TRINCOMALEE Weather

Trincomalee

Trincomalee, known by locals as Trinco, offers visitors a unique experience into local life in regional Sri Lanka. The beautiful beaches contrasting with the colourful temples and the hustle bustle of the main street markets makes for an eventful experience. Trinco also sits on one the world’s finest natural harbours. This historic city is old almost beyond reckoning: it’s possibly the site of historic Gokana in the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle). Although most people just pass through the city on their way to the nearby beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, the town has plenty of charm, plenty of history and a great melange of people – where four religions exist in one town, pretty extraordinary.

Some of the best kept secrets of Trinco include the free roaming deer in and around the Fort area. Walking through the Fort which leads up to the well-known Koneswaram Temple you’ll be able to spot, deer, peacocks, monkeys, cats, dogs and an array of birdlife.

Accommodation wise there’s everything from slick AirBNB guest houses in Dutch Bay, to homestays 3km north in Uppuveli, to boutique hotels further north in Nilaveli, as well as a number of larger well-established hotel chains.

Koneswaram Kovil

Located in Trincomalee, the Koneswaram Kovil is one of the most important Hindu temples in the region, dating back hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Positioned atop a cliff face, the views are also breathtaking.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Open daily from 6am to 1pm, reopens from 4pm to 6.45pm

2km from Trincomalee Central Bus Stand

Top tip: As respect, visitors are requested to cover the shoulders and legs

Diving & Whale Watching

Diving and whale watching are two key water activities in and around the beaches in Trincomalee. There are a number of wrecks and sites for diving, as well as opportunities throughout the year to catch a glimpse of the blue whale, orcas and dolphins.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

February to November

Diving and whale watching operators are located on Nilaveli and Uppuveli beaches

For moderate to advanced divers, night time diving offers rare glimpses to see glowing plankton

Eagle Golf Links

Have you ever played golf with a crocodile? Trincomalee's Eagle Golf Links 18 hole course is a unique experience, featuring a few ponds home to native animals. Open all year for beginners to advanced golfers.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

All year

Located in China Bay, 20 minutes drive from Trincomalee Town

Grab a bite to eat or a drink at the club house afterwards

Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple

Arguably one of the most jaw-dropping Hindu temples in the country, be prepared for colour overload from the temple’s connected shrines. Known by locals also as the “Kali Kovil”, it is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bhadrakali. Certainly a must-see on your list when in Trincomalee.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Open all year

200m south from Trincomalee Central Bus Stand

Top tip: Try visiting on a festival day to see the temple rituals come alive, namely February/March and September/October

Nilaveli Beach

One of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast with its crystal-clear water and untouched vibe. Nilaveli is home to Pigeon Island, ideal for snorkeling, whale watching and a number of dive sites.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Swimming February – November, Diving March – October, Whale watching February – October, Pigeon Island open all seasons

Approximately 15km north of Trincomalee, 20 minutes by car/tuk tuk

Top tip: Bring water, sun cream and snacks if you’re visiting for a day trip as there are limited venders in the area.

Uppuveli

Located only 3km from Trincomalee town, Uppuveli offers a great balance between the palm tree laden sandy beach and water front bars and an array of accommodation options.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Best season February – November

Three kilometers north of Trincomalee, 10 minutes by car

Top tip: Uppuveli looks straight East onto the Indian Ocean, making it another perfect location on the East to view a ocean front sunrise.

Marble Beach

If you’re looking for a sandy beach with little to no waves then Marble Beach is the go-to. Currently managed by the Sri Lankan AirForce, beach access requires a small fee per vehicle, accommodation is also available.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Best season February – November

Approximately 17km from Trincomalee, 30 minutes by car

Top tip: The beach is split into two sides, a public beach and an area run by the AirForce where you can get a massage and sit under a beach cabana.

PASIKUDA Weather

Pasikuda

Pasikuda is home to some of Sri Lanka’s finest large hotels. Located on a calm and quiet bay, the sunrise over the Indian ocean is absolutely breathtaking. Primarily a resort-based location, there are also many guest houses offering authentic food and hospitality experiences including day trips to nearby Batticaloa, the East Coast’s largest city. The best way to get to Pasikuda is by car, however, with the number of flights operating from Colombo to Batticaloa increasing it is worth checking if that is an option. If you’re exploring the East Coast, Pasikuda is a great mid-way location between Trincomalee and Arugam Bay.

