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Sri Lanka

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Il y a 1131 commentaires pour 106 hôtes et organisations dans la destination Sri Lanka.
106 hôtes dans la destination Sri Lanka ont reçu une note d’au moins 4.8/5.

I really enjoyed my stay, really good atmosphere and always activities to run and people to meet!

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I had an incredible experience working here at the backpacking cycling hostel in Sri Lanka for a month. The hostel is not only a great place to stay a...

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A truely peaceful place to stay at to enjoy Sri Lanka local hospitality. You will have your own private room with daily local dishes provided.
During ...

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I have spent one week here and it has been hands down one of my best workaway experiences so far!
I have mainly helped with talking to the guests, set...

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I volunteered at Janaka's school this January. I had a lovely two weeks' stay at one of the students' family home. Though my sessions at the school we...

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Hôtes et organisations populaires pour la destination Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small yet mighty island located just off the southeastern coast of India. For a modest island (about 3.7 times smaller than the UK) it is home to a staggering 22 million people! And once you witness the wonder that Sri Lanka has to offer, you’ll want to call this country home too.

From its beautiful beaches lined with palm trees to misty mountain ranges, tea plantations dotted with exotic wildlife to some of Asia’s most spectacular Buddhist monuments - there are SO many reasons to visit.

The best part? Sri Lanka ranks among the top 10, friendliest countries in the world so expect all ages to welcome you with open arms as we have hosts all over this incredible island!

Let’s dive into why Sri Lanka is the perfect place for a Workaway adventure…

Sri Lanka at a glance

Sri Lanka has two nicknames. Some call it the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” as it is a tropical paradise. Others refer to “The teardrop of India” due to the shape of the island and its location just off India’s coast.

One thing we can all agree on however, is that this modest island is a traveller’s dream. Whether you want to explore ancient temples and bustling markets in Colombo, admire leopards roaming the wild in Yala National Park, or dream of hopping aboard that Insta-famous train ride from Kandy to Ella - no one leaves Sri Lanka disappointed!

As well as the temples and train rides, many people visit this incredible island for one unique reason - tea! Sri Lanka is the world's second-largest exporter of tea so why not sip on a cuppa as you bask in the island's beauty or roll your sleeves up and get behind the scenes on a tea plantation with Workaway.

After all that adventure, the island’s coastline will be calling as there you can relax on the powdery sand or snorkel, surf and swim in the crystal clear waters. From seaside cities to rural rainforest retreats, we have about 200 hosts in Sri Lanka ready to share their homes and way of life with you. Thanks to these hosts, you will have the opportunity to connect with local communities, contribute to meaningful projects, and make friends for life.

Is Sri Lanka Safe?

For those who want to volunteer in Sri Lanka, safety is often questioned due to a long civil war and sporadic terrorist attacks. However, the government travel advisories have relaxed their travel warnings and Sri Lanka is generally considered safe. Like any destination however, there are a few concerns to keep in mind.

The first is the weather! Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons every year: December–March in the north-east, and May–October in the south-west. This means that flooding and landslides are common during these times so be flexible with travel plans and don’t take unnecessary risks to reach your destination.

A growing safety concern on the island is traffic accidents due to a steady rise in fatalities and injuries, mainly caused by motorcycles. If you are planning on hiring a motorcycle, make sure to wear a helmet and only hire from a reputable company. It is vital that you have travel insurance to cover any medical costs should the worst happen.

As always if you take the usual safety precautions (for example avoid flaunting your wealth, always inform someone of your plans, and stay with reputable hosts or hostels etc.) then you will have a safe and memorable stay in Sri Lanka. Travelling alone? Make sure to read our safety tips for solo travellers as a little reminder.

