Sri Lanka is one of the most incredible travel destinations with some of the most amazing and unique landscapes out there.
There are so many incredible places to visit in Sri Lanka – with tropical sandy beaches, wildlife safaris, mystical ancient temples, sculptures and adventure-filled activities, Sri Lanka is the perfect place to visit.
Don’t forget that it’s also renowned for its tropical cuisine, serving all the seafood one can possibly imagine!
Top Places to Visit in Sri Lanka
Kasogoda Turtle Hatchery
Like a breath of fresh air, Sri Lanka’s pioneering sea turtle conservation project is a prime turtle nesting site. It is a must visit for families; educational and the turtles are simple adorable, especially the newborn infants. You also get to touch and hold the turtles- an experience of a lifetime.
Highlight: Over 100,000 turtle eggs were left on the beaches in the last 2 years and were rescued, hatched and released.
If you are lucky enough, you might even get to release the turtles onto the beach at sunset. A truly magical and unforgettable experience.
River Safari Amidst the Mangroves
If you are looking for a perfect family time, this is the opportunity.
The mangrove cave safari on the Madu River is a beautiful fun filled experience. Hop on their long tail comfortable boats and enjoy scenic beauty, fish spas and cinnamon plantations. This is a 2 hour tour amidst the dense mangroves.
Highlight: Explore beautiful mangrove tunnels and rainforest covered margins, with your expert guides and discover the secrets of collecting and producing cinnamon.
With several species of birds and monkeys to observe, this experience is definitely not to be missed.
With never before seen grandeur, you can see the oldest and the largest sea creatures, the humpback and the blue whales nonchalantly gliding past you, while the dolphins will put up a show for you with their ever mischievous and innocent acts … not to mention the cute sea turtles.
Highlight: You get to see whales, dolphins, sea turtle and lots of varieties of fish. A show put up by nature, what more can one ask for?
Virgin Rain Forest, Sinharaja
A world heritage site and declared as a biosphere reserve since 1978, the Virgin Rain Forest will treat you to a delightful and lush green experience.
Now wait for the best part of it: the eco-lodge which was made out of shipment containers is where you get to stay.
Highlight: So, you get to actually sleep in shipment containers amidst dense forests, teeming with leopards. Can it get any better than that?
The reserve offers you guided daily morning and night hikes into the jungle, where you get up close to nature and various flora and fauna of the park. Sinharaja is a great place for avid birders as well.
Galway’s Land National Park
Are you an avid bird watcher, who loves jungle, hikes as well? Well here’s your answer. Galway’s Land National Park is a wildlife reserve since 1983. The walk in the bushes is always an adventure and full of surprises.
Highlight: With wild boars, giant squirrels, monkeys and an wide variety of birds around you, this Park is a wonderful place to visit.
MackWoods Tea Estate
Treating you with one of the best Ceylon teas and a guided tour through the tea making process, MackWoods Tea Estate is a lovely experience.
Highlight: You learn exactly how tea is made from the plucking, right up to the packaging and the best part of it all- the tasting.
Who doesn’t love a quiet breathtakingly beautiful place? That’s what the town of Kandy is all about. With a lively local bazaar and so much life to this place, a drive around offers beautiful sights. Just walking around the lake is also quite lovely.
The Temple of the Tooth, another popular Buddhist temple, which is also known to house a relic of the tooth of Buddha, is also situated in Kandy.
Highlight: You will encounter breath-taking views and waterfalls en-route here – make sure to take the Ella to Kandy train!
Otherwise known as the Lion’s Rock, Sigiriya is one of the most visited sites in Sri Lanka. Being a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient rock fortress has stairs emerging from the mouth of a lion shaped rock. The walk towards it, despite being long, is calm and relaxing. A very interesting experience. Join a tour from Kandy.
Highlight: the view from the top of the rock is breath-taking.
A visit to Sri Lanka is never complete without visiting this temple. Another popular world heritage site, the Dambulla Cave Temple or the Golden temple has been for over 22 centuries, a mecca for Hindu and Buddhist devotees. This temple is a must-visit, it’s amazing and has the most interesting architecture. Book a tour to take you there from Colombo.
Highlight: A total of five caves which looks quite ordinary from the outside but once inside, it can take your breath away, with the size and beauty of the myriad Buddhas.
Also known as the Butterfly Mountain, the Sri Pada, a depression below the summit of the mountain is considered one of the most sacred places by all four religions in the Indies.
Highlight: The Buddhists believe Sri Pada to be the footprint of Buddha, whereas the Hindus see it as Shiva’s footprint, the Muslims worship the recess as the footprint of Adam and the Christians as the Apostle Thomas- making it a place of worship for everyone.
This is why it is a pilgrim site.The 7-kilometer long stretching staircase, is an absolutely unique and wonderful experience at night that once taken, you will certainly never forget for the rest of your life. The climb finishes in time for an amazingly beautiful sunrise at the summit. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this, would you?
Elephant Migration in Minneriya National Park
Not satisfied with the whales, the dolphins or the sea turtle? Well Sri Lanka offers you more!
You don’t want to miss out on the 400 elephants migrating in Minneriya National Park. To see so many of these large, yet gentle animals in one place is an experience that you will not forget.
Highlight: Every year during the months of August and September, up to 400 elephants gather at once to eat the juicy grasses growing in the dried up Minneriya fields.
Why is Sri Lanka one of the most ideal vacation destinations?
With so many places mentioned above, the list doesn’t end there.
- Whitewater rafting, kayaking and diving! On an island like Sri Lanka, it’s no surprise that you get to experience almost every water sport. So definitely do not miss out on scheduling time for some adventurous water sports. Whether you want to spend the whole day in water or half an hour is up to you but make sure you do make time for it.
- Sri Lanka offers you a year around surfing season. Don’t worry if you haven’t ridden on a wave before, the one week of Surfcamp will make you an expert in no time. Sri Lanka has the best surfing conditions available on both its south and east coast.
- The train rides in Sri Lanka! Not only are the tickets extremely cheap, the landscapes are brilliant.
- Tropical beaches. The white, fine sand in the beaches at Sri Lanka makes you reluctant to go home. A dip in the turquoise sea, unwinding from your tiredness- who doesn’t want a lazy afternoon by the beach?
- The Sri Lankan cuisine is delicious!
There are so many more wonderful things to experience and places to visit in Sri Lanka.