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The List | Mirissa: A Water Wonderland in Sri Lanka’s South Coast

If you love water sports, you’ll love Mirissa, a charming town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. Mirissa has some of the best waves, winds, and wildlife in the Indian Ocean.

You can surf, kite, sail, dive, snorkel, or swim with the amazing marine creatures. Here are nine must-sees and dos for water sports enthusiasts in Mirissa.

Photo by Daniel Klein


Mirissa is a surfer’s paradise, with consistent swell, warm water, and uncrowded breaks. Several surf spots exist for different levels of experience, from beginners to experts. You can rent a board from one of the many surf shops or take a lesson from a local instructor.

Photo by Kevin Olson


If you’re looking for some adrenaline, you can try kitesurfing in Mirissa, which has ideal conditions for this thrilling sport. You can find kitesurfing schools and equipment rentals at Weligama Bay or Kapparatota Beach.


Suppose you prefer a more relaxing way to enjoy the water. In that case, you can go sailing in Mirissa, which has a beautiful coastline. You can charter a boat or join a cruise that will take you to some of the best spots in the area. You can also learn how to sail at the Mirissa Yacht Club, which offers courses and certifications.

Diving and Snorkeling

Mirissa has some of the most diverse and colourful coral reefs in Sri Lanka, home to hundreds of fish species, turtles, rays, sharks, and more. You can explore the underwater world by diving or snorkelling at some of the best sites in Mirissa, such as Polhena Reef, Turtle Point, or Gorgonian Garden.

Whale Watching

Mirissa is one of the best places in the world to see blue whales, the largest animals on earth. You can join a boat tour to take you to the deep waters where these gentle giants swim. You might also see dolphins, sperm whales, orcas, and turtles along the way. The best time to go whale watching is from November to April.

Secret Beach

If you want to escape the crowds and enjoy a secluded spot, head to Secret Beach, a hidden gem tucked around the corner from the main beach. You’ll need to walk about 10 minutes from the road or take a tuk-tuk to get there.

Parrot Rock

For a stunning view of Mirissa’s coastline, climb Parrot Rock, a large red rock in front of the main beach. You can reach it by walking across the water at low tide, but be careful not to slip on the rocks. Once on top, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic vista of the palm-fringed beach and the turquoise sea.

Photo by Mariam G.

Seafood and Curry

No visit to Mirissa is complete without tasting its delicious seafood and curry. You can find fresh fish, crab, lobster, prawns, and squid at many restaurants along the beach or in town. You can also try some of the local specialities, such as kottu roti (chopped bread with vegetables and meat), hoppers (crispy pancakes), or pol sambol (coconut relish).


If you’re looking for entertainment after dark, Mirissa has a lively nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and parties. You can enjoy live music, DJ sets and fire shows at various beach or town venues. Some of the most popular places are Zephyr Restaurant & Bar, Doctor’s House, and Shady Lane.


Rent water sports equipment

There are many water sports equipment rental services in Mirissa. You can rent surfboards, kitesurfing gear, sailing boats, diving and snorkelling equipment, and more.

Mirissa Water Sports

They offer whale watching tours, guided snorkelling tours, sailing courses and certifications, surfing lessons and board rental, and more. They are located on the eastern bank of the Nilwala River, near the harbour.

Turtle Bay Activity Center

This water sports centre is in Weligama Bay, about 7 km from Mirissa. They offer kitesurfing lessons and equipment rental, guided snorkelling tours, river safari tours, cycling tours, bodyboarding rentals, and more. They also have a turtle-watching program and a diving centre.

Photo by Sasha Set


Where to stay

Mirissa has many accommodation options for every budget and preference. Some of the best hotels in Mirissa are Lantern Boutique Hotel by Reveal, IMAGINE Villa Hotel, Green Hill Mirissa, and Pearl Resort Mirissa.


How to get to Mirissa

Mirissa is located about 150 km south of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. The nearest airport is Diyawanna Oya Airport (DWO), about 20 km from Mirissa. However, flying into Colombo might be as easy as flying into Mirissa and going by bus or car to Mirissa from Colombo.

By bus

You can take a direct bus from Colombo to Matara, about 10 km from Mirissa. The bus takes about 4 hours and costs around Rs. 300 - Rs. 500 per person. You can find the bus schedule and book your ticket online with From Matara, you can take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to Mirissa.

By taxi

You can hire a taxi from Colombo Airport or Colombo city to Mirissa. The taxi takes about 2 hours and costs around Rs. 29000 - Rs. 35000 per car.

By car

You can rent a car from Colombo Airport or City and drive to Mirissa. The car rental costs around Rs. 7500 - Rs. 12000 per day, plus fuel and tolls. The driving distance is about 176 km and takes about 2 hours.


Photo by Siarhei Palishchuk

Other useful information

The best time to visit Mirissa is from November to April when the weather is dry and sunny, the sea is calm and clear, and the whale watching season is on.

The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR or Rs.), divided into 100 cents.

The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil, but English is widely spoken and understood in tourist areas.

The standard voltage in Sri Lanka is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets are of type D, M, and G. You might need an adapter or a converter for your devices.

The tap water in Sri Lanka is not safe to drink. You should always drink bottled water or boiled water.

The emergency numbers in Sri Lanka are 119 for police, 110 for ambulance, and 111 for fire.



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