Reasons to Volunteer in Sri Lanka

With so many incredible places to enjoy a Workaway in Asia what makes Sri Lanka different? Let us spill the secrets…

  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Sri Lanka’s heritage is deeply influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. Its historic cities, ancient temples, and sacred sites (such as the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy or Sigiriya) reflect a blend of traditions. Between vibrant festivals and ancient architecture, there are so many ways you can immerse yourself in the culture and make a meaningful impact.
  • Girl Power: In July 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, became the first EVER female prime minister! So why not help to continue flying the flag for feminism by volunteering with women's rights and empowerment projects. From entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities to vocational training and advocacy there are so many ways you can make a social impact with the sisterhood of Sri Lanka.
  • All about the animals: Although Sri Lanka is small, it's home to 123 species of mammals including elephants, leopards, and crocodiles, 227 species of birds, 178 species of reptiles, 122 species of amphibians and SO MUCH more! Yala National Park often steals the limelight for wildlife, but don’t miss Mirissa or Trincomalee for whale watching opportunities too. Such incredible nature means a huge demand for conservation and protection, so there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Ecotourism, sanctuaries, permaculture and more.
  • The surf: Dream of making waves with Workaway? Sri Lanka is a surfer's paradise with its warm waters and consistent waves. The most famous surf destinations include Hikkaduwa, known for its beginner-friendly breaks; Mirissa, offering a laid-back vibe, Arugam Bay, a world-renowned spot for advanced surfers and international competitions; and Weligama, ideal for beginners and those looking for surf schools. As well as surf camps needing your skills, you’ll often find hostels in these destinations that need your help. Learn more about volunteering in a hostel here.
  • Adventure Awaits: Explore the dense jungles where elephants and leopards roam in Yala National Park, challenge yourself with the scenic train ride to Ella, trek through lush rainforests in Sinharaja Forest Reserve, or kite surf in Kalpitiya. If you love adventure, you’ll love volunteering in Sri Lanka!
  • Tea Please: Over 1 million of the country’s 22 million population work in the tea industry. If you’re totally for tea, or dream of working in the industry one day, why not volunteer in Sri Lanka to turn you from enthusiast to expert? The Central Province is often referred to as the "Hill Country" and is the heart of Sri Lanka's tea industry. It is home to cities like Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, and Ella where you’ll find picturesque tea estates and tranquil landscapes. Simply use “tea” “plantation” or “hill country” as a keyword when searching for your Workaway host in Sri Lanka.
  • Affordable Travel: If the traditions, tea and temples can’t persuade you to volunteer in Sri Lanka perhaps the prices will! As one of the cheapest countries in Asia, it is a dream destination for those after an adventure on a budget!

Regional Highlights of Sri Lanka

With so many Workaway hosts in Sri Lanka, where do you start!? You could divide the country into its official provinces. There are 9 provinces and 25 states in total. These 9 provinces are Central, Eastern, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, and Western.

Alternatively, most people refer to 6 main regions, so we’ve summarised each of these to include the highlights and hidden gems to help you decide.

Colombo and the west coast

Thanks to the international airport (Katunayake just outside Colombo) this region is considered the “front door” to Sri Lanka. It’s also the most populous and developed region which is considerably westernised. Although not as authentic or off the beaten track as other regions, there are still many reasons to visit.


  • Colombo: As the country’s capital, Colombo is home to around 3 million people. Explore the bustling markets of Pettah or experience an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the fast-paced chaos of Galle Road. For a less exhilarating and more enlightening experience, visit the Gangaramaya Temple. This Buddhist temple is not only a place of worship but also a museum and a vibrant cultural centre.
  • Kalpitiya peninsula: Kalpitiya is still relatively undiscovered by mass tourism, offering a more relaxed and authentic travel experience. The consistent winds and shallow lagoons make it ideal for water sport enthusiasts of all skill levels. Alankuda Beach in particular is famed for kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  • Hikkaduwa: Famed for its coral reefs, Hikkaduwa is one of the best places for snorkelling, sunbathing and surfing in Sri Lanka. It’s also home to the Hikkaduwa National Park, Sri Lanka's first marine sanctuary. This makes it not only a great place for eco-tourism and underwater adventures, but for volunteering in marine conservation too!

The South

Some would argue the southern region embodies the essence of authentic Sri Lanka. From the sun-kissed coastal curve of Galle in the west to Tissamaharama in the east, this area has retained its rural charm. Enjoy the laid back way of life thanks to countless tranquil villages nestled beneath an abundance of swaying palm trees.


