Sri Lanka – The Resplendent Isle
Sri Lanka is a slice of paradise on earth. A lush tropical island, known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers a unique kaleidoscope of experiences within a tiny footprint. Everything from vibrant tropical beaches to serene hillsides, archeological treasures, wildlife safari adventures, seaside thrills and affordable shopping are all reachable within a few hours. Sri Lanka is also known for its warm hospitality, ever smiling faces, world famous surf point breaks, herds of elephants, scenic train journeys, famous tea plantations and delectable food. Whatever your fancy, Sri Lanka can tickle it!
Sri Lanka is also a major destination for wellness tourism, and is home to many exquisite ayurveda health resorts and retreats. It’s also a haven for adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies offering plenty of extreme sports and experiences such as white-water rafting, mountain climbing, water fall abseiling and amazing treks, hikes and plenty of other uniquely thrilling experiences.
Tropical Fun, Year-Round
Whenever you choose to come to Sri Lanka, is the right time to visit. Since the island is located near the equator, you’ll enjoy mild tropical weather throughout the year, making it an ideal year-round destination.
World famous for its beaches, no Sri Lankan beach holiday ever disappoints. Whether its surfing, sunbathing, swimming or water sports, Sri Lanka has a beach for them all. From laid back white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters to more happening beaches with plenty of good vibes, the island is a beach lover’s paradise. For many, the beach is what brings them to Sri Lanka but its everything else that makes them fall in love with the island.
The south coast and east coast are at their best at different times of the year. Although you can visit either year-round, the east coast is at its prime from May to October and south coast from November to April. The south is full of vibrant beaches full of fun and plenty of seaside activity. This is in contrast to the beaches on the east coast, which are very much more laid back, rustic and feature pure white sands and plenty of calm shallow stretches that are ideal for swimming, very similar to beaches in the Maldives. The east coast is also home to the famous surf spot, Arugam Bay, which is widely recognized as being among the top 10 surf destinations in the world. Since 2004, the bay has hosted to many international surfing competitions.
A Long & Glorious Past
Sri Lanka isn’t new. In fact, it’s quite old with a documented history spanning over 3 millennia and human settlements dating back at least 125,000 years ago. The island was also home to an advanced ancient civilization and so is a history buff’s dream. The country is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and biodiversity and is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are distinct from each other with unique stories of their own. These include the Ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya along with the Central Highlands, the Sinharaja Rain Forest, the Galle Dutch Fort, Dambulla Cave Temple and the sacred City of Kandy. Visiting these ancient sites, one can’t help but look back through the ages to times gone by and ways of life long forgotten.
The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are treasure troves of natural beauty. Whether it’s lush, green tea carpeted mountains or dense misty forests, breath-taking views of the countryside or catching a glimpse of the sunrise, any lover of the outdoors will be simply captivated. The hill country rail network offers some of the most scenic train journeys in the world, such as the trip from Nanu-Oya to Ella.
A Burst of Flavour
Sri Lankan cuisine is an integral part of its culture and has many authentic styles along with influences from other parts of the world. Your taste buds will come alive amidst a world of spices, rich flavours, fragrances and colours with every mouthful. You’ll also get to enjoy Ceylon tea, world famous for its characteristic flavours, health benefits and aromas. In fact, if you’re a tea connoisseur, prepare to enter tea heaven. Once you’ve had the best Ceylon Tea, nothing else will ever come close. A visit to a tea factory to witness the labour of love that is a cup of Ceylon Tea is a definite must!
If the wilderness is more your thing, Sri Lanka has you covered. The island is home to many wildlife parks and nature reserves and is also home to many indigenous species including the ever-famous Sri Lankan Leopard. Under the water, across the land and in the skies, Sri Lanka provides any wildlife enthusiast with a treat, being even recognized as Asia’s Best Nation for Wildlife Tourism at the Top Asia Corporate Ball 2019. Catch a glimpse of these creatures, from blue whales to the blue magpie and leopards to sea turtles, all in their natural glory.
The country’s southern coastline, in addition to being home to some of the best beaches in the world, is dotted with turtle hatcheries that help conservation efforts. A visit to a hatchery can help you to see and learn more about the turtles while contributing towards conservation efforts. Sri Lanka is also known for being host to the largest natural gathering of Asiatic Elephants, which occurs during the dry season (June to September) at the edges of the Minneriya Reservoir, which was built by the ancient King Mahasena over 1,700 years ago.
Sri Lanka is the only place on earth where you can spot the “Big 5”, elephants, leopards, sloth bears, blue whales and sperm whales, all within hours of each other. The island is also home to 26 wildlife parks with Yala being the largest and well-known for having the highest population density of leopards in the world at 1 leopard per square kilometre. Sri Lanka’s famous wildlife parks include popular ones such as Wilpattu, Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya, Horton Plains, Udawalawe and many others.
Why Everyone’s Raving About Sri Lanka
Named one of the ‘Best Countries in the World’ to visit at the 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards, Sri Lanka is an explorer’s dream. Endowed with over a thousand miles of beautiful golden beaches fringed with palm trees, Sri Lanka is an ideal destination for a beach holiday and more!
Global Recognition for Sri Lanka as a destination:
- Top Destination to Visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet
- One of Lonely Planet’s best destinations for solo female travelers
- 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019 by Harper’s Bazaar
- Top Travel Destination for 2019 by UNILAD Adventure
- 15 food trends for 2019 by BBC Good Food
- Top Destinations on the Rise – Asia in 2018 by Trip Advisor
- Best Islands in the World – Readers’ Travel Awards 2018 by Condé Nast Traveler