This year-round destination is perfect for adventure seekers, families, couples and wildlife enthusiasts. It offers a variety of sensational landscapes from the pristine wildlife haven of the Yala National Park and the flourishing tea plantations of Hatton to the golden sandy beaches of Tangalle and the bustling colonial city of Galle – there’s a highlight for all.
Sri Lanka has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that dates back to over 2 000 years, with Buddhism playing an integral part in its legacy. Evidence of the religion can be found at almost every turn in the Golden Triangle of Sigiriya, Kandy, Pollonaruwa and Anuradhapura. These magical destinations offer incredible attractions such as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, the awe-inspiring Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the ancient abandoned city of Anuradhapura with its “Tree of Enlightenment” and the not-to-be-missed historical kingdom of Pollonaruwa.
Another must-see attraction is the sturdy 17th century Dutch fort at Galle. The city itself offers a wonderful glimpse into the country’s colonial history but it’s the Galle Fort that features as a highlight on any Sri Lanka tour. Also, be sure to visit the Galle Fort Mosque, the Lighthouse, the Anglican and Dutch-reformed Churches and the Maritime Museum.
Enjoy a walking tour of Colombo’s historical Fort and Pettah districts as well as visits to sites such as the Dutch Period Museum and the Dutch Reformed Church
Explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic (a sacred tooth of the Buddha) in Kandy
Strap on your hiking boots and make your way to the top of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Discover the ancient temples of Polonnaruwa
Visit “the Tree of Enlightenment”, at Anuradhapura, which was said to have been brought there around the 3rd century BC
Embark on a memorable tea tour through the flourishing plantations of Hatton
Grab a camera to capture the unforgettable blue whale encounters in Mirissa
Delight in a guided tour of the magnificent Galle Fort
The country boasts a variety of wildlife such as the Asian elephant that can be seen in their hundreds at the Minneriya National Park; Sri Lankan leopards, a plethora of bird species, monkeys, sloth bear and deer. The Yala National Park affords the greatest opportunities to witness these exceptional animals but enthusiasts should definitely include an off-the-beaten-track adventure to the National Parks of Wilpattu, Uda Walawe and Kaudulla during their Sri Lanka tour.
A Sri Lanka vacation wouldn’t be complete without a few days spent unwinding on one of its pristine sandy beaches, most notably those that outline the destinations of Tangalle, Trincomalee and Negombo. Lapped on all sides by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a mecca for sun-seekers. It has an assortment of luxurious beachside resorts such as the Jetwing Beach, Jetwing Blue, Jetwing Sea and Amanwella, which offer exceptional water sport adventures, first-class spas and mouth-watering Sri Lankan fare.
The country is also prized for its excellent blue whale watching, between the months of November to April, at Mirissa. Travellers also have the unforgettable opportunity to view an important sea turtle nesting site on the beach of Rekawa Village, just outside of Tangalle.
A wide variety of accommodation can be found, from five-star hotels to guesthouses, game lodges and “bed and breakfasts”. In the cities there are also award-winning boutique hotels and spa resorts. It is strongly recommended that you reserve all your accommodation as far in advance as possible.
Sri Lanka is an excellent family destination, offering an assortment of fun-filled activities for children of all ages and plenty of adventure for the whole family.