Welcome to Jaffna & the North


And, of course, there are the cultural differences. From the language to the cuisine to religion, Tamil culture has its own rhythms, and people here are proud of their heritage. Inevitably, given the region's recent history, there's still a noticeable military presence. But the ambience is relaxed as locals focus on building for the future and reviving the rich traditions of northern life.


Top experiences in Jaffna & the North

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

Image for

Jaffna & the North activities

$122 Walking & Biking Tours

Polonnaruwa Ruins Ride Cycling Tour from Polonnaruwa

You will be starting your cycling tour 9:00 am at the entrance of the old city of Polonnaruwa. The city carries a history from over millennia ago. Though it existed on a smaller scale before; the city truly flourished between the 11th century and 13th century AD, when it was the capital of the country. The city was architecturally advanced and the ruins found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site today rival that of ancient cities such as Angkor and Egypt.You will be starting your tour with a visit to the ruins of King Parakramabahu I's Palace which was a magnificent 12th-century edifice that rose to seven stories. You can still see the remains of the central wall which supported over 40 interconnected rooms and the bottom section of the structure.In line with this monument is the Council Chamber built by the same king, who was an amazing engineer. The perfectly designed Chambers had such good acoustics that you could hear the speaker in any corner of the room. The base of the chamber and some of the pillars still stand, and you will be able to observe the fine stone craft used on the outer wall carvings.You will also view the mysterious Satmahal Prasada (otherwise known as Seven Storied Edifice), whose makers are unknown. The stepped pyramid style building bears resemblances to Mayan and Angkor stepped pyramids. The Atadage and Hatadage, the first and second Sacred Tooth Relic Shrines of Polonnaruwa, will also be places you will pass on your bike.The Gal Vihara Rock Sculptures are a very important destination of your tour which displays some of the best artistry of the Polonnaruwa period in its three giant statues; the standing, seated and reclining Buddhas which were carved from solid granite. The carvings were so beautifully done, with detailed expressions that stone crafters afterwards were unable to match the perfection of these statues.Some of the other things you will get a chance to see are the vaulted halls of the wonderfully preserved Thuparama; Rankoth Vihara which is the biggest pagoda in Polonnaruwa; the Shiva Temple built by the Cholas who invaded in the 10th century; and the famous Vatadage of Polonnaruwa with its circular structure, embellished guard stones, carved balustrades and central stupa surrounded by Buddha statues at the cardinal points.After viewing the ruins in the old city, you will be pedalling to the Parakrama Samudra, again a creation of the formerly mentioned illustrious monarch. The vast reservoir which was built to preserve and make use of 'every drop of rain', still remains an extremely impressive feat even today. The reservoir boasts some wonderful views that you can enjoy while visiting it. Later you will pedal back to your starting point enjoying the green countryside and many toque macaque monkeys that live in the area. You will finish off your tour by 12:00 pm with a fresh and cooling king coconut drink.

$354 Outdoor Activities

Camping in Wasgamuwa National Park

Near 37,000 hectares of untouched wilderness, Wasgamuwa is one of Sri Lanka’s most well preserved National Parks, offering a unique wildlife experience for any enthusiast or general traveler seeking an escape into the wild. Situated between the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts, at an expanse of 225 kilometers from the capital city of Colombo, this forest experiences a rainfall of 1650mm – 2150mm each year. The Park is bordered by the Amban River, Mahaweli River, Wasgamuwa Village and the Kalu Ganga (River) in the North, East, South and West and was declared a National Park in the year 1984. According the census report in 2011 there are over 360 Elephants in Wasgamuwa. Being a Dry Zone Park, the Wasgamuwa National Park is home to over 150 floral species, many of them endemic. The park also houses 23 species of mammals and over 140 species of birds and a number of reptile species as well. The park is known for its hordes of elephants that you may see especially in the evenings. The Marsh Elephant is a subspecies that can only be seen near the Mahaveli River. You may also get to see two of the endemic monkey species found in Sri Lanka, or water buffalo, or even the rare sloth bear or golden palm civet. Some of the bird species that you may see are the endemic red-faced malkoha and the Sri Lankan jungle fowl. You could also catch an elusive look at colorful pea fowl, painted stork, black-headed ibis or even a Sri Lankan frogmouth. There are many reptiles you may see on the banks of water bodies, such as the Mugger Crocodile or water monitors. There are quite a few species of skinks, lizards and snakes as well. There are around 50 species of butterflies in Wasgamuwe Park that may interest butterfly enthusiasts. Eight of these species are endemic. The Safari & Camping Experience Anyone visiting Wasgamuwa National Park will experience wildlife safaris that will surely make their stay something memorable and unique. With a choice of two safari sessions that are available for the 1 Night 2 Days, the Wasgamuwa National Park wildlife safari and camping tours cater to the visitor’s needs, either providing an all-out experience of the entire park, or the must-experience 1-day tour that will cover most of the park’s features and must-see locations.

$24.75 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Departure Transfer: Polonnaruwa to Colombo Bandaranayake International Airport CMB BIA

Once you have completed your holiday in Sri Lanka and are ready to head back home, your friendly driver will meet you at your hotel in Polonnaruwa and drive you directly to the Bandaranayake International Airport. Whether you’re traveling individually, with a partner or in a group, your ground transport needs will be covered by this private transfer service. Avoid the confusion of taxis or public transport and enjoy a hassle-free ride. Airport departure transfers have never been this easy! Travel in style and comfort with unparalleled safety in your luxurious vehicle and get to your flight in good time and great order. Your English-speaking chauffeur is always at your service! SKU: LK41106000

$54.13 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Departure Transfer: Jaffna to Colombo Bandaranayake International Airport CMB BIA

Once you have completed your holiday in Sri Lanka and are ready to head back home, your friendly driver will meet you at your hotel in Jaffna and drive you directly to the Bandaranayake International Airport. Whether you’re traveling individually, with a partner or in a group, your ground transport needs will be covered by this private transfer service. Avoid the confusion of taxis or public transport and enjoy a hassle-free ride. Airport departure transfers have never been this easy! Travel in style and comfort with unparalleled safety in your luxurious vehicle and get to your flight in good time and great order. Your English-speaking chauffeur is always at your service! SKU: LK41103200

$28.75 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Ground Transfer: Kuchchaveli, Nilaveli City to Kandy City

Once you check out from your hotel in Kuchchaveli City, your friendly driver will meet you and drive you directly to your hotel in Kandy City. Whether you’re traveling individually, with a partner or in a group, your ground transport needs will be covered by this private transfer service. Avoid the confusion of taxis or public transport and enjoy a hassle-free ride. Ground transfers have never been this easy! Travel in style and comfort with unparalleled safety in our air-conditioned vehicles and get to your hotel in Kandy City in good time and great order. Your English-speaking chauffeur is always at your service! SKU: LK42275430

$29.26 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Ground Transfer: Trincomalee Hotel to Colombo Hotel

Once you check out from your hotel in Trincomalee City, your friendly driver will meet you at your hotel in Trincomalee City and drive you directly to your hotel in Colombo City. Whether you’re traveling individually, with a partner or in a group, your ground transport needs will be covered by this private transfer service. Avoid the confusion of taxis or public transport and enjoy a hassle-free ride. Ground transfers have never been this easy! Travel in style and comfort with unparalleled safety in our luxurious cars and get to your hotel in good time and great order. Your English-speaking chauffeur is always at your service!SKU: LK42681700

Jaffna & the North in detail