Sri Lanka is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, but it has a lot to offer to travelers who are looking for a diverse and memorable experience. Whether you are interested in culture, nature, adventure, or relaxation, Sri Lanka has something for you. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Sri Lanka.
Polonnaruwa was the royal capital of Sri Lanka for three centuries, and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can admire the impressive stone carvings, statues, and temples that showcase the rich history and art of the Sinhalese civilization.
The ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa
Little Adam’s Peak is a popular hiking destination in Ella, a charming hill town in the central highlands. The hike is easy and rewarding, as you can enjoy the panoramic views of the tea plantations, mountains, and valleys. The best time to visit is early in the morning when you can witness the spectacular sunrise over the horizon.
Little Adam's peak
Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cinnamon, a spice that has many health benefits and culinary uses. You can visit Ganduwa Island, a small island off the southern coast, where you can learn about the traditional methods of harvesting and processing cinnamon. You can also sample fresh and aromatic cinnamon products, such as tea, honey, and oil.
Bundala National Park is a haven for bird lovers, as it is home to over 200 species of birds, including migratory waterfowl, flamingos, pelicans, and storks. The park also boasts a variety of habitats, such as lagoons, marshes, scrublands, and forests, where you can spot other wildlife, such as elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, and deer.
Bundala National Park
Pidurangala is a massive rock formation near Sigiriya, another famous landmark in Sri Lanka. While Sigiriya is known for its ancient fortress and frescoes, Pidurangala offers a more adventurous and less crowded alternative. You can climb to the top of Pidurangala, where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding jungle and the majestic Sigiriya rock in the distance. The best time to visit is before dawn, when you can catch the sunrise over the landscape.
Kalpitiya Peninsula is a narrow strip of land that separates the Puttalam Lagoon from the Indian Ocean. It is a paradise for kitesurfers, who can take advantage of the consistent winds, flat water, and uncrowded beaches. You can also explore the nearby islands, mangroves, and sandbanks, or watch the dolphins and whales that frequent the area.
Kitesurfing on Kalpitiya Peninsula
Haputale is a scenic town in the Badulla district, surrounded by the lush green mountains of the Uva province. It is a great place to experience the rural life and culture of Sri Lanka, as well as the stunning natural beauty. You can camp in the mountains, where you can enjoy the fresh air, the starry sky, and the cozy bonfire. You can also visit the nearby attractions, such as the Adisham Monastery, the Lipton’s Seat, and the Dambatenne Tea Factory.
One of the best ways to see the countryside of Sri Lanka is by taking a train ride from Colombo, the capital city, to Kandy, the cultural capital. The journey takes about three hours, but it is worth every minute, as you can witness the changing scenery, from the urban sprawl to the verdant hills. You can also mingle with the locals, who use the train as a daily mode of transport, and enjoy the snacks and drinks sold by the vendors.
Train journey in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is famous for its seafood, especially its crabs, which are large, succulent, and flavorful. You can try the crab curry, a spicy dish that is cooked with coconut milk, curry leaves, and various spices. You can also try crab kottu, a street food that is made with chopped roti, vegetables, eggs, and crab meat. The best place to enjoy the Sri Lankan crabs is at the Ministry of Crab, a restaurant in Colombo that is owned by two former cricket players.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for orphaned and injured elephants, where you can see them being fed, bathed, and cared for. You can also interact with the gentle giants, and even feed them fruits and milk. The orphanage was established in 1975, and since then it has become a popular tourist attraction and a conservation center.