How to Backpack around Mirissa

Ranked among the island’s top dolphin watching hotspots Mirissa is more than an ordinary beach capital in Sri Lanka. Home to some of the country’s finest beaches and cultural attractions exploring Mirissa and its neighbouring precincts is a backpacker’s dream excursion. From finding comfortable accommodation to experiencing some of the region’s top tourist hotspots here are some tips on how to enjoy backpacking tour of Mirissa and other cultural and recreational highlights in its vicinity.

Patty Ho Uploaded on Wikimedia Commons by Lkcl_it, Yala National Park (Sri Lanka 2012), CC BY 2.0
  1. Find a Strategic Base

Travellers who wish to backpack around Mirissa must first secure a central base from which to explore the city and what lies beyond. Hotels in Mirissa come in all shapes and sizes from luxury resorts to more affordable accommodation options whether it’s Esprit d’ici Hotel or countless other budget hotels and guest houses in the area. Regardless of the venue you select make sure the property is conveniently located so as to allow efficient and easy transfers to various parts of Mirissa and surrounding tourist hotspots. As a beach hub it is also imperative to reserve a hotel which affords unequal access to the area’s most coveted natural attribute as you will want to take advantage of backpacking around a spectacular beach of the likes of Mirissa.

2. Cover Mirissa First

Although it may seem obvious backpacking around Mirissa should begin in Mirissa by covering some of the city’s top tourist attractions and activity bases. Mirissa is perhaps best known as a whale watching hub and no backpacking holiday in the beach capital would be complete without witnessing the largest mammal on earth off the coast of the seaside hamlet. Whale watching expeditions in Mirissa are organized by several tour operators and visitors can compare the prices and the excursion details online before making a booking. As a destination considered as a water-sports hub travellers can also try their hand at the many water bound activities available in Mirissa before heading out on day trips to the following destinations.

3. Go on a Safari

As a popular excursion option for those based in Mirissa the Yala National Park is a must-visit highlight for all backpackers touring the area around Mirissa. Spread out across 378 square miles Yala is the perfect destination to sign up for a wildlife safari. As the verdant home of 44 varieties of mammals including elephants and leopards, the national park is also a bird watching enthusiast’s dream come true. Home to 215 species of winged beauties visitors can explore the various regions of this sprawling national park at leisure.

4. Explore the Iconic Galle Fort

Located within a short distance of Mirissa the Dutch Galle Fort is not only the most celebrated colonial landmark in the southern coastal belt but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A tour of the breathtaking fortress is a must for all visitors vacationing in the south and those based in Mirissa can explore the fort on an organized tour or an independent excursion. As a veritable city within a city the Galle Fort was built as early as the 18th century and contains landmark buildings from the era. Perhaps best known as the host of the Galle Literary Festival the fort also affords captivating views of the Indian Ocean from its ramparts.

5. Experience Weligama Bay

Ideally situated within close proximity to Mirissa, Weligama is another coastal hotspot backpackers can explore while based in Mirissa. With its name literally translating to the “Village of Sand” the beaches of Weligama Bay are distinctly different from Mirissa although the area is equally popular with tourists and locals alike. Jungle Beach is an especially well-known beach hub in Weligama that is worthy of experiencing for one’s self. The area is also a surfing hotspot revered among wave riders since time immemorial.