  • Galle: As Sri Lanka’s best-preserved colonial town, Galle is a unique and atmospheric place to explore. Expect cobblestone streets and a fascinating mix of Dutch and Portuguese influences. It is also relatively close to Hiriketiya, Mirissa, and Colombo, so it's the perfect base to explore these areas too. With over 50 Workaway hosts in Galle alone, it couldn’t be easier to find your home away from home.
  • Tissamaharama: It’s the perfect peaceful place for wildlife fans thanks to its proximity to two of the country’s most impressive national parks. Just a short drive from Tissamaharama is Bundala National Park, a haven for bird enthusiasts. As well as Yala National Park, which is famous for leopards, elephants, sloths and birds. If you have time, it’s also worth visiting Kataragama nearby. It is a fascinating pilgrimage town where Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and indigenous Vedda people gather to pay their respects at various shrines and temples.
  • Matara: Pronounced “maat-rah” the town is renowned for its stunning beaches and Wewurukannala Vihara, a Buddhist temple that is home to the largest sitting Buddha statue in Sri Lanka. At an impressive 50 metres high, you can climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding area. Polhena Beach, in particular, is known for its tranquil and safe swimming areas, and is a great spot for snorkelling. For more surfing and snorkelling, head a couple of kilometres either side of the town, to Polhena and Medawatta, or head to Mirissa, which is renowned for its whale and dolphin watching.

Kandy and the hill country

Sri Lanka's Hill Country, with its enchanting landscapes of rolling tea plantations, misty mountains, and cool climates, is ideal for those who crave peace and tranquillity away from the crowded coastline. Visitors can explore charming towns like Nuwara Eliya, savour world-famous Ceylon tea, and embark on scenic train journeys, creating an unforgettable escape into the heart of Sri Lanka.


  • Kandy: Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second city and arguably the “cultural capital.” Explore the sacred Temple of the Tooth (the country’s most important religious shrine), stroll around the serene Kandy Lake, and savour Ceylon tea in misty plantations. If you can, visit during Esala Perahera - one of Asia’s most spectacular festivals that takes place in July or August and lasts for ten days.
  • Ella: Looking for a laid-back town surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, waterfalls, and hiking trails? Ella is the one! The hike to Ella Rock and the mesmerising views from the Nine Arch Bridge are particular highlights.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Known as "Little England," Nuwara Eliya is famous for its picturesque landscapes of tea plantations and cool climate. Here you can explore lush greenery, indulge in tea tastings, and enjoy activities like golf and boat rides on Lake Gregory.
  • Adam's Peak (Sri Pada): Not only is it one of Sri Lanka’s most striking natural landmarks but one of its most celebrated places of pilgrimage.
  • Kandy to Ella train ride: You’ve likely seen the viral videos of the famous Kandy to Ella train ride as it’s often described as one of the most breathtaking train journeys in the world. This roughly seven-hour trip takes passengers through the heart of Sri Lanka's Hill Country. Expect panoramic views of emerald tea plantations, misty mountains, and charming villages as well as the iconic Nine Arch Bridge. It's an unforgettable experience for those seeking to explore the country's natural beauty at a leisurely pace.

The Cultural Triangle

As the name suggests, "The Cultural Triangle'' in Sri Lanka refers to a region in the central part of the country that encompasses a rich concentration of historical, cultural, and archaeological sites. It is marked by the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy. The region is particularly popular with history buffs, archaeology enthusiasts, and anyone interested in experiencing the essence of Sri Lanka's past and culture.


  • Minneriya National Park: Minneriya is renowned for the "Gathering," one of the largest gatherings of wild Asian elephants in the world. During the dry season (June to September), hundreds of elephants congregate around the park's central tank to graze and drink, providing a once in a lifetime wildlife experience!
  • Sigiriya: Sigiriya was once a royal palace and fortress, making it an important archaeological site. It is home to the ancient and awe-inspiring Lion Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re up for a challenge, you can climb to the summit where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and a glimpse into the island's history.
  • Anuradhapura: Explore the ancient monasteries, and large dagobas (stupas) that reflect the island's rich Buddhist heritage. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a sacred pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Notable sites include the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, Ruwanwelisaya stupa, Abhayagiri Monastery and Jetavanaramaya stupa.
  • Polonnaruwa: As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa provides valuable insights into the culture, art, and history of mediaeval Sri Lanka. The city boasts well-preserved archaeological sites, including royal palaces, temples, and impressive dagobas. Key attractions include the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Gal Vihara with its remarkable rock-cut Buddha statues, Lankathilaka Temple, and Parakrama Samudra (an ancient reservoir).

