Hambantota, Sri Lanka Cruise Port, 2018 and 2019 Cruises to Hambantota, Sri Lanka | The Cruise Web
 

Hambantota, Sri Lanka Cruise Port

The cruise port of Hambantota, Sri Lanka is undergoing a rebirth of sorts: After an Indian Ocean tsunami hit the area hard in 2004, development projects began to create a new major urban center for the country. Located in Sri Lanka's southern area traditionally known as Ruhuna, the city has ancient roots; trade with Siam, China, and Indonesia helped develop its seaport. With its tropical climate, early days were known for producing an abundance of crops and the area was flourishing by 200 B.C. By the early 1800s, the British had set up a fort next to Hambantota's lighthouse; not used much in a combat capacity, today it contains a fisheries museum. In 1948, Sri Lanka finally achieved independence, and Hambantota has been making great strides in creating a world-class center for residents and visitors alike. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Hambantota, Sri Lanka:
 
  • In a country with a large coastline, of course there are beaches. One of the best in Hambantota is Tangalle Beach, which is a mix of public area and private coves in which you can relax in the hot sun.
     
  • The Bundala National Park is a great place to see animals and birds in their natural habitats. Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969, a national park in 1993, and a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2005, the park is vital in creating a safe harbor for migratory birds during the winter. Along with birds, there is an abundance of flora, and multiple animal species, such as the toque macaque, Asian elephants, sea turtles, and many more.
     
  • Birdwatchers will adore the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, where you can spot birds on land and by floating on the lagoon. The guides even supply binoculars in case you forget your own. Here you'll spot threatened birds such as the Indian reef heron, glossy ibis, and black-capped purple kingfisher.
     
  • Not far from Hambantota are the Mahapelessa Hot Springs, perfect for a soak after a long day of bird and animal adventures. The minerals in the water are also reputed to have healing properties.
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