Major Tourist Attractions: Sigiriya, Yala National park, Sri Pada, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Dambulla Cave Temple
Sri Lanka might not be a big country, but it does a great job in condensing an incredible array of wildlife, a mish-mash of historic architecture, and a diverse history that includes the Indians, Dutch, Portuguese, and British, as well as their own local culture.
From pristine palmed beaches to dense jungles, Sri Lanka still conserves that image that makes you feel like you are in uncharted territory and could discover a lost city at any given time. At the same time, you have an impressive display of well conserved historical and religious buildings and sights all over the country that tell bit by bit how this nation came to be what it is today, and how bright or turmoil certain historical moments were – from the introduction and propagation of Buddhism in the country, to the 26-year civil war that temporarily tore the country in half, among other events.
On the other side, Sri Lanka is a highly populated island that is slowly modernizing its major cities, like Colombo, as well as developing an excellent nationwide tourism infrastructure that includes budget hotels to high-end luxury accommodations. And, while the country’s focus on tourism has always been towards its rich culture, recently it has slowly developed a more adrenaline-oriented side where adventure seekers can enjoy nature in a thrilling way.
Now, adrenaline junkie or not, here’s what you should not miss in Sri Lanka to make the most of it:
- Visit Anuradhapura, the remains of the ancient capital that is over a thousand years old.
- Be amazed by Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the fifth century palace-fortress perched atop a towering rock outcrop. Also Sri Lanka’s most famous sight.
- See the impressive murals and Buddha statues inside Dambulla Cave Temples.
- Spend time in Kandy, a picturesque town that is now a cultural sanctuary.
- Visit the Temple of the Tooth, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is sheltered.
- Climb the 4,800 steps to the top of Adam’s Peak – Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, a holy place, and a popular pilgrimage site.
- Spend a day in Polonnaruwa to see the huge reclining Buddha and the royal palaces, stupas, and temples of this ancient capital.
- Pump your adrenaline in Kitulgala, Sri Lanka’s adventurous capital, with kayaking, trekking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and more.
- Head south to surf in Talalla, or simply to relax on the beach.
- Experience the colonial history through the Dutch Fort of Galle and the colonial village of Ella.
- Watch for whales, orcas, dolphins, and flying fish at beach resort town of Mirissa.
- Drink their delicious local tea.
Address: 210 Galle Road,
Colombo 03, Sri Lanka