The Island Nation in the Indian Ocean is one of the most diverse nations in the World. Rich in culture and heritage it is one of the few places where traces of first human settlements have been documented. Sri Lanka’s history pre-dates the mythological era of the Ramayana and is a revered place for people of all faiths. Sri Lanka is filled with ancient ruins, exotic wildlife, surreal beaches, endless tea-gardens and genuinely warm people which makes it a must visit travel destination for holidays. One will be simply amazed and wonder-struck at the diversity in places of attractions Sri Lanka offers. A few to mention being Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Dambulla Cave Temple, Ravan Ella Waterfalls, Yala National Park, Kasgoda Turtle Hatchery and so many more.
Amazing Places to Visit and Top Things to Do In Sri Lanka
1. Udawalawe Wild Elephant Safari
One of the most thrilling experiences is to be on a Elephant Safari at Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. To watch wild Elephants with herds in their natural habitat is a sight to behold. Along with Elephants get a chance to catch glimpses of Wild Boars, Water Buffalos, Toque Macaques and Wild Cats. Udawalawe Wild Elephant Safari is a must thing to do in Sri Lanka. 2. Yala Wildlife Safari
Yala National Park is definitely a place to visit and should be on one’s bucket list to watch the Sri Lankan Leopards. These cats roam around the lowlands of the park and can be easily spotted, on a hunt or just basking on a tree. Other wildlife in the park include Elephants, Deer’s, Sloth Bears, Peacocks, Blue-Tailed Bee Eaters, Sri Lankan Hornbills, Blue Capped Bulbuls, Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles, Golden Palm Civet, Red Slender Loris, Fishing Cat etc. A few species of birds and mammals are indigenous to Sri Lanka and can be only found here so a visit is a must. 3. Whale Watching in Mirissa
Get close to the biggest cetaceans in the world at Mirissa Fishery Harbour in Sri Lanka. You can watch these wonderful sea creatures in a close proximity with a guided expert in the safety of a boat. Whale watching is one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka. It is a humbling experience as you see these enormous Blue Whales in their true element. Besides the Blue Whales one gets to see Sperm Whales, Fin Whales, Orcas and Dolphins. The best times to observe them are between December and April when the waves are calmer. 4. Ancient Civilization Tour of The City of Anuradhapura
The City of Anuradhapura is a place to go back in time and view the ancient ruins which to this date are well preserved. This place is home to one of the oldest Temples, Sri Maha Bodhi dedicated to the sacred fig tree under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Isurumuniya Vihara is another place to visit as its, construction dates back between 307 BC - 267BC. It is known for its sculptures and stone carvings, more famous being that of Isurumuni Lovers. It is said that the figures represent Saliya, the Kings Son and maiden Asokamala, whom he loved so dearly that he relinquished his Throne. Mahintale, Ruwanwelisaya, Ritigala Forest Monastery and Wilpattu National Park are also places of attraction when visiting the city of Anuradhapura. 5. The Rock Fortress Sigiriya – The Lion Rock
Sigiriya refers to the site of a massive rock which the then King Kashyapa, selected and had his palace built upon. A UNESCO declared world heritage site, it attracts tourists from all over the world to marvel at its construction. There is a gateway built halfway on this rock in the shape of a lion, thus driving its name Sigiriya, The Lion Rock. This place was deserted after the King’s death and was further converted into a monastery up till the 14th Century. The site also contains water gardens, boulder gardens and terraced gardens which are still intact and preserved from that era. A visit to the Lion Rock is a must on a tour of Sri Lanka.6. The Horse-Shoe Bay of Hiriketiya
Located in the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka, this gem of a beach is one of the best spots to relax and unwind. Shaped in a horse-shoe this place offers exotic food, comfortable stays and pure bliss. Simply stroll on the golden sands along the breach or if feeling adventurous can try a hand at surfing. One of the best things to do at this bay is to wake up to the most beautiful sunrises and party with the sunsets. The places surrounding the bay also offer day excursions that will make your stay a mix of both relaxing and enriched. Wewrukannala Viharaya Buddhist Temple the fishing village of Nilwella can be easily added to your stay.
Things To Remember While In Sri Lanka
These are some points to remember that can come handy while travelling to Sri Lanka.
1. Sri Lanka has 2 Monsoon Seasons. (December – March | June – October)
2. Wear covering clothes while visiting areas of religious importance.
3. Carry bio-degradable wet wipes/ towels.
4. Do carry a skin protector cream (SPF above 40 recommended)
5. Buy one water-bottle and keep re-filling it to avoid littering.
6. Most people understand Basic English so your driver will double up as a guide.
7. Sri Lanka is unlike any South-Asian Country in terms of parties and more inclined towards eco-tourism.