easy access to the country’s most famous National parks. First, you can head to the Yala National Park and just 1.5 hours away.

This park is famous for sloth bears and leopards. Head to Udawalawe, which is just 1 hour away. It is famous for elephants. Third, you can head to Bundala National Park, which is just 40 minutes away. It is famous for great flamingos.

Places to stay in Tangalla

Where to Stay

Siesta Hotel

If you are looking for an affordable place to stay in Tangalle, then you must head to Siesta.

It is among the cheapest and friendliest places to stay and it is owned by a husband and wife. It has impeccably, plain neat rooms with mosquito nets and oversized bathrooms.

Also, take a 30-second walk to an uncrowded and wide beach which makes this an outright bargain. There are bright paintings which add to the homey and cheerful atmosphere. There are also touchy displays here. Like drying racks in each room which are perfect for beach damp towels.

Star Fish Beach Guesthouse

The Star Fish Beach Guesthouse is perfectly situated around 2 km from the bus station.

If you want to get there you can either take a walk or get a tuk-tuk. You will love your stay here as it is beautifully situated right on the beach. Here the staff and even the friendly owner can give you helpful information of the area. The guesthouse also offers freshly cooked and delicious local food.

The rooms are very clean and very sunny together with a balcony which offers awesome ocean views. Prices here is $20 per night. This is a vibrant, fun and relaxing place to stay while in Tangalla.

How to get to Tangalla

How to get to Tangalla

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You can best reach Tangalla from the capital of Colombo. It is much cheaper to take a domestic flight, rather than hiring a car. Although, there are no daily flights. You can take a flight from Colombo to Mattala and you will be charged about 3820- LKR on air. From Mattala airport you can get to Tangalla by taxi and you will be charged 3500- LKR.

From Colombo airport to Tangalle by a taxi will be about 3500- LKR.


Tangalla is a slap bang in the center of the south coast of Sri Lanka.

It is among Sri Lanka’s more improved beach destinations. It is a wonderful beach with a string of easy guesthouses. Also, It is also dotted with coves and has a handful of upmarket villas and hotels. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the mangrove lagoons and the sound of tropical birds. Tangalla is a wonderful beach that you can simply fall in love with.

If you’re considering a trip to Sri Lanka, or anywhere else abroad, never forget your travel insurance. No matter how sensible you are, unpredictable events may occur at any time. Therefore, protecting yourself with a travel insurance is a reasonable thing to do.