Matara is a city in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The Southern Province consists of three districts and the city of Matara lies between Galle and Hambantota which are the other districts of Southern Province. It is 160km from the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo.
Matara is a coastal town surrounded by a lovely beach, its main attraction. The city has a population of about 76,493 and the man annual temperature is 30 C.
The River Nilwala runs through the town and falls into the sea. The river has fertilized the whole area as evidenced by the paddy fields, tea estates, and spice plantations.
It's a 2 1/2-hour journey from Colombo via Southern Express Way or a 4-hour journey by the Galle Road. It is possible, but expensive, to hire a vehicle.
- Weherahena temple. It's famous for its huge Buddha statue and underground caves filled with coloured statues and painting depicting the lives of Buddha
- Dondra Lighthouse. The southernmost point of Sri Lanka.
- Matara Fort. Rampart built by the Dutch in 1640. Nowadays it's a protected monument. However there's not much to see
Cheap, safe tourist hotels abound.
- Kalutara Temple
- Hikkaduwa coral gardens
- Ambalangoda antique shops
- Galle fortress
- Unawatuna, Mirissa & Weligama beaches