If you’re visiting between June to August, peak time, nearby beach Kalkuda is worth a visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. Keep in mind hotels, temples and culinary experiences are open 365 days, so there’s no need to rule out the quieter months between November and February.

Pasikuda, Sri Lanka

Open all year, best season February - November

265km from Colombo International Airport

Top tip: Catch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean (around 6am)

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BATTICALOA Weather

Batticaloa

If you’re looking for an undiscovered, authentic and local town to explore, Batticaloa will tick all the boxes. Known also as “Batti”, the biggest town on the East Coast is well known for its excellent food including the crab curry, fishing on its beautiful and enormous lake, the historical Kallady Bridge and the Batticaloa Fort.

Located around 20 minutes from Pasikuda, 2.5 hours from Trincomalee or 2.5 hours from Arugam Bay, it makes for a great stop over if you’re on an East Coast (or island wide) road trip. Batti was hard hit by the Tsunami in 2004, but as a result as fascinating temples which survived, like the Kallady Hindu Temple – well worth a look.

Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

All year

288km from Colombo International Airport

Top tip: Batticaloa has some of the best food on the island, if you like seafood try the Crab Curry at Riviera Hotel

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ARUGAM BAY Weather

Arugambay

Arugam Bay, A-Bay, has been a lesser known top surf spot for surfers around the world since the 1970s. Even during the civil conflict in the 80s and 90s surfers continued to enjoy the waves on the southern point of the East Coast. Today, Arugam Bay offers much more than surfing and is picking up as a key destination for national and international visitors to Sri Lanka.

Most accommodation options are located in the moon-shaped bay itself, making the local restaurants, cafes, yoga studios and shops all within walking distance. For surfers, there’s a number of board rental shops, surf lessons for women and men as well as guides to take you to various breaks like Peanut Farm or Whiskey Point.

Whether it’s surfing, a relaxing beach holiday, a yoga retreat or you’re just looking for one of the hottest spots in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is sure to impress.

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Best time to visit, all year; Surfing, March to October

325km from Colombo International Airport

Top tip: Arugam Bay is becoming more than a surf hot spot, from yoga to healthy eating to beach bars, best to stay at least 3 nights to enjoy all the area has to offer

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AMPARA WEATHER

Ampara

Ampara is the southern most district in the East, home to a number of national parks like Lahugala, Kumana, Gal Oya and Maduruoya as well as the region’s best surfing spots, like Arugam Bay, Whiskey Point, Peanut Point and Elephant Rock.

The region is also home to many Buddhist Pagodas and Stupas to view roadside and off the beaten track, like Ampara’s Japanese Peace Pagoda, the Mahudu Maha Vihara near Pottuvil, the Buddhangala Monastry 7km from Ampara town or the Deegawapi Raja Maha Vihara.

Although Ampara is one of the furthest locations from Colombo International Airport, it is accessible by road from the north (Trincomalee and Batticaloa) and the west (Ella and Nuwara Eliya).

Ampara town is a great pit stop for your East Coast road trip, located perfectly in between Batticaloa and Arugam Bay. Make the most of the relaxed, authentic and local vibes.

Photo Credit Lucy Calder, Ampara Japanese Peace Pagoda

Ampara, Sri Lanka

Best time to visit, all year

303km from Colombo International Airport

The perfect location for a day trip to/from Arugam Bay

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THINGS TO DO

View our top of things to do and see in Trincomalee, Pasikuda, Batticaloa, Ampara and Arugam Bay

ABOUT EAST

Information about when is the best time to visit, water temperature, prime whale watching season and more

HOW TO GET HERE

Find out how you can get to the East via car, train, bus or by air from main cities around the country

TRAIN TIMES

Check out the Sri Lankan Railways official website for train times connecting the Eastern Province to the rest of the island

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WEATHER

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