Dutch Bay Beach, Trincomalee

Trincomalee: 3 Must-See Attractions & Experiences

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Trincomalee, the quaint little coastal town in Sri Lanka, is a unique and enchanting destination. The place blends natural beauty and history seamlessly, making it a haven for every tourist, explorer, and wanderer. In this blog, we take you through the different sites and activities you must experience you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Trincomalee.

3 Must See Places & Experiences In Trincomalee

Best Time To Visit Trincomalee

Walls of Fort Frederick, Trincolamlee
Walls of Fort Frederick, Trincolamlee

Although Trincomalee can be visited throughout the year, May to September is the best time to visit the east coast of Sri Lanka.

Languages Spoken

Tamil is widely spoken in Trincomalee. Only a few people speak English and Sinhala.

Network Availability

Very good signal strength is provided by both Dialog and Mobitel.

Where To Stay?

Tourists usually stay in the Alesgarden area as it’s closer to Uppuveli Beach. However, it is far from the railway station and the bus stand. Tuk-tuks are available round the clock to take you from and to different places around the town. We stayed at Wanderer’s Hostel ($). If you’re a solo traveler looking to meet fellow wanderers and explorers, you might want to choose this hostel. Besides this, the vibe is pleasant and breezy.

Here are a few other recommendations.

 

Where To Eat?

You’ll find local restaurants in almost every nook and corner of Trincomalee. If you’re looking for cozy pubs and international cuisines, head to Alesgarden, and you’ll likely find something that matches your palette.

Exploring Around

Two-wheeler rentals are unavailable in the region, so tuk-tuks are the most convenient options to explore Trincomalee. Some hotels offer FREE cycles for their guests to wander so you can avail of the facility. It is also important to note that buses are sparsely available after 6 PM.

Must-Visit Places & Experiences In Trincomalee

1. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

View of Pigeon island and coral island from Nilaveli beach
View of Pigeon island and coral island from Nilaveli beach

Just a kilometer away from Nilaveli Beach resides the Pigeon Island Marine National Park – A beautiful underwater park, home to vibrant corals, hundreds and thousands of reef fishes, sea turtles, and small sharks. The biodiversity and the shallow reefs make this spot perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. People also come here to do their PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) diving courses. You have to purchase tickets from the government ticket counter at Nilaveli Beach. 

  • Pigeon Island Entry fee: For Sri Lankans – LKR 150 for adults, LKR 100 for children, and LKR 20 for students. For Foreigners – USD 25 for adults, USD 15 for children.
  • Boat entry charges: LKR 150 per boat.
  • Boat service charges: LKR 400 for Sri Lankans and USD 10 for foreigners per boat.
  • Snorkeling and diving permission fee: LKR 300 for Sri Lankans and USD 5 for foreigners per person.
  • Add a 15% tax on the total cost.

If you’re on a budget, go snorkeling at the nearby Coral Island for a price cheaper than the one at Pigeon Island.

Twin’s tip: Scuba diving and snorkeling near Swami Rock are the best. It has more corals, and if you’re PADI certified, you can visit the Irakkandy shipwreck site.

2. Uppuveli Beach

Sunrise at Uppuveli beach, Trincomalee

Trincomalee is a town where the atmosphere is laid-back, and you can revitalize your energy levels by simply spending time by the shore. While some come specifically for diving experiences or adventure activities, others simply want to witness the ethereal sunrise and swim in the waters at Uppuveli Beach. 

If you’re a wanderer looking for something new yet serene, drop by this beach. You’ll find yourselves in moments of pure bliss as you bask in nature’s beauty. The beach truly showcases the simple pleasures of life. Whether you prefer to lounge under the shade of a palm tree or soak up the sun’s warm rays, the idyllic beaches of the Uppuveli make up for a pleasant escape.

3. Fort Federick Area

Fort Federick, Trincomalee

Also known as Trincomalee Fort, Fort Federick was built on a hill named Swami Rock or Konamali by the Portuguese in 1624 and rebuilt by the Dutch in 1655. Today most of the fort area is occupied by the Sri Lankan military. 

You can explore the different parts of the fort and learn about its intriguing past. If you’re a theist or religious, the fort is home to Thiru Koneswaram Temple, perched on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

Thiru Koneswaram kovil

While the sounds of the waves and the picturesque landscape can bowl you over, the temple is a space that can help you find balance. It houses a Swayambhu Lingam (symbol of Lord Shiva) and is one of Sri Lanka’s most spiritually important sites in Hinduism. 

You can also visit the Dutch Bay Beach (cover image) and the Maritime and Naval History Museum.

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