The south of Sri Lanka is appropriately nicknamed the Gold Coast. Even during the monsoon season late-June, I was able to bathe in the sun for hours and get a lovely bronze tan, with SPF, of course. I opted to stay centrally in Mirissa and was hosted by the lovely Hangover Hostels. The social boutique accommodation is located just a one-minute walk from the sandy, clean, Mirissa Beach. The space is sprinkled in bright tropical murals and hammocks, two ingredients for perfection in my opinion. The on-site cafe is really delicious and was actually one of the only restaurants open during the off-season. Luckily, I prefer street food or locally run restaurants. Monsoon season leaves Mirissa completely barren of tourists, and activities. I prefer this sort of serene atmosphere and selfishly indulged in having entire stretches of the beach all to myself.
While in the Golden South Coast I discovered my favorite Sri Lankan snack so far–spiced chickpeas and coconut mixed together and tossed in a bag. It breaks my heart that they use plastic bags and I even asked if he would wrap the snack up in his newspaper but he refused, thinking that a plastic bag was more appropriate for a foreigner. I also indulged in countless roti each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Unlike roti in India, which is a flat tortilla-like bread, otherwise known as chapati, roti in Sri Lanka is stuffed like a burrito with local delicacies. My favorites are mixed veg roti, avocado roti, and coconut and honey roti. As always, I sipped on a daily coconut with my bamboo straw. Do you prefer young coconuts, or old?
Most travelers head to Mirissa for aquatic animal interactions but after doing some research I felt that they weren’t entirely ethical. I read many claims that dozens of boats filled to the brim with tourists chase after humpback whales along the shore and even feed them. This causes unnecessary stress for the massive animal and dependency on humans for food. Neither are things I can comfortably support. The other typical animal experience is visiting turtle nesting farms. A quick google search will show hundreds of pictures of sea turtles living in tiny pools and shots of them being held by tourists for photo ops. Again, not something I want to get involved in. I may try whale watching on the east coast where the whales have currently migrated if I can find an ethical company.
I headed out to the beach to try my luck at spotting wild sea turtles. It is best to go early in the morning, around dawn. Unfortunately, I overslept and missed this opportunity and by the time I got down to the shore the water was choppy and murky from a storm lingering out at sea. I did meet a few other travelers who had seen a few turtles around Parrot Rock, so it is possible!
Parrot Rock is located at the western point of Mirissa Beach. It is an island situated nearby the shore, close enough to walk over during low tide. You can climb to the top of the rock to get breathtaking panoramic views of Mirissa Beach and the turquoise waters sprinkled with coral below. The beach on the mainland is thick with palm trees, watch out for falling coconuts!
Just east of Mirissa is the bohemian beach village, Weligama. The local bus cost around 13 cents and takes less than 10 minutes to reach the long sandy bay. Sand Village is actually the English definition of Weligama! Weligama Beach is one of the most popular spots for surfers but was serene during the offseason. The sand was ultra soft and clean and the waters warm and clear. I strolled down the long curved beach to snap photos of the many colorful fishing boats. I love these tiny vibrant vessels and seeing them pulled into the sand reminded me of Jose Ignacio, Uruguay.
Thank you Hangover Hostels for inviting me to be a guest. All opinions and photos are my own. This post contains affiliate links, please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.