The east

With its sapphire-blue harbour, powdery beaches and intriguing Hindu culture, some would say Trincomalee is the jewel in the crown of Sri Lanka’s Eastern region. The extensive, unspoiled coastline is dotted with quiet coastal villages like Nilaveli and Uppuveli (near Trincomalee) and the renowned surf haven of Arugam Bay to the south.

While the region has remained largely undeveloped, resorts are popping up at speed which will likely encourage a new era of tourism. This means the days are numbered to still enjoy this culturally diverse and naturally stunning part of the island before it's turned into swimming pools and towering hotels.


  • Arugam Bay: A paradise for surfers, Arugam Bay is renowned for its consistent waves and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Pasikudah and Kalkudah Beaches: These serene, unspoiled beaches are perfect for relaxation and water activities like snorkelling and diving.
  • Batticaloa: Explore the historic city of Batticaloa, known for its lagoons, lighthouse, and the Kallady Bridge, a popular spot for scenic views and picnics.
  • Ampara: Ampara offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka's wildlife with the Gal Oya National Park, the only park in the country where boat safaris take place!
  • Trincomalee: Visit Trincomalee for its stunning beaches, including Nilaveli and Uppuveli. You also can’t miss Koneswaram Temple which is perched on Swami Rock cliff, a popular spot for blue-whale watching. As well as epic views the holy complex contains ornate shrines and a massive statue of Shiva. Nearby Gokanna Temple also offers unmissable views over the city and the coastline.

Jaffna and the north

The Northern region of Sri Lanka was once off-limits due to a prolonged civil conflict. It is now opening its doors to adventurous travellers who seek authentic island life. Here you can discover the captivating city of Jaffna, or consider an expedition to remote Mannar (which is actually situated closer to India than Colombo!). As the region slowly emerges, it offers a unique opportunity to explore uncharted territory and witness the resilience and cultural diversity of the North.


  • Jaffna: Explore the city of Jaffna, the cultural and economic heart of the North. Visit the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (one of Sri Lanka's most sacred places of pilgrimage for Sri Lankan Hindus), Jaffna Fort, and the Jaffna Public Library, all of which offer insights into the city's history and culture. As a tip, the cuisine of Jaffna is particularly special. It includes a significant number of vegetarian dishes, influenced by the mainly Hindu population. Dishes like "Vadai" (deep-fried lentil fritters) and "Thosai" (fermented rice crepes) are staples. You also cannot leave without trying sweet treats, like "Jaggery Sweets" made from palm sugar and "Milk Toffee," which are unique to the region.
  • Mannar Island: If time allows, venture to the remote Mannar Island, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway but is in fact closer to India than Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. This unique location adds to the region’s cultural and geographical character which is unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Highlights include pristine beaches, sacred sites like the Thiruketheeswaram Kovil, and the historic Baobab Tree.
  • Point Pedro: Located at the northernmost tip of the island, Point Pedro is a tranquil coastal town with beautiful beaches. The historic lighthouse and the nearby Kat Kovalam Beach are worth exploring.
  • Keerimalai Springs: Discover the sacred Keerimalai Springs, where natural freshwater springs meet the sea. It's a serene spot for a dip in the “healing waters” if you head early in the morning - otherwise your peaceful bath will be disturbed by the bus loads of tourists later in the afternoon.

Volunteering in Sri Lanka

Are you feeling ready to embark on a heartwarming volunteering journey in Sri Lanka? Now that you've discovered the enchanting highlights of each region, it's time to start crafting your adventure!

Why settle for the familiar comforts of hostels or beach resorts when you can immerse yourself in the tapestry of local life and savour an unforgettable cultural exchange? Now is your chance to embrace the renowned warmth of Sri Lankan hospitality through a Workaway experience.

