Hambantota is popular for salt production and you’ll see evidence of this as you drive throughout the district. You’ll notice that expansive salt flats are dotted alongside the road, some of them glistening with a pinkish tint due to microbes found in the salt. Hambantota is the perfect place for cultivating salt thanks to its dry and arid climate (it’s called the ‘dry zone’ for a reason). It’s no wonder that Hambantota produces 30% of all of the salt in Sri Lanka.
The tradition of salt mining in the district dates back to ancient times; there’s evidence that Hambantota has been exporting salt to Rome from as far back as the 5th century BC! Tourists can visit the Hambantota Salt Pans to experience the process of salt harvesting and production, and learn how salt gets from the fields to our tables.
The Hambantota salt flats are right outside the city centre and a quick tuk ride from your hotel if you’re staying in Hambantota.