As the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange, Workaway is the perfect platform to connect with locals in Sri Lanka. Whether you are a solo backpacker trying to find a travel buddy, recently retired or setting off on a grown up gap year – we welcome all ages and walks of life. Best of all, you can join as a solo traveller, as a couple, or even travel with your kids in tow!

In exchange for a few hours of honest help each day, your host will usually provide free accommodation and meals. Whether you want to showcase your eco-warrior ways keeping those beaches pristine, experience a real life history lesson in The Cultural Triangle or head off the beaten track in the unspoiled North, with Workaway you can enjoy it all at the click of a button!

Making a difference in Sri Lanka

Although we’ve covered safety, regional highlights, reasons to volunteer and more you may have one last question about Sri Lanka. How can I make a difference during my trip?

Firstly, we recommend you take this quiz to discover the many types of volunteer work. This will help pair your personality with the perfect project.

Then use our list below which covers some of the most popular types of Workaway experiences that hosts in Sri Lanka are looking for support with.

Here are just a handful of ways your skills could benefit the stunning Sri Lanka:

  • Teaching: Sri Lanka has the highest literacy rate in South Asia with the country said to have a literacy rate of 92%. With such great importance on education, there is a definite demand for volunteer teachers. Particularly in rural areas where access to education is more restricted than elsewhere on the island.
  • Sport: Cricket is by far the most popular sport in Sri Lanka, however you may be surprised to learn that the national sport is in fact, volleyball! There are many social impact projects that rely on sport to build confidence, communication, teamwork and morale in underprivileged communities. Use your favourite sport as a keyword in the host search box to find a project you can support.
  • Rural Communities: While parts of Sri Lanka’s coast could rival the Maldives and are dotted with luxurious resorts and crowds of tourists, there are rural communities elsewhere on the island that are struggling for survival. The Eastern Province, particularly around Batticaloa and Trincomalee and rural communities around Matara and Hambantota in the South offer opportunities to work on projects related to agriculture, women's empowerment and eco-tourism.
  • Conservation: While Rekawa Beach in Tangalle is known for sea turtle nesting in particular, you’ll find several conservation projects dotted around the coast. Around Mirissa (a popular whale watching destination) there is a demand for volunteers to spread the word on whale conservation as well as responsible tourism. The opportunities to volunteer with animals, don’t stop there however. You can also support the National Parks, volunteer with elephant orphanages in destinations such as Pinnawala or Udawalawe, or even head to the capital city of Colombo where animal rescue centres have been set up to support street dogs and cats.
  • Volun-tea-ring: As you savour that cup of Ceylon tea have you ever considered the environmental impact tea plantations have on the planet? Through Workaway you can volunteer in environmental conservation projects in the tea growing regions of Sri Lanka. These projects usually focus on reforestation, sustainable farming practices, water management and community development. If this sounds like your kind of gig, search for hosts in Dimbula in the Western Highlands, Bandarawela or Haputale in the Uva Province, Ella or Nuwara Eliya to name a few places.

How to find the perfect host in Sri Lanka

As well as using the regions above as a guide, you can use your skills and interests as keywords in the search box to find your perfect Workaway host in Sri Lanka. Whether you dream of passing Ella’s iconic Nine Arch Bridge onboard that famous train ride, crave the challenging Lion Rock hike to the fortress of Sigiriya or simply want to sip on a cup of Ceylon tea that YOU helped produce - when you join Workaway these experiences are all just a click away!

Best of all, we don’t charge expensive agency fees and your membership doesn’t limit you to one project or region. Instead, you’ll have access to over 50,000 volunteer opportunities across 170 countries. After Sri Lanka, why not try projects in nearby India, Pakistan or Nepal as guess what? We have hosts in each one of those countries too!

While we could go on and on about Sri Lank’s lush tea plantations, pristine beaches, ancient temples and serene villages, it’s what lies beyond the natural wonders that will inspire you to stay. The warmth of its people and the opportunity to make a positive change is what truly sets this incredible little island apart.

As you contemplate your next Workaway adventure, consider the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” a land where the act of giving becomes the greatest gift, and where you'll leave not only with memories but with the profound satisfaction of having left your mark. With Workaway, you'll discover the extraordinary power of travel to make a lasting difference.